Historical Nuggets: Georgetown County was named for King George II of England. English planters and their African slaves moved into the region in the early eighteenth century. The town of Georgetown, established around 1730, served as a busy port that helped support the large rice and indigo plantations in the area. The Winyah District was officially renamed the Georgetown District in 1800. Georgetown, the county seat, Andrews and Pawley’s Island are a few of the cities and towns that make up the 813 square miles that fall inside the county lines with an average of 73 persons living per square mile.
During the Revolutionary War, General Francis Marion, known as “The Swamp Fox”, often hid his troops in the swamps of Georgetown County while waging guerrilla warfare against the British. After the Civil War, many of the existing plantations were purchased by Northerners and became hunting preserves.
Population & Demographics: Per the 2010 U.S. Census, Georgetown County had a total population of 60,158 with 33% being African American. Although the county’s median household income is $42,677, fully 20.9% of the population is identified as “living below the poverty line” with 7.7% being White and 31.2% being Black.
Heirs’ property is an important issue when considering the generational poverty among many African American families in Georgetown County. For most of us, our property is our most valuable asset. Not so, for heirs’ property owners. Because the land is owned “in common”, there is no clear title to the land which prevents the family from obtaining a loan or mortgage or accessing any public funds to improve their home or land. Therefore, owning heirs’ property is more of a liability than an asset until the title is cleared.
Mapping Project: According to the Center’s HP mapping research completed in 2012, there are more than 40,000 acres of heirs’ property remaining in our six-county service area, of which 4,812 acres remain in Georgetown County, representing 11.8% of the whole. The Center has developed a strategic plan to reach out to the areas of larger tracts and higher concentrations of HP in Georgetown County to deliver services where they are needed most.
The Center offers education seminars and legal services to low wealth families in Georgetown County to help them obtain clear title to their family land and keep it. PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE to schedule an appointment TO TALK WITH OUR ATTORNEY about your particular heirs’ property issues or to request a seminar: (843) 745-7055.
To learn more about Georgetown County visit http://www.sciway.net/cnty/georgetown.html or check out the resources shown below.