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Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

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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]

The internet is a powerful tool for locating online Alabama Vital Record Indexes. After locating a person in the index, original records should always be consulted. Very few indexes link to actual images of birth, marriage, death and divorce records. As digitized images become available, links may be found under Original Images Online. 

Introduction to Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Alabama Vital Records include birth, marriage, divorce, and death records.  Documents recording these important events are commonly referred to as "vital records".  A copy or extract of the original record may be obtained by contacting the Alabama Vital Records State Department of Health or the specific county clerk's offices. United States Vital Records offers an overview of vital records in the United States.. 

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

1881 to 1908[edit | edit source]

Alabama Counties were requested to register births in 1881. However, the practice of registering a birth with the county took time to gain acceptance and compliance. Most of these early birth registers do not list the name of the child, but may contain sex, race, place and date of birth, parents, and possibly the physician or midwife attending the birth.

1908 to Present [edit | edit source]

The State of Alabama did not require the recording of births until 1908. The recording of vital records gradually increased with time and was generally complied with by 1927. If a baby's survival was questioned, a birth certificate may not have been created. Most of the early birth 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 is more common to find the baby's name included in the record. Links to some online indexes maybe found at Alabama Vital Records Online. Contact information and instructions for ordering copies of birth certificates may be found at the Alabama Vital Records State Department of Health.

State Records[edit | edit source]

Alabama Statewide Deaths 1908-1974 are available on Record Search
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.

Adoption Records[edit | edit source]

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 then placed in a "sealed file." The new certificate is then substituted for the original birth certificate in the State Department of Vital Statistics files.

Original birth information is available to adult adoptees. A law went into effect August 1, 2000, allowing 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 law allows the birth parent to indicate a preference for unrestricted contact, contact through an intermediary, or no contact. If the birth parent chooses no contact, an Updated Medical History form must be completed and placed in the file.

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Marriage records: name of bride and groom, date and place of marriage may include: witnesses, parents names, name of officiator

Early -

1936-Present  Marriage Records beginning August of 1936. For marriages prior to this time, contact the Probate Court in county where license was issued.

There are several statewide indexes:

Early Alabama Marriages 1810–1850: Many Continue or End Between 1850 to 1900, a Few Continue Through from 1900–1936. San Antonio, Texas: Family Adventures, 1991. There are indexes for grooms and brides. This same information is published in Early Alabama Marriage Records. These volumes were also published in 1991.

Alabama Marriages Early to 1825: A Research Tool. Bountiful, Utah: Precision Indexing, 1991. Over 6,000 marriages are listed alphabetically with the name of the couple and their date and county of marriage.

Marriage Records [Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina]. Orem, Utah: Automated Archives, 1994. (FHL compact disc Series 9 number 3.) The dates of the records for each county vary. The earliest records begin in 1807 and the latest extend to 1902.

Early (time coverage????)marriage records are also included in the Gandrud and Jones Alabama Records Collection (see the "Genealogy" section of this outline).

County Records [edit | edit source]

Before the statewide registration of marriages 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. Information on marriage records may include the names of the bride and groom, date of marriage, bondsmen, and licensed officiant and later, their ages, occupations, and number of previous marriages for each spouse and the parents' names. ??Check exactly what information is on the registers and what is on the later certificates.??

The Family History Library has microfilms of the county marriage records for most Alabama counties.

For current fees and instructions for obtaining copies of the state’s records, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health.

State Records[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of marriages began in August of 1936. The statewide marriage records are located at the State Department of Public Health / Center for Health Stat.....(see address below).

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

For Marriage Records prior to August 1936, contact the Probate Judge in county where license was issued.

Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969

Alabama Marriages to 1825

Alabama Marriages, 1809-1920

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Early - 1950

In the early 1800s, the legislature, the circuit courts, and city courts granted divorces. Divorce records may indicate the date and place of the marriage being dissolved. Circuit or city courts have handled most divorce proceedings.
Alabama divorces were settled in county chancery courts until 1915. The state legislature was also empowered to authorize divorce decrees. In 1915 the chancery courts were merged with the circuit court in each county.


Statewide registration of divorces began in 1950. Alabama Divorce Index, 1950-1959

1959 - Present

Divorce Records beginning January of 1950. For divorces prior to this time, contact the Clerk of Circuit Court in the county where divorce was granted.


Death Records[edit | edit source]

Death records: date;and place of death, name of deceased, may include: name of spouse, birth date and place,name of parents,occupation, cause of death, burial place, church affiliation


1908-Present Death Records beginning January of 1908

SSDI[edit | edit source]

Social Security Death Index

State Records [edit | edit source]

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

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

Alabama Statewide Deaths 1908-1974 are available on Record Search

The county death records specify name, age, gender, race, date, place, and cause of death.

Alabama Statewide Death Certificate: A free internet index and images to the Alabama Statewide Death Certificates can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search website. For a description of the collection see Alabama Statewide Death Certificates

Alabama Death, 1908-1959

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Lost / Missing Records[edit | edit source]

Early vital events may not have been recorded.  Some counties may have lost records due to fire, flood, military actions or other events.

SEE Also: Alabama Burned Counties

Burned Counties Research

To learn of lost records search for the particular county you are intereded in.

The list below indicates some of the known record loss for Alabama counties.

(Butler county courthouse burned April 1853,Calhoun rec loss 1861; 1865,  Cherokee records burned in 1882, Clay rec loss 1875, Coffee/Elba rec loss 1877, Conecuh rec loss 1868,1875,1885,1895, Coosa rec loss 1900,Covington rec burned 1895,Dale rec los 1895, Escambia rec loss 1868, Fayette rec loss 1866; 1916,Franklin rec burned 1890,Geneva rec loss 1898, Green rec loss 1868, Jackson rec loss 1864, 1920, Jefferson rec loss 1870, Limestoone rec loss 1862, Marengo rec loss 1848, 1965, Marion rec burned 1883, 1887, Mobile rec loss 1823,1840,1872,Monroe burned prior to 1833, rec loss 1832,Pickens rec loss 1864, 1876, Pike rec loss 1830, Randolph rec loss 1896, Sumpter rec loss 1901,Walker rec burned 1865,1877, 1886, 1932)

ADD an INTERACTIVE county map of Alabama showing counties with records loss. LINK to County page.

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 accuracy.
  • 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.
  • If you are of African American desent the records for your ancestors 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.

Subtitute Records
[edit | edit source]

Vital records are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:




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