First explored for Spain by Hernando de Soto, who discovered the Mississippi River in 1540, the region was later claimed by France. In 1699, a French group under Sieur d’Iberville established the first permanent settlement near present-day Ocean Springs. Great Britain took over the area in 1763 after the French and Indian Wars, ceding it to the U.S. in 1783 after the Revolution. Spain did not relinquish its claims until 1798, and in 1810 the U.S. annexed West Florida from Spain, including what is now southern Mississippi.
The Mississippi Territory was created on April 7, 1798. The State of Mississippi was founded as the 20th state on Dec. 10, 1817. It has 82 Counties. Select a Mississippi county to view information & records pertaining to each County