Madison County, Alabama Genealogy

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Alabama  Gotoarrow.png  Madison County

Guide to Madison County, Alabama ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Madison County, Alabama
Map of the U.S. highlighting Alabama
Location of Alabama in the U.S.
Founded 13 December 13, 1808
County Seat Huntsville
Madison County, Alabama Courthouse.jpg
Address Madison County Courthouse
100 North Side Square
Huntsville, Al 35801-4820
Phone:  256-532-3327 County Website

County Information

Madison County, Alabama Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1881 1809 1881 1830 1810 1818

Reference Facts


County Courthouse

Probate Judge has marriage probate and land records from 1809
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records
County Courthouse has death and buried records [2]

Parent County

13 December 1808: Madison County was created from the Cherokee and Chickasaw Cession of 1806-1807. [2]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Alabama county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Alabama County Boundary Maps" (1799-1980) may be viewed for free at the website.

Neighboring Counties

Jackson | Limestone | Marshall | Morgan | Franklin County, Tennessee

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places


Gurley | Huntsville | Madison | New Hope | Owens Cross Roads | Triana

Census Designations

Harvest | Hazel Green | Meridianville | Moores Mill | New Market | Redstone Arsenal


African American


  • Northern Alabama, Historical and Biographical. Birmingham, Ala.: Smith and De Land, 1888. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online. Madison County, Alabama Genealogy begins on page 61.



General cemetery sites and listings:

  • Douthat, James L. Wheeler Reservoir Cemeteries. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press. Free surname index and publisher's bookstore at Mountain Press.

Additional Madison County cemeteries are included in Alabama Cemetery Records Vol. 5 at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
ALGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
ALGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Alabama Cemeteries for more information.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
Est. 2011340,11122.9%
For tips on accessing Madison County, Alabama Genealogy census records online, see: Alabama Census.

State Census

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Alabama denominations, view the Alabama Church Records wiki page.

  • [1808-1868] Minutes Flint River Baptist Church [Madison] Alabama. Microfilmed by Historical Commission Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tenn. FHL US/CAN Film 984,179. In 1821 members living near the Big Spring in Ashberns Cove joined the jurisdiction of Flint River Baptist Church. And in 1833 the church included members that lived on Clear Creek.[4].
  • "Flint River Baptist Church Minutes, May 13, 1809-June 1, 1810" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 2009. Vol 43 Iss. 3
  • "Flint River Baptist Church Minutes, July 1810-Aug 1812"  Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Jun 2009. Vol 43 Iss. 4
  • "Flint River Baptist Church Membership List 1832-1858" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 2009. Vol 43. Iss 3
  • "First Baptist Church, Huntsville, 1809-1984" Alabama Genealogical Society Magazine. Birmingham, Alabama : 1989. Vol 21. Iss 1-2.
  • By 1840 a Presbyterian Church referred to as "Combesline Presbyterions" existed. Location thought to be relatively near the Flint River.[5]
  • "Session Records of the Presbyterian Church, 1823-60" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 1971. Vol 5 Iss. 3.
  • "Session Recs. of the Presbyterian Church, 1847-85" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Sep 1971. Vol 6 Iss. 1.

Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Meridianville

  • 1883-1903 - Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Meridianville Baptism Index 1883-1903. Batch C594171 at FamilySearch - free.[6]

Court Records

  • "Mississippi Territory Circuit Court Trial and Appearance Dockets, 1809-1812" Alabama Genealogical Society Magazine. Birmingham, Alabama : Spring 2009.
  • "Mississippi Territory Minute Book, 1811-19" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 1991. Vol 25, Iss 3.
Minute Books
  • [1811-1819] Records of Madison County, Alabama ALGenWeb (Varied records, including: Minute Book (1811-1819), Naturalization, Probate Index)
  • [1810-1817] Johnson, Dorothy Scott J. Madison County, Alabama Orphans Court minutes, 1810-1817. FHL US/CAN Book 976.197 P2j. Also film.
  • [1810-1819] Superior court minutes, 1810-1819, Madison County, Alabama. FHL Film.
  • [1831-1844] “Commissioner Court Minutes, 1832” Valley Leaves Huntsville, Alabama. Vol 23 Issue 4. Abstracted minutes from page 1 of 1831 to May 1844. These minutes mention the names of those caring for paupers, as well as the paupers names (including orphans)-- along with the usual things like roads. FHL US/CAN Book 976.19 B2v.


"Chancery Court Abstracts, 1824" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Sep 2006. Vol 41. Iss. 1.

