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Jefferson County, Alabama Genealogy

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


Jefferson County, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Jefferson 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 Birmingham

Old Mill in Mountain Brook, Alabama.jpg

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
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.

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

Birmingham[edit | edit source]

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama Courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse
716 Richard Arrington, Jr.
Blvd. N.,
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone: (205) 325-5355 Probate Judge has marriage records from 1818
Probate Records from 1870 and land records for 1820 [2]

Bessemer[edit | edit source]

Bessemer County Courthouse

Bessemer Alabama Courthouse

1801 3rd Avenue
Bessemer, AL 35020
Phone: (205) 481-4110

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson. The County has Carrollsville as its seat and the County was created December 13, 1819. The County is located in the north-central area of the state.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1819--Jefferson County was created 13 December 1819 from Blount County.
County seat: Birmingham [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

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:

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

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 Jefferson County: [6]

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

    Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]


    Resources[edit | edit source]

    African American[edit | edit source]

    Biography[edit | edit source]

    • The Book of Birmingham and Alabama. Birmingham, Ala.: The Birmingham Ledger Publishers, 1914. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free. Includes bios and photographs.
    • DuBose, John Witherspoon. Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama, Historical and Biographical. Birmingham, Ala.: Teeple and Smith, 1887. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries of Jefferson, 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 Jefferson county cemeteries.

    • Additional Jefferson County cemeteries are included in Alabama Cemetery Records Vol. 1 and Vol. 5 at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

    Census[edit | edit source]

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

    Historical populations
    Census Pop.
    Est. 2011658,931−0.5%

    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.

    Baptists[edit | edit source]
    • Hageness, MariLee Beatty. Mount Hebron Church Minutes 1819-1857. Leeds, Jefferson County, Alabama. Anniston, Ala.: MLH Research, 1998. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
    • Huey, Thomas E. Ruhama: The Story of a Church, 1819-1945. Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Print. Co., c1946. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

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

    • Birmingham
    • McCalla
    Episcopalians[edit | edit source]
    • McDavid, Mittie Owen. Church of the Advent: Its History and Traditions. Birmingham, Ala.: Press of Birmingham Pub. Co., 1943. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

    Court Records[edit | edit source]

    Alabama, Jefferson County Circuit Court Papers, 1870-1916  ~  FamilySearch records collection

    Directories[edit | edit source]

    Land and Property[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, Alabama Genealogy 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. Digital version at ($). Website includes free 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, 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.

    • DuBose, John Witherspoon. Jefferson County and Birmingham Alabama, Historical and Biographical. Birmingham, Ala.: Teeple and Smith, 1887. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
    • Early Days in Birmingham: A Printing of the Original Papers of the Pioneers Club, Whose Members were Eye-witnesses to the Events of the Founding of the City. Birmingham, Ala.: Birmingham Pub. Co., 1937. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

    Maps[edit | edit source]

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

    Military[edit | edit source]

    Civil War[edit | edit source]

    Civil War service men from Jefferson 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 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

    Online Records

    World War I[edit | edit source]
    World War II[edit | edit source]

    Mortuaries[edit | edit source]

    Newspapers[edit | edit source]

    Finding More Alabama Newspapers[edit source]

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

    • Alabama Online Historical Newspapers - identifies historical archived and digitized newspapers available online on both free and pay-to-access websites.
    • Obituary Index : Birmingham Area Newspapers  (Birmingham News, May 1929 - January 1980;  Birminham World, September 1940 - December 1996; Methodist Christian Advocate / Alabama Christian Advocate, January 1929 - December 1979; Shelby County Reporter, January 1932 - December 1979)
    • Alabama Citizen - full-text digital issues in Google News Archive; covers 1913-1918

    Obituaries[edit | edit source]

    USGenWeb Archives Project - transcribed obituaries for Jefferson County.

    Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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

    Taxation[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 ($). Jefferson County is in District 3.

