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Charleston Historic Site Unveils New Findings from Two-Year Cemetery Study

Historic cemetery excavation report.

Charleston Historic Site Reveals Updated Findings from Two-Year Cemetery Study

In Charleston, a noteworthy revelation delivers valuable insight into the city’s historic past. After a comprehensive two-year study, the McLeod Plantation Historic Site and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission recently updated findings about the remains located on a historic Lowcountry site and cemetery.

These findings have significant implications, not only for the history of Charleston but also for the descendants trying to trace their lineage back to those buried at the site.

A Detailed Investigation Commenced in 2022

The Parks and Recreation Commission took control of the site in 2011 and initiated an intensive study in 2022. Early findings suggested that over 200 remains could be located under the front four acres of the cemetery. Further investigation revealed possible evidence for up to 910 additional remains throughout the rest of the property. These deductions were aided by ground penetrating radars that provided images of the remains and identified specific burial areas with numbered pink flags.

Linking Remains to Descendants

Tracing family lineage back to these centuries-old graves has been a focal point of the study. Cultural History Interpretation Coordinator Toby Smith confirmed a connection to 35-40 descendants amongst hundreds of potential matches. As part of the reconciliation process, officials have conducted emotional interactions with descendants, who are invited to participate in information gathering and cataloging.

Such conversations can be highly emotional due to the pivotal role the McLeod Plantation Historical Site plays in cultural reconciliation. Smith recalls instances where visitors would break into tears upon visiting the site, overwhelmed by the connection to their ancestors and the city’s historical narrative intertwined with their own.

The Ongoing Hunt for Information

The investigation into this site’s history and those interred there continues. The officials are utilizing various resources, such as obituaries, funeral home records, newspapers, and archives, to gather more information about the remains. Death certificates are particularly valuable, as they contain evidence of burial sites.

The ultimate intention of this research is to construct a memorial that not only honors the interred individuals but also acts as a teaching tool for those visiting the site. By involving the public in the project, officials hope to further unite the community around its shared history and appreciation for this generously insightful historic site.

To contribute information about the McLeod cemetery, one can reach Matthew Rosebrock at or Toby Smith at, or via phone at 843-795-4386. For further details, visit

Charleston Historic Site Unveils New Findings from Two-Year Cemetery Study

HERE Charleston
Author: HERE Charleston

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