Chancery and Circuit Court

Madison County Chancery and Circuit Court Records are available for free online at FamilySearch. This collection contains records of disputed estates and divorces.

Orphan Court
  • [1810-1817] Johnson, Dorothy Scott. Madison county, Alabama Orphans Court Minutes 1810-1817. FHL US/CAN Book 976.197 P2j
  • [1824+] See Alabama State Archives
  • [1831-1844] "Commissioners Court Minutes, 1831" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Jun 1989. Vol 23 Iss 4 and Sep 1989. Vol 24. Iss. 1. Dec 1989. Vol 24. Iss 2.  Mar 1990. Vol 24, Iss 3. Jun 1990. Vol. 24. Iss 4. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v.
  • [1841] "Justice of the Peace and Constable Bonds, 1841" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1990. Vol 25. Iss 2. Dec 1991 Vol 26 Iss 2 p 85. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v.
  • [1842] "Court Records, 1842" Alabama Genealogical Exchange. Tuscaloosa, Alabama : Winter 1987. Vol 3, Iss. 3. FHL US/CAN 976.D25ag. These are selected entries done by Pauline Gandrud whose unpublished files are in Special Collections, University of Alabama Library.
  • [1841-1844] "Justice of the Peace & Constable Bonds, 1841-1844" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1991. Vol 26. Iss 2. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v.


Madison County, Alabama Online Historical Directories - identifies historical city, county, business and other directories available online on both free and pay-to-access websites.



Early settlers came primarily from Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia.

Court Records of Madison County, Alabama ALGenWeb (Varied records, including: Minute Book, Naturalization, Probate Index)

Land and Property

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Alabama Land and Property for additional information about early Alabama land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

To place a grant or deed on a map within context of Madison county see:

  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Madison County, Alabama: with Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. Norman, Okla.: Arphax Pub. Co., 2009. This is a definitive work and can be used as an index to land grants. Digital version at ($). Website includes free surname index. FHL Book 976.197 E7b.

Southern Claims Commission: Alabama Claims 1871-1880. Tracking Your Roots.


"The original land office for Madison county, Mississippi Territory was established in Nashville, Tennessee on Mar 3, 1807 and was moved to Huntsville in 1811. In 1807 Thomas Freeman, Government Surveyor, was assigned to survey the the lands in the “Triangle” which became Madison Co., Mississippi Territory on Dec 13, 1808. A census of the inhabitants was taken by him in January 1809. Subsequently, acting as Registrar, he received the “squatters” applications to buy their land. After a fee was paid, permission was granted then to remain as “tenants at will” on their land with rights to purchase at auction at a Public Land Sale. This sale took place at Nashville in August 1809 and fee simple land titles were established. (Less than half of the men who made application appear in the Tract Book.)"[7]

There were no land grants given for military service in Madison county until after the Mexican War.[8]

  • Cowart, Margaret Matthews . Old land records of Madison County, Alabama. FHL US/CAN BOOK 976.197 R2c. See catalog for scope description. Has index and map of original "triangle" that was Madison county.
  • "MS Tr. 1809 Register of Applications & Permissions" Valley Leaves Huntsville, Alabama : Jun 1972. Vol 6, Iss 4.


  • [1810-1819] Johnson, Dorothy Scott. Madison County, Alabama deed books A, B, C, D, E, 1810-1819 (territorial) : a synopsis of every instrument recorded in deed books A through E, which covers the period Madison County was a part of the Mississippi and Alabama territories from July, 1810 through November, 1819. (Huntsville, Alabama : Johnson Historical Publications (AL), c1976 ) FHL US/CAN Book  976.197 R2j.
  • [1810-1886] FHL has direct and reserve index on film. Also deed books on film.


Local histories are available for Madison County, Alabama Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Alabama Local Histories.

History of Madison county

  • Betts, Edward Chambers. Early History of Huntsville, Alabama 1804 to 1870. 1909; revised, Montgomery, Ala.: The Brown Printing Co., 1916. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Madison County, Alabama
  • Madison County was established on December 13, 1808 by the Governor of the Mississippi Territory.
  • The county is named in honor of James Madison, fourth President of the United States of America, and the first to visit the state of Alabama.
  • It is recognized as the "birthplace" of Alabama,which was founded there on December 14 1819.
  • The economy of Madison county revolved mainly around agriculture, being recognized as one of the largest cotton-producing counties in the state. This all changed in 1950.
  • In 1950, a group of German rocket scientists, led by Wernher von Braun, came to Redstone Arsenal and developed, among others, the Redstone rocket, which was modified to launch the first two Americans into space.
  • Tens of thousands of jobs came to the area as a result of the Space Race.
  • The population of Madison County in 1950 was 72,903.
  • The population rose to 298,192 in 2005.
  • The population according to the 2010 Census was 334,811.
  • The County seat is Huntsville.


