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The Scots of Jefferson County, Mississippi
By Don MM Simonton

Between 1801 and 1805, the Choctaw Indians ceded 7,000,000 acres of land in the south part of the Mississippi Territory. In 1804, four families came from Robeson County (Lumber River), North Carolina, by way of the Mississippi River and the Natchez Trace, to settle in south central Jefferson County, Mississippi Territory. At that time, Jefferson was one of only two counties in the Territory, Adams being the other (and first). Jefferson was originally called Pickering County, after the then-Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, then later renamed for the new President, Thomas Jefferson. The Torrey, Currie, Willis, and Buie families established small communities– Ebenezer, Nebo, and Galatia. They also built a small Catholic chapel at “Seldom Seen”, near Nebo. Other settlers came from the Lumber River in the following years. Then, in 1817, the Reverend Bullen came with additional settlers and built Ebenezer Presbyterian Church. The dominant language of the settlers, until the 1840s, was (Scots) Gaelic. Settlement came to center around “twin churches”– Ebenezer, and Reverend Bullen’s Union Church, so called because it served both Presbyterians and Methodists. In the Reverend’s Church registry, the names McCall and McIntyre are prominent, with many other “Macs” as well.

In 1873, the Union Church converted to Methodism. The community around it was first called the “Old Scotch Settlement”, but later was renamed as Union Church. The community of Union Church still exists, along Highway 28 about 35 miles northeast of Natchez, the old Territorial capital. Several churches serve the needs of now only about 100 residents.

Sources for additional information:

A sketch of the old Scotch settlement at Union Church, C.W. Grafton; he was the past for 63 years there. In Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, V.9, 1906.

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