The Free State of Jones

Announcement: New photos from Descendants of the Collins, Sumrall, and Bynum Families.

Free State of Jones, by Victoria Bynum

Free State of Jones, by Victoria Bynum

For just-added photos on the Bynum families of the Free State of Jones (including a rare photo of Margaret “Peggy” Collins Bynum), check out “What’s in a Marriage? Bynums on both sides of the Civil War Divide.” 

Long Shadow of the Civil War, by Victoria Bynum

Long Shadow of the Civil War, by Victoria Bynum

On the descendants of Simeon and Lydia Collins who moved from the Free State of Jones to the Big Thicket of Texas, check out the same for “Simeon Collins: An important Family link between Mississippi and Texas”.

6 replies »

  1. Hello, Thank you for writing “The Free State of Jones.” I’m finding out so much about my family that I never knew., and I’m loving this website! William Wesley Sumrall was my great-great-great grandfather. I was also wondering if you or anyone who reads this site might know more about his daughter, Dicie C. Sumrall or her husband JDB (Mayfield) Rushing. They were my great-great grandparents, and info has been hard for me to find. I just recently found out that JDB was adopted by Eli Franklin Rushing in Texas sometime in the 1880’s. Next thing I really know is that JDB is in Jones Co., MS, marrying Dicie, they had 2 children, and after her death he moved back to TX with the kids and lived with his brother Octavis. He went out to look for work one day and was never heard from again. The two children eventually moved back to Jones, Co., MS, and from what I understand, the family believes that “he was a man who would never leave his family.” Anyway, I thought I would just take a chance to see if anyone might know of any information or lead me into a certain direction to find any info. Thanks for any information! Sincerely, Bobbi


    • Bobbi,

      I’m glad you are enjoying the site! There are aspects of your family story that are familiar to me—Eli Franklin Rushing, Texas, an adoption—but all but a few of my files are in my Missouri home, to which I’m returning in mid-April. I’ll see what I can find at that time, but in the meantime, can any of our readers help Bobbi?



  2. don’t know if this helps, but my aunt marlene (nee robbins) married tom sumrall, who is the son of mr. harvey and ms. allie (?) sumrall. mr. and ms. sumrall lived on several acres between richton and ovett, jones county, mississippi. uncle tom and aunt marlene built their home next to uncle tom’s parents and uncle tom continued to work and manage the family properties and livestock. as far as ages, the only one i can be close to, give or take a couple years, is aunt marlene. she would be right around 80 if she were still with us. hope this helps.


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