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*Check [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Periodical_Source_Index_%28PERSI%29 PERSI] for your difficult to find family member.<br>
 
*Check [https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Periodical_Source_Index_%28PERSI%29 PERSI] for your difficult to find family member.<br>
*Vital Records are listed in the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localitysearch&columns=*,0,0 "Place Search" ]of the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp Family History Library Catalog]. Search "Alabama" for state level records, and search the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localityrelated&columns=*%2C0%2C0&subject=356&subject_disp=Alabama name of the county] for vital records kept at the county level.
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**Vital Records are listed in the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localitysearch&columns=*,0,0 "Place Search" ]of the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Library/FHLC/frameset_fhlc.asp Family History Library Catalog]. Search "Alabama" for state level records, and search the [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localityrelated&columns=*%2C0%2C0&subject=356&subject_disp=Alabama name of the county] for vital records kept at the county level.
  
 
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Revision as of 21:03, 1 August 2009

United States > U.S. Vital Records > Alabama > Alabama Birth, Marriage, & Death Records

Alabama Birth, Marriage, & Death Records Online[edit | edit source]

Alabama Vital Records Online Links[edit | edit source]

After locating a person in the Alabama Vital Record Indexes, original records should always be consulted. Very few digitized images of originals are available online. 

Alabama Quick Links:[edit | edit source]

Introduction to Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Alabama Vital Records include birth, marriage, divorce, and death registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or extract of the original record may be purchased from the Alabama Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office where the event occurred. An overview of United States Vital Records offers additional insight into researching vital records in general. See also 1. Find your ancestor's name in statewide indexes or collections. Alabama Statewide indexes and collections at the FHL.

Minorities[edit | edit source]

African American [edit | edit source]

African-American research in Alabama falls into two periods: pre- and post-Civil War. Post-Civil War research consists of the same record used to research non–African-Americans. Pre-Civil War slavery research consists of slave importation declarations, plantation records, emancipation records, apprenticeship bonds for freedmen, census records, plantation owners’ family records, church records, cemetery records, military records, probate and court records.

Alabama Indians[edit | edit source]

When researching Alabama Indians, it is important to identify the tribe to which an ancestor may have have belonged. Most North American Indian records are arranged either by tribal name or by locality of residence.  

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

1881 to 1908 

The State of Alabama requested registration of births at the county level in 1881. However, most counties were slow to comply. These early birth registers usually do not list the name of the child. Many records are missing, were never created, or were destroyed during this time period.

1908 to Present 

The State of Alabama did not require birth registration at the state level until 1908. The recording of vital records gradually increased with time and was generally complied with by 1927. Most of the early birth registers and certificates do not list the name of the child, but may contain the sex, race, place and date of birth, parents, and possibly the physician or midwife attending the birth. By the 1920's, it was more common to find the child's name in the record. Some sources for online indexes is at Alabama Vital Records OnlineAlabama Vital Records State Department of Health has instructions for ordering copies of birth certificates.

Information that may be included in Alabama Birth Records
Types of Information
before - 1881
1881 - 1908
1908 - present
Name of Child



x
Sex
x

x

x
Race
x

x

x
Date of Birth
x

x

x
Place of Birth
x

x

x
Parent's Names

x

x
Midwife/Doctor

x

x
Occupation of Father


x
Residence


x


Adoption Records[edit | edit source]

Adoption Research. After a legal adoption is completed, Alabama law requires the creation of a new birth certificate. The original birth certificate and evidence of adoption are placed in a "sealed file." The new certificate is then substituted for the original birth certificate in the State Department of Vital Statistics files.

As of August 1, 2000, original birth records became available to adoptees once they reach the age of 19. The law allows all adult adoptees whose original birth certificate and court records were placed in a "sealed file" to obtain a copy of the birth certificate and any other documents held in the file. 

The birth parent may indicate a preference for 1) unrestricted contact, 2) contact through an intermediary, or 3) no contact. If the birth parent chooses no contact, an Updated Medical History form must be completed and placed in the file. The Alabama Department of Public Health has detailed information on obtaining copies of these sealed birth records.

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Before the Statewide registration of marriages in Alabama began in 1936, the Clerk of the Probate Court in each county issued licenses and recorded marriages. The county marriage records usually began within ten years of the creation of the county. 

1799 - March 3, 1817 Mississippi Territory

Early marriage records for the region that would become the Alabama Territory began in 1799. Licenses and bonds were registered in the Orphans Court in the county of the bride's residence. 

1818 - 1936 Alabama Territory/State 

Early Marriage licenses and bonds were registered in the Orphans Court in the County of the bride's residence. In 1844 the Orphans Court was renamed the Probate Court. From 1888 on, bonds were only required if the groom was under the age of 21 or the bride was under the age of 18.

The county marriage records usually began within ten years of the creation of the county. The Family History Library has microfilms of the county marriage records for most Alabama Counties. These films may be ordered and viewed at a nearby Family History Center.

