Ninety Six, SC

It stands to reason that the more specific the town name, the easier it should be to identify the origin of the name.

Ninety Six exists to dissuade you from that notion.

There is much confusion about the mysterious name, “Ninety-Six,” and the true origin may never be known.


There’s the Native American possibility.

Speculation has led to the mistaken belief that it was 96 miles to the nearest Cherokee settlement of Keowee; to a counting of creeks crossing the main road leading from Lexington, SC, to Ninety-Six.’s own origin has a little to do with the Welsh so he is partial perhaps to their stories. What do they have to say?

“(The name comes from) an interpretation of a Welsh expression, “nant-sych,” meaning “dry gulch.”

Ahh, sure. Makes sense. It was founded by Welshman?

No one is able to confirm that founder Robert Goudey (sic) was Welsh, English, Scottish, or German.


(There is also an explanation how chains used to be used to measure maps – and that Ninety Six was perhaps 96 chains away from so and so- but that description was too convoluted to include in this free flowin’ and breezy website.)

Prior to Ninety Six, the area was known as “Jews Land.”

For a time it was known as “Jews Land” because some prominent Sephardic Jewish families of London bought extensive property there. The Salvador and DaCosta families bought 200,000 acres, intending to help some poor Sephardic families to relocate to the New World.

While one Jewish resident’s history seems to be…mixed.

Francis Salvador (1747-1776), bought land in Ninety-Six District, and was the first Jew to be elected to public office in the colonies (1774, to SC’s Provincial Congress); after joining the militia, in 1776 he was the first Jew killed in the American Revolution in a battle with Loyalists and Cherokee

At least one resident was good-natured about where he was reared.

Bill Voiselle, pitcher for the New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Chicago Cubs, wore his hometown as uniform number “96″ when playing with Boston and Chicago.

The town has a little under 2,000 people living in it.

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