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Beginning Research
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Alabama Background
Local Research Resources
The FamilySearch moderator for Alabama is Dwsmith2.
United States
U.S. Periodicals

Online Indexes

  • PERSI, the PERiodical Source Index, online at Link: FindMyPast covers most of the periodicals listed below.
  • "PERSI” indexes articles published in thousands of English and French-Canadian family history periodicals.
  • "Articles fall under twenty-two different subject headings, or record types. These include biography, cemeteries, census records, church records, court records, deeds, institutions, land records, maps, military records, naturalization records, obituaries, passenger lists, probate records, school records, tax records, vital records, voter records, and wills. Article about three or fewer specific families are arranged by surname.”—FindMyPast

Alabama Periodicals

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.

Researching in Alabama: A Genealogical Guide

  • 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. (Family History Library 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.

Genealogical Periodicals

Major genealogical periodicals for Alabama are:

  • The Alabama Genealogical Register. 1959–1968.
    • This periodical is indexed and contains abstracts of marriage, cemetery, probate, and census records.
Formerly published by Elizabeth W. Thomas, ed., Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Family History Library book 976.1 B2a.) Index to Vol. 1 at FamilySearch Books Online .
  • Alabama Genealogical Society Magazine. 1967–.
    • Included are abstracts of newspapers and census, marriage, military, court, and cemetery records.
Published by the Alabama Genealogical Society, c/o Samford University Library, P. O. Box 2296, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229–0001. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2ag.) It is indexed. Website includes a complete table of contents for issues from 1967-2005.
  • AlaBenton Genealogical Society Quarterly. 1984–.
    • This contains abstracts of court, land, cemetery, marriage, and census records for northeastern Alabama counties.
Published by the AlaBenton Genealogical Society, c/o Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library, P.O. Box 308, Anniston, Alabama 36202. (Family History Library book 976.163 B2a.) Most of the volumes are indexed.
  • Central Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly. 1974–.
    • 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.
Published by the Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 125, Selma, Alabama 36702–0125. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2c.)
  • Deep South Genealogical Quarterly. 1963–.
    • This quarterly contains abstracts of census, Bible, military, church, and marriage records.
Published by the Mobile Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6224, Mobile, Alabama 36660-6224. (Family History Library book 976.122 B2d.) There is a surname index to volumes 1–10 and individual indexes to the subsequent volumes.
  • Natchez Trace Traveler. 1981–.
    • This publishes abstracts of church, cemetery, court, probate, and marriage records and tax lists of northwest Alabama counties.
Published by the Natchez Trace Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 420, Florence, Alabama 35631-0420. (Family History Library book 976.1 D25n.) It includes membership and surname lists, but there is no index for each volume.
  • Pioneer Trails. 1959–.
    • It includes pedigree charts of ancestors and abstracts of census, marriage, and cemetery records.
Published by the Birmingham Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 2432, Birmingham, Alabama 35201. (Family History Library book 976.178 B2p.) Formerly Pioneers. Formerly Birmingham Genealogical Society. This has a cumulative index to 1970 and individual indexes after that.
  • Settlers of Northeast Alabama. 1962–1980.
    • This periodical includes abstracts of land grant, Bible, census, cemetery, and marriage records.
Published by the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 674, Gadsden, Alabama 35902. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2s.) Most volumes are indexed.
  • Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society (Quarterly). 1985–1997.
Dothan, Alabama: Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2sa.) This source continues under the title Wiregrass Roots (see below).
  • Tap Roots. 1963–.
    • Each volume contains an index and abstracts of marriage, census, cemetery, church, family, and Bible records for eastern Alabama counties.
Published by the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, P.O. Box 2892 Drawer 1351, Opelika, Alabama 36830–2892. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2ta.)
  • Valley Leaves. 1966–.
    • This periodical publishes abstracts of newspapers and death, probate, court, land, military, and census records for the northern counties of Alabama.
Published by the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1568, Huntsville, Alabama 35807. (Family History Library book 976.19 B2v.) It is indexed. Website includes a list of articles by county.
  • Wiregrass Roots. 1997–.
    • In addition to queries, this periodical contains abstracts of newspapers and cemetery, marriage, and census records. Some volumes contain an index.
Published by the Southeast Alabama Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 246, Dothan, Alabama 363022–0246. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2sa.) Formerly Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Historical Periodicals

The Alabama Historical Society prints a periodical with some useful information to genealogists:

  • Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society.

Digital versions at FamilySearch Books Online and Internet Archive: Vol. 2 (1898), Vol. 3 (1899), Vol. 4 (1904), Vol. 5 (1906).

Family History Library Collection

Periodicals are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under: