Coahoma County, Mississippi Genealogy
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Cemeteries
- 4.2 Census
- 4.3 Church
- 4.4 Court
- 4.5 Land
- 4.6 Local Histories
- 4.7 Maps
- 4.8 Military
- 4.9 Miscellaneous
- 4.10 Newspapers
- 4.11 Probate
- 4.12 Taxation
- 4.13 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
Coahoma County, Mississippi is located in the Yazoo Delta region of northwestern Mississippi, with the Mississippi River forming the county's western boundary. Coahoma County was formed 9 Feb 1836 out of the Chickasaw Nation's territory.
Weaver-Zercher and Willimon (2005, see below) say that the county's formation resulted from the defrauding of the Chickasaws out of that territory in 1832 by the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Dunbar (1907, see below) says, however, that Coahoma County "constitutes one of the numerous counties formed from the Choctaw cession of 1830." Mississippi had been a state since 10 Dec 1817.
The county name, "Coahoma," is believed to have been suggested by Governor Alexander G. McNutt. According to various published sources, the name comes from a Choctaw word meaning "red panther." Stories differ as to why this name was chosen.
The act to create the county has been quoted in various 19th and 20th century sources and is of interest for its references to the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations:
"Beginning at the point where the line between townships 24 and 25 of the surveys of the late Choctaw cession intersects the Mississippi river, and running thence up the said river to the point where the dividing line between the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes of Indians intersects the same; thence with the dividing line to the point where the line between ranges two and three of the survey of the said Choctaw cession intersects the same; thence with said range line, to the line between townships 24 and 25 aforesaid, and thence with the said township line to the beginning."
Most of the county's early white settlers settled on the Sunflower River. Some of the later settlers appear to have arrived with the intent of dealing in counterfeit money which they printed in Coahoma County. Perhaps the best known of the counterfeiters was Hugh Talley, who served as president of the Board of Police until he was finally killed by a band of "regulators."
A better known local resident was James L. Alcorn, who lived in the county for over 50 years. Alcorn was a senator and, at one time, the governor of Mississippi.
The original county seat of Coahoma County was Port Royal, located at the eastern end of Horseshoe Bend. The seat of government shifted to Friars Point once the Mississippi River changed its course in 1848, making Port Royal no longer a river town.
Friars Point was named after an early settler, Robert Friar. Friar was the county's first representative in the state legislature.
The county seat is currently Clarksdale, which is the largest town in the county. Clarksdale was laid out in 1868 and was named after John Clark, a brother-in-law of James L. Alcorn. Alcorn was a Mississippi governor whose home, called Eagle's Nest, was in Coahoma County. Clarksdale was served primarily by river transportation until the arrival of the railroad there in 1884.
The Mississippi River forms the county's western border. Other streams within the county include the Sunflower River, as well as several bayous. An 1891 history of the county (in Lowry and McCardle, eds., A History of Mississippi) identified them as Hobson's, Phillips, Price's, Moore's, Whiting's, Cassedy's, and Opossum Bayous.
Because of its history and prehistory of flooding by the Mississippi, Coahoma County was known for its fertile soil. This was a factor that made the county an attractive location for early white settlers who brought in large numbers of African-Americans to perform slave labor. Hardwood timber forests were cleared for plantations. The county became known for cotton and other crops, such as sugar cane and hemp.
- Coahoma County History (county government site)
- History of Coahoma County, Mississippi (Genealogy Trails)
- Rowland, Dunbar, Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, Vol. 1, Madison, WI: Selwyn A. Brant, 1907, especially pp. 460-462; accessible via Google Books.
- Section titled "The Legacy of Economic Unrighteousness in the Mississippi Delta" (about Coahoma County) in David Weaver-Zercher and William H. Willimon, eds., Vital Christianity: Spirituality, Justice, and Christian Practice, New York: T&T Clark, 2005, pp. 217-224: accessible via Google Books
- Untitled county history page (GenWeb)
1836--Coahoma County was created 9 February 1836 from the Chickasaw Cession. County records are housed in Clarksdale and Friars Point. County seat: Clarksdale 
Quitman County was formed from part of Coahoma County in 1877.
Places / Localities
- Clarksdale (present county seat): Chamber of Commerce | Visit Clarksdale | Wikipedia page
- Coahoma: Wikipedia page
- Friars Point (former county seat): Wikipedia page
- Jonestown: Wikipedia page
- Lula: Wikipedia page
- Lyon: Wikipedia page
- Coahoma County Communities (Coahoma County MSGHN)
- Forgotten Towns & Villages of Coahoma County, MS (Coahoma County MSGHN)
- List of unincorporated places (Wikipedia)
- Bolivar (southwest)
- Desha County, Arkansas
- Phillips County, Arkansas (west)
- Quitman (east)
- Sunflower (south)
- Tallahatchie (southeast)
- Tunica (north)
- Cemeteries in Coahoma County (GenWeb)
- Coahoma County (Tombstone Transcription Project)
- Coahoma County Cemeteries (Coahoma County MSGHN)
- Coahoma County Cemeteries (ePodunk)
- Coahoma County Cemeteries (Find A Grave)
- Coahoma County Cemeteries (Genealogy Trails)
- Newspaper Scrapbooks and Mississippi River Collection of Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, on 3 microfilm reels at the Family History Library, contains cemetery data
- Funeral Homes (GenWeb)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi Largest Slaveholders from 1860 Slave Census Schedules and Surname Matches for African Americans on 1870 Census (Tom Blake)
- 1840 census (book): Coyle, Berniece Douglas. 1840 Census of Coahoma County, Mississippi. Lewisville, TX: Coyle Data Co., 1988. WorldCat page
- 1840 census index (GenWeb Archives)
The County Clerk of the Circuit Court in Clarksdale has court records from 1839.
