Alabama Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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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 (see pages 8-9).
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Periodicals
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Most organizations listed below have websites. For a current list, see Alabama Department of Archives and History at <www.archives.state.al.us/referenc/hsglist.html>. There are more than thirty-five periodicals published in Alabama by local and state historical and genealogical organizations. The Genealogical Periodical Annual Index and the Periodical Source Index, 1847–1985 (see page 10) survey some of these publications as well as articles on Alabama from periodicals done outside the state.
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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 Data from scattered published and unpublished sources was edited and compiled.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.
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The following are useful genealogical and historical publications:
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Alabama Family History and Genealogy News (1980-present). Publication of North Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 13, Cullman, AL 35056-0013.
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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.
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Alabama Genealogical Register (1959–69).
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Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. Magazine (1967-present). Publication of the Alabama Genealogical Society, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Birmingham, AL 35229.
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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.
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Alabama Historical Quarterly, vols. 1–44 (1930–82). Publication of Alabama Department of Archives and History.
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Alabama Review (1942-present). Publication of Alabama Historical Association.
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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.
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Central Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly (1976-present). Publication of the Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 125, Selma, AL 36701.
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Deep South Genealogical Quarterly (1963-present). Publication of Mobile Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6224, Mobile, AL 36606.
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Natchez Trace Traveler (1981-present). Publication of the Natchez Trace Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 420, Florence, AL 35631.
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Pea River Trails (1975-present). Publication of the Pea River Historical Society, P.O. 107 Main St., Enterprise, AL 36330.
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Pioneer Trails (1959-present). Publication of the Birmingham Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 2432, Birmingham, AL 35201.
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Settlers of Northeast Alabama (1962-present). Publication of the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 674, Gadsden, AL 35902.
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Tap Roots (1963-present). Publication of the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, P.O. Drawer 1351, Auburn, AL 36831-1351.
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Valley Leaves (1966-present). Publication of the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1568, Huntsville, AL 35807-0568.
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Wiregrass Roots (1995– ). Publication of Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 246, Dothan, AL 36302-0246.
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Newspapers
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The earliest newspapers in the state were located in the Tombigbee-Mobile area and included the Mobile Sentinel, Fort Stoddert (1811); Mobile Gazette, Mobile (1812); Halcyon, St. Stephens (1815); and Blakeley Sun and Alabama Advertiser, Blakeley (1819). Early newspapers from the Tennessee Valley included the Madison Gazette, Huntsville (1812); Florence Gazette, Florence (1820); and Tuscumbia Advertiser, Tuscumbia (1821). Other pre-statehood papers included the Cahawba Press and Alabama Intelligencer, Cahawba (1819); Alabama Courier, Claiborne (1819); and Tuscaloosa Republican, Tuscaloosa (1819). Books of abstracts from Alabama newspapers compiled and published by Pauline Jones Gandrud, and others by Michael Kelsey, Nancy Graff Floyd, and Ginny Guinn Parsons, are available in print.
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Alabama law requires all county newspapers that carry legal notices to be maintained by that county’s probate judge. Few of the county collections are complete.
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The Alabama Department of Archives and History has participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities project to preserve old newspapers. A statewide inventory of all repositories was followed by a project to microfilm newspapers of historic significance.  
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Through the Alabama Newspaper Project, the Alabama Department of Archives and History has microfilmed newspapers from every county in the state. A list of those on microfilm both at the archives and through FHL can be found on its website <www.archives.state.al.us/newsmicro/search.cfm>. These are available for purchase or through interlibrary loan from the department. A list of other original newspapers, not microfilmed, and a statewide alphabetical collection of funeral notices and anniversary announcement in newspapers 1950 to 1978 is also available.
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Manuscripts
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Several important genealogical manuscript collections concerning Alabama should be considered. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (see page 11) is the first source to check for major collections in Alabama, although many minor collections will not be cited. The Alabama Department of Archives and History is the official repository for records of all state agencies and for the personal papers of many important public figures. Of significance to the genealogist, in the University of Alabama’s William Stanley Hoole Library is the professional correspondence of Pauline Jones Gandrud, a professional genealogical researcher for over forty-five years. Gandrud also compiled 245 volumes of abstracted records from forty Alabama counties. These have been published under the title Alabama Records and are available from Southern Historical Press (1980–  ). The Hoole Library also maintains various pre-statehood records for Madison County.

