Welcome to the Choctaw County Mississippi Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Choctaw County, Mississippi genealogy or history information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - we will be pleased to include it here. If you have information to share for other Mississippi Counties, visit the Mississippi Genealogy & History Network state website and choose the appropriate county.
Choctaw County was formed in 1833 from land that was ceded to the United States by the Choctaw Nation. Some say that the name of the county comes from the Indian word, “chahta,” which means separation, most likely referring to the separation of the Choctaws from the Chickasaws. In all probability, the name of the county comes from the name of the Choctaw tribe’s first leader, Chief Chocta, from whom the tribe was named.
Choctaw County's story begins earlier than 1833. Pioneer hunters and traders began settling in the area due to friendships between the Choctaws and the French. The Choctaw Chief, Pushmataha, befriended the French and his sister married a Frenchman. Their daughter, Rebecca, married Louis Lefleur, who established a trading post on the Pearl River. In 1801, Congress established a postal route between Nashville and Natchez, the capitol of the Mississippi Territory, along what is now known as the Natchez Trace. In 1810, Louis and Rebecca moved into the heart of the Choctaw Nation and established a tavern and trading post on that postal route, and the area became known as French Camp. In about 1822, the Presbyterian Church established an early Mission School in French Camp for the Choctaw Indians. It is known now as French Camp Academy. Louis and Rebecca Lefleur had a son, Greenwood, who changed the spelling of his last name from Lefleur to Leflore. He was elected Chief of the Western District of the Choctaw Nation in the 1820's and helped draw up the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, signed on September 27, 1830, which settled the removal of the Choctaws to Oklahoma Indian Territory. Their departure, along with Indians of other states, came to be known as the infamous "Trail of Tears."
The county seat of Choctaw County is Ackerman, although it hasn’t always been there. In fact, the county seat has changed several times in the county’s history. Choctaw County was originally 1,080 square miles and contained all of what is now Webster County and parts of Montgomery, Grenada and Calhoun Counties. The first county seat was established at Greensboro, which is now in Webster County. A brick courthouse was erected by slaves in the area, and the village flourished. The town had a bloody reputation attributed to duels, hangings, and murders. Federal troops burned much of the town during the Civil War, and not much remains of Greensboro today.
In 1871, Montgomery County was created, taking away a big part of Choctaw County. The county seat was moved from Greensboro to a place located within two miles of the geographical center of the county. A new courthouse was erected at La Grange in 1872. The town rapidly grew, but a similar fate to Greensboro would befall La Grange. On the night of January 12, 1874, arsonists burned down the courthouse, along with all the records of the county. Many believed the arsonists were those in the county who wanted it to be divided in order to create a Republican county out of part of it. In 1874, Sumner County (now known as Webster County) was created, taking all of the territory of Choctaw County north of the Big Black River, which left the county seat a mile and a half from the county line. The county seat was removed from La Grange, and the town was abandoned.
The county has a total area of 420 square miles of which 418 square miles is land and 2 square mile (0.4%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 6,010. The 2010 census recorded 8,543 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Webster County (north), Oktibbeha County (east), Winston County (southeast), Attala County (southwest), and Montgomery County (west). Communities in the county include Ackerman, the county seat, as well as French Camp, Mathiston (mostly in Webster County), Weir, Bywy, Chester, Reform, Bankston, and Pigeon Roost.
Choctaw County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Marriage Records, Cemetery listings, tombstone photos, census records, and more. Look at the Choctaw County Data links 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 Choctaw 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 Choctaw County marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the Choctaw County 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, Choctaw County divorce proceedings were filed in the Choctaw County Chancery Clerk's office.
Choctaw County is located in the central portion of Mississippi.
A list of Choctaw County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
Marriage information is an important part of any family genealogy. These dates may assist you in your Choctaw County, Mississippi research.
For a list of Choctaw County, Mississippi Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Choctaw County, Mississippi Churches with photos and additional information for some.