South Carolina Archives
Judgment Rolls, 1703-1790
CREATOR: Court of Common Pleas.
TITLE: Judgment rolls
VOLUME: 58.50 cubic ft. and 144.00 microfilm reels
ARRANGEMENT: Series arranged chronologically by court term and thereunder
by assigned number. Oversized rolls were indexed to oversized boxes 168A through
171A but were microfilmed in chronological sequence with the regular sized rolls
and can be located by year and number on the microfilm reels.
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE: Until the Circuit Court Act of 1769 at long
last provided for courts sitting outside Charleston, this court, which had been
set up by the Lords Proprietors as the Berkeley County Court, functioned as the
civil court for the entire colony. Under the 1769 act, all writs and other
processes triable in the circuit courts of law still had to issue from and be
returnable to the Court of Common Pleas in Charleston. S.C. Statute 1789(7)253
gave the circuit courts full original and final jurisdiction. Because the
Judgment Rolls through 1790 thus include more than just the cases of the
Charleston District Court, they have been cataloged here and the successor
series, the Judgment Rolls of the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas,
begins in 1791.
SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series comprises the original papers of record
in each civil suit in which judgment is signed. All papers pertaining to a
particular case are filed together in one bundle or "roll." The early rolls
contain the plaintiff's complaint and the court's judgment. Later authentication
of the complaint (the bond signed by the defendant or an account) was added to
the roll. Judgment rolls of the last half of the eighteenth century usually
contain the complaint and supporting documents, such as the writ of attachment,
verification of execution, defendant's reply, and the court's judgment.
Arbitrated cases contain the auditor's name and the commission to settle the
amount due. Information consists of the names of the plaintiffs, defendants, and
attorneys; the nature of the suit; and the final judgment. Documentation of
indebtedness entered into cases sometimes contains considerable data on
purchases and other information valuable for social history.
INDEX/FINDING AID: Names of plaintiffs and defendants are included in the
repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675-1929, and in
the Combined Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output
microfilm (COM) in 1991. The plats found in oversized rolls in the series were
also indexed separately in these indexes and were indexed to all personal names,
geographic names, and plantation names on the plats. The plantation names were
indexed as topics rather than as geographic names. A separate plaintiff and
defendant index on two rolls of COM produced by the repository in 1975 is
shelved with the microfilm of the series. The numeric code 0151 002 was used to
designate this series in the computer output microfilm indexes.
ADDITIONAL FORM: Entire series available on microfilm produced by the
repository except for 1787 No. 244A, a photograph of a plat from an estrayed
case provided by the Christie's Auction House in 2001.
HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the records of the South Carolina Court of