Madison County Data
Madison County Neighbors
Welcome to Madison County!
Welcome to Madison 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 Madison County...
Madison County, the 23rd county in Mississippi was named for fourth President James Madison, and was created in 1828 out of Yazoo and Hinds Counties. It incorporates lands between the Pearl and Big Black Rivers where General Andrew Jackson met with the Choctaw Chieftain, Pushmataha. That meeting resulted in the 1820 Treaty of Doak's Stand.
This area attracted large numbers of settlers from Virginia and the Carolinas who came to farm the lush, rolling hills, and fertile soil.
In 1833, the Madison County Board of Police (a governing body similar to today's supervisors) appointed surveyor John B. Peyton to select a geographical center for a new county seat (Canton) and to lay it out in blocks. In 1834, 40 acres of land belonging to Killis and Margaret Walton were deeded to the county for $100. The land was divided into square parcels with the plot nearest the center reserved for the public square.
In 1836, Canton was legally incorporated and boasted a population of 400. The first recorded ordinance made it a misdemeanor to gallop horse, mare, or mule on any street or alley.
By 1838, Canton boasted two banks, two hotels, ten dry goods stores, a drug store, three groceries, a bakery, a tin shop, three tailor shops, and two watchmakers. The public buildings were a courthouse, jail, church, and a female academy. The town enjoyed notoriety for having as visitors the celebrated original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng, who ordered two custom suits from Perlinsky's Tailor Shop.
There are two stories concerning the naming of Canton, and both attribute the name to Chinese origin. One states that Canton, Mississippi is the exact opposite side of the world as Canton, China, and was thus named. The other story states that the daughter of a Chinese family died in the area and the sympathetic community named the town for the family. There is really no more proof for one over the other, it's just which one you wish to believe.
The county has a total area of 741.97 square miles of which 717.11 square miles is land and 24.86 square miles (3.35%) is water. The population recorded in the 1830 Federal Census was 4,973. The 2010 census recorded 95,203 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Holmes County (north), Attala County (north), Leake County (east), Scott County (southeast), Rankin County (south), Hinds County (southwest), and Yazoo County (west). The city of Canton is the county seat. Other communities in the county include Jackson (mostly in Hinds County, small portion in Rankin County), Madison, Ridgeland, Flora, Camden, Farmhaven, Gluckstadt, Kearney Park, Sharon, and Way.
Madison County Records
Madison County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Thousands of Madison County marriage records and more. Look at the Madison 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.