Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950 .

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1840 to 1950.

The collection consists of circuit court civil case files from the courthouse in Livingston, Alabama. The files include some records from the Chancery Court. The court cases include divorces and disputed estates. This collection is being published as images become available.

For a list of records and alphabetical list currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Sumter County, Alabama, was created on Dec. 18, 1832 from the former Choctaw Indian territory. Court Records have been kept since 1840. The Circuit court has jurisdiction in cases of more than $5,000.00 but less than $15,000.00.

The records were created as a permanent copy of the court's proceedings.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Sumter County Clerk. Sumter County Circuit Court Files. Circuit Courthouse, Livingston, Alabama.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The records generally contain the following information:

Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files 5053879 44.jpg
  • Names of interested parties
  • Date of court proceeding or transaction
  • Details of the case
  • Amount of monies exchanged or paid
  • Names of witnesses

How to Use the Record

To browse this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the “County” category
⇒ Select the “Record Type, Date Range and Volume” category which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

For example:

  • Use the date and locality to search for census and church records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Keep in mind:

  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  • Witnesses in court cases may be close relatives.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local historical and genealogical groups also compile indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1850," images, FamilySearch ( accessed 23 April 2012); Sumter > Estate case files, ca. 1840-1950, Parker, Beulah C. – Ragland, John > Image 1 of 1890, Buelah C. Parker , Case no. 640, 1874; citing Sumter County Clerk of the Courts, Livingston, Alabama.