Needham Birch/Burch Lanier





Needham Birch Lanier was born 24 November 1815 in Virginia, the son of Thomas Lanier and Mary Katherine Peeples. 

He was in Warren County, MS by March 23, 1854 when he married Eliza Ann Jordan.  Her maiden name is believed to

be Adams.  She was born about 1823 in MS.


The 1860 Warren County census lists N. B. and Eliza Lanier with children A. Jordan age 10, May Jordan age 5, Frank

Jordan age 4, James Jordan age 2, and Laura Jordan age 1.  In the 1880 census they are listed with children John Lanier

age 19, Kate Lanier age 24, Laura Lanier age 20, Wood Lanier age 13, Sloan Lanier age 11, and Blanche Lanier age 2.




From "The Lanier, Breland and Clark Families in Mississippi" by Ethel Breland Lanier, January 1976:  "Needham Burch

Lanier did not make a will, but divided his plantations between his wife and children." This article also quotes Mary Lanier

Magruder in Southern Literacy Messenger, Vol. II, Jan 1940 issue: "The Laniers in Mississippi: There are surviving children

of Needham Burch Lanier of Brunswick County, Va. who went to Warren County, Miss. where his plantations 'Yucatan'

and 'Pleasant Hill' represented the greatest wealth in the country and the center of social life during the antebellum years.

Needham Burch served the Confederacy as a valuable spy, and gave liberally of his money.



“Wood Edward and Claire Goff Lanier lived in a huge, decaying old Southern Vicksburg home where reportedly General

Ulysses S. Grant set up his command post for the historic Civil War siege of Vicksburg. My great-grandfather Needham

Birch Lanier was reportedly a rebel spy, who owned five huge plantations and 169 slaves. Most of his property was burned

down or otherwise trashed, and his slave colony set free by Yankee invaders. Not all of the slaves wished to be self-

supporting, history recalled. The old Lanier family Bible and my great-grandmother's spinning wheel are still displayed behind

glass in the Vicksburg Civil War Museum. The family cemetery still exists, though extremely overgrown, and the big marble

headstones removed by Yankees after the Civil War. However, the old wrought iron fencing still stands.”


Source:  Sam Ewing's autobiography: http://home.kleppnett.no/ewing/p8.htm