Buttahatchie 1845 LDS Branch (Located in Monroe County, Mississippi on the Buttahatchee River. Note to be Confused with the Moscow Branch 20 miles to the east in Marion County. This was a very large branch of the church and the site of Mormon Springs - launch point for the great trek westward in 1846. This branch is also called the Tombigbee Branch as both rivers cross the county from north to south and join together in adjacent Lowndes County, Mississippi

They were part of the contingent of Dixie Saints that joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and formed small branches in Mississippi and Alabama. In 1846 many of these left their extended family and followed prophet Brigham Young (1801-1877) and the church to Salt Lake Valley.

This is an informal census based on currently available genealogical information to help their descendants to better understand and appreciate their ancestral roots.


Many of the members of this group had close connections to a similar group meeting just across the stateline at the Moscow 1845 LDS Branch in Pickens County, Alabama. There was also great many members of the Richey/Adair/Mangum clan at the Itawamba 1845 LDS Branch located in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

After 1845 many of these Mormons left to join the great exodus heading west to settle Utah. Most of them participated in the Mississippi Wagon Company which spent the winter of 1846/47 in Pueblo Co with the Mormon Battalion Sick Detachments. This but them further west than any of the Mormon pioneers that season. They quickly followed Brigham Young's advance party into the Salt Lake Valley that summer.

Because of their experience with farming cotton in the Deep South, many of this groups were called to participate in the Mormon Cotton mission to settle Washington County, Utah and raise cotton there from 1850-1868. Afterwards many moved further south to help establish Mormon settlements in Arizona and pursue their warm-weather farming talents there.

Branch History[]

Visit by missionary John Brown (1820-1896) in December 1843, recorded in his autobiography:

[1844] We also visited a small branch in Monroe County, Mississippi, called the Buttahatchy Branch (sic), organized a short time before by Brothers James Brown and Peter Haws on their return to Nauvoo. Brother William Crosby was the presiding elder. They numbered about sixteen members, all newly baptized. The spirit was poured out upon them and they had great joy, supposing they had learned about all that was necessary. We reached this place on the 18th of December on the 21st I saw Miss Elizabeth Crosby for the first time. We had preached but a few days when others demanded baptism at our hands. On Christmas day I preached the funeral of an infant of Brother Wm. Crosby. On the27th I baptized three; viz., Misses Ann and Elizabeth Crosby and Mrs. Mary Sparks. We had numerous calls to preach. We preached in almost every neighborhood for several miles around, also in some of the towns and villages in the adjoining counties.

Mormon Places[]

  • MormonPlaces 480385 - Buttahatchee Branch
  • STARTED: between Oct 1843 and 2 Dec 1843
  • ENDED: between 8 Apr 1846 and 1847
  • SEE ALSO: John Brown Journal (SOURCE PART: p.22, 28-29) - John Brown visits this branch 18 December 1843, recently organized by James Brown and Peter Haws, baptizes several more including the Crosby family; in May 1844, Brown marries Elizabeth Crosby and settles here
  • SEE ALSO: T&S 5:5, 462 - "Buttehalchy" 23 members, 5 priesthood, 10 Feb 1844
  • SEE ALSO: Home of the Crosby family, including prominent pioneer William Crosby and his siblings. The 1846 Mississippi Pioneer Company left from here.
  • SEE ALSO: AO Smoot Journal 1 (SOURCE PART: p.230, 235) - Branch conference Feb 21 1845, visits March 30 -
  • NOTES: later known as Mormon Springs

Vital Records[]

Records show this branch existed at least by 02-Dec-1843 to after 08-Apr-1846 Source Document: Times and Seasons 5:5, 462.

  1. Elder John Brown diary reports that in summer 1843, Elders H.W. Church and Elder Peter Haws had spent much here "where there were many calls for preaching". Branch increased in size from 15 to 50+ souls.

1845 Census[]

Robert Covington Family[]

Robert Covington was an Overseer on his father's large two plantations. He was disinherited by his parents and siblings when he joined the Mormon Church and trekked westwards.

  • Robert Dockery Covington (1815-1902) - eventually bishop of the church in the Cotton mission in Washington, Utah.
  • Wife & Children - all part of 1847 Hunter-Fautz Wagon Company
  • Covington, Berrill 29 27 November 1817 31 December 1905
  • Covington, Elizabeth 27 21 April 1820 7 December 1847
  • Covington, Emily Jane 4 1 January 1843 4 March 1921
  • Covington, John Thomas 6 7 August 1840 13 June 1908
  • Covington, Robert Dockery 31 20 August 1815 2 June 1902
  • Covington, Robert Laborius 1 August 1847 27 December 1928

Thomas Family[]

One Daughter married to Robert Covington (above)

  • Parents and Children - all part of 1847 Hunter-Fautz Wagon Company
  • Thomas, Ann 34 23 December 1812 14 July 1878
  • Thomas, Ann Bingham 34 1 April 1813 24 November 1887
  • Thomas, Catherine White 13 17 May 1834 15 September 1927
  • Thomas, Daniel Monroe 37 27 December 1809 21 March 1894
  • Thomas, Henry 65 27 December 1781 25 October 1867
  • Thomas, John Pledger 24 1 September 1822 About 1861
  • Thomas, Mahala Jane 19 17 March 1828 11 June 1911
  • Thomas, Philemon 35 25 December 1811 Unknown
  • Thomas, Tennessee 10 11 August 1836 Unknown

Other Families[]

Ages estimated at time of living in 1845.

Smithson Family[]