The title known as 'Register of Deeds' refers to a specific position within a government that oversees the recording of documents which transfer ownership of real property. Charleston is one of only six counties in the state of South Carolina where the position is elected to oversee the office.
The Register of Deeds Office is the county office which provides "recorded" evidence of who owns land and where the land lines or boundaries are located. The office records plats, mortgages, leases, assignments, deeds, and other miscellaneous documents. The Office, led by the Register of Deeds, is charged with maintaining these records and transactions for future generations.
Each document must be executed according to state codes. Property descriptions for real estate usually include acreage; physical location including natural features, boundaries, and surrounding landholders; building and other improvements on the property if any; and previous owners of the property. The descriptions of previous owners (chains of title) sometimes provide a history of property ownership back to the original land grant.
The Register of Deeds (ROD) was previously called 'Register of Mesne Conveyances' (RMC), a title that hailed from colonial times. As of January 1, 2018 the 299-year-old office responsible for overseeing land titles and property records was renamed Register of Deeds, after the South Carolina state legislature passed a law mandating the name change.
Since the inception of the office in Charleston County, there has only been eight (8) people to serve as Register of Mesne Conveyance (or Register of Deeds). Seven were elected and one was appointed due to the inability of the fifth to complete his term:
City of Charleston
City of Folly Beach
City of North Charleston
City of Isle of Palms
Town of Awendaw
Town of Hollywood
Town of James Island
Town of Kiawah Island
Town of Lincolnville
Town of McClellanville
Town of Meggett
Town of Mount Pleasant
Town of Ravenel
Town of Rockville
Town of Seabrook Island
Town of Sullivan's Island
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