    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. See also How to order Alabama Vital Records

    Birth Records[edit | edit source]
    Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
    • To 1825 Index to Marriages at Ancestry – ($); Index. contains over 12,000 names. Each entry includes groom, bride, marriage date, county, and state. Every name is indexed so you can search for one name, or two names that are linked.
    • 1808, 1815, 1818–1879, 1885, 1898, 1923, 1930, 1936–1969 Alabama, Marriage Collection, 1800–1969 at Ancestry – ($); 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.
    • 1818-1845 - Grant, Orena V. Orena V. Grant Genealogical Collection (Marriages and Cemetery Records): From Southeastern, North and South Central States. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Society?, 1964. Digital version at Ancestry ($). Includes Jefferson County marriages 1818 to 1845.
    • 1819–1875 "Alabama Marriages, 1809–1920" at Ancestry – ($); 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[edit | edit source]
    • 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.

    Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

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

    Yearbooks[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)

    Societies and Libraries
    [edit | edit source]

    Birmingham Genealogical Society
    P. O. Box 2432
    Birmingham, AL
    Birmingham Genealogical Society
    Publication: Pioneer Trails

    Archives & Manuscripts Dept.

    Birmingham Historical Society
    1 Sloss Quarters Birmingham, AL
    Publication: Birmingham Historical Society Journal

    Birmingham-Jefferson Historical Society
    PO Box 130285
    Birmingham, AL

    Hueytown Historical Society
    P. O. Box 3313
    Hueytown, AL

    West Jefferson County Historical Society
    P. O. Box 184
    Bessemer, AL

    Birmingham African-American Society Group

    Southeast Alabama Genealogical and Historical Society
    P. O. Box 246
    Dothan, AL
    Publications: Wiregrass Roots SEAGHS Magazine

    Alabama Genealogical Society Samford University
    P. O. Box 2296
    Birmingham, AL
    Alabama Genealogical Society

    Jefferson County Historical Commission
    571 Landmark Center
    2100 First Ave. North
    Birmingham AL
    Jefferson County Historical Commission

    Birmingham Public Library
    Southern History Department
    2100 Park Place
    Birmingham, AL 35203
    Phone: 205-226-3665
    Hours: M, Tu 9am-8pm
    W, Th, F, Sat 9am-6pm
    Sun 2pm-6pm

    Family History Center
    [edit | edit source]

    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.

    • 831 Briarwood Dr
      Bessemer, Jefferson, Alabama, United States
      Phone: 205-425-7928
      Hours: Wed 5pm-9pm other hours by appointment 919-1939
    • 2780 Altadena Rd
      Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama, United States
      Phone: 205-967-7279
      Hours: Tues 10am-4pm;
      Wed 10am-8pm;
      Sat 10am-2pm.
      Closures: All holidays and first and fifth Sat of every month
    • 1337 Old Springville Rd, Birmingham, Alabama 35235
      Phone: 205-854-0300
      Hours: W 5pm-9pm by appointment only;
      F 9am-1pm by appt only
    • 1101 Rockhampton St NE
      Leeds, Jefferson, Alabama, United States
      Hours: Wed. 6:00-9:00 p Sat. by Appt.
    • 1925 Mt Olive Blvd
      Gardendale, Alabama 35071
      Phone: 205-631-6765:
    Hours: T,Th 7pm-9pm by appt.
    Closures: Closed Thanksgiving week and last 2 weeks of Dec.

    Family History Centre Locator

    Jefferson County Alabama Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

    Jefferson County Alabama Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

    1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Jefferson County, Alabama. Page 38 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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Jefferson County p. 38. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Jefferson County, Alabama Genealogy and History”, 6/07/2017.
    4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
    5. Jefferson County Alabama in (accessed 16 March 2014).
    6. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson County, Alabama," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Alabama, accessed 18 October 2018.
    7. 7.0 7.1 Coverage Table, "Alabama County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," FamilySearch Research Wiki,, accessed 6 August 2012.
    8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at