Jefferson County, Alabama Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Birmingham
Organized: December 13, 1819
Parent County(s): Blount[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bibb  • Blount  • St. Clair  • Shelby  • Tuscaloosa  • Walker
See County Maps
Jefferson County, Alabama Courthouse Birmingham.jpg
Location Map
Jefferson County Alabama.png
Bessemer Alabama Courthouse

Old Mill in Mountain Brook, Alabama.jpg

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Jefferson County was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson. The county is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Jefferson County has two official County seats - Birmingham and Bessemer.

Jefferson County Courthouses
Birmingham Division
716 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Rm 400
Birmingham, AL 35263
Bessemer Division
1801 3rd Avenue
Bessemer, AL 35020
Phone: 205-481-4110
Jefferson County Website

Probate Judge has marriage records from 1818
Probate Records from 1870 and land records for 1820 [3]

Jefferson County, Alabama Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1818 1881 1826 1820 1819 1816
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1908. General compliance for births by 1927 and for deaths 1925.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1870 -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.[5]

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1819--Jefferson County was created 13 December 1819 from Blount County.
  • County seat: Birmingham[6]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in Jefferson County:[7]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator.

  • Midfield
  • Morris
  • Mountain Brook
  • North Johns
  • Sylvan Springs
  • Trafford
  • West Jefferson
  • Unincorporated communities
    Census-designated places

    History Timeline[edit | edit source]

    Resources[edit | edit source]

    Bible Records[edit | edit source]

    Biographies[edit | edit source]

    • Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama, Historical and Biographical 1887. by John Witherspoon DuBose. Birmingham, Ala.: Teeple and Smith. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; Google Books; Ancestry 1 & 2 — index & images ($)

    Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries of Jefferson, Alabama online and in print
    Tombstone Transcriptions Online
    Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
    List of Cemeteries in the County
    See Alabama Cemeteries for more information

    Census Records[edit | edit source]

    Historical populations
    Census Pop.
    1830 6,855
    1840 7,131 4.0%
    1850 8,989 26.1%
    1860 11,746 30.7%
    1870 12,345 5.1%
    1880 23,272 88.5%
    1890 88,501 280.3%
    1900 140,420 58.7%
    1910 226,476 61.3%
    1920 310,054 36.9%
    1930 431,493 39.2%
    1940 459,930 6.6%
    1950 558,928 21.5%
    1960 634,864 13.6%
    1970 644,991 1.6%
    1980 671,371 4.1%
    1990 651,525 −3.0%
    2000 662,047 1.6%
    2010 658,466 −0.5%
    Source: "".

    State Census


    Church Records[edit | edit source]

    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.

    List of Churches and Church Parishes


    • Hageness, MariLee Beatty. Mount Hebron Church Minutes 1819-1857. Leeds, Jefferson County, Alabama Anniston, Ala.: MLH Research, 1998.
    • Huey, Thomas E. Ruhama: The Story of a Church, 1819-1945 Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Print. Co., c1946. Digital version at Ancestry $


    • McDavid, Mittie Owen. Church of the Advent: Its History and Traditions Birmingham, Ala.: Press of Birmingham Pub. Co., 1943. Digital version at Ancestry $

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    • Birmingham
    • McCalla

    Court Records[edit | edit source]

    These records from the Jefferson County Circuit Court are loose papers pertaining to disputed estates and property. They also include some divorce records

    Directories[edit | edit source]

    • 1888-1890 Birmingham, Alabama Directories, 1888-90 at Ancestry $

    Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

    Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

    Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

    Genealogies[edit | edit source]

    Guardianship[edit | edit source]

    Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

    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 Jefferson County see:

    • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Jefferson County, Alabama: with Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. Norman, Okla.: Arphax Pub. Co., 2007. This is a definitive work and can be used as an index to land grants. Arphax Publishing ($). Website includes surname index. FHL Book 976.178 E7bg.

    You can research land records in the Probate office of the Jefferson County, Alabama Courthouse. To learn more about accessing land records held in the Jefferson County Courthouse, see: Our genealogy journey to the Jefferson County, Alabama courthouse.

    Local Histories[edit | edit source]

    Local histories are available for Jefferson County. The 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.

