Land records are available from 1837. Probate records are available from 1849. Marriage records date back as early as 1839 although most are post-1870. Court records are available as early as 1856. The county seat is Meridian.

Short History Contributed by John Allred:

Formed under Second Constitution (1832-1869) - December 23, 1833 Lauderdale County, an original county of the Choctaw Cession of 1830, was the third of the sixteen counties created by the act of December 23, 1833.

Lauderdale County, as recited in the establishing act, was named "in memory of Col. James Lauderdale, who fell in battle at New Orleans". James Lauderdale, of Tennessee, a member of John Coffee's mounted brigade, was wounded in the battle of Talladega during the Creek Wars and was killed in the night attack on the British below New Orleans on December 23, 1814. The counties of Lauderdale in Alabama and Tennessee also were named for him.

Marion undoubtedly was named for General Francis Marion, for whom Marion County had been named in 1811. The earliest county seat was located at Marion until 1866. In 1866 to 1870, the county seat was located at Marion Station. Marion Station derived its name from the town of Marion. In 1870, the county seat was moved to Meridian, and so remains.

Meridian had its beginnings in a rivalry between two railroad men, whose respective choices for the name of the town were Ragsdale City and Sowashee. The name Meridian eventually emerged as a compromise choice.

Meridian is not on or near any meridian, and it is said that the founders thought the name meant something else, such as "junction", "midpoint" or "central location", but it is more likely that they chose the word for its meaning of "zenith", the highest point reached by a star. A county seat in Texas also is named Meridian.


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