Alabama County records can vary widely from county to county both in quality and also quantity. Some happen to have been very carefully preserved while some have been much misused and uncared for. A number of Alabama records have purely vanished. For genealogists doing research in Alabama there is no valuable replace for an on-site research of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia
The State of Alabama contains 67 counties. Alabama Counties were first created under the Mississippi Territory, and after that the Alabama Territory. Washington County was the first county created on June 4, 1800. The last county to be formed was Houston County on February 9, 1903. Jefferson County has the largest population (658,466), and Greene County (9,045) has the lowest, according to the 2010 Census.
Alabama Counties – The FHL and the Alabama Department of Archives and History each have microfilmed copies of county records on file. Both the quantity of records and the quality of records can be quite different from one county to the next. Some are fairly complete, and others are missing large chunks of information. Some have also disappeared entirely. The Samford University Library, University of Alabama Library and Alabama Department of Archives and History collections contain a few of those records.
There are local county archives that contain useful information in the following counties: Blount, Cullman, Lawrence, Madison, Morgan, St. Clair.
Many records for Alabama counties have also been lost in fires. Ten counties were hit particularly hard by fire damage. Although, some records still exist.
The county seat circuit court holds county court records. However, not all county court records have been surveyed. Researchers should also note that probate and land records vary greatly from one county to the next. Scattered records are now preserved by the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the University of Alabama Library, and the Samford University Library. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.