Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Branch Family - Its Migration to Mississippi

By 1830, three BRANCH families existed in the State of Mississippi. According to the 1830 Mississippi Census, which shows only "Family Head" and "White Males" and "White Females" according to age, Edward, Edward, and John are listed in Hinds, Adams, and Marion counties, respectively. My research has not revealed whether any or all of these Branch males were related.

The Hinds County listing was likely my Branch ancestor, since records show Edward Branch married Winiford (sic) Ragland in Hinds County, Mississippi later that year. During the War Between the States, a fire apparently destroyed marriage records on file at the Hinds County Courthouse in Raymond, Mississippi, and years later, Winney and Ed Branch were required to obtain affidavits from family members and local Attala County citizens who knew them during their marriage in order for Ed to obtain veteran's benefits for serving in the War of 1812.

Research did not reveal information about Ed and Winney's actual whereabouts from 1830 to 1834. However, "Goodspeed Memoirs" , which contains a history of Leake County, Mississippi, includes information stating that on April 10, 1834, Edward Branch was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Police in Leake County, Mississippi. According to the Mississippi Census of 1850, the surname BRANCH headed up households in the following counties: Adams, Attala, South Carroll, South DeSoto, North Desoto, Harrison, Issaquena, Kemper, Madison, Marion, North Marshall, Panola, and Tallahatchie.

Since Attala County, Mississippi was one of the counties formed after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed with the Choctaws on September 4, 1830, it is likely that Ed and Winney resided in the same physical location before and after the signing of the treaty.

We do know that Ed and Winney already resided in Attala County in 1850, according to the U.S. Census conducted in September of that year. Edward Branch was shown on that census as a 52-year old male, birthplace "Virginia", occupation "Farmer", and owning real estate valued at $1000. Also in the household was Winney, aged 36 years, John T., aged 15 years, Arthur J., aged 12 years, and Sarah T., aged 8 years. Mississippi was shown as the state of birth for Winney and all three children.

Attala County Mississippi is located in the North Central portion of the State and comprises roughly 724 square miles. Its name came from that of a fictional Indian maiden in a popular book of the same name in the early 1800s. Kosciusko is the county seat and is located approximately 68 miles north of Jackson, the State Capital of Mississippi. The town is situated 153 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee, 253 miles north of New Orleans, Louisiana, 204 miles west of Birmingham, Alabama, and 263 miles east of Little Rock, Arkansas, and is accessed directly from the Natchez Trace Parkway and was named for a Polish military officer who served with General Washington in the Revolutionary War.

Kosciusko would became a melting pot of people migrating from the East during the late 1800s and became even more populated after a college was built in the town and the railroad came through on its way out west. Currently, it is a quaint town with more than several well-preserved structures of Queen Anne and Victorian design. A museum at the exit from the Natchez Trace contains local history as well as a statue of the city's namesake in military dress.

No comments:

Post a Comment