Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Book: Pike County Mississippi, 1798 – 1876

Pike County Mississippi, 1798 – 1876: 
Pioneer Families and Confederate Soldiers

By Luke Ward Conerly
Nashville, TN: Brandon Printing Company, 1909
Reprint:  Madison, GA: Southern Lion Books, 2008

If your family made its home in Pike County, MS this book should be in your hands. Mr. Conerly gives a history of the county beginning with the Native Americans who lived there first. After a brief history of the State of Mississippi he writes in more detail about the formation of the county and the earliest settlers. 

Included are lists of Pike County civil officers and lists of representatives to the State Senate and House of Representatives. Chapter VI details the county’s role in the Civil War and includes the names of many men who served and those who were killed or wounded in battle. 

The book includes some colorful descriptions of the county, such as this piece portraying the Bogue Chitto, a river whose name was derived from the Choctaw language and means “big creek”.

This stream takes its rise from a multitude of springs and branches that come out north and west of Brookhaven, in Lincoln County, Bogue Chitto and Johnson stations, and flows in a southeasterly direction through Pike County and Washington Parish and empties into Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish, La. It is one of the most lovable and picturesque streams to be found anywhere in the South. Its waters, coming from pure limpid springs that supply its numerous tributaries, flow softly and sweetly over gravel beds from the northern boundary of the county till it passes its way in its meanderings into Louisiana, mirroring in its bright waters the grand scenery bordering either side of it for over a hundred miles. At intervals, and alternately, it is overlooked by high ridges covered with majestic pine, oak, beech, magnolia, and a multitude of other valuable growth, that moan eternally as they fanned by the ocean’s breezes. Its waters, like all other inland streams, were full of fish, and its forests inhabited by wild game in great abundance, and the trapper and the hunter had all he employment desired.

The book includes several illustrations of places and people associated with the county. A map of the county is not included.

For our family, we have several branches who were early settlers in the county: Alford, Brown, Brumfield, Dillon, Fortenberry, Smith & Ott. We also have extended family, who often married our direct lines: Ellzey, Magee, Simmons and more. This book has taught me many things about our various family members who struggled in the wilderness and became a part of the history of the county. 

We have many family members still living in the county. They are, most likely, familiar with the history of their county but, for the rest of us, this book is a wonderful learning tool.

This book is also available online. The online version has the advantage that it is searchable. The hardcover book that I own has no surname index. I have at times, used both, used the online search feature & then gone to the pages in my book to read the text.

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1 comment:

Charlie Purvis said...

Great Book. Found one of my Brock ancestors listed.