Revision as of 21:42, 30 March 2010

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
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


Periodicals Most organizations listed below have websites. For a current list, see Alabama Department of Archives and History at <www.archives.state.al.us/referenc/hsglist.html>. There are more than thirty-five periodicals published in Alabama by local and state historical and genealogical organizations. The Genealogical Periodical Annual Index and the Periodical Source Index, 1847–1985 (see page 10) survey some of these publications as well as articles on Alabama from periodicals done outside the state. The following are useful genealogical and historical publications: Alabama Family History and Genealogy News (1980-present). Publication of North Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 13, Cullman, AL 35056-0013. Alabama Genealogical Register (1959–69). Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. Magazine (1967-present). Publication of the Alabama Genealogical Society, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Birmingham, AL 35229. Alabama Historical Quarterly, vols. 1–44 (1930–82). Publication of Alabama Department of Archives and History. Alabama Review (1942-present). Publication of Alabama Historical Association. Central Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly (1976-present). Publication of the Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 125, Selma, AL 36701. Deep South Genealogical Quarterly (1963-present). Publication of Mobile Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6224, Mobile, AL 36606. Natchez Trace Traveler (1981-present). Publication of the Natchez Trace Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 420, Florence, AL 35631. Pea River Trails (1975-present). Publication of the Pea River Historical Society, P.O. 107 Main St., Enterprise, AL 36330. Pioneer Trails (1959-present). Publication of the Birmingham Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 2432, Birmingham, AL 35201. Settlers of Northeast Alabama (1962-present). Publication of the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 674, Gadsden, AL 35902. Tap Roots (1963-present). Publication of the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, P.O. Drawer 1351, Auburn, AL 36831-1351. Valley Leaves (1966-present). Publication of the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1568, Huntsville, AL 35807-0568. Wiregrass Roots (1995– ). Publication of Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 246, Dothan, AL 36302-0246. Newspapers The earliest newspapers in the state were located in the Tombigbee-Mobile area and included the Mobile Sentinel, Fort Stoddert (1811); Mobile Gazette, Mobile (1812); Halcyon, St. Stephens (1815); and Blakeley Sun and Alabama Advertiser, Blakeley (1819). Early newspapers from the Tennessee Valley included the Madison Gazette, Huntsville (1812); Florence Gazette, Florence (1820); and Tuscumbia Advertiser, Tuscumbia (1821). Other pre-statehood papers included the Cahawba Press and Alabama Intelligencer, Cahawba (1819); Alabama Courier, Claiborne (1819); and Tuscaloosa Republican, Tuscaloosa (1819). Books of abstracts from Alabama newspapers compiled and published by Pauline Jones Gandrud, and others by Michael Kelsey, Nancy Graff Floyd, and Ginny Guinn Parsons, are available in print. Alabama law requires all county newspapers that carry legal notices to be maintained by that county’s probate judge. Few of the county collections are complete. The Alabama Department of Archives and History has participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities project to preserve old newspapers. A statewide inventory of all repositories was followed by a project to microfilm newspapers of historic significance. Through the Alabama Newspaper Project, the Alabama Department of Archives and History has microfilmed newspapers from every county in the state. A list of those on microfilm both at the archives and through FHL can be found on its website <www.archives.state.al.us/newsmicro/search.cfm>. These are available for purchase or through interlibrary loan from the department. A list of other original newspapers, not microfilmed, and a statewide alphabetical collection of funeral notices and anniversary announcement in newspapers 1950 to 1978 is also available. Manuscripts Several important genealogical manuscript collections concerning Alabama should be considered. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (see page 11) is the first source to check for major collections in Alabama, although many minor collections will not be cited. The Alabama Department of Archives and History is the official repository for records of all state agencies and for the personal papers of many important public figures. Of significance to the genealogist, in the University of Alabama’s William Stanley Hoole Library is the professional correspondence of Pauline Jones Gandrud, a professional genealogical researcher for over forty-five years. Gandrud also compiled 245 volumes of abstracted records from forty Alabama counties. These have been published under the title Alabama Records and are available from Southern Historical Press (1980– ). The Hoole Library also maintains various pre-statehood records for Madison County.

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