By Margie Gilmer
THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE OF CHOCTAW COUNTY AND THE COUNTY SUPERVISORS – First, thanks to the County Supervisors for your financial support of the Choctaw County Public Library.
Many people are surprised to know that last year we had visitors from 15 states outside of Mississippi visit the J. P. Coleman Reading Room to learn more about their ancestors. So far this year, we have had people from six different states visit us. And, of course we have numerous people in our state from outside the county pay us a visit. You should also know that the research material, in the last three – four years, came from generous donations by appreciative researchers. These statistics do not include the numerous phone calls we receive from individuals who request our help in finding and connecting their ancestors. What kind of information are they seeking?
Who are my people? When were they born and died? Where are they buried? How to find the cemetery?
Where did they live in Choctaw County?
What church did they attend?
Who were their neighbors?
How much land did they own and where was it? Copy of Deed!
Family Pictures, Tombstone Pictures
Copies of family bibles!
Anything in print about their family!
Second, thank you to everyone who sends an interested party to us to help in any way we can. We are proud to have become a well-known and appreciated library. Many visitors tell us we are the best – we know this isn’t true but it is so great to hear and be appreciated.
Third, over the past five to seven years, we have made it our goal to gather and produce research material both for the white and black community. We have updated the white cemetery book; and inventoried (photographed) for the first time the black ones. A text copy of the information found on the photographs and the photographs themselves are available to the public. Currently we are compiling information on the marriages of Choctaw County to support researchers who visit us.
The Families of Choctaw County project sponsored by the Choctaw County Historical and Genealogical Society produced approximately 500 applications – all are stored in the J. P. Coleman Reading Room and available to researchers. The supplies for these files were generously donated by the Society. These files contain documented evidence proving the family were in Choctaw County as early as 1840 and no later than 1860.
We continue to gather photographs and will begin a new project in the fall called Historical Homes of Choctaw County, MS. Everyone is invited to submit photos and histories of their family homes. We request they be at least 100 years old. We would like to know where the home is located; who built the home, and when; families (surnames) who have lived in it and any interesting stories about the home. This will be a “genealogy of homes.”