Welcome to the Bolivar County Mississippi Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Bolivar County, Mississippi genealogy or history information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - we will be pleased to include it here. If you have information to share for other Mississippi Counties, visit the Mississippi Genealogy & History Network state website and choose the appropriate county.
The county of Bolivar is located in the Delta Region of Mississippi. It was created February 9, 1836 from the Choctaw Cession of 1830 during the administration of Governor Charles Lynch. It was named for General Simon Bolivar, a South American patriot, often called the George Washington of South America, whose victories over the Spaniards won independence for Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela from Spain.
The County is now divided into two judicial districts, the line of division running north and south. Rosedale, situated on the Mississippi River, is the county seat of the first district, and Cleveland, situated on the main line of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, is the county seat of the second district.
The first county seat of Bolivar County was located at Bolivar Landing, and was located at a point on a high sand ridge about two miles northwest of the present town of Beulah, this site still being known as "the old courthouse field." Later, the county seat was removed to Prentiss on the Mississippi River opposite Napoleon, Arkansas.
The first settlers of Bolivar County were planters who found the forty to sixty foot deep Delta soil to be rich and fertile. The land had to first be laboriously cleared of the evergreens, cane and bamboo, but once cleared, the settlers found rivers, bayous, and lakes filled with edible fish, such as perch, jack, trout, bass, and big river catfish weighing as much as 200 pounds. Game, such as wild ducks, turkeys, deer, and quail were found in large numbers. The levee system was first implemented during the 1850's to the 1860's.
The county has a total area of 905.76 square miles, of which 876.28 square miles is land and 29.47 square mile (3.25%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 1,356. The 2010 census recorded 34,145 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Coahoma County (north), Sunflower County (east), Washington County (south), and Desha County, Arkansas (west). Communities in the county include Cleveland, Rosedale, Mound Bayou, Shaw (small portion in Sunflower County), Shelby, Benoit, Beulah, Boyle, Duncan, Gunnison, Merigold, Pace, Renova, Winstonville, and Alligator.
Bolivar County MSGHN has many records here on our website. Marriage Records, Cemetery listings, tombstone photos, census records, and more. Look at the Bolivar County Data links 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 Bolivar 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 Bolivar County marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the Bolivar County 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, Bolivar County divorce proceedings were filed in the Bolivar County Chancery Clerk's office.
Bolivar County is located in the Delta Region of Northeast Mississippi on the Mississippi River.
A list of Bolivar County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
Marriage information is an important part of any family genealogy. These dates may assist you in your Bolivar County, Mississippi research.
For a list of Bolivar County, Mississippi Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Bolivar County, Mississippi Churches with photos and additional information for many.