Welcome to the Smith County Mississippi Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Smith 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.
The land that was to become Smith County, Mississippi was once home to Native American Indian tribes such as the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and others. This area was part of the Choctaw Indian Nation until the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. This was the last treaty between the United States and the Choctaw Nation.
Several years after the treaty, on 23 Dec 1833, Smith county was one of several counties formed from this newly acquired land.
Smith County was named in honor of Major David Smith of Hinds County (born in 1753 in Anson County, NC). Major Smith had served as a private in the Continental Army during the revolutionary war at Kings Mountain, Cowpens, and Euthaw Springs. He first married in 1776 to Sarah Terry and later in 1791 married Obedience Fort and moved with his family to Mississippi, settling in Hinds County. His son, Benjamin F. Smith, served as the first representative for Hinds County in the Mississippi Legistlature. Major Smith died at Jackson, MS in 1834. His daughter, Aurelia, married Governor Runnels.
Today's Highway 531 in Smith County runs along what was once Andrew Jackson's Military Road, according to most historians. This road was a Nashville to New Orleans route improved by the federal government and later named in honor of Jackson.
When the area now known as Smith County opened up to the public, settlers were quick to arrive. Coming primarily from Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, as well as other areas of Mississippi, these settlers, like so many others settling other parts of the southern frontier, faced hard times. Churches and schools soon sprang up in small communities throughout the county. The close-knit groups depended on each other to make it through the tough times.
The first county seat was in Fairfield, about four miles south of the location of present-day Raleigh. The county seat was later moved to Raleigh, which was named in honor of the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. Over the years, Smith County has suffered three courthouse fires. Sadly, many valuable historic records have been lost through these tragedies. Smith County is known throughout the region for its watermelons.
The county has a total area of 637.27 square miles, of which 635.89 square miles is land and 1.38 square mile (0.22%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 1,961. The 2010 census recorded 16,491 residents in the county.
Neigboring counties are Scott County (north), Newton County (northeast), Jasper County (east), Jones County (southeast), Covington County (south), Simpson County (west), and Rankin County (northwest). Communities in the county include Mize, Raleigh, Taylorsville, Polkville, Sylvarena, Burns, and Summerland.
Smith County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Marriage Records, Cemetery listings, tombstone photos, and more. Look at the Smith 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
Smith County is located in south-central Mississippi.
Marriage information is an important part of any family genealogy. These dates may assist you in your Smith County, Mississippi research.
For a list of Smith County, Mississippi Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.