One type of record that is often overlooked in genealogical studies on the local level is the county administrative records – most especially those records of the county Board of Police. The Board of Police (currently called the Board of Supervisors) has always been the chief administrative body of the county. 19th Century board of police minutes contain a wide array of records including such items as jury lists, election-holder lists, road overseers lists and paupers lists.
This governing board granted licenses for mills, gins, saloons and other types of businesses. During the Civil War era this board oversaw the disbursement of military relief monies to citizens within its jurisdiction and also received petitions from citizens for new schools and changes in roads. They also approved all payments to local businesses for county supplies and such. During the later 1800’s the board was in charge of the disbursement of Confederate Civil War pensions among the veterans of the county.
The list can go on and on in regards to what valuable information can found in old Board of Police minute books. Currently the Itawamba Historical Society is publishing transcripts from Itawamba County’s Board of Police Minutes for the 1860’s decade and it is simply amazing the amount of interesting material being garnered from those old pages.
In conducting Mississippi local research, don’t forget the often-overlooked Board of Police minute books in a county. The valuable records within the large volumes may provide a valuable piece of information about an elusive Mississippi ancestor.