Alabama History

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The following important events in the history of [[Alabama|Alabama]] affected political jurisdictions, family movements, and record keeping.  
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[[Image:{{TuskAirm}}]]''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Alabama]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Alabama_History|History]]'' <br><br>
  
1763 Alabama colony
+
=== Timeline  ===
 +
 
 +
The following important events in the history of [[Alabama|Alabama]] affected political jurisdictions, family movements, and record keeping.
  
*'''1702:'''The first permanent settlement, Fort Louis de la Mobile, was founded by the French north of the present site of Mobile.  
+
*'''1702:''' The first permanent settlement, Fort Louis de la Mobile, was founded by the French north of the present site of Mobile.  
 
*'''1710–1763:''' The Alabama area was governed by France. English, French, and Spanish settlers and settlers from South Carolina and Georgia established trading posts.  
 
*'''1710–1763:''' The Alabama area was governed by France. English, French, and Spanish settlers and settlers from South Carolina and Georgia established trading posts.  
 
*'''1711:''' Mobile was the capital of the Louisiana Territory until 1720 when Biloxi became the capital. In 1722 New Orleans became the capital.  
 
*'''1711:''' Mobile was the capital of the Louisiana Territory until 1720 when Biloxi became the capital. In 1722 New Orleans became the capital.  
*'''1763<nowiki>:</nowiki>'''<nowiki>Under the Treaty of Paris in 1763, France ceded present-day Alabama to Great Britain.</nowiki>
+
*'''1763:''' The Alabama area was governed by Great Britain.&nbsp;
*'''1783:'''Britain ceded the southern region, around Mobile, to Spain. The area further north of the Alabama region was claimed by Georgia. The boundary between the two areas was in dispute until 1795, when it was set at the 31st parallel, a few miles north of Mobile.  
+
*'''1783:''' Britain ceded the southern region, around Mobile, to Spain. The area further north of the Alabama region was claimed by Georgia. The boundary between the two areas was in dispute until 1795, when it was set at the 31st parallel, a few miles north of Mobile.
 +
*'''1798:''' Georgia abandoned claims to the area. The area north of the 31st parallel became part of the Mississippi Territory.
 +
*1800 Census part of Alabama (Washington County in Mississippi territory) 494 African American listed
 +
*'''1800 - 1820:''' Migrations from Virginia and the Carolinas to central and southern part of the state.
 +
*'''1800-1810:''' Migrations from Tennessee into northern part of the state.  
 
*'''1802:''' Choctaw Indians&nbsp;ceded land.  
 
*'''1802:''' Choctaw Indians&nbsp;ceded land.  
 
*'''1802:''' Georgia abandoned claims to the area. The area north of the 31st parallel became part of the Mississippi Territory when it was created in 1798. Spain controlled the Mobile area until the War of 1812.  
 
*'''1802:''' Georgia abandoned claims to the area. The area north of the 31st parallel became part of the Mississippi Territory when it was created in 1798. Spain controlled the Mobile area until the War of 1812.  
 
*'''1805:''' Choctaw Indians ceded land.  
 
*'''1805:''' Choctaw Indians ceded land.  
*'''1806:''' Cherokee Indians ceded land
+
*'''1806:''' Cherokee Indians ceded land.
 
+
 
*'''1812–1814:''' During the War of 1812, on 15 April 1813 American forces captured Mobile from the Spanish. General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians in several battles, including the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, 27 March 1814. Removal of the Creeks and other Indian tribes commenced and European settlers began flooding into the region, bringing African-American slaves with them.  
 
*'''1812–1814:''' During the War of 1812, on 15 April 1813 American forces captured Mobile from the Spanish. General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians in several battles, including the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, 27 March 1814. Removal of the Creeks and other Indian tribes commenced and European settlers began flooding into the region, bringing African-American slaves with them.  
 
*'''March 29, 1814:&nbsp;'''Creek Indian War ended as General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks under Chief Weatherford at the battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama where nearly 900 - 1000 Indians engaged were killed.  
 