  • Maps of Alabama (1799-1980)
  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Madison County, Alabama: with Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. (Norman, Oklahoma : Arphax Pub. Co., c2009). FHL US/CAN BOOK 976.197 E7. This is a definitive work. Available online at * ($). Free surname search.


Civil War

Civil War service men from Madison County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Madison County.

- 1st Battalion, Alabama Artillery, Company D and F
- 4th Regiment, Alabama Cavalry (Russell's), Company C and F
- 4th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company F(Huntsville Guards)
- 4th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company I(North Alabamians)
- 7th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company D(Madison Rifles)
- 27th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company F
- 35th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company E and F
- 49th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company H and K

Online Records

"Creek Indian War - Company from County" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1985. Vol 20 iss 2.


Finding More Alabama Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Madison County, Alabama Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Abstracts of The Southern Advocate (1833) and The Democrat (1835) were published in:

  • 1833, 1835 - Caver, Larry E. Abstracts from Alabama Newspapers, Volume II: Limestone County, Madison County, Marshall County, Jackson County. Carrollton, Miss.: Pioneer Publishing Co., 2007. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.


  • Huntsville Obituary Index - searchable database of obits done by the Huntsville Madison County Public Library *Madison County, Alabama Obituary and Death Notices Collection - A free collection of obituaries and death notices from various funeral homes in the Madison County area has been put together by
  • "Few North Alabama Newspaper Obituries, 1847-49." Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Sep 1974. Vol 9. Iss 1. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v.
  • "N. AL Obits from Out-of-Co. Newspapers 1827-39" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 1972. Vol 6 Iss 3. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v.


Probate Records

Probate records are held by the Madison County, Alabama Genealogy Probate Court. Most records are housed at the Madison County, Alabama Genealogy Courthouse. Many records are on microfilm at the Family History Library.

See the wiki page Alabama Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence.

Record types: Wills, dower records, personal property sales, settlement records, orphans’ records, and bonds.

  • 1809-1965 Madison County Probate Court Indices at the Madison County Records Center Online. Includes wills, estate inventories and accounts, guardianships, petitions, name changes, adoptions, etc.
  • Partlow, Thomas E. Franklin County, Tennessee Wills, 1808-1876 & Deeds, 1801-1840 (Southern Historical Press, Inc. Greenville, SC, 1991) FHL US/CAN Book 976.863 P2pt.
  • Court Records of Madison County, Alabama ALGenWeb (Varied records, including: Minute Book, Naturalization, Probate Index)

Online Probate Records

  • "Abstracts of Wills in Probate Record 4, 1826-1827" Valley Leaves Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1972. Vol 7. Iss. 2
  • "Abstracts of Wills in Probate Rec 2 & 5, 1823-30" Valley Leaves Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1973. Vol 8. Iss 2.
  • "Abstracts of Wills In Probate Rec 2 & 5, 1824-31" Valley Leaves Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 1974. Vol 8, Iss 3.
  • "Abstracts of Wills, Probate Records 1829-33" Valley Leaves Huntsivlle, Alabama : Sep 1974. Vol 9, Iss. 1


Alabama tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Alabama Taxation.

Taxation Substitutes
  • [1821?] "Jurors List"Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Jun 1988. Vol 4. Iss 4. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v.
  • [1824] "A List of Letters (Dead Letters) 1824" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Mar 1975. Vol 9. Iss 3. FHL US/CAN Book 976.19 B2v.
  • [1828] "List of Letters in Post Office, Huntsville, 1828" Alabama Genealogical Exchange.  Tuscaloosa, Alabama : Sep 1986. Vol 3. Iss 1.(surnames A-M) Vol 3 Iss 2 p 23 (surnames N-Z). FHL US/CAN 976.D25ag.
  • [1833] "Letters in the Hunstville P. O., Apr 4, 1833" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Jun 1979. Vol 13 Iss 4, p. 179 (surnames A-M). Vol 14, Iss. 1 (surnames M-Z). FHL US/CAN Book 976.19 B2v. FHL has Vol 13 & 14, Iss 1-4 bound together with index at back of each bound volume.
  • [1843] "Jurors List, 1843" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1988. Vol 23, Iss. 2. FHL US/CAN 976.19 B2v. FHL has Vol 23 Iss 1-4 bound together with index at back.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Alabama State Department of Health , the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred or order electronically online.

