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Pearl River County was originally organized as Pearl County in 1872, using land taken from Hancock and Marion Counties, but the new county was shortlived. Because of a sparse population and limited tax base, Pearl County was abolished in 1878, just six years after its creation. The land was returned to Hancock and Marion Counties.
In the 1880's the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad built a rail line through the area which greatly aided in the area's growth and economic progress, especially in the timber industry. On February 22, 1890, they were ready to try it again. The county was re-formed under the name of Pearl River County using the same areas originally taken from Hancock and Marion Counties. The name of the county was dirrived by the fact that it is seperated from Louisiana by the Pearl River which makes up the county's western border.
Poplarville, named in honor of "Poplar" Jim Smith, was named the county seat. Poplarville, incorporated March 4, 1886, boasted a population of 236 when the county was formed in 1890. In 1892 the first Pearl River County Courthouse was built in Poplarville for the enourmous sum of $8,298.
In 1900 the citizens of Lumberton, one of Pearl River County's main towns, voted to become part of Lamar County. This setback to the county was soon offset by the addition of territory from Hancock, including the town of Picayune, which would become the largest town in the county. This additional land gave the county a total of 828 square miles, making it the fourth largest county in the state of Mississippi.
In 1923, Pearl River Junior College was founded in Poplarville and has become one of the most prominant Junior Colleges in the United States. Now known as Pearl River Community College, it continues to serve educational needs of residents of this region of Mississippi.
Pearl River County's most famous son was Theodore Gilmore Bilbo. A young farmer, minister, and lawyer, Bilbo was elected to the Mississippi Senate in 1907. Bilbo served as Mississippi Governor for two seperate terms, as well as 12 years in the US Senate representing Mississippi.
The county has a total area of 818.93 square miles, of which 811.33 square miles is land and 7.60 square mile (0.93%) is water. The population recorded in the 1890 Federal Census was 2,957. The 2010 census recorded 55,834 residents in the county.
Neigboring counties and parishes are Lamar County (north), Forrest County (northeast), Stone County (east), Hancock County (south), St. Tammany Parish, LA (southwest), Washington Parish, LA (west), and Marion County (northwest). Communities in the county include Lumberton (mostly in Lamar Co.), Picayune, Poplarville, Caesar, Carriere, Crossroads, Henleyfield, McNeill, Nicholson, and Ozona.
Pearl River County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Marriage Records, Cemetery listings, tombstone photos, and more. Look at the Pearl River 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 ...READ MORE
Pearl River County is located in the south-central Mississippi and borders Louisiana.
Marriage information is an important part of any family genealogy. These dates may assist you in your Pearl River County, Mississippi research.
For a list of Pearl River County, Mississippi Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.