Sunday, August 19, 2007

Non-Genealogical Publications Can Offer a Plethora of Information on Itawamba County Families

In performing genealogical studies, most researchers think of searching traditional genealogical volumes and material such as census records, cemetery records, biographies, church records and the like. However, there are many publications that can serve as a treasure trove of information about your ancestors.

As a case in point, take the publication, Itawamba County Mineral Resources : Geology and Tests, a 1947 publication of the Mississippi State Geological Survey written by F.E. Vestal and H.J. Knollman. This technical 64-page publication offers the standard scientific information relating to the subject at hand. However, an entire section of the publication entitled The Potteries gives a detailed account of nine of the old Itawamba County pottery operations.

Southeastern Itawamba County was once known as the “Jug District” where pottery manufacturing businesses dotted the rugged countryside. This publication takes each of the potteries and gives the names of the owners, giving a brief description of the operations as well as the location of the businesses and the locations of their clay fields.

This scientific publication details the following Itawamba County pottery operations: the W.C. Davis and Sons pottery, the James Davidson pottery, the W.A. Summerford pottery, the E.P. Kennedy pottery, the R.J. “Bud” Middleton pottery, the State Line pottery, the D.E. Summerford pottery, the Plunkett and Ford pottery, the John Plunkett pottery and the J.B. Young shop.

In this publication there are three plates including an interior view of the D.E. Summerford Pottery showing potters at work and an exterior view of the J.B. Young Pottery works.

This is just once such example of where valuable genealogical and historical information can be found in old non-genealogical publications. In researching your Itawamba County roots, always keep in mind that a valuable tidbit of genealogical information can possibly be found in a most unusual source. In researching your family always remember to check old sources for the geographical location that are not necessarily genealogical or historical in nature. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you may find.

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