Winston County Alabama Genealogy

Winston County Alabama Genealogy is being developed as a genealogical and historical resource for your personal use. It contains information and records for Winston County Alabama ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Specifically, it provides sources for birth records, death records, marriage records, census records, tax records, court records, and military records. It also provides some historical details about different times and people in Winston County Alabama history.

Winston County is a county of the U. S. state of Alabama, formerly known as Hancock County before 1858. Its name is in honor of John A. Winston, the 15th Governor of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,484. Its county seat is Double Springs.

Winston County was established under the name Hancock County on February 12, 1850, from territory formerly in Walker County. It was originally named for John Hancock, Governor of Massachusetts and famous signer of the American Declaration of Independence, with its county seat at Houston. On January 22, 1858, the county was renamed Winston County to honor Alabama Gov. John A. Winston.

In 1883 the county seat was moved to Double Springs to be near the center of the county, since Cullman County was created from the eastern portion of Winston.

Locations in Winston County Alabama

Cities

  • Haleyville

Towns

  • Addison
  • Arley
  • Double Springs (county seat)
  • Lynn
  • Natural Bridge
  • Nauvoo

Unincorporated communities

  • Barnett Chapel
  • Black Pond
  • Boar Tush
  • Curtis Crossroads
  • DeFoor
  • Delmar
  • Donaldson Mill
  • Ellaville
  • Fairview
  • Falls City
  • Forkville
  • Glen Mary
  • Grayson
  • Helicon
  • Houston
  • Inmanfield
  • Littleville
  • Martintown
  • Moreland
  • Natis
  • Needmore
  • New Georgia
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Poplar Springs
  • Posey Field
  • Rabbittown
  • Rock Creek
  • Upshaw

Ghost towns

  • Batts Nest
  • Booger Tree

Biographies of Winston County Alabama

Free State of Winston

Winston County Alabama Genealogy Trails

Cemeteries of Winston County Alabama

Cemeteries are one of the most likely places people will search when looking for ancestors. Many of the old cemeteries only have records left as the cemetery itself went so many years without care and the stones were used for other purposes.

  • Alabama cemetery records
    Copied by members of the L.D.S. Church in Alabama. Contents: Includes the following counties: v. 1. Autauga, Barbour, Bibb, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Colbert, Coosa, Covington, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Etowah, Jefferson, McCalla, Marengo, Marshall, Mobile, Montgomery, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker — v. 2. Barbour, Henry, Houston — v. 3. Calhoun, Lauderdale, Talladega, Walker — v. 4. Colbert, Coosa, Lauderdale, Talladega, Walker — v. 5. Jefferson, Lauderdale, Madison, Mobile, Perry — v. 6. Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Coosa, St. Clair, Talladega, Winston.
  • Index to Alabama Cemeteries: Blount County, Coosa County, St. Clair County, Talladega County, Winston County

Hosted at Winston County, USGenWeb Archives Project

Hosted at Winston County ALGenWeb

Hosted at GenealogyTrails

Census and Tax Records for Winston County Alabama

Census records provide the information needed for you to trace your ancestors as they moved from one place to another. By carefully looking at the neighbors you can often find other family members living close together. A census search is one of the most important things you will do in your family research.

Hancock County was renamed Winston County in 1858. Any census listings for 1830-1850 can be found on the following page:

1860 Winston County, Alabama Census

1866 Winston County, Alabama State Census

1870 Winston County, Alabama Census

1880 Winston County, Alabama Census

1890 Winston County, Alabama Census

1900 Winston County, Alabama Census

1910 Winston County, Alabama Census

1920 Winston County, Alabama Census

1930 Winston County, Alabama Census

1940 Winston County, Alabama Census

Church Records for Winston County Alabama

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.

Bible Records

Hosted at Winston County, USGenWeb Archives Project

Hosted at Tracking Your Roots

Church History and Records

Court Records for Winston County Alabama

Miscellaneous case files 1821-1900

Winston County Alabama Probate Records

Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title. The transfer is to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability. Most probate records were created on a county level, though many were later sent to the Archives. The contents of probate records vary greatly depending on the prevailing law and the personality of the record keeper. The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.

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.

Ethnic Records of Winston County Alabama

Winston County Alabama Black Genealogy

Genealogical resources for descendants of black ancestors who resided in Winston County Alabama. These records are specific to black research, and lean heavily to pre 1900 research.

  • Alabama African American Records
  • Alabama, Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872
    The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau) was created in 1865 at the end of the American Civil War to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads. This collection corresponds with NARA microfilm publication M1900, Records of the Field Offices for the State of Alabama, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872.
  • United States, Freedmen’s Branch Records, 1872-1878
    The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau) was created in 1865 at the end of the American Civil War to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads. This collection corresponds with NARA microfilm publication M2029, The records of the Freedmen’s Branch in the Office of the Adjutant General are part of Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands.

