Welcome to Yazoo County!

 

Welcome to Yazoo County, Mississippi Genealogy & History Network. Our purpose is to provide visitors with free resources for genealogical and / or historical research.

To share your genealogy or history information, send an email to msghn@outlook.com - we will be pleased to include it here. If you have information related to other Mississippi Counties, consider clicking on the MSGHN link in the Main Menu and visit the appropriate county. Thanks for visiting and good luck with your research!

 



About Yazoo County...

Yazoo County was created in 1823 by the Mississippi legislature, When created it was several times larger than it is today before other counties to the north were carved out of it.

A town site on the Yazoo river, to be named Manchester, was thoroughly surveyed and designed on paper to fit the contour of the site. Its streets were given names they still have today, and the entire town was subdivided into numbered lots, all before a single soul lived there.

After wide advertising in the small newspapers of the day in South Mississippi and neighboring states, the proprietors announced an auction sale of lots in Manchester on February 22, 1830. A chartered steamboat brought potential buyers, docking at the foot of Main Street as a floating hotel; and in the first two days most of the choicest downtown real estate had been sold. By 1840 Manchester had over 1,000 residents, white and black, and was shipping 25,000 bales of cotton a year. In 1841, to honor its river, so vital to its economy, Manchester’s citizens voted to change its name to Yazoo City.

Yazooans were fervent supporters of the Mexican War, 1846-1848. When the U.S. Secretary of War requested a 1,000-man regiment of volunteers from Mississippi, Yazoo City and County boys, under Captain John Sharp of Benton, then the county seat, formed the 100-man Yazoo Rifles Company. In a contest among 17,000 volunteers in Vicksburg in June, the Yazoo Rifles were selected as Company A of the regiment to be led by Colonel Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederacy.

In 1848, because of its size and the convenience of more central location in Yazoo County, the Mississippi legislature transferred the county seat to Yazoo City. The town continued to grow, with a beautiful new courthouse designed by the same architect who gave Mississippi the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson and the Lyceum at Ole Miss.

During the Civil War's Vicksburg campaign which lasted until July 4, 1863, and especially afterwards, as Vicksburg remained a Northern citadel, the Yazoo River was completely controlled by the Union fleet, and Yazoo City was temporarily occupied and sacked for provisions six times. Only the last time was there some wanton destruction, and the beautiful courthouse burned. By wars end the town was all but prostrate, and very difficult period of recovery, under an especially despised carpet-bagger sheriff, lasted for 10 years.

But after the 1870’s Yazoo City was back on its feet; cotton production in the area (before the boll weevil!) was booming; the railroad arrived in 1884. Electricity was introduced in 1888, followed by street lights that burned all night unless the moon was shining. By 1900 there were two private telephone systems (for in-town use only), an ice-plant, a yarn mill and a cotton compress. From 1909 to 1919, a city-owned street car system operated on the principal streets - only the second one in the United States as most systems were run by private companies.

The greatest catastrophe to hit Yazoo City since the Civil War struck on an unusually windy May 25, 1904. A little boy playing with matches under his home set fire to it, only a block from the heart of the business district. In spite of assistance from the Jackson Fire Department, which sped some of it’s equipment up by special train, the fire raged out of control. It destroyed the entire business district and more than 100 residences on adjacent streets. All churches but one were lost. Only the courthouse built in 1872, the new library and the unfinished school beside it, were spared, as there were open ground area around them for protection. Fortunately not a single life was lost, but Yazoo City was in ruins. The town was quickly rebuilt on precisely the same sites, and the handsome, homogeneous new brick stores from 1905-1906 lining Main Street today are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The county has a total area of 934.12 square miles of which 919.48 square miles is land and 14.64 square miles (1.57%) is water. The population recorded in the 1830 Federal Census was 6,550. The population peaked in 1910 at 46,662. The 2010 census recorded 28,065 residents in the county.

Neighboring counties are Humphreys County (north), Holmes County (north-northeast), Attala County (northeast), Madison County (east), Hinds County (south), Warren County (southwest), Issaquena County (west), and Sharkey County (northwest). The county seat is Yazoo City. Other communities in the county include Bentonia, Satartia, Eden, Anding, Benton, Carter, Holly Bluff, Hopewell Landing, Little Yazoo, Midway, Oil City, Tinsley, and Vaughan.


 

Yazoo County Records

Yazoo County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Thousands of Yazoo County marriage records and more. Look at the Yazoo 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.