Yalobusha County

Yalobusha County is located in the northern part of Mississippi. Its major cities include Water Valley, Oakland, and Coffeeville. Yalobusha County was originally occupied by Native Americans of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes; the word “yalobusha”is an Indian word meaning “tadpole place.” During the 1800s Yalobusha County was composed mainly of farms and plantations, and there was an abundance of slaveholders in the county. An 1860 census shows that there were 11,975 slaves residing in Yalobusha County. Plantations had slave populations ranging from twenty slaves to 224 slaves and composed sixty-three percent of the slave population in the county. The other thirty-seven percent of the slave population was spread out on smaller farms with less than twenty slaves per farm. According to this same 1860 census, there were 5,806 whites and ten free African Americans living in Yalobusha County. Ten years later, the white population had increased to a little over six thousand whites and the African American population had increased by over two thousand people.

After the Civil War many slaves left Mississippi. Former slaves from Yalobusha County that left the state mostly relocated to places like Georgia, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, Indiana, and Kansas. By the 1960 census the African American population had increased by more than 60% of what it had been in 1860.


“Yalobusha County.” Yalobusha County Economic Development Foundation. 16 November 2006 http://www.yalobushaonline.com/default.html

“Yalobusha County, Mississippi, Largest Slaveholders from 1860 Slave Census Schedules and Surname Matches for African Americans on 1870 Census.”Tom Blake. April 2003. 16 November 2006. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ajac/msyalobusha.htm