*'''March 29, 1814:&nbsp;'''Creek Indian War ended as General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks under Chief Weatherford at the battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama where nearly 900 - 1000 Indians engaged were killed.  
*'''1814:'''Creek Indians ceded land.  
+
*'''1814:''' Creek Indians ceded land.  
 
*'''1816:''' Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee Indians&nbsp;ceded land.  
 
*'''1816:''' Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee Indians&nbsp;ceded land.  
*'''1817:''' Cherokee Indians ceded land.
+
*'''1817:''' Cherokee Indians ceded land.  
 
+
*'''1817:''' Marengo County (Demopolis) The Frenchman Parmentier obtains a grant in Alabama for French refugees who left Philadelphia and settled at St. Stephens on the Tombigbee River - called Demopolis, about 150 settlers in all.
*'''1817:''' The Mississippi Territory was divided into the state of Mississippi, and the Alabama Territory at that time. The Alabama Territory was composed of the following seven counties: Baldwin, Clarke, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, and Washington.  
+
*'''March 3, 1817:''' The Mississippi Territory was divided into the state of Mississippi, and the Alabama Territory at that time. The Alabama Territory was composed of the following seven counties: Baldwin, Clarke, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, and Washington.  
 
*'''1818:''' Twenty-two counties were established.  
 
*'''1818:''' Twenty-two counties were established.  
 
*'''1819:''' Cherokee&nbsp; Indians ceded land.  
 
*'''1819:''' Cherokee&nbsp; Indians ceded land.  
*'''1819<nowiki>:</nowiki>'''<nowiki>(December 14) Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state.</nowiki>  
+
*'''December 14, 1819:''' Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state.<br>  
*'''1830:'''&nbsp; The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek the Choctaw Indians gave up 10 million acres of land in Alabama and Mississippi.&nbsp; The Choctaw tribe had aided Gen. Andrew Jackson in his war agaist the Creek Nation.&nbsp; The Choctaw were given a reservation in southeaster part of (present day) Oklahoma  
+
*'''1820:''' First Federal census in this state, all reported missing.
*'''1830:''' Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians ceded land&nbsp;&nbsp;
+
*'''1830:''' The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek the Choctaw Indians gave up 10 million acres of land in Alabama and Mississippi. The Choctaw tribe had aided Gen. Andrew Jackson in his war agaist the Creek Nation.&nbsp; The Choctaw were given a reservation in southeaster part of (present day) Oklahoma  
 +
*'''1830:''' Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians ceded land.
 +
*'''1830:''' Second Federal Census in this state, reported incomplete.
 
*'''1832:''' Creek Indians ceded land.  
 
*'''1832:''' Creek Indians ceded land.  
*'''1835:'''The treaty of New Echota was signed, which led to the removal of most of the Indian tribes, including the Cherokees from Alabama. A few Creeks and Cherokees remained in Alabama. Cherokee Indians ceded land.  
+
*'''1835:''' The treaty of New Echota was signed, which led to the removal of most of the Indian tribes, including the Cherokees from Alabama. A few Creeks and Cherokees remained in Alabama. Cherokee Indians ceded land.  
*'''1839:'''The Indians weere largely removed westward to Oklahoma.  
+
*'''1839:''' The Indians were largely removed westward to Oklahoma.  
*'''1861–1868:''' Alabama seceded from the Union, but was readmitted in 1868. Nearly 100,000 men from Alabama served in the Civil War.  
+
*The slave ship Clothilde, with Guineau Africans arived at Mobile, they were unable to be sold , the slaves were freed; and formed a community called African Town in in the suburb Plateau near Mobile
*'''1880<nowiki>:</nowiki>'''<nowiki>Almost half of the population of Alabama was of African-American descent.</nowiki>
+
*'''I860 '''the slave polulation was 435,080 (about 505 of population)
 
+
*'''1861–1868:''' American Civil War and Reconstruction
 +
*'''1862:''' over 10,000 Alabama freedmen served as soldiers in the Union Army.  
 +
*'''1865: '''Thirty-five black schools were set up the the Freedmen's Bureau and American Missionary Association.  
 +
*'''1898:''' Over 300,000 men were involved in the [http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/ Spanish-American War] which was fought mainly in Cuba and the Philippines.
 
