Newberry County South Carolina Genealogy -

Newberry County History

Old Maps & How Newberry County Evolved
The origin of the name Newberry is unknown. The county was formed in 1785 as a part of Ninety Six District, prior to that it was part of the Colleton and Berkeley Counties. The county seat is the town of Newberry. This part of the upcountry was settled largely by Scotch-Irish, English, and German immigrants in the mid-eighteenth century. Germans were so prevalent in part of Newberry County that it become known as Dutch Fork, with Dutch meaning Deutsch (German). Large scale cotton farming replaced small farms in the nineteenth century, and the coming of the railroad made Newberry a leading cotton market. Historians John Belton O'Neall (1795-1863) and David Duncan Wallace (1874-1951) were Newberry County natives, as was governor and U. S. Senator Coleman L. Blease (1868-1942).

Newberry County SC American History & Genealogy ProjectThe City of Newberry, the county seat, has a population of about 10,000. In Newberry you will find Newberry College, and a recently renovated arts center, the Newberry Opera House, built in 1881 located in the downtown district.

The cities in Newberry County are: Jalapa, Kinards, Little Mountain, Newberry, Peak, Pomaria, Prosperity, Silverstreet, Stoney Hill, and Whitmire.

The Annals of Newberry in Two Parts by John Belton O'Neall and John A. Chapman Contributed by: Syndi Stark

"Whence the name Newberry is derived it is impossible with certainty to say. I have heard some assert, it was called Newberry County, after a captain of that name, in Sumter's State troops, but whether there was such an officer, I have never been able to ascertain. Certain it is, that a family of that name once lived beyond Pedee, in that section now called Marlborough district. Lately it has been my privilege to make the acquaintance of a preacher of the name of James Newberry, and therefore it may be that the tradition is true. Others have supposed that it was called after some place in England or the United States; but it is to be remarked that the names of similar sound elsewhere are spelled Newbury, while our district name is uniformly spelled Newberry, and pronounced with the accent on the second syllable. Others have supposed it was a fancy name, from the beautiful appearance of the country--covered with the oak, hickory, walnut, pine, elm and poplar forests, intertwined with grapes and muscadine--the ground carpeted with the rich covering of pea-vine, and studded all over with fruit-bearing shrubbery. It is hence supposed that the first settlers, enchanted with the prospect, might have said it was pretty as a new berry--and hence it was called Newberry! I like this notion best. It better accords with Colonel Rutherford's enthusiastic expression: 'South Carolina is the garden-spot of the world, and Newberry the garden-spot of that garden-spot.'"


Credit for research, photos, and documents goes to many institutions and people and is noted. If I have overlooked you or made an error, or forgotten to credit someone or thing, please let me know, it was not intentional.

Suggested Credit Line:
Parsons, Traci. Pickens County South Carolina Genealogy. 17 Jan 2003. Available from <web address, eg.,>

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Copyrighted© 1996-2003 by, Blue Skies Publishing, Traci Parsons-Holder. All Rights Reserved®. This site was created and edited by Traci Parsons-Holder. All the mistakes are mine.

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