Difference between revisions of "Winston County, Alabama Genealogy"

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==== Record Loss  ====
==== Record Loss  ====
{{Fire}} '''1891''' -- Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.  
{{Fire}}Winston County had a destructive courthouse fire in 1891. See ''Research in Alabama: A Genealogical Guide&nbsp;'' page 29 for suggested alternative sources to overcome this loss.<ref>Marilyn Davis Barefield, ''Researching in Alabama: a Genealogical Guide'' (Birmingham, Alabama : Birmingham Public Library, 1998), 29. {{WorldCat|42306439|item|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}. {{FHL|817729|item|disp=FHL Book 976.1 D27b 1998}}.</ref><br><br>
For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:
*[[Burned Counties Research]] <br>
*[http://blogs.ancestry.com/circle/?p=2424 http://blogs.ancestry.com/circle/?p=2424]
== Places/Localities  ==
== Places/Localities  ==

Revision as of 22:56, 5 March 2014

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Alabama  Gotoarrow.png  Winston County

Guide to Winston County Alabama genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Dates for major county records
For earlier dates, try...Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries | Parent County
Hand and keyboard.jpg Alabama
Online Records

Winston County, Alabama
Map of Alabama highlighting Winston County
Location in the state of Alabama
Map of the U.S. highlighting Alabama
Location of Alabama in the U.S.
Founded February 12, 1850
County Seat Double Springs

County Courthouse

Winston County Alabama Courthouse.jpg
 Winston County Courthouse
195 Main Street
Courthouse Square
Double Springs, AL 35553
Phone: (205) 489-5533

Pro Judge has marriage, probate, land records from 1891;
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and Court Records [1]


Winston County was formed as Hancock County from Walker County on 12 February 1850, renamed Winston County on 22 January 1858.

"The Free State of Winston is a popular name given to Civil War-era Winston County, as a reflection of the county's generally pro-Union stance and resistance to Confederate rule during the war." The name comes from a series of resolutions made by unionists on 4 July 1861 at Looney's tavern. The resolutions stated that Alabama did not have the right to secede, but if it did, then Winston County had the right to secede from Alabama.[2]

Parent County

1850--Winston County was created 12 February 1850 from Walker County.  County seat: Double Springs [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

Winston County had a destructive courthouse fire in 1891. See Research in Alabama: A Genealogical Guide  page 29 for suggested alternative sources to overcome this loss.[4]

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:



Populated Places

Neighboring Counties



Some Winston County cemeteries are included in Alabama Cemetery Records Vol. 6 at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

  • Ivison, Hazle R. Collins. Index to Alabama Cemeteries: Blount County, Coosa County, St. Clair County, Talladega County, Winston County. n.d. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
For tips on accessing Winston County, Alabama Genealogy census records online, see: Alabama Census.

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Alabama denominations, view the Alabama Church Records wiki page.

Court Records

Land and Property

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Alabama Land and Property for additional information about early Alabama land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

To place a grant or deed on a map within context of Winston County, Alabama Genealogy see:

  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Winston County, Alabama: with Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. Norman, Okla.: Arphax Pub. Co., 2008. This is a definitive work and can be used as an index to land grants. Digital version at HistoryGeo.com ($). Website includes free surname index. FHL Book 976.174 E7bg.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Winston County, Alabama Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Alabama Local Histories.




Finding More Alabama Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Winston County, Alabama Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Probate Records

Probate records are held by the Winston County, Alabama Genealogy Probate Court. Most records are housed at the Winston County, Alabama Genealogy Courthouse. Many records are on microfilm at the Family History Library.

See the wiki page Alabama Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence.

Record types: Wills, dower records, personal property sales, settlement records, orphans’ records, and bonds.

Research Guides

  • Inventory of the County Archives of Alabama: Winston County. Birmingham, Ala.: The Survey, 1941. Digital version at Ancestry ($).


Alabama tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information, see the wiki page Alabama Taxation.

  • 1865-1866 - U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918 at Ancestry ($). Winston County is in District 3.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Alabama State Department of Health , the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred or order electronically online.

For some online statewide indexes, see the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections for Alabama.

  • To 1825 Index to Marriages at Ancestry – ($); Index. contains over 12,000 names. Each entry includes groom, bride, marriage date, county, and state. Every name is indexed so you can search for one name, or two names that are linked.
  • 1891-1895 - Winston County Marriage Books 1 and 2 Index 1891-1895. Batch M593481 at FamilySearch - free.[5]
  • 1891-1901, 1936–1969 Alabama, Marriage Collection, 1800–1969 at Ancestry – ($); Index. This collection is comprised of indexes created by several agencies - the Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research, and Hunting For Bears.
  • 1891-1900 "Alabama Marriages, 1809–1920" at Ancestry – ($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage records from the state. Researchers will find the names of both bride and groom along with the marriage date. The county where the ceremony was performed is also provided. Containing about 150,000 records and the names of nearly 300,000 men and women.
  • 1881–1974 Index to Deaths and Burials at Ancestry – ($); Index. Volunteers extracted the details in this index from microfilmed copies of church, civil, family, and other records of Alabama deaths and burials. details vary depending on the original record. Note that the number of available records can vary widely by county, and this database does not necessarily represent a comprehensive set of death records for the state during this time.

Voting Registers

Alabama Voting Registers for 1867 are available online at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.  Winston County has two books:

Societies and Libraries


Winston County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 112
Double Springs, Alabama 35553

The society helps to staff the Winston County Archives (P.O. Box 27, Double Springs, Alabama 35553), which includes the Society's holdings.


The Carl Elliott Regional Library has the following libraries in Winston County:

Arley Public Library
P.O. Box 146
Arley, Alabama 35541
Telephone: 205-387-0129
Double Springs Public Library
P.O. Box 555
Double Springs, Alabama 35553
Telephone: 205-489-2412
Haleyville Public Library
913 20th Street
Haleyville, Alabama 35565
Telephone: 205-486-7450

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Winston County p. 40. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "Free State of Winston," Encyclopedia of Alabama (http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org : accessed 19 September 2011); citing Donald B. Dodd and Amy Bartlett-Dodd, The Free State of Winston (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2000).
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Marilyn Davis Barefield, Researching in Alabama: a Genealogical Guide (Birmingham, Alabama : Birmingham Public Library, 1998), 29. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Book 976.1 D27b 1998.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/4/4d/Igialabamatz.pdf.