For some online statewide indexes, see the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections for Alabama. See also How to order Alabama Vital Records

Birth Records
Marriage Records
  • To 1825 Index to Marriages at Ancestry – ($); Index. contains over 12,000 names. Each entry includes groom, bride, marriage date, county, and state. Every name is indexed so you can search for one name, or two names that are linked.
  • 1809–1826, 1828, 1831–1843, 1853–1869, 1871, 1875–1883, 1896, 1936–1969 Alabama, Marriage Collection, 1800–1969 at Ancestry – ($); Index. This collection is comprised of indexes created by several agencies - the Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research, and Hunting For Bears.
  • 1809-1843; 1853-1882 "Alabama Marriages, 1809–1920" at Ancestry – ($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage records from the state. Researchers will find the names of both bride and groom along with the marriage date. The county where the ceremony was performed is also provided. Containing about 150,000 records and the names of nearly 300,000 men and women.
Death Records
  • 1881-1912 - Madison County Death Index 1881-1912. Batch B548072 at FamilySearch - free.[6]
  • 1881–1974 Index to Deaths and Burials at Ancestry – ($); Index. Volunteers extracted the details in this index from microfilmed copies of church, civil, family, and other records of Alabama deaths and burials. details vary depending on the original record. Note that the number of available records can vary widely by county, and this database does not necessarily represent a comprehensive set of death records for the state during this time.

Vital Record Substitutes
  • 1828-1829 - "Some 1828-29 area marriages in the Democrat" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Dec 1972. Vol 2. Iss 4.
  • 1844-1846 - "Area Marriages 1844-46 in the Democrat" Valley Leaves. Huntsville, Alabama : Jun 1973. Vol 7. Iss 4.


Archives, Libraries, and Museums

The Heritage Room has local and state histories, genealogical and family collections, newspapers, Madison County records, military records, and more.


County Courthouse 700
100 Northside Sq.,
Huntsville, AL 35801

Family History Center

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

  • Introduction to LDS Family History Centers
  • Byrd Springs Alabama Family History Center
    • 2110 Byrd Spring Rd
    • Huntsville, Madison, Alabama, United States
    • Phone: 256-881-4461
    • Hours:*W-T 9am-12pm
    • Wednesday 6:30pm-8:30pm
    • Thursday 6:30 - 9:00 pm by appt any day
    • Closed: Closed the last two weeks of December .
  • Huntsville Alabama
    • 1804 Sparkman Dr
      Huntsville, Madison, Alabama, United States
      Phone: 256-721-0905
      Hours: Wednesday 10am-1pm or by Appointment.
      Closures: Week of Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Madison-Harvest Alabama
    • 1297 Slaughter Rd
      Madison, Madison, Alabama, United States
      Phone: 256-722-9450
      Hours: T-W 6:30 pm-8:30pm;
      Th 10am-12pm.
      Closures: December 15-January 4, 2012;
      closed if there is accumulated snow or tornadic weather

Family History Centre Locator


Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1568
Huntsville, Alabama
Publication: Valley Leaves

Madison African-American Alliance Group
P. O. Box 445
Madison, AL
35758 Link

Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society
P.O. Box 666
Huntsville, AL
Publication: Historic Huntsville Review

Madison Station Historical Preservation Society
18 Arnett St.
Madison, AL

Monte Santo Historical Association

Huntsville Genealogical Computing Society

Madison County Alabama Genealogy Websites

Madison County Alabama Genealogy References

  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 13-28. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. 2.0 2.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Madison County p. 38. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "HBG" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 Coverage Table, "Alabama County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," FamilySearch Research Wiki,, accessed 6 August 2012.
  4. Minutes Flint River Baptist Church, Alabama. Microfilmed by Historical Commission Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tenn. Unpaginated. See 1821. FHL US/CAN Film 984,179.
  5. Minutes Flint River Baptist Church [Madison] Alabama. Microfilmed by Historical Commission Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tenn. Unpaginated. See June 1840. FHL US/CAN Film 984,179.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  7. Cowart, Margaret Matthews . Old land records of Madison County, Alabama. Page i. FHL US/CAN BOOK 976.197 R2c
  8. Cowart, Margaret Matthews . Old land records of Madison County, Alabama. Page i. FHL US/CAN BOOK 976.197 R2c