Chickasaw historian & language specialist to speak at museum

November 30th, 2015     Community Organizations, Misc.

A special program at Union County Heritage Museum will be held Monday, December 7, at noon.

Guest speaker will be John P. Dyson, author of the book  The Early Chickasaw Homeland : Origins, Boundaries and Society.

“We are excited to have the opportunity for Mr. Dyson to speak, while he is in the area, said Jill Smith Museum Director.  “Through the years, when we have had questions about place names and other local Native American history questions, Mr. Dyson has been generous with his knowledge.” she said.

“We have such a strong connection to the past through our place names, that it is common place when we the names such as  Tallahatchie, Lappa Tubby, Occonite and others.  He can give translations and more information about these everyday Native American names and locations,” Smith said.

“It is also interesting that he has more than a scholarly interest to New Albany and Union County.  His book is dedicated to the memory of  “my aunt Christine Dyson Speck and her love for the early Chickasaw homeland.”  He was in New Albany during his youth, visiting his extended family.  Mrs. Speck was a community correspondent for the New Albany Gazette and had also written several local history papers through the years.

Dyson, retired from Indiana University at Bloomington after a 40 year career teaching, is the author of several scholarly works concerning Native language and its place in history.  He received the Chickasaw National’s Heritage Preservation Award in 2006 for his article Chickasaw Village Names from Contact to Removal, published in Mississippi Archaeology in 2004.

The program will begin at noon, a light lunch will be provided.  The public is invited. This will take the place of the regular Museum Moments program usually held the third Thursday of the month. The museum is located at 114 Cleveland Street in New Albany.   For more information, call the museum at 662-538-0014 or email

Jill N. Smith


Union County Heritage Museum

114 Cleveland Street

New Albany, Mississippi 38652


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