Alabama State Census, 1866 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Alabama State Census, 1866 .

Record Description

The records are handwritten on preprinted forms. This census has strategic value because it was the first post-Civil War census taken in Alabama. In many of the counties information is given about former slaves and soldiers. It does not specify whether the soldiers were Union or Confederate. The same form was not used in every county so it may or may not list this information.

The State of Alabama conducted state censuses in the following years: 1818 (partial), 1820, (partial), 1821 (partial), 1823, 1850, 1855, 1866, 1907.

These records cover individuals living in Alabama in 1866.

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.

Alabama Department of Archives and History. Montgomery, Alabama. Alabama State Census, 1866. Alabama Department of Archives and History

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The census generally includes the following information:

  • Name of the head of household
  • Number of persons in each family
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Age
  • Sex
  • May list number of deceased or disabled soldiers in the family
  • May list former slaves

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know a full name. If you do not have the full name, use the surname. Put the names in the boxes on the initial search page and search the collection. Look at the list of entries created by your search. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. An approximate birth date can help you narrow your list of possible matches.

Using the Information

The information in this index can help you with the following:

  • Use the names, county, and page number to locate your ancestor in the actual census.
  • Use the names and location to locate your ancestor in the 1860 and 1870 federal censuses of Alabama.
  • Use the residence to locate additional records such as church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Remember, this is only an index. 
  • If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile the entries for every person of the same surname. 
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record. 
  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the names.

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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 State Census, 1866" database, FamilySearch ( accessed 23 April 2012), Margaret M Gooch ; citing Alabama Department of Archives and History, State census for the state of Alabama in the year 1866, FHL microfilm 1,492,023 Item 2-3; Alabama Dept. of Archives and History, Montgomery.