My trip to Charleston to research deeds at the Register of Mesne Conveyance office may - or may not - have yielded a clue.
I found a deed that included the general information I was provided - transaction occurred in 1859 and the name of a party was Robert Adger - but according to an article in the January 1990 edition of South Carolina Magazine, a new cemetery had to be located outside the city limits. The property mentioned in this deed flat out states the lots were within the city of Charleston. On Calhoun Street. Thinking I had a deed for the church lot itself, I moved on trying to figure out my what my next step would be. Then I rethought the issue.
I contacted the Charlesont Historical Society and the South Carolina room at the Public Library - again. My plan is to find out if the deed is for land that the church sat on, or another location on Calhoun. The only way I can do that is to compare the description listed in the deed with the survey maps also mentioned. If the lots turn out to be on the corner of Calhoun and Meeting, then I have to continue my search. Both organizations quickly replied. One with additional sources, (two of which I had never heard of, so I'm very grateful) and the other with curiosity that matched my own: they checked the maps and none of the plats in their possession show the location of the church's cemetery! There's no doubt it existed, but where?
We've yet to do the comparison using the information listed in the deed. That work will be completed when the map arrives. For now, the question remains, where are Zion's people laid to rest? Was it moved to make way for construction or was it simply built over? I would like to extend my thanks to Leigh Handal, Valerie Perry and Karen Emmons of the Charleston Historical Society as well as Liz and the other terrific people at the Public Library's South Carolina room who are devoting their efforts on this issue. Their guidance has been invaluable.