Besides what is posted on biograghy of Colin McRae - here is a little more info: John McRae, Colin McRae's father settled the family on the Chickasawhay River in SE Mississippi very early in 19th century. He is referenced as the commander of Patton's Fort near Winchester, Mississippi at the time of the Fort Mims Massacre 100 miles due east in 1813; this triggered Andrew Jackson's move south that culmuinated in the Battle of New Orleans. In 1827 John moved his family to the Mississippi Coast 50 miles from Mobile. His sons not only included Colin, but also John J. McRae- Gov of Mississippi 1854-57; and James B. McRae, colonel of the 3d Mississippi Infantry. John J. McRae had also taken Jefferson Davis' seat in the senate in 1852 when Davis accepted appointment as Sec of War. One of the business concerns of the McRae family was a large hotel in East Pascagoula, Mississippi that entertained a significant number of US Army officers for a week in 1848 on their return from Mexico, including Generals Z. Taylor and David Twiggs. Twiggs, Richard Taylor, and Col. W.S.S. Bliss all bought homes near the hotel by 1850. The McRae family cemetery is less than a mile from the gulf in West Pascagoula (now called Gautier). This cemetery was purchased privately to avoid its destruction in a housing development a decade ago (and sits between several houses). A ground penetrating radar survey of this cemetery was completed on December 28, 2009 by the Jackson County Historical Society. John J. McRae died in Belize in 1868 while visiting his brother Colin, possibly to avoid arrest - as occurred to a number of ex- southern governors. There is currently an effort under way (August 2010) by local historical society members to find and return John J.'s remains to the family cemetery from Belize. Colin McRae made it clear before his death in 1877 that he did not want to return to the US.

Though the Colin's papers were found in Mobile, Alabama and there were singificant family business dealings there, the McRae's of the 1830-1860 period were from Jackson County, Mississippi. We expect to learn a lot on the pre-war history of the county from these papers, to include a genelogical boon.

Roger Hansen
Jackson County Historical Society