Alabama Counties and Historical Facts

//Alabama Counties and Historical Facts
Alabama Counties and Historical Facts2018-09-27T06:27:33+00:00
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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 CountiesAlabama 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.

List of Alabama Extinct Counties

Alabama has counties that no longer are in existence. They were organized by the state, provincial, or territorial government. A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have modified very little since 1900 in the vast most of states. These counties need to be investigated when you are conducting genealogy and family history research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or joined with some other county. Those counties are:

  • Benton County: (Formed 1832 from former Creek Indian territory and named for Colonel Thomas Hart Benton. Renamed Calhoun County in 1858, honor of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina)
  • Jones County, Alabama: (Formed 1867, renamed Sanford County in 1868, Renamed Lamar County in 1877)
  • Hancock County: (Formed 1850, renamed Winston County in 1858)
  • Sanford County: (Formed in 1867 as Jones County, renamed Sanford County in 1868, renamed Lamar County in 1877)
  • Cahawba County: (Renamed Bibb County in 1820)
  • Baine County (renamed Etowah County in 1868)
  • Baker County (renamed Chilton County in 1874)

List of Iowa Counties with Burned Courthouses

Alabama burned county courthouseThe harm to Alabama courthouses drastically has a bearing on genealogists in just about every way. Not only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the documents they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, among others. Once destroyed they are destroyed forever. Even though they have already been put on mircofilm, computers and film burn up too. The most heartbreaking side of this is the reason why virtually all of our courthouses are destroyed from arsonist. However, not all records were damaged or lost. Many Alabama counties have endured a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.

  • Butler Co. Courthouse – Greenville – 1853
  • Calhoun Co. Courthouse – Anniston – 1861, 1895
  • Cherokee Co. Courthouse – Fort Payne – 1882, 1895
  • Chilton Co. Courthouse – Clanton – 1870
  • Choctaw Co. Courthouse – Butler – 1859, 1871
  • Clay Co. Courthouse – Ashland – 1875
  • Coffee Co. Courthouse – Elba – 1851, 1863
  • Conecuh Co. Courthouse – Evergreen – 1868, 1875, 1885, 1895
  • Covington Co. Courthouse – Andalusia – 1895
  • Crenshaw Co. Courthouse – Luverne – 1898
  • Dale Co. Courthouse – Ozark – 1869, 1884
  • Escambia Co. Courthouse – Brewton – 1868
  • Fayette Co. Courthouse – Fayette – 1866
  • Franklin Co. Courthouse – Russellville – 1890
  • Geneva Co. Courthouse – Geneva – 1898
  • Greene Co. Courthouse – Eutaw 1868
  • Jackson Co. Courthouse – Scottsboro – 1864
  • Lamar Co. Courthouse – Vernon – 1866
  • Lawrence Co. Courthouse – Moulton – 1859
  • Limestone Co. Courthouse – Athens – 1862
  • Marengo Co. Courthouse – Linden – 1848, 1965
  • Marion Co. Courthouse – Hamilton – 1866
  • Mobile Co. Courthouse – Mobile – 1823, 1840, 1872
  • Morgan Co. Courthouse – Decatur – 1925, 1938
  • Pickens Co. Courthouse – Carrollton – 1876
  • Pike Co. Courthouse – Troy – 1828
  • Randolph Co. Courthouse – Wedowee – 1896
  • Sumter Co. Courthouse – Livingston – 1901
  • Walker Co. Courthouse – Jasper – 1865, 1877, 1896, 1932
  • Winston Co. Courthouse – Double Springs – 1891

List of Alabama Counties

List of Alabama Counties

CountyDate FormedParent CountyCounty Seat
Autauga1818Montgomery CountyPrattville
Baldwin1809Washington County and West FloridaBay Minette
Barbour1832former Creek Indian territory and a portion of Pike CountyClayton
Bibb1818Monroe and Montgomery Counties (as Cahawba County)Centreville
Blount1818Montgomery County and Creek Indian territoriesOneonta
Bullock1866Barbour, Macon, Montgomery and Pike CountiesUnion Springs
Butler1819parts of Monroe County and Conecuh CountyGreenville
Calhoun1832St. Clair County (as Benton County)Anniston
Chambers1832Montgomery and Shelby CountiesLaFayette
Cherokee1836Cherokee Indian territoryCentre
Chilton1868Autauga, Bibb, Perry and Shelby CountiesClanton
Choctaw1847Sumter and Washington CountiesButler
Clarke1812Mississippi TerritoryGrove Hill
Clay1866Randolph, TalladegaAshland
Cleburne1866Calhoun, Randolph, TalladegaHeflin
Coffee1841DaleElba & Enterprise
Coosa1832Montgomery and Shelby CountiesRockford
Covington1821briefly renamed JonesAndalusia
Crenshaw1866Butler, Coffee, Covington, Pike, LowndesLuverne
Cullman1877Blount, Morgan, WinstonCullman
Dale1824Covington, HenryOzark
Dallas1814Creek NationSelma
DeKalb1836Cherokee NationFort Payne
Elmore1866Autauga, Coosa, Montgomery, TallapoosaWetumpka
Escambia1868Baldwin, ConecuhBrewton
Etowah1866originally BaineGadsden
Fayette1824Tuscaloosa, MarionFayette
Franklin1818Cherokee & Chickasaw NationsRussellville
Geneva1868Dale, Henry, CoffeeGeneva
Greene1819Marengo, TuscaloosaEutaw
Hale1867Greene, Marengo, Perry, TuscaloosaGreensboro
Houston1903Dale, Geneva, HenryDothan
Jackson1819Cherokee NationScottsboro
Lamar1867Marion, Fayette, PickensVernon
Lauderdale1818Cherokee & Chickasaw NationsFlorence
Lawrence1818Cherokee & Chickasaw NationsMoulton
Lee1866Chambers, Macon, Russell, TallapoosaOpelika
Limestone1818Cherokee & Chickasaw NationsAthens
Lowndes1830Butler, Dallas, MontgomeryHayneville
Macon1832Creek NationTuskegee
Madison1808Cherokee & Chickasaw NationsHuntsville
Marengo1818Choctaw NationLinden
Marshall1836Blount, Jackson, Cherokee NationGuntersville
Mobile1813West FloridaMobile
Monroe1815Creek Nation WashingtonMonroeville
Morgan1818Cherokee NationDecatur
Pike1821Henry, MontgomeryTroy
Randolph1832Creek NationWedowee
Russell1832Creek NationPhenix City
Shelby1818ShelbyAshville & Pell City
St. Clair1818MontgomeryColumbiana
Sumter1832Choctaw NationLivingston
Talladega1832Creek NationTalladega
Tallapoosa1832Montgomery and Shelby CountiesDadeville
Tuscaloosa1818Cherokee & Choctaw NationsTuscaloosa
Walker1824Marion, TuscaloosaJasper
Washington1800Mississippi TerritoryChatom
Wilcox1819Monroe, DallasCamden
Winston1850WalkerDouble Springs

State Counties Guides

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