Any Historical Alabama Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time. This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.
Solving Research Problems with a Alabama Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Alabama city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.
Because Alabama historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Alabama map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Alabama.
Alabama Map of Counties
Choosing the Best Alabama Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail. You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city. This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city? A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.
Several books of Alabama locations, place-names, boundaries, and maps exist. All of Alabama has been mapped in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Alabama . These topographic quadrangle maps show selected artificial and natural features as well as the shape and elevation of features. Features include state, county, and municipal boundary lines; townships, ranges, roads, railroads, and buildings; and mountains, valleys, streams, and rivers. The earliest survey maps for Alabama are dated from 1901. Modern maps are indexed at the USGS website.
The David Rumsey Historical Alabama Map Collection is scanned from original copies so you can see Alabama as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago. Alabama was at one time part of Georgia and the Mississippi Territory before becoming a state.
Some Alabama map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Alabama researcher.
The Alabama Highway Department has prepared a series of county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries. The maps are available for a nominal fee from the Alabama Highway Department, Bureau of Planning and Programming, Montgomery, AL 36130.
These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download
Alabama Civil War Maps – Maps, charts, and atlases depicting battles, troop positions and movements, engagements, and fortifications in Alabama during the Civil War, 1861-1865.
Rucker Agee Map Collection, a privately acquired donation at the Birmingham Public Library, is an incomparable collection of maps documenting the cartographic history of the southeast and particularly Alabama