What’s in a name? For the Charleston County Register of Mesne Conveyance, it’s nearly 300 years of history that’s coming to an end. As of Jan. 1, the 299-year-old office responsible for overseeing land titles and property deals will now be known as the Charleston County Register of Deeds. The contemporary name change comes 20 years after the state Legislature passed a law mandating the switch. But there was a delay.
After the law passed, RMC office-holders could keep their aged and more formal title during their tenure. But once their term ended, so, too, would the name that has roots dating to colonial times. For Charleston County, the name reigned as long as Republican Charlie Lybrand stayed in office. Last year, Lybrand, 71, left the post he had held since 1994. Not everyone was in favor of the switch, including the woman who succeeded him and now holds the new title of Charleston County Register of Deeds.
“I went kicking and screaming about it,” said Elaine Bozman, who was appointed to the role by Gov. Henry McMaster after Lybrand’s retirement.”Register of Deeds is so modern.
Seeing how these records go back so far and that this office has always been called the Register of Mesne Conveyance, “you now lose that bit of history,” she said.The name goes back to the birth of Charleston itself, when it was founded as an English colony 1670.