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|-|Samford University Library, Birmingham, Alabama, microfilms church records of all denominations in Alabama and makes these records available for public use. The Baptists (Southern Convention) form the largest denomination in Alabama. The first Baptist Church was founded 2 October 1808 on Flint River near Huntsville. The Baptists are the only denomination having some form of centralized state and congregational historic records. Their records are housed in the Samford University Library. Included are not only microfilmed minutes of defunct and active congregations, but also the personal papers of many churchmen and a run of the denomination’s state newspaper, the Alabama Baptist (1835-present). |+|
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|-|The state’s oldest denomination, Roman Catholic, has records dating from the coming of Iberville’s colony near Mobile in 1699. Most parish records are maintained by the local church. Publication of the early records of Mobile parish is in process. |+|
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first ordained Episcopal minister in the state was licensed in 1764 to minister to British settlers. The WPA Historical Records Survey in 1939 compiled a volume surveying the records of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Alabama. The inventory contains a brief history of each parish, a statement on extant parish records, and an index by location and by parish names. Parish records are maintained by the parish. Unfortunately, the survey did not inventory any other denominational records. A copy of Alabama Historical Records Survey, Inventory of the Church Archives of Alabama, Protestant Episcopal Church (Birmingham: Historical Records Survey Project, 1939) is at the Birmingham Public Library. |+|
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|-|In 1803 Lorenzo Dow, a Methodist, did his first preaching in Alabama. Methodist missionaries were sent by the South Carolina Conference into the Tombigbee area in 1809. Today, some Methodist records for north Alabama churches are housed at Birmingham Southern College, and south Alabama church records are housed at Huntingdon College, Montgomery. Birmingham Southern College has a run of the state denominational newspaper, the Christian Advocate ( 1880-present). |+|
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first Presbyterian Church was organized in 1818 at Huntsville. Historical records for active Presbyterian churches are usually maintained by the local congregation. Some records of defunct churches are held by Samford University and the Alabama Department of Archives and History. |+|
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Revision as of 17:56, 27 April 2010
This entry was originally written by Robert S. Davis and Mary Bess Paluzzi for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Alabamians have seen military service in all wars of the United States. Military records are found at both the state and federal levels. The most voluminous and readily available military records for Alabama are those of the National Archives.
Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers and Patriots Alabama (Montgomery: Alabama Society DAR, 1979) lists those soldiers who lived and died in Alabama as well as some who died in other states. Data from scattered published and unpublished sources was edited and compiled. The volume includes a statement on the soldier’s military service; a brief biographical sketch including the names of his parents, wife, and children; and bibliographic citations to sources.
The Alabama Department of Archives and History has made their military service surname files available on microfilm. These files include a series for Revolutionary War veterans residing in Alabama; service in the Indian Wars of 1812, 1813, and 1814; territorial service in 1818; the Indian War of 1836; the Mexican War in 1846; the Civil War (1861–1865); the Spanish-American War in 1898; and World War I (1917–18). The series contains a card for each soldier indicating name, military unit, rank, and the source of the information. Most of the sources cited are unofficial as there are limited records for state military service.
Several lists of Alabama Civil War soldiers exist although records do not survive for every veteran. The most complete lists have been published by the Broadfoot Company and are accessible through www.ancestry.com. The Alabama Department of Archives and History’s index to Confederate records, including pensions and pensioner censuses of 1907, 1921, and 1927 is widely available on microfilm, while the files on individual regiments, histories of units are published in a number of sources: Willis Brewer, Brief Historical Sketches of Military Organizations Raised in Alabama during the Civil War (Montgomery: Alabama Department of Archives and History, 1966); Joseph H. Crute, Units of the Confederate States Army (Midlothian, Va.: Derwent Books, 1987); and Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of Confederate Armies (New York: Facts on File, 1992). Histories on the First Alabama Infantry, USA have been published. The Family and Regional History Program at Wallace State College, Hanceville, Alabama, is an important center for Civil War research.
The state of Alabama offered pensions to its indigent resident Confederate veterans, and to widows of veterans. The files contain the usual military pension application information: name, rank, unit, dates of service, places of enlistment and discharge, if wounded, and qualifications for pension. If the widow was making the application in 1920, she stated when and where she was born, her father’s name, date, and place of his death, and the date and place of her marriage. To qualify, a pensioner’s annual income could not exceed $300 and his real property could not be valued at more than $400. The original files are housed in the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The applications have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available on loan through the FHL.