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Office of Cemeteries records

Identifier: A-01-1029

Scope and Contents

The collection contains administrative and business records of Holy Cross and St. Lawrence Cemeteries. Among the Holy Cross Cemetery series, documents include business records such as documentation of lot sales and burial register; cemetery planning documents including architectural drawings; and material regarding the opening of Holy Cross Cemetery including news releases and photographs. St. Lawrence Cemetery series include business registers such as account books, cash book, lot registers, perpetual care register, and internment registers. The registers include financial information regarding purchase of lots, chronological listing of payments received for lots and interments, annual statement of receipts and expenditures, purchases of lots and interments, record of occupancy of graves, and location of lots indexed by lot holder's last name.


  • Created: 1852-1997
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/00/2009


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Diocese of Charleston makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright or other literary property in the materials contained in its archives. In providing access to or permitting the reproduction of any such materials, the Diocese of Charleston does not assume any responsibility for determining the nature of any rights, ownership or interest therein; nor for obtaining the appropriate permissions to publish or use; nor for determining the nature of any liabilities (for defamation and invasion of privacy) that may arise from any publication or use. This rests entirely with the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Diocese of Charleston Office of Cemeteries is responsible for the operation and administration of Holy Cross and St. Lawrence cemeteries. The offices maintain business and administrative records such as contracts, deeds, claims, grave locations and occupants. St. Lawrence Cemetery, the third Catholic cemetery established in Charleston, South Carolina, was the initiative of Ignatius Reynolds, second bishop of Charleston. Prior to establishing St. Lawrence Cemetery, interments were either at St. Mary of the Annunciation burial ground, established in 1793, or St. Patrick burial ground, often referred to as the Catholic burial ground, established in 1831. Due to overcrowding, Bishop Reynolds purchased approximately eighteen acres of land from Edward Tharin for the sum of $2,500 in 1851. The property was part of a farmland formerly known as Magnolia Farm. It was bound by Magnolia Cemetery, Magnolia Parade Ground, the Cooper River, and Lee Street. Reynolds opened St. Lawrence Cemetery in 1854. By 1954, overcrowding again became a concern for the Diocese of Charleston and Paul Hallinan, the eighth bishop of Charleston, purchased approximately eighty acres of land on James Island, South Carolina, to serve as a new Catholic cemetery. Holy Cross Cemetery opened in 1959.

Note written by


5.00 Linear Feet (1 slim box, 5 card file boxes, 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials



Administrative and business records of the Diocese of Charleston Office of Cemeteries.

Physical Access Requirements

Some material is fragile or damaged. As a preservation measure, researchers must view the photocopied set of account books and registers in this collection, rather than the originals.

Source of Acquisition

Received from the Office of Cemeteries in July 2009.

Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Bronheim, September 2013.

Inventory of the Office of Cemeteries records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives Repository

114 Broad Street
Carriage House
Charleston SC 29401 US