Earlier this week, I wrote a post about the Pettus Family in Holmes County. During some research for that post, I discovered that William Pettus of Fairfax, Virginia, is writing a book about the Pettus Family of Virginia. According to William, he has included information about at least one Mississippi Pettus family, that of former Mississippi Governor John Jones Pettus, who served from 1859 - 1863. Known as the "War Governor," Governor Pettus played a significant role in Mississippi's history for his involvement in leading his state to follow South Carolina's succession from the Union on January 9, 1861.
Although William is quite busy with indexing the Pettus book, with its date of publication still sometime in the future, he was kind enough to communicate with me by email. During our contacts, he and I traded some information about our respective branches of the Pettus family. One thing that I learned from William is that my Pettus relatives in Mississippi likely descend from Stephen Pettus, son of Thomas Pettus II of Littletown Plantation. According to William's research, Thomas Pettus II was the son of Colonel Thomas Pettus, of Littletown Plantation, the latter being the original Pettus emigrant from Norwich, England.
Stephen Pettus, Sr. married Mary Dabney, daughter of Captain George Dabney of King William County, and they lived in New Kent and Hanover Counties in Virginia until Stephen's death about 1775. The Pettus lineage that descends from Stephen and Mary often used Mary's maiden name as a middle name for male family members. Two of these descendants were William Dabney Pettus, a wealthy plantation owner who lived in Lafayette County, Mississippi, and John Dabney Pettus, a brother of my maternal great-grandfather, William Elza Pettus.
I anticipate that William Pettus' book, when it is published, will be well-received by the genealogical community. As a family history researcher, I am personally excited at the prospect of having my own copy, and as soon as the book is published, I plan to announce it here.
Slowly and surely, my own Pettus Family puzzle is finally taking shape, although I still have some missing pieces. I will find those pieces, so stay tuned for more later.