Lafayette County Data
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Lafayette County Neighbors
Welcome to Lafayette County!
Welcome to Lafayette 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 Lafayette County...
Lafayette County was established February 9, 1836, and was named in honor of a distinguished soldier of France and friend of the American Republic, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), a French military officer who gave important aid to the American Revolution and who was instrumental in the defeat of Cornwallis in 1781. Fayette, the seat of Jefferson County, had been named for him ten years earlier. Oxford is the County Seat. Lafayette is one of the dozen counties drawn from the Chickasaw Indian lands in northern Mississippi during that year, after the Chickasaws, in 1832, had surrendered all their remaining lands by the Treaty of Pontotoc. The original act defines its boundaries as follows:
"Beginning at the point where the line between townships 11 and 12 intersects the basis meridian, to the center of township 6; thence west, through the center of township 6, according to the sectional lines, to the center of range 5 west; thence south, through the center of range 5 west, according to the sectional lines, to the northern boundary line of Yalobusha County, to the point where the line between townships 11 and 12 intersects the eastern boundary line of Yalobusha County, and thence east with the said township line to the beginning."
Two of the earliest settlements in the county were at Eaton and Wyatt—both of which are now extinct. Eaton was about fifteen miles west of the present town of Oxford, on the Tallahatchie River, where there was a ferry enabling the settlers of parts of Panola and Lafayette counties to cross the river, on their way to and from Oxford. The panic of 1837 destroyed the incipient town. Dr. Corbin was a prominent planter of the neighborhood in the early '30s. Wyatt was located about 13 miles from Oxford, on the supposed head of navigation of the Tallahatchie River. It was first settled about the time of the Chickasaw cession, and was once the shipping point for a large section of country, and boats plied between it and New Orleans. The Brooks gin, manufactured here, was widely used in northern Mississippi. Here dwelt for a time the celebrated Dr. Robert Watt, called the best physician in Northern Mississippi; Thos. H. Allen, A. Gillis, Andrew Peterson, Maj. Alston, Dr. R.O. Carter and Dr. Edw. McMucken. The town decayed rapidly after the panic of 1887.
The county has a total area of 679.29 square miles, of which 631.11 square miles is land and 48.17 square mile (7.09%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 6,531. The 2010 census recorded 47,351 residents in the county.
Neigboring counties are Marshall County (north). Union County (northeast), Pontotoc County (southeast), Calhoun County (south), Yalobusha County (southwest), Panola County (west), and Tate County (northwest). Communities in the county include Oxford, Abbeville, Taylor, Denmark, Harmontown, Paris, Springdale, Tula, University, Yocona.
Lafayette County Records
Lafayette County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Lafayette records and more. Look at the Lafayette 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.