Cherokee County, SC | Gilliams of Virginia

GILLIAMs of Cherokee County, SC
Updated March 29, 2016


Cherokee County was named for the Cherokee Nation who once made it their home. To be more accurate, Cherokee County South Carolina was named for the community of Cherokee Falls and the community of Cherokee Falls was named for the Cherokee Nation. By saying the county was named for the Cherokee Nation we miss that all important historical debate at the time of whether the new county would be Limestone County or Cherokee County. Those in favor of forming a county were receiving opposition from those on the north side of the Broad River. By suggesting the name Cherokee County, they were able to influence the community of Cherokee Falls to support the county formation.

It was formed in 1897 from parts of Spartanburg, Union, and York Counties, and the county seat is Gaffney. During the Revolutionary War the battle of Cowpens, an important victory for the revolutionary forces, took place there on January 17, 1781. Iron mining was an important activity in this region up to the time of the Civil War, and it is sometimes called the Old Iron District. In the mid-nineteenth century the resort at Limestone Springs was a popular retreat for lowcountry planters.


Buffalo Baptist Church
In memory of
Barshaba GILHAM
who died May 18 1865 aged 69 years

The above inscription was copied in April 1979, by T. J. Caldwell and J. E. Hart, Jr., from tombstones found in the “old section” of the Buffalo Baptist Churchyard in Cherokee County, SC
SCMAR, Vol. VII, Fall 1979, No. 4, p.206

  • Wells, Lawrence K, and Brent H. Holcomb, ed.. South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 1-20 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Wells, Lawrence K., ed.. The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research. Vol. I-XX. Columbia, SC, USA: SCMAR, 1973-1992.