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Jones County, Mississippi

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  • Lance Bass
    Lance Bass (born May 4, 1979) is an American pop singer, dancer, actor, film and television producer, and author. He grew up in Mississippi and rose to fame as the bass singer for the American pop boy ...
  • Grace French (1932 - 2019)
    From Grace Blackmon French BIRTH 3 Apr 1932 Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi, USA DEATH 28 Jul 2019 (aged 87) Moss Point, Jackson County, Mississippi, USA BURIAL Jackson County Memorial Park Pascago...
  • Presley Mason (1841 - 1928)
  • Darling Jones Herrington (1812 - 1887)
    DARLING H. HERRINGTON (SAMUEL S5, WILLIAM4, CHARLES WILLIAM3, JOHN2 HARRINGTON, THOMAS1) was born 25 Feb 1812 in Barnwell, South Carolina, USA, and died 17 Sep 1887 in Laurel, Jones, Mississippi, USA. ...
  • Pvt. (CSA), Carney Slay Sumrall (1830 - 1909)
    Birth: 1829 Death: 1909 He was the son of Howell Sumrall and Nancy Parker. CSA,Co.E.37th,Miss.Jones County Miss. Carney and Elizabeth were last enumerated on the 1900 census. Elizabeth died in July of ...

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Official Website

The county was created in 1826 and named after John Paul Jones, the early American Naval hero who rose from humble Scottish origin to military success during the American Revolution.

The Free State of Jones

During the American Civil War, Jones County and Covington County, to its west, became a haven for Confederate deserters. On October 13, 1863, a band of deserters from Jones County and adjacent counties organized to protect the area from Confederate authorities and the crippling tax collections.[6] The company, led by Newton Knight, formed a separate government, with Unionist leanings, known as the "Free State of Jones", and fought a recorded 14 skirmishes with Confederate forces. They also raided Paulding, capturing five wagonloads of corn that had been collected for tax from area farms, which they distributed back among the local population. The company harassed Confederate officials. Deaths believed to be at their hands were reported in 1864 among numerous tax collectors, conscript officers, and other officials.

The governor was informed by the Jones County court clerk that deserters had made tax collections in the county impossible.[9] By the spring of 1864, the Knight company had taken effective control from the Confederate government in the county. The followers of Knight raised an American flag over the courthouse in Ellisville, and sent a letter to Union General William T. Sherman declaring Jones County's independence from the Confederacy. In July 1864, the Natchez Courier reported that Jones County had seceded from the Confederacy.

Scholars have disputed whether the county truly seceded, with some concluding it did not fully secede. While there have been numerous attempts to study Knight and his followers, the lack of documentation during and after the war has made him an elusive figure. The rebellion in Jones County has been variously characterized as consisting of local skirmishes to being a full-fledged war of independence. It assumed legendary status among some county residents and Civil War historians, culminating in the release of a 2016 feature film, Free State of Jones. The film is credited as based on the books The Free State of Jones by Victoria E. Bynum and The State of Jones by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Towns & Communities

  • Eastabuchie
  • Ellisville (County Seat)
  • Errata
  • Laurel (County Seat)
  • Moselle
  • Ovett
  • Sand Hill
  • Sandersville
  • Shady Grove
  • Sharon
  • Soso
  • Whitfield



Legend of The Free State of Jones

The True Story of the Free State of Jones - Smithsonian article (2016)

MS Civil Rights Project

National Register of Historic Places

Genealogy Trails

Unlocking Family Ties Through Genealogy

Jones County Digital Archives

Jones County Black Genealogy


Renegade South - Collins Surname in Jones County

Natchez Belle