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.
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 look at when conducting family tree research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or joined with some other county.
(Formed in 1867 as Jones County, renamed Sanford County in 1868, renamed Lamar County in 1877)
List of Alabama Counties with Burned Courthouses
The 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 (aka Butlersville) A courthouse fire in April 1853, destroyed all early records, however, including maps of the town that may have referenced Butlersville.