Butler County, Alabama Genealogy

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Butler County

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


Butler County, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Butler County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the U.S. highlighting Alabama
Location of Alabama in the U.S.
Founded December 13, 1819
County Seat Greenville
Butler County, Alabama Courthouse.jpg
Address Butler County Courthouse
700 Court Square,
Greenville, AL 36037
Phone:(334) 382-7166
Butler County Website

County Information

Butler County, Alabama Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate Census
1894 1853 1894 1853 1853 1853 1816
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1908. General compliance for births by 1927 and for deaths 1925.

County Courthouse

Courthouse burned April 1853
Probate Judge has birth and death records 1894-1919
Marriage, probate and land records [2]


The County was named in honor of Captain William Butler, who was born in Virginia, fought in the Creek War, and who was killed by native Americans near Butler Springs on the morning of 20 March 1818. The County has Greenville as its seat and the County was created December 13, 1819.[3]The County is located in the south central area of the state.[4]


Parent County

1819--Butler County was created 13 December 1819 from Conecuh and Monroe Counties.
County seat: Greenville [5]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss


1853 Butler County had a destructive courthouse fire in 1853. See Research in Alabama: A Genealogical Guide  page 25 for suggested alternative sources to overcome this loss.[6]

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


Populated Places

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

Unincorporated communities
  • Industry
  • Manningham
  • Mashville
  • Midway
  • Monterey
  • Mount Moriah
  • Mount Olive
  • Oaky Streak
  • Odom Crossroads
  • Pigeon Creek
  • Providence
  • Reddock Springs (Liberty)
  • Rhodes
  • Ridgeville
  • Salter
  • Sand Cut
  • Sardis
  • Saucer
  • Searcy
  • Shacklesville
  • Shell
  • Spring Hill
  • Starlington
  • Wald

Neighboring Counties



African American

The following have information concerning African American research.  Both should be used:


Biographies of many notable residents of Butler County, Alabama Genealogy were published in Memorial Record of Alabama (1893). Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free. Begins on page 551.

  • Little, John Buckner. The History of Butler County, Alabama: From 1815 to 1885: With Sketches of Some of Her Most Distinguished Citizens and Glances at Her Rich and Varied Resources. Cincinnati: Elm St. Print. Co., 1885. Digital version at Ancestry ($).


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

The following web site has additional information on Butler county cemeteries.


For tips on accessing Butler County, Alabama Genealogy census records online, see: Alabama Census.

Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1820 1,405
1830 5,650 302.1%
1840 8,685 53.7%
1850 10,836 24.8%
1860 18,122 67.2%
1870 14,981 −17.3%
1880 19,649 31.2%
1890 21,641 10.1%
1900 25,761 19.0%
1910 29,030 12.7%
1920 29,531 1.7%
1930 30,195 2.2%
1940 32,447 7.5%
1950 29,228 −9.9%
1960 24,560 −16.0%
1970 22,007 −10.4%
1980 21,680 −1.5%
1990 21,892 1.0%
2000 21,399 −2.3%
2010 20,947 −2.1%
Sources: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.  through 1960

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.

Court Records

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 Butler County, Alabama Genealogy see:

  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Butler County, Alabama: with Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. Norman, Okla.: Arphax Pub. Co., 2006. This is a definitive work and can be used as an index to land grants. Digital version at HistoryGeo.com ($). Website includes free surname index. FHL Book 976.137 E7bg.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Butler 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.

  • Little, John Buckner. The History of Butler County, Alabama 1815 to 1885. Cincinnati, Ohio: Elm St. Printing, 1885. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Little, John Buckner. The History of Butler County, Alabama: From 1815 to 1885: With Sketches of Some of Her Most Distinguished Citizens and Glances at Her Rich and Varied Resources. Cincinnati: Elm St. Print. Co., 1885. Digital version at Ancestry ($).


LowndesConecuhCrenshawCovingtonMonroeWilcoxAL BUTLER.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Civil War

Civil War service men from Butler 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 Butler County.

- 1st Regiment, Alabama Cavalry, Company E "J. Powell's Dragoons"
- 1st Regiment, Alabama Cavalry, Company H "Sandy Williams' Guards"
- 1st Regiment, Alabama Cavalry, Company I
- 2nd Regiment, Alabama Cavalry, Company E
- 7th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company F
- 8th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company F "Greenville Guards"
- 9th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company G "Jeff Davis Rangers"
- 17th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company B and K
- 17th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C (Butler Rifles)
- 18th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company F (Tom Watts Rifles)
- 33rd Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C, D and H
- 58th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company E
- 59th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company H and I
- 60th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company H
- 61st Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C

Online Records

World War I


Finding More Alabama Newspapers

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

Probate Records

Probate records are held by the Butler County, Alabama Genealogy Probate Court. Most records are housed at the Butler 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.

Online Probate Records


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.

  • 1865-1866 - U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 at Ancestry ($). Butler County is in District 1.

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

  • 1906-1910 - Greenville Birth Index 1906-1910. Batch C545462 at FamilySearch - free.
  • 1906-1916 - Greenville Birth Index 1906-1916. Batch C545467 at FamilySearch - free.
  • 1853–1870, 1913, 1936–1969 Alabama, Marriage Collection, 1800-1969 at Ancestry– ($); Index. This collection is comprised of indexes created by several agencies - the Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research, and Hunting For Bears.
  • 1853–1870 "Alabama Marriages, 1809-1920"at Ancestry– ($); 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.

  • 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.
  • 1906-1910 - Greenville Death Index 1906-1910. Batch B545461 at FamilySearch - free.
  • 1908-1914 - Greenville Death Index 1908-1914. Batch B545468 at FamilySearch - free.
Vital Record Substitutes

A free collection of obituaries and death notices from various funeral homes in the Butler County area has been put together by GenealogyBuffs:

Voting Registers

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

Societies and Libraries

Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society Inc.
P. O. Box 561
Greenville, AL
36037 334-383-9564
Publication: Quarterly historyroom@alaweb.com
The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc.

The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society Research Room

Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 561
Greenville, AL
Publication: Quarterly historyroom@camelliacom.com

Butler Greenville-Butler County Public Library

Family History Centers

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.

Family History Centre Locator



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Butler County, Alabama. Page 35 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 33.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 35.
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Butler County, Alabama Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ala/butler/ 05/29/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Butler, Alabama," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butler_County,_Alabama 05/29/2017.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Marilyn Davis Barefield, Researching in Alabama: a Genealogical Guide (Birmingham, Alabama : Birmingham Public Library, 1998), 25. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 976.1 D27b 1998.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Butler County, Alabama," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butler_County,_Alabama, accessed 3 October 2018.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/8/8d/Igialabama.pdf.