Tallahatchie County Data
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Tallahatchie Co. Neighbors
Welcome to Tallahatchie County!
Welcome to Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Genealogy & History Network. Our purpose is to provide visitors with free resources for genealogical and / or historical research.
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About Tallahatchie County...
Tallahatchie County was founded on December 31, 1833. Tallahatchie is a Choctaw name meaning "rock of waters". The county is one of ten in Mississippi with two county seats, Charleston and Sumner. Charleston was the first county seat, and Sumner was organized later in 1872. Charleston was founded in 1837, but its history antedates that. A settlement of five communities had grown up along the forks of Tillatoba Creek.
In 1833 the land was opened for settlement. There were only Indian trails at the time. Most of the settlers entered the county over what was called Charley's Trace, an Indian trail that came across from the Mississippi river and entered the hills about where Leverett is now located. Here the trail merged with a trail from the south and passed near the present site of Charleston.
Colonel Thomas Bailey came from Kentucky and formed the first settlement on the north fork of the creek which was about five miles to the northeast. He was later joined by James Bailey, Samuel Caruthers, William Flemming, M. Johnson, Willam Kendrick, Robert Thrasher, A. Patterson, and Kinchen Mayo who extended the settlement along the creek toward the Junction. Another settlement was started by the Priddys, the Houstons, Cade Alford and the Carson family who extended the settlement along the creek to the junction of three forks.
DeKalb and Tillatoba were founded on the north fork of the creek just west of the present town. Both towns wanted to be county seat of Tallahatchie, and Tillatoba succeeded. In 1837 the Board of Police found it necessary to abandon Tillatoba. There was a section of unsettled land in the heart of the first five settlements. This section of land had been granted to Greenwood LeFlore under the terms of the Dancing Rabbit Treaty of 1830. J.S. Topp & Co. had acquired this section of land and proposed to build the town of Charleston (named for Charleston, South Carolina) and to have this as the permanent county seat. In 1843 the county seat fight flared up again. The board voted to abandon Charleston, but Mr. Steel, the president of the Board of Police, refused to sign the minutes which killed the rally.
J.B. Sumner moved to this section in 1872 and founded what is now Sumner. The present site was a dense forest. He donated land for the railroad right-of-way, railroad park, courthouse square and jail lot. The next year Maria Church, a Presbyterian church, was erected. A post office was established in 1885 and the town incorporated in 1900.
From 1882 through 1884 disastrous floods and overflows of the river forced the people of Sumner to go by boat to Webb (which was at the time called Hood) for their supplies. From 1931 through 1933 there were overflows which inundated thousands of acres of farmland and destroyed much property.
The first court house was built in 1902 and destroyed by fire in 1908. The records were saved, but in 1909 the entire business section of the town burned and all records were destroyed.
The county has a total area of 652.08 square miles of which 643.92 square miles is land and 8.16 square miles (1.25%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 2,985. The 2010 census recorded 15,378 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Quitman County (north), Panola County (northeast), Yalobusha County (east), Grenada County (southeast), Leflore County (south), Sunflower County (southwest), and Coahoma County (northwest). The Cities of Charleston and Sumner are co-county seats. Other communities in the county include Tutwiler, Webb, Glendora, Black Bayou, Brazil, Cascilla, Cowart, Effie, Enid, Leverett, Midway, Paynes, Philipp, Swan Lake, Teasdale, Tippo, Vance (partly in Quitman County), and Whitehead.
Tallahatchie County Records
Tallahatchie County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Thousands of Tallahatchie County marriage records and more. Look at the Tallahatchie County Records links in the menu on the left for a list of available data.
Birth Records - The Mississippi Department of Health maintains records of births after November 1, 1912 on file. This was the year Mississippi began keeping official birth records. You can obtain official copies of birth certificates by mail by using this birth record application on their website. If you just have to order by internet or phone, or use a credit card, you can use VitalCheck, a third party records company recognized by the Mississippi Dept. of Health. Since there are no official birth records before November 1, 1912 for births prior to that date you will need to determine birth information from census records, bible records, baptismal records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Death Records - The Mississippi Department of Health maintains births recorded after November 1, 1912 on file. This was the year Mississippi began keeping official death records. You can obtain official copies of death certificates by mail by using this death record application on their website. If you just have to order by internet or phone, or use a credit card, you can use VitalCheck, a third party records company recognized by the Mississippi Dept. of Health. Since there are no official death records before November 1, 1912 for deaths prior to that date you will need to determine death information from census records, bible records, funeral home records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Marriage Records - We have thousands of county marriage records here on our website. These dates will assist you greatly in obtaining a copy of the original marriage license. The Mississippi Department of Health can provide you with this for marriages that took place between January 1, 1926 to June 30, 1938, and for January 1, 1942 to present by mail by using this marriage record application on their website. If you just have to order by internet or phone, or use a credit card, you can use VitalCheck, a third party records company recognized by the Mississippi Dept. of Health.
All existing county marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the county's Circuit Clerk's office.
Divorce Records - Prior to 1859, divorce proceedings were introduced as private bills in the Mississippi State Legislature. References to these can be found in the books Index of Mississippi Session Acts 1817 - 1865 and Index to the Laws of the Mississippi Territory. These books can be found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History as well as many other genealogy repositories and libraries across the state. After 1859, county divorce proceedings were filed in the county's Chancery Clerk's office.