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Shelby County, Alabama Genealogy

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


Shelby County, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Shelby County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the U.S. highlighting Alabama
Location of Alabama in the U.S.
Founded February 7, 1818
County Seat Columbiana
Shelby County, Alabama Courthouse.jpg
Address Shelby County Courthouse
 112 N. Main St.
Columbiana, AL 35051
Phone:  (205) 669-3760 Shelby County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate Census
1902 1824 1902 1819 1824 1824 1816
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1908. General compliance for births by 1927 and for deaths 1925.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Probate Judge has marriage probate and land records from 1824 [2]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky. The County has Columbiana as its seat and the County was created February 7, 1818. [3]The County is located in the central area of the state.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

Isaac Shelby

The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826).[5]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1818--Shelby County was created 7 February 1818 from Montgomery County.
County seat: Columbiana [6]

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]

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

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 Shelby County: [7]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]


Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Shelby, 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 Shelby county cemeteries.

  • Additional Shelby County cemeteries maybe included in Alabama Cemetery Records Vol. 1 at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
Est. 2011197,93638.1%

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

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.

Court Records[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 Shelby County, Alabama Genealogy see:

  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Shelby 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 976.179 E7b.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Shelby 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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

JeffersonSt. ClairTalladegaCoosaChiltonBibbAL SHELBY.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 Shelby 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 Shelby County.

- 2nd Regiment, Alabama Cavalry, Company B
- 7th Regiment, Alabama Cavalry, Company E
- 10th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C "Cahaba Valley Boys"
- 18th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company I (Curry Guards)
- 20th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company G
- 24th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company H "Steele Guards"
- 25th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company C
- 30th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company D and K
- 31st Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company G and K
- 44th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Company D and E

Online Records

World War I[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 Shelby County, Alabama Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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

  • 1865-1866 - U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 at Ancestry ($). Shelby County is in District 2.

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 – ($); Index. contains over 12,000 names. Each entry includes groom, bride, marriage date, county, and state. Every name is indexed so you can search for one name, or two names that are linked.
  • 1811, 1818-1827, 1833-1834, 1837-1869, 1876, 1888, 1893, 1898 1936–1969 Alabama, Marriage Collection, 1800–1969 at Ancestry – ($); 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.
  • 1824-1876 - Shelby County Marriage Index 1824-1876. Batch M594701 at FamilySearch - free.
  • 1824-1868 "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.
  • 1876-1895 - Shelby County Marriage Index 1876-1895. Batch M594702 at FamilySearch - free.
  • 1890-1898 - Hageness, MariLee Beatty. Marriages 1890-1898 Shelby County, Alabama. Anniston, Ala.: MLH Research, 2000. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.
  • 1900-1905 - Thompson, Don and Mary Thompson. Marriage Records of Shelby County Alabama 1900-1905. Columbiana, Ala.: Shelby County Historical Society, Inc., n.d. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

Death Records[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.

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Shelby County Historical Society
Museum & Archives
1854 Old Courthouse
P.O. Box 457
Columbiana, Alabama 35051
Telephone: 205-669-3912
Collections include the old county courthouse records, books, periodicals, family folders, and more.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Shelby County Public Library
50 Lester St.
Columbiana, Alabama 35051
Telephone: 205-669-3910

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Phone: 205-669-0250
Hours: T, Th, Sat, 10am-2pm; W 6pm-8pm ::Closures: First Saturday in April and Oct; last two weeks in Dec

Family History Centre Locator

Shelby County Alabama Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Shelby County Alabama Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby County, Alabama. Page 37 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), Russell County p. 39. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, "Shelby County, Alabama Genealogy and History", 6/26/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby, Alabama," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Alabama 6/26/2017.
  5. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby County, Alabama," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Alabama, accessed 26 October 2018.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at