Williamsburg County, SC part of the SCGenWeb

Williamsburg, named after William of Orange, was one of eleven townships ordered by King George II in 1730 meant to develop the "back country" of the Carolina Province. The township was a part of Craven County, one of the original four counties that encompassed present South Carolina. Williamsburg Township then included most of the present Pee Dee region. The township consisted 20,000 acres (80 km˛) and was located in front of the Black River. It was later divided and became a number of separate counties, including present Williamsburg County, South Carolina.

A white pine tree on the Black River was marked by early surveyor with the King's Arrow to claim it for the King. The tree was referred to as “The King’s Tree,” and became the center of the new township. Kingstree eventually became the chief town of Williamsburg township.

In 1732 a colony of forty Scots-Irish led by Roger Gordon came up the river by boat and settled in the vicinity of the King's Tree. They were poor Protestants who had come from northern Ireland. They had settled there seeking a better life than in Scotland, before migrating to America.

It was an exceedingly difficult and primitive life for the early settlers; the life expectancy for those who survived infancy was around 50 years. The settlers tried to establish farmsteads in the territories of several American Indian peoples: the Wee Nee, Wee Tee, Chickasaw, Creek, Waccamaw, and Pedee, but had few conflicts with them. At first there was considerable trade with the Indians, but their populations fell dramatically due to epidemics of new infectious diseases, to which they had no immunity. Hazards for the settlers included venomous snakes and wolves, which were very common in the early years.

Neighboring Counties:
Clarendon, Berkeley, Marion, Florence, and Georgetown

Temp. State Coordinator: Denise Wells  Asst. State Coordinator: Jeff Kemp | Contact State Coordinator to adopt this county!

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