Alabama County Resources
This entry was originally written by Robert S. Davis and Mary Bess Paluzzi in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
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 www.archives.state.al.us/referenc/procount.html.
|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.|
|C7||Cleburne||406 Vickery St., Heflin 36264||1866||Calhoun/Randolph/Talladega||——||——||——||1867||1867||?|
|J6||Coffee/Elba Division||230 N. Court St., Elba 36232||1841||Dale||1908||1866||1920||1851||1862||?|
|Record loss, 1851 and 1863|
|J6||Coffee/Enterprise Division||N. Edward St., Enterprise 36330||1907||1907||1907|