Mississippi History

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Brief History[edit | edit source]

The following important events in the history of Mississippi affected political boundaries, record keeping, and family movements.

  • 1699: The French established a settlement called Fort Maurepas on Biloxi Bay, Mississippi.
  • 1716: Fort Rosalie, now Natchez, was established by the French on the Mississippi River.
  • 1763: France ceded its claims to the Mississippi region to Great Britain.
  • 1783: Britain ceded the Gulf Coast area to Spain. The rest of the Mississippi region was claimed by Georgia. The boundary was in dispute until 1795, when it was set at the 31st parallel, about sixty miles north of the coast.
  • 1789-1794: The Georgia legislature authorized the Yazoo land sales. Hundreds of people moved from the Atlantic Coast states to the Mississippi area.
  • 1798: Congress organized the Mississippi Territory. Georgia abandoned claims to the northern portion in 1802, and the Gulf Coast portion was acquired from Spain during the War of 1812. (April 7,) Mississippi became a territory
  • 1805: Choctaw Indian land cession
  • 1816: Chickasaw Indian land cession
  • 1817: (December 10,)The eastern part of the Mississippi Territory was organized as the Territory of Alabama. Mississippi became a state.
  • 1820: Choctaw Indian land cession
  • 1830: The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, Choctaw Indians gave up more than 10 million acres of land in Alabama and Mississippi to the U.S. The Choctaw had aided General Andrew Jackson in his war against the Creek Nation.  The Choctaw were removed to Southeaster, (present day) Oklahoma.
  • 1830's: Removal of the Choctaw to Oklahoma
  • 1832: Chickasaw Indian land cession
  • 1861: Mississippi seceded from the Union. It was readmitted in 1870.
  • 1898: Over 300,000 men were involved in the Spanish-American War which was fought mainly in Cuba and the Philippines.
  • 1917–1918: More than 26 million men from the United States ages 18 through 45 registered with the Selective Service. World War I over 4.7 million American men and women served during the war.
  • 1930's: The Great Depression closed many factories and mills. Many small farms were abandoned, and many families moved to cities.
  • 1940–1945: Over 50.6 million men ages 18 to 65 registered with the Selective Service. Over 16.3 million American men and women served in the armed forces during World War II.
  • 1950–1953: Over 5.7 million American men and women served in the Korean War.
  • 1950's–1960's The building of interstate highways made it easier for people to move long distances.
  • 1964–1972: Over 8.7 million American men and women served in the Vietnam War.

Historical Content[edit | edit source]

Histories are great sources of genealogical information. Many contain biographical information about individuals who lived in the area, including:

  • Parents' names
  • Maiden names of women
  • Place of birth, death, or marriage
  • Occupation
  • Migration
  • Military service
  • Descendants

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of pioneers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may be included that will provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search. Local histories are extensively collected by the Family History Library, public and university libraries, and state and local historical societies.

  • A Bibliography of American County Histories [1] [2]
  • United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress [3][4]

State Histories Useful to Genealogists[edit | edit source]

Good genealogists strive to understand the life and times of their ancestors. In this sense, any history is useful. But certain kinds of state, county, and local histories, especially older histories published between 1845 and 1945, often include biographical sketches of prominent individuals. The sketches usually tend toward the laudatory, but may include some genealogical details. If these histories are indexed or alphabetical, check for an ancestor's name. Some examples for the State of Mississippi are:

  • History of Mississippi, the Heart of the South [5]
  • Mississippi, Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons. [6]

United States History[edit | edit source]

The following are only a few of the many sources that are available:

  • The Almanac of American History, [7][8]This provides brief historical essays and chronological descriptions of thousands of key events in United States history.
  • Dictionary of American History, Revised ed [9] [10]This includes historical sketches on various topics in U.S. history, such as wars, people, laws, and organizations. A snippet view is available at Google books.
  • Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium [11][12][13]This includes a history, some maps, tables, and other historical information.

To find more books and articles about Mississippi 's history use the Internet Google search for phases like "Mississippi history." FamilySearch Catalog Surnames Search lists many more histories under topics like:


Websites[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Filby, P. William. A Bibliography of American County Histories. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1985. (FHL book 973 H23bi)
  2. Worldcat
  3. Kaminkow, Marion J. United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress. 5 vols. Baltimore: Magna Charta Book, 1975-76. (FHL book 973 A3ka.)
  4. Worldcat
  5. Rowland, Dunbar. History of Mississippi, the Heart of the South. Two Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1925. (Family History Library book 976.2 H2r; films 1000271, 844829-30; fiche 6051499-50.)
  6. Rowland, Dunbar. Mississippi, Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons. Four Volumes. 1907. Reprint. Spartanburg, South Carolina: Reprint Co., 1976. (Family History Library book 976.2 H2m; film 1421829 items 4-7; fiche 6051432-5.)
  7. Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Almanac of American History. Greenwich, Conn.: Bison Books, 1983. (FHL book 973 H2alm)
  8. Worldcat
  9. Dictionary of American History, Revised ed., 8 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976. (FHL book 973 H2ad.)
  10. Worldcat
  11. Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium. Springfield, Mass.: G&C Merriam, 1971. (FHL book 973 H2v)
  12. Limited view at Google Books
  13. Worldcat
  14. Writings on American History By American Historical Association, Library of Congress, United States National Historical Publications Commission, Published by KTO Press, 1921 FHL book 973 H23w
  15. Worldcat