The Itawamba County Ancestor Who Disappears
Have you ever traced your ancestor through the census records of Itawamba
County and at a point, have that ancestor disappear from the census records?
The following could have happened to your ancestor in Itawamba County:
If your ancestor appears in the 1850 and 1860 Itawamba County census, yet
is not included in the 1870 census, chances are, he lived in the vast portion
of the county that became a part of Lee, Prentiss or Tishomingo counties.
On October 26, 1866, a six-mile wide strip of land running the entire length
of the county north and south, was given to the newly formed county of
Lee. A few years later, a two-mile wide strip of land running the entire
length of the county east and west was given to the counties of Tishomingo
and Prentiss. Always check the Lee County 1870 census first, then the1870
Tishomingo and Prentiss census records.
After the Civil War, Itawamba County saw a large number of its citizens
leave the county where most immigrated to Texas
Itawamba County borders the state of Alabama. Many of the county's citizens
lived along the border line in eastern Itawamba County. Therefore, some
citizens were tabulated by the Alabama census takers by mistake. Be sure
to check Franklin and Marion counties in Alabama. Also, many of the county's
citizens lived along the southern border area and were tabulated by the
Monroe County, Mississippi census takers.
Itawamba County Civil War Research
For the most part, Itawamba County was composed of small farmers during
antebellum times. Most of the crops were wheat, corn, barley, some cotton
and other subsistence crops on farms of less than 200 acres with less than
three or no slaves. Itawamba County was a small slave-holding county. However,
in the western portion of the county, there were several plantations where
most of Itawamba County's planter class lived along with their slaves.
Some of the larger planter families included the surnames of Hussey, Crayton,
Cummings, Taylor, Dabbs, Stovall, and Robbins. These large farms of more
than 5,000 acres and more than 50 slaves were located on the fertile lands
along the Tombigbee, Boguefala, Mantachie and Twenty-Mile Creek areas.
Western Itawamba was more suitable for larger farms, with the land, for
the most part, being gently rolling with several fertile bottoms. Most
of the land in eastern Itawamba County was too rugged for large scale farming
with the topographic relief too extreme for large farms. By the time the
Civil War began western Itawama had strong Confederate feelings, while
the eastern portion of the county had some Union sentiment. The large remainder
of the county had mixed feelings about the war. As a whole Itawamba County
was pro-Confederate. However, there were some Union activities in the county,
especially along the eastern edge of the county in the hills bordering
Alabama. So keep in mind that your ancestor from Itawamba County may have
fought for the Union. The Itawamba County Courthouse has no Civil War era
military records. However, those records may be obtained from the Mississippi
Department of Archives and History. For information on what is available,
write to: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, PO Box 571, Jackson,
MS 39205, or visit their library in the Charlotte Capers Building, 100
South State Street, Jackson, Mississippi. When writing, please be sure
to specify as much information as possible about your Civil War ancestor
(date of birth, county of enlistment, name of widow, date of death, etc.)
Their records contain information about those ancestors who served the
Confederacy from Mississippi.
The George Poteet History Center
When researching in Itawamba County, don't forget the Itawamba Historical
Society's research collection located in the society's headquarters, The
George Poteet History Center. This 2,400 square foot facility houses the
Gaither Spradling Library. The facilities are located in Mantachie, Mississippi
at the corner of Church Street and Museum Drive. The George Poteet History
Center is visited by researchers from all across the United States on a
daily basis. The society's research collection includes the following:
Books: There are more than 1,600 volumes of research material devoted not
only to Itawamba County, but most all southern states. The society subscribes
to more than 40 regional genealogical publications. The society's book
collections also includes a general history and general genealogy area.
Files: The society's filing system contains more than 3,000 files including
family group sheets, pedigree charts, family histories, old photographs
and general county histories.
Maps: The society's filing system contains more than 300 maps including
historic maps of southern states from ca. 1750 to the present, as well
as maps of every county in Mississippi and historic maps of every state
in the United States.
Archives Files: Located in the society's filing system are more than 1,000
pages of 19th century documents including old letters, bills of sale, wills
and ledgers pertaining to Itawamba County, Mississippi families.
Microform Records: The society's microform collection includes every available
census of not only Itawamba County, but every surrounding county in Mississippi
and Alabama. This collection also houses every Itawamba County newspaper
from 1903 to 1975, Itawamba County courthouse records, the complete Itawamba
County WPA History Project, Lee County newspapers from the 1870s to 1880s,
slave census records, the 1890 Civil War veterans census of Itawamba County
and genealogical publications on microform. The library houses two microfiche
readers and one microfilm reader.
Computerized Records: The society's holdings are located on computer disks.
This computerized information database includes hundreds of Itawamba County
researchers, surnames and addresses.