Mississippi Biography

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Beginning Research
Record Types
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Local Research Resources

Online resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

Extensive collections of biographical material are at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, University of Mississippi, and University of Southern Mississippi. There is no major statewide biographical index or major manuscript collection. You may wish to search the biographical sections of statewide, regional, and county histories. Representative biographical encyclopedias for Mississippi are:

  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi. Two Volumes. in four. Chicago, Ill.: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1891. FHL Book 976.2 D3b; Film 845437 items 2,-39.) An index to the 25,000 names in this work is also available at the Family History Library and is on the microfilm with the book. For an abstract of this book see Norman E. Gillis, Genealogical Abstract of Biographical Section. Alphabetical Arrangement A-Z (of) Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi n.p.: 1962. FHL Book 976.2 D38b.