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Welcome to Perry County!

 

Welcome to Perry County, Mississippi Genealogy & History Network. Our purpose is to provide visitors with free resources for genealogical and / or historical research.

To share your genealogy or history information, send an email to msghn@outlook.com - we will be pleased to include it here. If you have information related to other Mississippi Counties, consider clicking on the MSGHN link in the Main Menu and visit the appropriate county. Thanks for visiting and good luck with your research!

 



Recently Added...

The following is only a part of what you will find here at Perry County MSGHN.

Carter-McSwain Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located north of New Augusta on Carter-McSwain Cemetery Road about 1/4 mile east of Highway 29.

Burch Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located on Highway 42 just west of Hancock Road.

Clark Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Northeast of Richton on Leonard Clark Road about 2 1/2 miles north of Highway 42.

Fairhope Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located northeast of Beaumont at the intersection of Arlington Road & Byrd Road.

Myra Janette Fortenberry Courtney Memorial Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located at the intersection of Courtney Road and Van Gundy Road, just off Highway 98.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Near Beaumont on Arlington Road about 1/2 mile east of Highway 15.

Isaiah Hinton Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. South of Richton on Highway 15 about 1 mile south of the Richton-Perry Airport.

Earl Mayo Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located on Leonard Clark Road about 1 1/2 miles north of Highway 42E.

Dewitt Family Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located on David Newell Road about 3/4 mile south of Goodhope Church Road.

Curry Family Cemetery - burial listing with tombstone photos. Located north of Richton on Gatorwood Road off Hwy 15N.

Thousands of Perry County marriage dates. Be sure to check for your Perry County ancestors. These dates are an important aid to getting a certified copy of a marriage record from the Perry County Couthouse.



About Perry County...

Perry County, formed February 3, 1820is located in the south-eastern portion of Mississippi and was once part of the large Greene County. Perry County was formed on February 3, 1820. The Legislative Act creating the Perry County defined its bounderies as:

“Beginning on the line of demarcation where the line that divides the thirteenth and fourteenth ranges intersects the said line of demarcation; thence with said range line to where the fifth parallel township line crosses the same; thence east with the said township line, to where the line that divides the eighth and ninth ranges crosses the same; thence with the line of demarcation; thence west to the beginning.”

Additional lands were added to Perry County over the years until it encompassed all of the area that is present day Perry and Forrest Counties. The county was named in honor of Commodore Oliver H. Perry (photo), a naval hero in the War of 1812. The original county seat, Augusta, was situated on the east bank of the Leaf River.

The original civil officers during the first year of Perry County's existence were Jacob H. Morris, Chief Justice of the Quorum, and John Jenkins, John Green, Jacob Carter, Craven P. Moffitt, Associate Justices; Alex. McKenzie, Eli Moffitt, Benj. H.G. Hartfield, William Hudson, John Moffitt, Seth Granberry, Lewis W. Ball, Henry Easterling, Wm. Reynolds, Justices of the Peace; John McDonald, Assessor and Collector; Geo. Harrison, Ranger; Joel Lewis, Surveyor; John Barlow, Constable; Wm. Tisdale, Coroner; J.J.H. Morris, Notary Public; Martin Chadwick, Sheriff. Some of the other county officers, 1821-1827, were Griffin Hollomon, J.J.H. Morris, John F. Mapp, Abner Carter, Judges of Probate; Lewis Rhodes, Sheriff; Anthony Pitts, Adam Ulmer, Jonathan Taylor, Geo. B. Dameron, Sterling Brinson, John Deace, Daniel Miley, James Simmons, Sherod Byrd, Isham H. Clayton, James Overstreet, Uriah Millsapp, Justices of the Peace; Hugh McDonald, Treasurer; Farr Proctor, Geo. Harrison, Lewis Rhodes, Assessors and Collectors.

The nineteenth century outlaw, James Copeland, was executed by hanging in Augusta on October 30, 1857.

James Copeland and his gang was hired to kill Perry County resident James Harvey. On July 15, 1848, the Copeland gang rode to James Harvey’s home on Red Creek (now in Forrest County), Mississippi. Here, the Copeland clan fought a blazing gun battle, which resulted in the death of Harvey several days later and his buried in the nearby Dale Cemetery.

Although Copeland escaped the gun battle, he was eventually captured near Mobile in 1849, tried for his Alabama crimes, and sentenced to a four-year prison term. Upon completion of the prison term, Copeland was transferred to Perry County to stand trial for the Harvey killing, for which he was convicted and sentenced to hang. Before his death on the gallows in 1857, Copeland made a full confession to Sheriff J.R.S. Pitts, naming each member of the gang. Many gang members were prominent citizens of Mobile, south Mississippi, and the surrounding area.

Copeland's body was buried on the banks of the Leaf River near Augusta, Mississippi. But after 2 or 3 days, the body disappeared, and a skeleton was purportedly made of his remains. The skeleton was exhibited at McInnis & Dozier Drugstore in Hattiesburg in the late 19th Century.  In the early 1900s, the skeleton vanished and has not been seen since.

Copeland detailed how his clan had buried some $30,000 in gold in a swamp near Mobile and later reburied the treasure in the Catahoula Swamp in Hancock County. Rumors have circulated for decades of Copeland gold caches, still unclaimed, hidden around the MS and AL Gulf Coasts. The James Copeland legend lives today, as treasure hunters search  for burial sites of the Copeland gang's riches.

The county seat was moved two miles south in 1906 and was renamed New Augusta. This occured when the Mobile, Jackson & Kansas City Railroad was built through the area. The relocation of towns to be closer to railroads was common in Mississippi in the early 1900's, due to the importance of this means of transportation to communities and their economies. Old Augusta remains a small village today.

In 1908 Perry County was divided roughly in half and the western portion was formed into Forrest County.

The county seat is New Augusta. Other Perry County communities include: Beaumont, Richton, Hintonville, Old Augusta, and Runnelstown. In it's first census in 1820 there were 2,037 residents listed. In the last federal census in 2000 the population was 12,138.

The county has a total area of  650.20 square miles, of which 647.18 square miles is land and 3.02 square mile (0.46%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 2,037. The 2010 census recorded 12,250 residents in the county.

Neigboring counties are Wayne County (northeast), Greene County (east), George County (southeast), Stone County (south), Forrest County (west), and Jones County (northwest). Communities in the county include Beaumont, New Augusta, Richton, Hintonville, Janice, and Runnelstown.

 

 

Perry County Records

Perry County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Marriage Records, Cemetery listings with many tombstone photos, and more. Look at the Perry County Records links in the menu on the left 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 recogn ized 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 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 county marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the county's 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, county divorce proceedings were filed in the county's Chancery Clerk's office.