*'''1917–1918:''' Armed forces serving in World War I included 95,000 Alabamians. More than 6,200 were killed.  
 
*'''1917–1918:''' Armed forces serving in World War I included 95,000 Alabamians. More than 6,200 were killed.  
*'''1941–1945:''' Approximately 288,000 men and women from Alabama served in the armed forces during World War II.
 
*'''1960<nowiki>:</nowiki>'''<nowiki>More people in Alabama live in cities with a population of at least 2,500.</nowiki>
 
 
*'''1990:''' About one quarter of the population was African-American descent.
 
*'''1990:''' About one quarter of the population was African-American descent.
  
=== State Histories  ===
+
=== Local Histories  ===
  
Sources for studying the history of Alabama are:
+
Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of pioneers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may be included that will provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search. Local histories are extensively collected by the [[Family History Library|Family History Library]], public and university libraries, and state and local historical societies. The United States Research "[[United States History|History]]" page cites nationwide bibliographies of local histories which include histories of Alabama.
  
''Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together With the Personal Memoirs of Many of its People.'' Two Volumes. Madison, Wisconsin: Brant and Fuller, 1893. (Family History Library book 976.1 H2m; film 934817.)
+
*Ward, Robert David. ''Bibliography of the County Histories of Alabama.'' Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Public Library, 1991. {{FHL|643691|item|disp=FHL book 976.1 H23w}}
  
Brown, Lynda W. ''Alabama History: An Annotated Bibliography''. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998. (Family History Library book 976.1 H2bL.) This contains information about American Indian tribes; European exploration and colonization; territorial and formative periods; and Antebellum, Confederate, Reconstruction, and later periods. Each chronological period is subdivided into subjects, such as education, arts, diaries, industry, migrations, and religion.
+
*Filby, P. William. ''A Bibliography of American County Histories''. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1985.) {{WorldCat|12356760|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|299450|item|disp=FHL book 973 H23bi}}
  
For the period to 1821 see:  
+
*Kaminkow, Marion J. ''United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress''. 5 vols. Baltimore: Magna Charta Book, 1975-76. {{WorldCat|315166|At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|252458|item|disp=FHL book 973 A3ka}}
  
Beers, Henry Putney. ''French and Spanish Records of Louisiana: A Bibliographical Guide to Archive and Manuscript Sources''. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University, 1989. (Family History Library book 976.3 H23b.) Section III discusses the history, government, and land and church records of the area of Louisiana that is in present-day Alabama.
+
=== State Histories Useful to Genealogists  ===
  
Pickett, Albert James. ''History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, From the Earliest Period''. Sheffield, Alabama: R.C. Randolph, 1896. (Family History Library book 976.1 H2p; film 924406.) This book lists historical events in chronological order, from the early history to about 1820.  
+
Good genealogists strive to understand the life and times of their ancestors. In this sense, any history is useful. But certain kinds of state, county, and local histories, [http://www.accessgenealogy.com/book/index.cgi?folder=alabama-history especially older histories] published between 1845 and 1945, often include biographical sketches of prominent individuals. The sketches usually tend toward the laudatory, but may include some genealogical details. If these histories are indexed or alphabetical, check for an ancestor's name. Some examples for the State of Alabama are:
 +
 
 +
*''Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together With the Personal Memoirs of Many of its People.'' Two Volumes. Madison, Wisconsin: Brant and Fuller, 1893. {{FHL|216594|item|disp=FHL film 934817; book 976.1 H2m}} A digitized version is available through the FHL catalog entry.
 +
 
 +
*Brown, Lynda W. ''Alabama History: An Annotated Bibliography''. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998. {{FHL|730251|item|disp=FHL book 976.1 H2bL}} This contains information about American Indian tribes; European exploration and colonization; territorial and formative periods; and Antebellum, Confederate, Reconstruction, and later periods. Each chronological period is subdivided into subjects, such as education, arts, diaries, industry, migrations, and religion.
  