1936 - Present 

Alabama began keeping statewide Marriage Records in August of 1936. For current fees and instructions for obtaining copies of the state’s records, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health. For marriages prior to 1936, contact the Probate Court in the County where license was issued. The Family History Library has films of the statewide Marriage Certificates for 1936–1992; and an Index for 1936–1959 that may be ordered and viewed at a nearby Family History Center.

There are a number of books with Statewide Indexes to Alabama marriages in the FHL collection that may be viewed at the FHL or borrowed from other libraries through interlibrary loan. 

The Family History Library has films of the statewide Marriage Certificates for 1936–1992; and an Index for 1936–1959.

Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969

Alabama Marriages to 1825  ???

Alabama Marriages, 1809-1920

Information that may be included in Alabama Marriage Records
Types of Information
1799 - 1817
1818 - 1936
1936 - present
Name of Bride/Groom

x

x

x
Date of Marriage

x

x

x
Location of Marriage

x

x

x
Presiding Official

x

x

x
Bondmen



x
Number of Marriage for Bride/Groom



x
Parents' Names



x
Age of Bride/Groom



x
Occupation of Groom




Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Early - 1950 

In the early 1800's, the legislature, circuit courts, and city courts granted divorces. Alabama divorces were also settled or tried in county chancery courts until 1915 when the chancery courts were merged with the county circuit court. The state legislature finalized early divorces for a period and these early records were published in the Senate and House Journals.

For divorce records prior to this time, contact the Clerk of Circuit Court in the county where divorce was granted.


1950 - Present 

Statewide Divorce Records for Alabama began January of 1950. There is an online index for Alabama Divorces for 1950-1959.

Death Records[edit | edit source]

January 1908 - Present

  • Alabama VItal Records Online has a number of quick links to death indexes for Alabama.
  • Alabama Statewide Deaths from 1908-1974 are available on Record Search
  • The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is online and contains records of deaths for those who had social security numbers and the death was reported to the United States Social Security Administration. Most records start in 1962, but the file does contain a few records of deaths from 1942 until 1961.

The Alabama Center for Health Statistics began filing death certificates in January of 1908 for persons who died in Alabama. Death Certificates contain personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. The information was sent to the county, who sent a copy to the state.
Death record information may include:

Information that may be included in Alabama Death Records
Types of Information
before - 1908
1908 - present
Name of Deceased

x


x
Date of Death
x


x
Place of Death
x


x
Date of Birth


x
Place of Birth


x
Place of Burial


x
Parent's Names


x
Occupation of Deceased


x

Marital Status




x


  • Name and location of the cemetery where buried
  • Country or state and sometimes the town and county of birth for the parents
  • Married name of spouse
  • Names of parents, often with maiden surname of the mother
  • Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member
  • Age of the deceased usually in years, months, and days
  • Whether the deceased was single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death

The Family History Library has microfilms of statewide Death Records from 1908 to 1974 and Death Indexes from 1908 to 1959 that may be viewed at a nearby Family History Center.

Alabama. Department of Health (Montgomery, Alabama). Deaths, 1908–1972; Index to Deaths, 1908–1969. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993.

Substitute Records[edit | edit source]


Lost / Missing Records[edit | edit source]

When record loss occurs there is usually an attempt to reconstruct the records, land records are reconstructed to establish clear or legal title and for tax purposes.

Nearly half of the counties in Alabama have had burned courthouses. A number of them have burned several times. However, not all records were lost.

Alabama Counties Lost or Missing Records

County
Year(s) of Record Loss

Butler
April 1853

Coosa
1900

Franklin
1890

Limestone
1862

Pickens
1864, 1876

Calhoun
1861, 1865

Covington
1895

Geneva
1898

Marengo
1848, 1965

Pike
1830

Cherokee
1882

Dale
1895

Greene
1868

Marion
1883, 1887

Randolph
1869

Coffee/Elba
1877

Escambia
1868

Jackson
1864, 1920

Mobile
1823,
1840, 1872

Sumter
1901

Conecuh
1868, 1875
1885, 1895

Fayette
1866, 1916

Jefferson
1870

Monroe
1832, 1833

Walker
1865, 1868
1877, 1932


Tips[edit | edit source]

  • The information given on a birth or death certificate is given by an informant.  Learn the relationship of the informant to determine the accuracy of the record.
  • If you are unable to locate a vital records recorded by civil governments; search for a church records of christening, marriage, death or burial. A family Bible may have been used to record family births, marriages and deaths.
  •  African Americans,records may be in separate vital records files with separate indexes.
  • Privacy laws restrict access to the records of living individuals, the individual must apply for their records, parents may be permitted to obtain a record for a child.
  • If a baby's survival was questioned, a birth certificate may not have been created.

 

Archives, Libraries & Societies[edit | edit source]


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