Winston County Native American Ancestry

Winston County Alabama Genealogy

  • Alabama, Surname Files Expanded, 1702–1981 $
    Staff members at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) started compiling these records on Alabamians in 1901. They include a variety of items and record types arranged by surname: newspaper clippings, obituaries, local and family histories, donated family research and records, extracts from censuses, research requests made to the archives, and other items.

History of Winston County Alabama

Genealogical and Historical Societies

History from Free State of Winston

Alabama Voting Registers for 1867

1867 Voting Registration and Loyalty Oaths

Letters and Diaries

Land Records for Winston County Alabama

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.

Alabama is a federal land state and has records of land grants at the National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management. The land grants to individuals under the previous governments were recognized by the United States and with records of early federal grants are abstracted in the volumes of The American State Papers. The best lists for later land grants are the individual county tract books which, with other related plat books and fields notes, have been copied onto the free web site of the Alabama Secretary of State.

Alabama had many types of land grants including simple purchases of land from the government through local federal land offices. Military warrants, given for military service in the United States prior to 1858, have genealogically valuable petitions for land.

Federal lands in Alabama for veterans and heirs of veterans begin in 1842. Homestead land grants, grants of land made to occupants of Federal lands following the Homestead Act of 1862 are particularly good sources of personal and even naturalization information.

Free State of Winston Land Records

Maps of Winston County Alabama

Winston County cutout from the 1910 Hammonds Atlas of the World
Winston County cutout from the 1910 Hammonds Atlas of the World

Alabama Maps is an ongoing project of the Cartographic Research Laboratory, which operates under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Alabama. The Historical Map Archive is a digitized collection of selected map holdings from the University of Alabama Map Library, the W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library, the Rucker Agee Collection of the Birmingham Public Library, the Geological Survey of Alabama, and the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Military Records of Winston County Alabama

Civil War

Winston county gained notoriety during the Civil War due to its reluctance to support the Confederacy.  

  • Captain White’s Winston County Mail Guard
    One of the little known organizations operating in the Winston County area during the Civil War was known as Captain Thomas J. White’s Mail Guard. The Unionists of Winston County encouraged young men of fighting age to join the home guard because those men engaged in guarding the mail route from bandits and deserters were exempt from the Confederate draft. The mail route soon became a favored means by which the unionists communicated with layouts and funneled information on the Confederates and potential Union army recruits back to Federal authorities. Although the home guard was organized to avoid Confederate service, in 1863 Major Pickett sent word for White’s company to report to General Roddy’s command in the Tennessee Valley. Pickett threatened to send the entire company to Virginia if they did not comply. When they reported for duty to Pickett and Roddy, at that point the members of the former Unionist home guard ironically became enrolled as Confederates
  • Winston County Confederate Pension Records
  • Confederate Soldiers from Winston County, Alabama
    Compiled from the 1860 Census of Winston County, Records of Alabama Department of Archives and History, and cemeteries of Winston County.
  • Winston County Soldiers in the First Alabama Cavalry, U.S.A.
  • Alabama Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865  — index
    Union service records of soldiers who served in the First Regiment of Alabama Cavalry.The records include a jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his rank, and the unit in which he served. The jacket-envelope typically contains card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers,prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier. For each military unit the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier’s surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm. This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917 and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M276.
  • U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
    This database contains an index to compiled service records (CSRs) for soldiers who served with units in the Confederate army. Most of the men whose names appear in this index served with units from 15 different states or territories; others were soldiers raised directly by the Confederate government, generals and staff officers, and other enlisted men not associated with a regiment.
  • U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
    This database contains an index of compiled military service records for volunteer Union soldiers who served with units organized in more than 20 states and territories, including states in the Confederacy. This index also includes Confederate soldiers who later served with the Union Army.
  • Alabama, Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880  — index and images
    Index and images of approved claims from civilians seeking compensation for lost or destroyed property as a result of the Civil War.The collection is NARA publication M2062 Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims,1871-1880:Alabama and is from RG 217, Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury. It contains 828 approved applications arranged by county and then alphabetical by name.
  • Alabama, Census of Confederate Veterans, 1907, 1921, 1927  — images
    Images of a census of Confederate veterans living in Alabama. Originals are located in the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Alabama, Questionnaires of Widows of Confederate Soldiers, 1927 $
    This database contains a collection of questionnaires and other documents from a 1927 survey of Confederate widows living in Alabama.
  • Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958 $
    Pension records for the soldiers or their widows who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War are contained in this index. Most former Confederate states provided relief payments to veterans or widows because the Confederacy was dissolved after the war leaving no central government agency to distribute pensions. Pension award requirements generally were: residency in the state the pension was claimed in for a certain amount of time, disablement, or indigence. This roster does not provide a complete index of all pensioners as the records are compiled from different states, at different times, and by different offices after the Civil War. Also not all soldiers who fought for the Confederacy are registered; however, some information on missing files or rejected applications can be found.
  • Confederate Pension Applications, ca. 1880-1930’s
    Index and images of records at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, Alabama.

