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

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Sumter County
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Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Sumter, Alabama, United States
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Flag of Alabama
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Location of Sumter County, Alabama
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Location of Alabama
Record Description
Record Type Circuit Court Files
Collection years 1840-1950
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What Is in the Collection?

The collection consists of circuit court civil case files for the years 1840 to 1950 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.

Sumter County, Alabama, was created on December 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.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The records generally contain the following information:

  • Names of interested parties
  • Date of court proceeding or transaction
  • Details of the case
  • Amount of monies exchanged or paid
  • Names of witnesses

Collection Content

Sample Image

Click on image for a larger view.

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The date of the event or the name of a parent or spouse

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select County
  2. Select Record Type, Date Range and Volume

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use a Probate record to identify adoptions, guardians, heirs and relatives.
  • Use a will to approximate a death date, then find a death certificate.
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records for earlier years.
  • Use the information to locate census, christenings, marriage and land records.
  • Use the occupations to find employment or military records.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Alabama, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog .

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Alabama, Sumter County Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950." Images. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Circuit Court, Livingston.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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