Mississippi, State Archives, Various Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Mississippi State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Mississippi, United States
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Flag of Mississippi
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Location of Mississippi
Record Description
Record Type State Archives
Collection years 1820-1951
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

This collection includes images of records filmed at the Mississippi State Archives in Jackson, Mississippi. It includes narratives from former slaves, land records from the Office of the Secretary of State, lists of military veterans, military grave registrations, and naturalization records. The collection is being published as images become available. The military grave registrations have been indexed. The event place is the place of burial.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Mississippi State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951.

Collection Content

Sample Images

The record content varies by record type.

  • Early census records lists names of free white males
  • Names of free white females

State Census records of 1870 include the following information:

  • Names of white and colored males over 21
  • Names of white and colored males under 21
  • Names of white and colored females over 21
  • Names of white and colored females under 21
  • Names of all adult males who are qualified to vote
  • Names of all adult males who are not qualified to vote

State Census records of 1880 include the following information:

  • Names of every individual enumerated
  • Their age, race, nativity, and occupation

Tax records for the State of Mississippi listed all persons from whom monies were received.

Military Commissions for regimental records required the following:

  • Name of individual and enlistment date
  • Rank, company and commanding officer

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The county where the event occurred
  • The approximate date the event occurred
  • The name of the individual or individuals

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the age to calculate the birth date.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker, mortuary, or cemetery could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as more recent records.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  • Compiling the entries for every person who has the same surname is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. It can also help you to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. You may want to repeat this process for each new generation or surname that you identify.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes created by local genealogical and historical societies.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

General Information About These Records

Many colonial records for the lower Mississippi Valley were placed in archives in France, Spain, and England. These include correspondence about military and governmental affairs, some censuses, birth and burial registers, land grants, and surveys. Many of these records were transcribed by Dunbar Rowland and collected in a set of manuscript volumes known as the Mississippi Provincial Archives. This collection is at the Mississippi Department of History and Archives and on microfilm at the Family History Library.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History was founded in 1902. It is the second-oldest state department of archives and history in the country. A comprehensive historical agency, the department collects, preserves, and provides access to the archival resources of the state, administers museums and historic sites, and oversees statewide programs for historic preservation, government records management, and publications

MDAH Digital Archives include

  • Electronic records received from government agencies and officials
  • Donated and acquired electronic resources
  • Digital copies of original materials from MDAH collections, including paper documents, photographs, maps, audio, and video

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation

"Mississippi, State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Mississippi Department of Archvies and History, Jackson.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Mississippi State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Mississippi State Archives, Various Records, 1820-1951.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.