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South Carolina Archives
Series Description

Judgment Rolls, 1791-1904


CALL NUMBER:        L 10018

CREATOR: Court of Common Pleas (Charleston County)

TITLE: Judgment rolls

DATE: 1791-1904

VOLUME: 175.78 cubic ft., 7.00 volumes, and 2.00 microfilm reels

ARRANGEMENT: 1791-1839 arranged by year and thereunder by arbitrary modern number assigned by the repository. 1840-1900 is arranged by contemporary roll numbers. One bundle of rolls that need to be interfiled in their proper place is filed in the first box of the 1840-1900 sequence. Eleven archives boxes of judgment rolls for St. Paul's Parish, 1875-1904, are arranged in a separate roll number sequence.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE: Although the Circuit Court Act of 1769 at long last provided for courts sitting outside Charleston, all writs and other processes triable in these courts 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 prior to 1791 thus include more than just the cases of the Charleston District Court, they have been cataloged with the predecessor series, the Judgment Rolls of the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, 1703-1790. S.C. Statute 1839(11)76 standardized recordkeeping in the Court of Common Pleas.

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." Documents generally include the declaration, answers, orders, summonses and complaints, bonds, affidavits, executions, assignments, judgments, taxation of costs, notices of appeal, and orders of the appeals court(s). Information consists of the names of plaintiffs, defendants, and attorneys; the nature of the suit; and the final judgment. Documentation of indebtedness entered into cases, particularly in the earlier years, sometimes contains considerable data on purchases and other information valuable for social history. The repository holds the general file of this series through 1900 and a separate file for St. Paul's Parish, 1875-1904.

INDEX/FINDING AID: Plaintiffs and defendants names, 1791-1839, are indexed in the repository's On-line Combined Index to Multiple Record Series, 1675-1929, and are also included in the Combined Alphabetical Index produced by the repository on computer output microfilm (COM) in 1991. The plats found in oversized rolls 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. The alpha-numeric code B1AE 002 was used to designate this series in the computer output microfilm index. 

Defendant indexes, 1821-1869, and plaintiff indexes, 1840-1861, available in manuscript in the repository. Defendant indexes, 1879-1901, available on microfilm produced by the repository. The repository also holds a manuscript plaintiff index to the St. Paul's Parish cases, 1875-1904.

LOCATION OF ORIGINALS: Original defendant indexes, 1879-1901, housed at the Charleston County Records Center.

HIERARCHICAL NOTE: Forms part of the records of the Court of Common Pleas for Charleston County.