 
For 1798 to 1819, ''The Territorial Papers of the United States'' contain petitions, memorials, and other lists of early residents in what is now Alabama:  
 
For 1798 to 1819, ''The Territorial Papers of the United States'' contain petitions, memorials, and other lists of early residents in what is now Alabama:  
  
United States. Department of State. ''The Territorial Papers of the United States''. 26 volumes. National Archives Microfilm Publication, M0721. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1934–1962. (Family History Library book 973 N2udt; films 929376–91.) See volumes five and six on FHL film 929379 for records of the Territory of Mississippi, which included present-day Alabama. These volumes cover 1798 to 1817 and include lists of residents for 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812 (lists of aliens in 1812), 1814, and 1815. Volume 18 on FHL film 929386 has records pertaining to the Territory of Alabama, including land sales, employment and dismissal, commission, power of attorney, postmaster correspondence, government business, court, election candidate, and Indian affairs records. Each volume is indexed.  
+
*''The Territorial Papers of the United States''. 26 volumes. National Archives Microfilm Publication, M0721. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1934–1962. {{FHL|42234|item|disp=FHL films 929376–91; book 973 N2udt}} See volumes five and six on {{FHL|42234|item|disp=FHL film 929379}} for records of the Territory of Mississippi, which included present-day Alabama. These volumes cover 1798 to 1817 and include lists of residents for 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812 (lists of aliens in 1812), 1814, and 1815. Volume 18 on {{FHL|42234|item|disp=FHL film 929386}} has records pertaining to the Territory of Alabama, including land sales, employment and dismissal, commission, power of attorney, postmaster correspondence, government business, court, election candidate, and Indian affairs records. Each volume is indexed. Records are digitized and available through the FHL catalog entry.
  
=== Local Histories  ===
+
For the period to 1821 see:
  
Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of area families. The United States Research Outline "[[United States History|History]]" section cites nationwide bibliographies of local histories which include histories of Alabama. For a statewide bibliography of local histories see:
+
*Beers, Henry Putney. ''French and Spanish Records of Louisiana: A Bibliographical Guide to Archive and Manuscript Sources''. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University, 1989. {{FHL|591607|item|disp=FHL book 976.3 H23b}} Section III discusses the history, government, and land and church records of the area of Louisiana that is in present-day Alabama.
  
Ward, Robert David. ''Bibliography of the County Histories of Alabama.'' Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Public Library, 1991. (Family History Library book 976.1 H23w.)
+
*Pickett, Albert James. ''History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, From the Earliest Period''. Sheffield, Alabama: R.C. Randolph, 1896. {{FHL|192476|item|disp=FHL film 924406; book 976.1 H2p}}This book lists historical events in chronological order, from the early history to about 1820. Digitized version available through FHL catalog entry.
  
History books are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:  
+
*Owen, Thomas McAdory. ''History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography.'' 4 vols. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1921. Digital versions at FamilySearch Books Online: {{FSbook|57064|disp=Vol. 1}} | {{FSbook|57003|disp=Vol. 2}} | {{FSbook|57073|disp=Vol. 3}} | {{FSbook|57067|disp=Vol. 4}}.
  
ALABAMA- HISTORY
+
*Brewer, Willis. ''Alabama: Her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men, from 1540 to 1872.'' Montgomery, Ala.: Barett &amp; Brown, Printers, 1872. Digital version at {{FSbook|87712}}.
  
ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- HISTORY
+
*Abernethy, Thomas Perkins. ''The Formative Period in Alabama 1815-1828.'' Montgomery, Ala.: The Brown Printing Company, 1922. Digital version at {{FSbook|539120}} - free. Includes chapters on immigrants, public lands, rivers and roads, religion, and slavery.
  
ALABAMA, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- HISTORY  
+
=== United States History  ===
 +
 
 +
The following are only a few of the many sources that are available:
 +
 
 +
*Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. ''The Almanac of American History.'' (Greenwich, Conn.: Bison Books, 1983.) {{WorldCat|9392978|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}, {{FHL|531408|item|disp=FHL book 973 H2alm}}This book provides brief historical essays and chronological descriptions of thousands of key events in United States history.
 +
 
 +
*''Dictionary of American History, Revised ed., 8 vols''. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.) {{WorldCat|2507380|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}, {{FHL|76529|title-id|disp=FHL book 973 H2ad}}Includes historical sketches on various topics in U.S. history, such as wars, people, laws, and organizations.
 +
 
 +
*Van Doren, Charles Lincoln; Robert McHenry, ''Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium''. (Springfield, Mass.: G and C Merriam, 1971.) {{WorldCat|142893|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|280192|item|disp=FHL book 973 H2v}} Includes a history, some maps, tables, and other historical information.
 +
 
 +
*American Historical Association, ''Writings on American History'' (Washington, D.C.:American Historical Association,1960-1960) {{WorldCat|1770230|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|244514|item|disp=FHL book 973 H23w}}Full text available at [http://books.google.com/books?id=mgEPAAAAYAAJ& Google Books]
 +
 
 +
=== Family History Library  ===
 +
 
 +
To access histories available through the Family History Library Catalog, use the Place-names Search for:
 +
 
 +
:ALABAMA - HISTORY
 +
:ALABAMA, [COUNTY] - HISTORY
 +
:ALABAMA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - HISTORY
  
 
=== Web Sites  ===
 
=== Web Sites  ===
  
http://huntsville.about.com/od/alabamahistory/Alabama_History.htm  
+
*[http://www.archives.state.al.us/ Alabama Archives]
 +
*[http://huntsville.about.com/od/alabamahistory/Alabama_History.htm Alabama History]
 +
*[http://www.alabamainfo.com/history.htm Alabama History Resources]
 +
*[http://www.censusfinder.com/alabama-historical-museums.htm Historical Museums Guide for Alabama]
 +
 
 +
=== Sources  ===
 +
 
 +
<references />
 +
 
 +
{{Alabama|Alabama}}
  
http://www.archives.state.al.us/
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{{featured article}}
  
http://www.alabamainfo.com/history.htm<br><!--{12082028867500} --><!--{12082028867501} --><!--{12082028867502} [[Category:Alabama]]-->
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[[Category:Alabama|History]] [[Category:Timeline]]

Revision as of 16:51, 22 August 2012

Tuskegee Airmen in front of a P-40 fighter in World War II.
United States Gotoarrow.png Alabama Gotoarrow.png History

Contents

Timeline

The following important events in the history of Alabama affected political jurisdictions, family movements, and record keeping.

