Newton County Data
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Welcome to Newton County!
Welcome to Newton County, Mississippi Genealogy & History Network. Our purpose is to provide visitors with free resources for genealogical and / or historical research.
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About Newton County...
Newton County is located in the east-central portion of Mississippi and was originally part of the original territory ceded to the United States by the Choctaws through the treaty of Dancing Rabbit concluded in 1830. Newton County was formed on February 25 1836 from the lower half of Neshoba County. It was named in honor of Sir Isaac Newton [image] and is the only county in the United States to have been named for him.
Besancon’s Annual Register for Mississippi (1838) gives the following list of county officers for that year: N. Bright, Sheriff; George W. Parris, Judge of Probate; William Gregg, Clerk of the Circuit Court; George Armstrong, Clerk of Probate; Mercer M. Booker, Surveyor; Thomas P. Redwine, Assessor and Collector; Thomas Maulden, Treasurer; Jessey Henry, Coroner; Dudley H. Thompson, Ranger; Thomas J. Runnels, Freeman Jones, Benjamin Bright, Roland Williams, Joshua Tatnum, Members of the Board of Police.
The following is taken from HISTORY OF NEWTON COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, FROM 1834 TO 1894, written by A. J. Brown in 1894.
The number of white citizens at the time of the organization of the county was necessarily small. An old citizen remarked that less than one hundred votes elected the sheriff. Say that it took one hundred votes to elect an officer at that time, it may be inferred that his opponent received nearly as many but was slightly in the minority. It may have been that there were nearly two hundred votes; probably quite that number, as it is not usual that all go to the elections. To multiply that number by four would give eight hundred white population, and it must be remembered that there were quite a number of negroes, probably one-third as many as whites. This would have given about one thousand persons, exclusive of the Indians, who were then more numerous than the whites.
The first census ever made in the county, in 1840, gave the population of Newton 2,527. This included the negroes as well as white people. It will be seen from this statement that Newton county had more than doubled the population from 1836 to 1840. If the first figures be correct, that there was 1,000 or a little over when the first officers were elected, this would be a very rapid increase in population in four years, and we must either admit that it is true or claim that the county had more inhabitants at its settlement than 1,000.
As early as 1834 quite a number of persons had moved and made permanent settlements in this county. A few came even before the county of Neshoba was admitted in 1833. The lands were surveyed in 1832, and with that came a few adventurers and traders, who settled among and traded with the Indians. They could not enter lands, but they could for a time live in the Purchase. In the year 1833 there was a very large emigration of the Indians from this part of the country, which gave room for settlers and their families and immediately following it was that many came from the counties of Wayne, Simpson, Hinds and Copiah. In connection with these early settlements, from 1834 to 1837, came settlers from most of the States east of Mississippi. Quite a number of land speculators, merchants and general tradesmen came to the new county hoping to make favorable investments, and many for permanent settlement. The county continued to grow in wealth and importance, and when the second census of 1850 was taken, the population amounted to 4,467, nearly doubling itself in a decade.
Newton County suffered two courthouse fires. One in 1877, which destroyed most of the county records, and another in February, 1911.
The county has a total area of 579.58 square miles of which 578.03 square miles is land and 1.55 square miles (0.27%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 2,527. The 2010 census recorded 21,720 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Leake County (northwest), Neshoba County (north), Kemper County (northeast), Lauderdale County (east), Clarke County (southeast), Jasper County (south), Smith County (southwest), Scott County (west). The County Seat, Decatur, named after Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr., an American Naval Officer remembered for his heroism in the War of 1812. Other Newton County communities include: Newton, Chunky, Hickory, Lake, Union, Conehatta, Duffee, Lawrence, and Little Rock.
Newton County Records
Newton County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Thousands of Newton County marriage records and more. Look at the Newton 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 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 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.