    • Early Days in Birmingham: A Printing of the Original Papers of the Pioneers Club. 1937. Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Pub. Co. Online at: Ancestry — index & images ($)
    • Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama, Historical and Biographical 1887. by John Witherspoon DuBose. Birmingham, Ala.: Teeple and Smith. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; Google Books; Ancestry 1 & 2 — index & images ($)

    Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

    WalkerBlountSt. ClairShelbyBibbTuscaloosaAL JEFFERSON.PNG
    Click a neighboring county
    for more resources

    Migration[edit | edit source]

    Military Records[edit | edit source]

    Multipal Wars

    Civil War

    Regiments. Men in Jefferson County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a large regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Jefferson County:

    - 10th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company B "Jefferson Volunteers"
    - 18th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C (Cahaba Valley Rangers)
    - 18th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company G (Yancey Guards [or Yancey Rangers])
    - 19th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C (Jefferson Warriors)
    - 20th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C and G
    - 28th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company D, G and H
    - 30th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company K
    - 43rd Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company G
    - 58th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C and D

    World War I

    World War II

    Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

    Newspapers[edit | edit source]

    Obituaries[edit | edit source]

    USGenWeb Archives Project - transcribed obituaries for Jefferson County.

    Other Records[edit | edit source]

    Voting Records

    Alabama Voting Registers for 1867 are available online at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Jefferson County has one book.

    Periodicals[edit | edit source]

    Probate Records[edit | edit source]

    Online Probate Indexes and Records

    School Records[edit | edit source]

    • Birmingham Southern College: 1914-2008 (via the Internet Archive)
    • Howard College Student Catalogs (currently Samford University): 1847-1908 (via the Internet Archive)

    Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

    Tax Records[edit | edit source]

    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.

    Jefferson County Tax Payment Records ~ County of Jefferson (searchable database)

    • 1865-1866 U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 at Ancestry $

    Vital Records[edit | edit source]

    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.

    Birth[edit | edit source]

    Marriage[edit | edit source]

    Death[edit | edit source]

    Divorce[edit | edit source]

    Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

    Archives[edit | edit source]

    Alabama Department of Archives and History
    624 Washington Ave
    PO Box 300100
    Montgomery, AL 36104

    Birmingham Public Library, Archives & Manuscripts
    2100 Park Place
    Birmingham AL 35203-2744

    Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

    Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

    • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
    • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

    Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

    Libraries[edit | edit source]

    Listed below are libraries in Jefferson County. For state-wide library facilities, see Alabama Archives and Libraries.

    Birmingham Public Library
    2100 Park Place
    Birmingham, AL 35203

    Museums[edit | edit source]

    Societies[edit | edit source]

    Alabama Genealogical Society
    Samford University
    800 Lakeshore Drive
    PO Box 293921
    Birmingham, AL 35229

    Birmingham African American Genealogy Group Inc
    PO Box 12011
    Birmingham, AL 35202

    Birmingham Genealogical Society
    PO Box 2432
    Birmingham, AL 35201

    Publication: Pioneer Trails

    Birmingham Historical Society
    1 Sloss Quarters
    PO Box 321474
    Birmingham, AL 35232

    Publication: Birmingham Historical Society Journal

    Hoover Historical Society
    2020 Valleydale Road #108
    PO Box 360233
    Hoover, AL 35236

    Hueytown Historical Society
    PO Box 3313
    Hueytown, AL 35053

    Jefferson County Historical Association
    PO Box 130285
    Birmingham, AL 35213-0285

    Jefferson County Historical Commission
    4700 7th Ct South
    Birmingham, AL 35222

    Southeast Alabama Genealogical and Historical Society
    PO Box 246
    Dothan, AL 36302-0246

    Publication: Wiregrass Roots SEAGHS Magazine

    West Jefferson County Historical Society
    PO Box 184
    Bessemer, AL 35021

    Websites[edit | edit source]

    Research Guides[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alabama.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    2. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Jefferson County, Alabama Genealogy and History”, 6/07/2017.
    3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alabama.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alabama.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    5. Jefferson County, Alabama Records - RAOGK (accessed 20 November 2020).
    6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alabama.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    7. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson County, Alabama," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Alabama, accessed 18 October 2018.
    8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at