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“S” is for St. John’s Berkeley Parish

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

One of the he ten original parishes created by the Church Act of 1706, the parish of St. John’s Berkeley stretched northwestward from the upper reaches of the Cooper River to the Santee River through modern Berkeley and Orangeburg Counties. Huguenots were the first Europeans in the area in the 1690s but were soon joined by English, Irish, and Barbadian settlers moving up the Cooper from Charleston. The parish church of St. John’s Berkeley, called Biggin Church, was erected in 1712 on Biggin Swamp near present-day Moncks Corner. The church burned twice in the eighteenth century and was restored. Burned again in 1886, it stands today as a brick ruin. With the abolition of the parish system in 1865, St. John’s Berkeley Parish became a part of Berkeley County.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.