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A Brief History of Pickens County

A Brief History of Pickens County

Pickens County originally belonged to the Cherokee Indians. With the defeat of the British, with whom the Indians sided during the Revolution the Cherokee surrendered all lands. In 1791 Pickens County was a part of the Washington District. The district split in 1798 into the Greenville District and the Pendleton District. In 1826 the Pendleton District split into Anderson and Pickens Districts. Finally, in 1868, the existing Pickens District split into Pickens and Oconee Counties and Districts were renamed Counties. In 1968 a portion of Oconee County, which included Clemson University was annexed to Pickens County. The County proudly displays the name of the Revolutionary War hero, General Andrew Pickens.

Marriage / Death / Birth Records

Marriage Records: South Carolina began keeping marriage records in 1950. Marriage records prior to 1950 can be found at the probate judge's office in the county where the marriage took place. In Pickens County, marriage records in the probate judge's office date back to July 1, 1911.

Death Records: No official death records were kept in South Carolina until 1915. Three cities within the state kept death records of their own prior to 1915: Charleston 1821-1914, Spartanburg 1895-1897,1903-1914, and Union 1900-1914. South Carolina prohibits public access to death records for 50 years after the death. The Pickens County Library System has South Carolina death certificates from 1915 to 1961 on microfilm.

Birth Records: South Carolina did not require birth records until 1915. The city of Charleston was the only city within the state to keep birth certificates prior to 1915. The years of Charleston's birth certificates range from 1877-1902. Inquiries about birth records should be directed to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Probate Records: Wills from 1828 and later in Pickens County are located at the probate judge's office.