- Court Minutes (3 microfilm reels, 1856-1892) at Family History Library
- Index to Chancery Court Docket (1 microfilm reel) at Family History Library
The Chancery Court Clerk for Coahoma County, in Clarksdale, has land records from 1839.
- U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office (search for online copies of Coahoma County land patents; generates 35 pages of listings for Coahoma County)
- Catchings, Troy, and Homer Hill. An Oral History with Mr. Troy Catchings, 1994 March 15. Mississippi Oral History Program of the University of Southern Mississippi (series), Vol. 659 (archival manuscript). WorldCat page
- Coahoma County Memories: A Pictorial History. Clarksdale, MS: Clarksdale Press Register, 1999. WorldCat page
- Howerton, Joe D. The Howerton Family in Coahoma County, 1837-1850. Corpus Christi, TX: Philip Howerton, [1934?]. WorldCat page
- Keys, Vernon J., and Homer Hill. An Oral History with Ms. Vernon J. Keys, 1994 March 19. Mississippi Oral History Program of the University of Southern Mississippi (series), Vol. 662 (archival manuscript). WorldCat page
- Murray, Nicholas Russell. Coahoma County, Mississippi, 1868-1900. Hammond, LA: Hunting for Bears, [1982?]. WorldCat page
- Weaver-Zercher, David L., and William H. Willimon, eds. Vital Christianity: Spirituality, Justice, and Christian Practice. New York: T&T Clark, 2005, section titled "The Legacy of Economic Unrighteousness in the Mississippi Delta" (specifically about Coahoma County), pp. 217-224. Google Books preview
- Weeks, Linton. Clarksdale & Coahoma County: A History. Clarksdale, MS: Carnegie Public Library, 1982. Amazon page | Google Books page | WorldCat page
- Work, John W., Lewis Wade Jones, and Samuel C. Adams, Jr. Lost Delta Found: Rediscovering the Fisk University-Library of Congress Coahoma County Study, 1941-1942. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2005. Amazon page | WorldCat page
- Coahoma County Maps & Geography (GenWeb)
- Libre Map Project (includes detailed topographical maps of Coahoma County)
- Coahoma County Military Sources (Coahoma County MSGHN)
Companies formed in Coahoma County:
- Company B (Coahoma Invincibles), 11th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry
- Company B (Mississippi Swampers), 44th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry
- Company K (Alcorn Rebels), 23rd Regiment, Mississippi Infantry
Civil War links:
- 11th Mississippi Infantry (includes Company B, Coahoma Invincibles)
- 11th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry (includes Company B, Coahoma Invincibles)
- 23rd Mississippi Infantry (includes Alcorn Rebels)
- 44th Mississippi Infantry AKA Blythe's Regiment (includes Mississippi Swampers)
- Army of 10,000 (includes Alcorn Rebels)
- Coahoma and Civil War (GenWeb)
- Coahoma Invincibles (Civil War Message Board)
- Monument to the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment (includes Coahoma Invincibles, in Stone Sentinels)
- Units in Coahoma (Mississippi Civil War WWW Board)
World War II
- Coahoma County, Mississippi World War II Casualties Army and Air Force (Access Genealogy)
- Coahoma County World War II Casualties (Genealogy Trails)
- Clarksdale Banner, established 1884 or 1888 (sources differ), ceased publication in 20th century
- Clarksdale Challenge, established 1896, ceased publication in 20th century
- Clarksdale Journal, an African-American newspaper established 1899
- The Clarksdale Press-Register (currently in operation)
- Clarksdale Register, established 1902 or 1904 (sources differ)
- Coahoma County, MS Newspaper Titles (Chronicling America at the Library of Congress)
- Newspaper Data (Genealogy Trails)
- Newspaper Scrapbooks and Mississippi River Collection of Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, Mississippi, on 3 microfilm reels at the Family History Library
The Chancery Court Clerk for Coahoma County in Clarksdale has probate records dating from 1856.
- Births (GenWeb)
The County Clerk of the Circuit Court in Clarksdale has marriage records from 1849.
- Coahoma County Marriages (Coahoma County MSGHN)
- Murray, Nicholas Russell. Coahoma County, Mississippi, 1868-1900: Computer Indexed Marriage Records. Hammond, LA: Hunting for Bears, [1982?]. WorldCat page
- Deaths (GenWeb)
Societies and Libraries
- Carnegie Public Library, Clarksdale, MS
- Coahoma County (Find County Records)
- Coahoma County Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Coahoma County Genealogy Queries (Cousin Connect)
- Coahoma History, Geography, Demographics, Cities and Towns, and Education (e-Reference Desk)
- Coahoma County Mailing List (MSCOAHOM-L)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi (Histopolis Collaborative Genealogy & History)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi (official site)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi (The Political Graveyard)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi (Wikipedia)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi Genealogy, Facts, and Records Resources (n2Genealogy)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi Genealogy Links (Genealogy Links.net)
- Coahoma County, Mississippi USGenWeb Archives
- Coahoma County, MS (RootsWeb)
- Coahoma County, MS Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- Coahoma County MSGenWeb Site
- Coahoma County MSGenWeb Site (alternate site)
- Coahoma County MSGHN (Mississippi Genealogy & History Network)
- Coahoma County, MS Genealogy and History (Genealogy Trails)
- Coahoma Message Board (RootsWeb)
- Family History Library Catalog
- History (Coahoma Co. government site)
- Profile for Coahoma County, MS (ePodunk)
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).