World War 1

  • Alabama World War I Service Records
    This collection consists of index cards with personal details about Alabamians who served in the armed forces during World War I. Information recorded may include name, race, age, date and place of birth, home address, date and location of induction, units served in, rank, engagements, wounds, dates and locations of service, date of discharge, and other remarks. The amount of information varies on each card. (A separate series gives information about members of the 167th Infantry Regiment.
  • Alabama, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 — index
    Index to a card roster of Alabamians who served in the United States Army, Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines during World War I from 1917 to 1919. Each soldier has one or two cards giving information on his/her military service, such as name, serial number, residence, place and date of birth, military organizations he/she served in, rank, engagements participated in, wounds or injuries received, dates serving overseas, discharge date, percentage disabled, and additional remarks.
  • Alabama, WWI Gold Star Index, 1917-1918 $
    This collection consists of information on World War I service members who died during the war or who were awarded distinguished service recognition. 14 men from Winston County Alabama were Gold Star soldiers.
  • Alabama, Military Card Files,1917-1918 $
    This database contains World War I draft registration and induction records from the state of Alabama.

World War 2

Korean War

  • Alabama Soldiers in the Korean War, 1950-1952 $
    Staff members from the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) created these index cards to documenting the military service of Alabamians during the Korean War. According to the ADAH, staffers extracted details from “clippings, brochures, reference correspondence, photocopies and typescripts of original documents, and various printed materials in the ADAH collections.”
  • Korean War Casualty List
    The National Archives and Records Administration prepared these Korean War casualty lists by creating extracts from the military casualty data files in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330). The lists are based on the “home of record – state” data provided by the serviceman or woman upon last entrance into military service. “Home of record” does not necessarily refer to the place of birth, residence of next of kin, place of longest residence, or other common uses of the term “hometown.

Vietnam War

  • Vietnam War Casualty List
    The National Archives and Records Administration prepared these Vietnam War casualty lists by creating extracts from the military casualty data files in the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Record Group 330). The lists are based on the “home of record – state” data provided by the serviceman or woman upon last entrance into military service. “Home of record” does not necessarily refer to the place of birth, residence of next of kin, place of longest residence, or other common uses of the term “hometown.” 

Naturalization Records for Winston County Alabama

The act and procedure of becoming a citizen of a country is called naturalization. In the U.S., naturalization is a judicial procedure that flows from Congressional legislation. However, from the time the first naturalization act was passed in 1790 until 1906, there were no uniform standards. As a consequence, before September 1906, various federal, state, county, and local courts generated a wide variety of citizenship records that are stored in sundry courts, archives, warehouses, libraries, and private collections. After 1906 the vast majority of naturalizations took place in federal courts.

Newspapers in Winston County Alabama

Newspapers provide a gold mine of information of people, movements, and lives of people who live in the area at the given time of these papers.

Current Newspaper

Historic Newspapers

  • Daily Northwest Alabamian. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1962-1968
  • Haleyville clipper. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1901-19??
  • Haleyville enterprise. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1903-190?
  • The Advertiser-journal. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1924-1945
  • The Advertiser and Marion County news-journal. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1961-1962
  • The Advertiser. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1954-1961
  • The Anchor. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1900-1900
  • The Double Springs herald. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1949-195?
  • The Hackleburg sentinel. (Hackleburg, Ala.) 192?-19??
  • The Haleyville advertiser. (Haleyville, Ala.) 192?-1924
  • The Haleyville advertiser. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1945-1954
  • The Haleyville journal. (Haleyville, Ala.) 191?-1924
  • The Haleyville journal. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1945-19??
  • The Haleyville spotlight. (Haleyville, Ala.) 192?-1945
  • The New era herald. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1905-1906
  • The New era. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1899-1905
  • The New era. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1906-1909
  • The Northwest Alabamian. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1969-current
  • The Observer. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1892-1???
  • The Square deal. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1906-190?
  • The Winston County news. (Haleyville, Ala.) 1908-19??
  • The Winston herald. (Double Springs, Ala.) 188?-1949
  • The Winston new era. (Double Springs, Ala.) 1909-191?
  • Winston County times. (Haleyville, Ala.) 195?-195?