  • 1702: The first permanent settlement, Fort Louis de la Mobile, was founded by the French north of the present site of Mobile.
  • 1710–1763: The Alabama area was governed by France. English, French, and Spanish settlers and settlers from South Carolina and Georgia established trading posts.
  • 1711: Mobile was the capital of the Louisiana Territory until 1720 when Biloxi became the capital. In 1722 New Orleans became the capital.
  • 1763: The Alabama area was governed by Great Britain. 
  • 1783: Britain ceded the southern region, around Mobile, to Spain. The area further north of the Alabama region was claimed by Georgia. The boundary between the two areas was in dispute until 1795, when it was set at the 31st parallel, a few miles north of Mobile.
  • 1798: Georgia abandoned claims to the area. The area north of the 31st parallel became part of the Mississippi Territory.
  • 1800 Census part of Alabama (Washington County in Mississippi territory) 494 African American listed
  • 1800 - 1820: Migrations from Virginia and the Carolinas to central and southern part of the state.
  • 1800-1810: Migrations from Tennessee into northern part of the state.
  • 1802: Choctaw Indians ceded land.
  • 1802: Georgia abandoned claims to the area. The area north of the 31st parallel became part of the Mississippi Territory when it was created in 1798. Spain controlled the Mobile area until the War of 1812.
  • 1805: Choctaw Indians ceded land.
  • 1806: Cherokee Indians ceded land.
  • 1812–1814: During the War of 1812, on 15 April 1813 American forces captured Mobile from the Spanish. General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians in several battles, including the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, 27 March 1814. Removal of the Creeks and other Indian tribes commenced and European settlers began flooding into the region, bringing African-American slaves with them.
  • March 29, 1814: Creek Indian War ended as General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creeks under Chief Weatherford at the battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama where nearly 900 - 1000 Indians engaged were killed.
  • 1814: Creek Indians ceded land.
  • 1816: Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee Indians ceded land.
  • 1817: Cherokee Indians ceded land.
  • 1817: Marengo County (Demopolis) The Frenchman Parmentier obtains a grant in Alabama for French refugees who left Philadelphia and settled at St. Stephens on the Tombigbee River - called Demopolis, about 150 settlers in all.
  • March 3, 1817: The Mississippi Territory was divided into the state of Mississippi, and the Alabama Territory at that time. The Alabama Territory was composed of the following seven counties: Baldwin, Clarke, Madison, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, and Washington.
  • 1818: Twenty-two counties were established.
  • 1819: Cherokee  Indians ceded land.
  • December 14, 1819: Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state.
  • 1820: First Federal census in this state, all reported missing.
  • 1830: The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek the Choctaw Indians gave up 10 million acres of land in Alabama and Mississippi. The Choctaw tribe had aided Gen. Andrew Jackson in his war agaist the Creek Nation.  The Choctaw were given a reservation in southeaster part of (present day) Oklahoma
  • 1830: Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians ceded land.
  • 1830: Second Federal Census in this state, reported incomplete.
  • 1832: Creek Indians ceded land.
  • 1835: The treaty of New Echota was signed, which led to the removal of most of the Indian tribes, including the Cherokees from Alabama. A few Creeks and Cherokees remained in Alabama. Cherokee Indians ceded land.
  • 1839: The Indians were largely removed westward to Oklahoma.
  • The slave ship Clothilde, with Guineau Africans arived at Mobile, they were unable to be sold , the slaves were freed; and formed a community called African Town in in the suburb Plateau near Mobile
  • I860 the slave polulation was 435,080 (about 505 of population)
  • 1861–1868: American Civil War and Reconstruction
  • 1862: over 10,000 Alabama freedmen served as soldiers in the Union Army.
  • 1865: Thirty-five black schools were set up the the Freedmen's Bureau and American Missionary Association.
  • 1898: Over 300,000 men were involved in the Spanish-American War which was fought mainly in Cuba and the Philippines.
  • 1917–1918: Armed forces serving in World War I included 95,000 Alabamians. More than 6,200 were killed.
  • 1990: About one quarter of the population was African-American descent.

Local Histories

Some of the most valuable sources for family history research are local histories. Published histories of towns, counties, and states usually contain accounts of families. They describe the settlement of the area and the founding of churches, schools, and businesses. You can also find lists of pioneers, soldiers, and civil officials. Even if your ancestor is not listed, information on other relatives may be included that will provide important clues for locating your ancestor. A local history may also suggest other records to search. Local histories are extensively collected by the Family History Library, public and university libraries, and state and local historical societies. The United States Research "History" page cites nationwide bibliographies of local histories which include histories of Alabama.

