Most family history periodicals have reprinted copies of local sources of genealogical value. These may include genealogies, information about local records and archives, queries, census indexes, transcripts of family Bible records, church records, court records, cemetery records, land records, obituaries, and wills. Over 35 periodicals are published in Alabama.
A list of Alabama genealogical and historical societies with the titles of their periodicals is on pages 51–54 of Marilyn Davis Barefield’s Researching in Alabama: A Genealogical Guide. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1987. (FHL book 976.1 D27b.) This book has a chapter about records that can help you research in the “burned counties.” Maps show the Mississippi Territory in 1800, 1808, 1809, 1812, and 1815 and Alabama Territory in 1818. The book includes information about valuable records collections in various libraries and archives.
Major genealogical periodicals for Alabama are:
The Alabama Genealogical Register. 1959–1968. Formerly published by Elizabeth W. Thomas, ed., Tuscaloosa, Alabama (FHL book 976.1 B2a.) This periodical is indexed and contains abstracts of marriage, cemetery, probate, and census records.
Alabama Genealogical Society Magazine. 1967–. Published by the Alabama Genealogical Society, c/o Samford University Library, P. O. Box 2296, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229–0001. (FHL book 976.1 B2ag.) Included are abstracts of newspapers and census, marriage, military, court, and cemetery records. It is indexed.
AlaBenton Genealogical Society Quarterly. 1984–. Published by the AlaBenton Genealogical Society, c/o Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library, P.O. Box 308, Anniston, Alabama 36202. (FHL book 976.163 B2a.) This contains abstracts of court, land, cemetery, marriage, and census records for northeastern Alabama counties. Most of the volumes are indexed.
Central Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly. 1974–. Published by the Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 125, Selma, Alabama 36702–0125. (FHL book 976.1 B2c.) They have a surname registration file and a surname index. It includes pedigree charts and queries and abstracts of probate, land, cemetery, military, and marriage records for central Alabama counties.
Deep South Genealogical Quarterly. 1963–. Published by the Mobile Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6224, Mobile, Alabama 36660-6224. (FHL book 976.122 B2d.) This quarterly contains abstracts of census, Bible, military, church, and marriage records. There is a surname index to volumes 1–10 and individual indexes to the subsequent volumes.
Natchez Trace Traveler. 1981–. Published by the Natchez Trace Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 420, Florence, Alabama 35631-0420. (FHL book 976.1 D25n.) This publishes abstracts of church, cemetery, court, probate, and marriage records and tax lists of northwest Alabama counties. It includes membership and surname lists, but there is no index for each volume.
Pioneer Trails. 1959–. Published by the Birmingham Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 2432, Birmingham, Alabama 35201. (FHL book 976.178 B2p.) Formerly Pioneers. Formerly Birmingham Genealogical Society. This has a cumulative index to 1970 and individual indexes after that. It includes pedigree charts of ancestors and abstracts of census, marriage, and cemetery records.
Settlers of Northeast Alabama. 1962–1980. Published by the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 674, Gadsden, Alabama 35902. (FHL book 976.1 B2s.) This periodical includes abstracts of land grant, Bible, census, cemetery, and marriage records. Most volumes are indexed.
Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society (Quarterly). 1985–1997. Dothan, Alabama: Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society. (FHL book 976.1 B2sa.) This source continues under the title Wiregrass Roots (see below).
Tap Roots. 1963–. Published by the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, P.O. Box 2892 Drawer 1351, Opelika, Alabama 36830–2892. (FHL book 976.1 B2ta.) Each volume contains an index and abstracts of marriage, census, cemetery, church, family, and Bible records for eastern Alabama counties.
Valley Leaves. 1966–. Published by the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1568, Huntsville, Alabama 35807. (FHL book 976.19 B2v.) This periodical publishes abstracts of newspapers and death, probate, court, land, military, and census records for the northern counties of Alabama. It is indexed.
Wiregrass Roots. 1997–. Published by the Southeast Alabama Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 246, Dothan, Alabama 363022–0246. (FHL book 976.1 B2sa.) Formerly Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly. In addition to queries, this periodical contains abstracts of newspapers and cemetery, marriage, and census records. Some volumes contain an index.
Indexes. Most of the periodicals listed above have annual indexes in their final issue for the year. For nationwide indexes to many of these and other family history periodicals, see the "Periodicals" section of the United States Research Outline. The book and microfiche indexes commonly known as "PERSI" are especially useful since they refer to items published in thousands of English and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The sources for the Periodical Source Index are:
Periodical Source Index (PERSI). 31+ volumes. Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1986-. (FHL book 973 D25per 1847–1985; fiche 6016863 [set of 40]; book 973 D25per (1986-1997); fiche 6016864 [set of 15] (1986–1990).) This source indexes over 1.1 million articles in over 5,000 English-language and French Canadian family history periodicals. For further instructions see the Periodical Source Index Research Guide. Electronic editions of the index are easier to use and more complete:
Periodical Source Index CD-ROM. Orem, Utah: Ancestry and the Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1997. (FHL compact disc number 61.) This disc does not circulate to Family History Centers. It merges all 31+volumes into one index.
"Periodical Source Index Search." In Ancestry.com [Internet site]. [Orem, Utah]: Ancestry, 1999. Available at:
This online database is available only to Ancestry.com members for a subscription fee.
Periodicals are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
ALABAMA- GENEALOGY- PERIODICALS
ALABAMA- SOCIETIES- PERIODICALS
ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- PERIODICALS
ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- GENEALOGY- PERIODICALS
ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- HISTORY- PERIODICALS