Historic Newspapers Online

Historical Newspaper Records

Various Newspaper Articles

Vital Records for Winston County Alabama

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. 1)The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Birth

The registration of births on the county level began in 1881; however, state-level registration of deaths in Alabama did not begin until 01 January 1908.

Death

The registration of deaths on the county level began in 1881; however, state-level registration of deaths in Alabama did not begin until 01 January 1908.

Marriage

Divorce

Though divorce decrees were tried in county chancery court until 1865, the state legislature had the exclusive right to finalize all divorce decrees. These early decrees are thus a part of the legislative record and are published in the Senate and House Journals. Clerk Circuit Court has divorce records.

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. 2)The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Birth

The registration of births on the county level began in 1881; however, state-level registration of deaths in Alabama did not begin until 01 January 1908.

Death

The registration of deaths on the county level began in 1881; however, state-level registration of deaths in Alabama did not begin until 01 January 1908.

  • Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974 $.
    Volunteers extracted the details in this index from microfilmed copies of church, civil, family, and other records of Alabama deaths and burials. There are over 17,000 records recorded for people who died or were buried in Chilton County Alabama.
  • Chilton County Death Index 1908-1910. Batch B545457
  • Alabama, Deaths, 1908-1974 
    Name index to death certificates from the state of Alabama, 1908-1974. The index includes name of the deceased, county of death, date of death, and the state certificate number (volume and page).
  • Alabama Deaths and Burials, 1881-1952
    Name index to death and burial records from the state of Alabama. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers.
  • Alabama Deaths, 1908-59 $
    This database is an index of deaths recorded by the state of Alabama from 1908 to 1959. The index includes name of the deceased, county of death, date of death, and the state certificate number (volume and page). This database will prove useful to those seeking Alabama ancestors.
  • Alabama, Marriages, Deaths, Wills, Court, and Other Records, 1784-1920 $
    This database contains images of index cards created to document holdings at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) by name and subject. The cards include references to births, marriages, deaths and burials, wills, court records, and, according to the ADAH’s description, “occupation, land ownership, sureties, registered voters, petitions, interments, plaintiffs and defendants, and other pertinent biographical and family information.”
  • Alabama Death Record of State Convicts, 1843-1951 $
    Death records for Alabama state convicts who died while either a prisoner in custody or on parole are in this database. The records are ordered chronologically and in the 1908–1951 records chronologically and then alphabetically.

Marriage

Probate Judge has marriage records.

  • Alabama Wills and Probate Records 1753-1999  $
    This collection includes images of probate records from the state of Alabama. The records for Chilton County Alabama cover the years from 1870-1940.
  • Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1985  — images
    This collection includes digital images of various probate records created in the county courts in Alabama.
  • Chilton County Marriage Books 2-10 Index 1870-1936
    These records were indexed in International Genealogical Index from FamilySearch.
  • 1870-1930 – Chilton County, Alabama Marriage Books 1-3, and Licenses in “Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950,”
    This collection of marriage records for Alabama counties includes: a) indexed records with images; b) indexed records without images; and c) images which can be browsed but do not have searchable indexes. The indexed records without images display a message “Image is Unavailable” when you attempt to view the image. The browse records are grouped by film number/digital film number (DGS). Each film is arranged by county, volume and date. Digital images and indexes will be added as they become available.
  • Alabama, Marriage Indexes, 1814-1935
    This database consists of an index to more than 250 thousand marriages registered in Alabama between 1814 and 1935. The index was created by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the depression of the 1930s.
  • Alabama, Marriage Collection, 1800–1969 $
    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. There are currently over 16,000 marriage records recorded for Chilton County.
  • Alabama Marriages, 1816-1957 — index
    Name index to marriage records from the state of Alabama. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers.
  • Alabama, Marriages, Deaths, Wills, Court, and Other Records, 1784-1920 $
    This database contains images of index cards created to document holdings at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) by name and subject. The cards include references to births, marriages, deaths and burials, wills, court records, and, according to the ADAH’s description, “occupation, land ownership, sureties, registered voters, petitions, interments, plaintiffs and defendants, and other pertinent biographical and family information.”

Divorce

Though divorce decrees were tried in county chancery court until 1865, the state legislature had the exclusive right to finalize all divorce decrees. These early decrees are thus a part of the legislative record and are published in the Senate and House Journals. Clerk Circuit Court has divorce records.

References   [ + ]

1.The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.
2.The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.
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