  • Ward, Robert David. Bibliography of the County Histories of Alabama. Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Public Library, 1991. FHL book 976.1 H23w
  • Kaminkow, Marion J. United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress. 5 vols. Baltimore: Magna Charta Book, 1975-76. WorldCat 315166; FHL book 973 A3ka

State Histories Useful to Genealogists

Good genealogists strive to understand the life and times of their ancestors. In this sense, any history is useful. But certain kinds of state, county, and local histories, especially older histories published between 1845 and 1945, often include biographical sketches of prominent individuals. The sketches usually tend toward the laudatory, but may include some genealogical details. If these histories are indexed or alphabetical, check for an ancestor's name. Some examples for the State of Alabama are:

  • Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together With the Personal Memoirs of Many of its People. Two Volumes. Madison, Wisconsin: Brant and Fuller, 1893. FHL film 934817; book 976.1 H2m A digitized version is available through the FHL catalog entry.
  • Brown, Lynda W. Alabama History: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998. FHL book 976.1 H2bL This contains information about American Indian tribes; European exploration and colonization; territorial and formative periods; and Antebellum, Confederate, Reconstruction, and later periods. Each chronological period is subdivided into subjects, such as education, arts, diaries, industry, migrations, and religion.

For 1798 to 1819, The Territorial Papers of the United States contain petitions, memorials, and other lists of early residents in what is now Alabama:

  • The Territorial Papers of the United States. 26 volumes. National Archives Microfilm Publication, M0721. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1934–1962. FHL films 929376–91; book 973 N2udt See volumes five and six on FHL film 929379 for records of the Territory of Mississippi, which included present-day Alabama. These volumes cover 1798 to 1817 and include lists of residents for 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812 (lists of aliens in 1812), 1814, and 1815. Volume 18 on FHL film 929386 has records pertaining to the Territory of Alabama, including land sales, employment and dismissal, commission, power of attorney, postmaster correspondence, government business, court, election candidate, and Indian affairs records. Each volume is indexed. Records are digitized and available through the FHL catalog entry.

For the period to 1821 see:

  • Beers, Henry Putney. French and Spanish Records of Louisiana: A Bibliographical Guide to Archive and Manuscript Sources. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University, 1989. FHL book 976.3 H23b Section III discusses the history, government, and land and church records of the area of Louisiana that is in present-day Alabama.
  • Pickett, Albert James. History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, From the Earliest Period. Sheffield, Alabama: R.C. Randolph, 1896. FHL film 924406; book 976.1 H2pThis book lists historical events in chronological order, from the early history to about 1820. Digitized version available through FHL catalog entry.
  • Owen, Thomas McAdory. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. 4 vols. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1921. Digital versions at FamilySearch Books Online: Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 | Vol. 4.
  • Brewer, Willis. Alabama: Her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men, from 1540 to 1872. Montgomery, Ala.: Barett & Brown, Printers, 1872. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online.
  • Abernethy, Thomas Perkins. The Formative Period in Alabama 1815-1828. Montgomery, Ala.: The Brown Printing Company, 1922. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free. Includes chapters on immigrants, public lands, rivers and roads, religion, and slavery.

United States History

The following are only a few of the many sources that are available:

  • Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur M. The Almanac of American History. (Greenwich, Conn.: Bison Books, 1983.) At various libraries (WorldCat), FHL book 973 H2almThis book provides brief historical essays and chronological descriptions of thousands of key events in United States history.
  • Dictionary of American History, Revised ed., 8 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976.) At various libraries (WorldCat), FHL book 973 H2adIncludes historical sketches on various topics in U.S. history, such as wars, people, laws, and organizations.
  • Van Doren, Charles Lincoln; Robert McHenry, Webster's Guide to American History: A Chronological, Geographical, and Biographical Survey and Compendium. (Springfield, Mass.: G and C Merriam, 1971.) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 973 H2v Includes a history, some maps, tables, and other historical information.

Family History Library

To access histories available through the Family History Library Catalog, use the Place-names Search for:

ALABAMA - HISTORY
ALABAMA, [COUNTY] - HISTORY
ALABAMA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - HISTORY

Web Sites

Sources