Alabama County Resources

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This entry was originally written by Robert S. Davis and Mary Bess Paluzzi in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Alabama Family History Research series.
History of Alabama
Alabama Vital Records
Census Records for Alabama
Background Sources for Alabama
Alabama Maps
Alabama Land Records
Alabama Probate Records
Alabama Court Records
Alabama Tax Records
Alabama Cemetery Records
Alabama Church Records
Alabama Military Records
Alabama Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Alabama Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Alabama Immigration
African Americans of Alabama
Native Americans of Alabama
Alabama County Resources
Map of Alabama

County level records have been microfilmed and are available at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the FHL. County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some records have simply disappeared. Other scattered records are now preserved by the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the University of Alabama Library, and the Samford University Library.

North Alabama counties of Blount, Cullman, Lawrence, Madison, Morgan, and St. Clair have local archives. See Marcia K. Smith Collier’s Alabama County Data and Resources (see Background Sources for Alabama). The Genealogical Society of Utah is now microfilming “loose papers” in Alabama counties for researching through the FHL.

Ten Alabama counties have had significant destruction of records by fire. These “burned” counties and counties that have had less destructive fires are indicated on the chart. However, not all records were lost.

Between 1935 and 1945 the Historical Records Survey conducted a preliminary inventory of fifteen county archives; see Alabama Historical Records Survey, Inventory of the County Archives of Alabama (Birmingham: Alabama Historical Records Survey, 1838–1942). Each county’s volume contains a historical sketch of the county followed by a description and history of each county office as well as an inventory of each office’s records. The counties that were surveyed include Clay, Colbert, Conecuh, Cullman, Greene, Hale, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Madison, Marengo, Sumter, Talladega, Wilcox, and Winston. Unfortunately, the inventory has never been updated, revised, or expanded to include counties not originally surveyed. The University of Alabama Library’s special collections department also has inventories of the DeKalb and Cherokee county courthouse holdings compiled in 1979.

In the chart that follows, former names of counties are indicated and the addresses listed are for county courthouses. Court records are at the circuit court at the county seat, although no survey has been completed for all counties. Land and probate records come in a variety of forms for each county. Many are on microfilm (see discussion in those sections above). Three counties have two county seats. Record availability on the chart is drawn from the Alabama Archives and History’s information on county records. To keep current with county record changes and holdings, check

Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Birth Marriage Death Land Probate Court
F4 Autauga 176 W. Fifth St., Prattville 36067 1818 Montgomery 1908 1839 1908 1819 1824 ?
This is a big fat note that I am hoping will appear in the right place.
Baine 1866 (abolished 1867) Blount/Calhoun/Cherokee/DeKalb/Marshall/St. Clair
Baker 1868 (renamed Chilton, 1874)
K2 Baldwin P.O. Box 459, Bay Minette 36507 1809 Washington/ 1886 1810 1886 1809 1809 ?
H7 Barbour/Clayton Division 1 Court Sq., Clayton 36016 and Barbour/Eufaula Division, Broad St. Eufaula 36027 1832 Creek cession/Pike/Bullock/Russell 1881 1838 1881 1833 1820 ?
Benton 1832 (renamed Calhoun, 1858)
E4 Bibb 8 Courthouse Sq. West, Ste. A, Centreville 35042 1818 Monroe/Montgomery(Cahawba) 1900 1818 1900 1818 1818 ?
Blaine 1868 (renamed Etowah)
B5 Blount 220 Second Ave., Rm 106, Oneonta 35121 1818 Creek cession —— 1820 —— 1818 1829 ?
G6 Bullock 217 N. Prairie St., Rm 106, Union Springs 36089 1866 Barbour/Macon/Montgomery/Pike —— 1867 —— 1867 1867 ?
H4 Butler 700 Court Sq., Greenville 36037 1819 Conecuh/Monroe 1894 1853 1894 1853 1853 ?
Record loss, 1853.
C6 Calhoun 1702 Noble St., Ste. 102, Anniston 36201 1832 Creek cession(Benton, 1858) 1919 1834 1919 1832 1891 1835
Record loss, 1861 and 1865.
E7 Chambers Court Sq., Lafayette 36862 1832 Creek cession —— 1853 —— 1833 1833 ?
B7 Cherokee 100 Main St., Centre 35960 1836 Cherokee cession 1899 1882 —— 1882 1882 ?
Record loss, 1882 and 1895.
E4 Chilton 2nd Ave./P.O. Box 501 , Clanton 35045 1868 Autauga/Bibb/Perry/Shelby (Baker) 1908–19 1870 1908–19 1868 1887 ?
Record loss, 1870.
G1 Choctaw 117 S. Mulberry, Butler 36904 1847 Sumter/Washington 1881–93 1871 1881–93 1871 1871 ?
Record loss, 1859 and 1871.
H2 Clarke P.O. Box 548, Grove Hill 36451 1812 Washington 1908 1814 1908 1812 1813 ?
D6 Clay Courthouse Sq./P.O. Box 1120, Ashland 36251 1866 Randolph/Talladega 1920 1872 1920 1875 1876 1876
Record loss, 1875.