Sunday, November 25, 2007

Don't Forget Historical Newspapers in Your Itawamba County Research

In historical and genealogical research, newspapers play an important role in gathering information. Old newspapers offer the researcher a glimpse of daily life contemporary to the times being studied. Such old newspapers offer so much more than obituaries and the like. They offer a narrative of the happenings of the times and such narratives includes tremendous historical and genealogical information.

Itawamba County newspapers are available on microfilm from around 1903 to the present are found in the Itawamba Historical Society’s Gaither Spradling Library and bound Itawamba newspapers by year from 1950 to the present are located in the Itawamba County courthouse. However, it is important to remember that a great deal of Itawamba County information can found in newspapers outside the county. For instance, the Tupelo Journal on microfilm contains a great deal of Itawamba County information. These newspapers go back to the 1870’s. Then there are historical newspapers from all across the United States that have articles making reference to Itawamba people and events. One example is the following article that appeared in an 1861 edition of the Macon Daily Telegraph of Macon, Georgia:

Troops Still Arriving from Mississippi

The train this morning, brought down five companies from Mississippi, numbering near 500 men. Three of these companies are from Marshall, one from Itawamba and one from Lafayette county.

The Marshall companies are –

Home Guards – Capt. T.W. Harris; 1st Lieut. W.A.P. Jones; 2d do., J.B. Matterson; 2d do., J.L. Autry. There are 100 men; comprising among them many of the first men of education and refinement about Holly Springs. For example there is thirteen lawyers and three doctors, and a number of young men of education with leisure to engage in active enterprise that promises excitement and glory. Their cry is, “Pickens!”

Quitman Rifles – Capt. R. McGowan; 1st Lieut. A.J. Wooten; 2d A. Balfour; 3d J.L. McGowan; 87 men

Jeff Davis Rifles – Capt. Sam Benton; 1st Lieut. H.W. Walter; 2d R.L. Watson; 3d B. Mickle; 100 men.

The Captain of this company is a nephew of the late Thos. H. Benton, the elebrated Missouri Senator. Their name, the Jeff Davis Rifles, is a remembrancer of the glorious deeds of the Mississippi Rifles of Mexico, and will be a perpetual stimulant to emulate them upon the battle field.

The company from Lafayette county is the Lafayette Guards – Capt. W. DeLay; 1st Lieut. Jno. Grace; 2d do, T.H. Lyman; 3d d0. J. Henry; 92 men.

Capt. Delay was with the Mississippians in Mexico and knows what Mississippians can do and dare do on the battle field.

The company from Itawamba is Ben. Bullard’s Rifles – Capt. Jas. C. Bullard; 1st Lieut. Jas. L. Finlay; 2d do., H.H. Smith; 3d do., M.M. Shelley; 93 rank and file. These troops are quartered at Hitchcock’s Press. – Mobile Mercury

The above is an article that was copied from the Mobile Mercury in Mobile, Alabama by the Macon Daily Telegraph in Macon, Georgia during 1861 giving information about Itawamba County, Mississippi residents. This is one example of the importance of historic newspapers in historical and genealogical research.

Newspaper article source: The Macon Daily Telegraph, Macon, Georgia, April 5, 1861

Genealogical Notes:

1860 Itawamba County US Federal Census

Page 139 Fulton
Arthur B. Bullard: 38, Cumberland Presbyterian Minister, $63,000, born TN
Rachael: 29, MS
Clarence B.: 10, MS
Laura: 5, MS
Elizabeth: 3, MS
Emma: 1, MS
Nancy J. Webb, 11, MS

Page 81
James Bullard: 40, Farmer, $1,606, TN
Annis: 41, AL
Arthur: 17, MS
Lafayette: 16, MS
James: 11, MS
Daniel: 9, MS
Bennett: 3, MS

J.L. Findley enumerated in the Eli Phillips household in the town of Fulton
William Shelly enumerated in the Richard Borum household at Van Buren, listed as age 36, merchant, born in NC

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