Downloads

The files on this page are PDFs that can be downloaded to your machine. Some of these files are quite big and downloads might take a couple of minutes. Comments and suggestions for content can be submitted to jcha@scottsboro.org.


Filename Author Description
Fighting the Just War Dr. Ronald Dykes

Subtitled Military Experiences of Jackson County, Alabama, Residents in World War II. Published in 2005. Includes photos and war stories from 17 soldiers in both the WWII European and Pacific Theaters.

Growing Up Hard Dr. Ronald Dykes

Published in 2003. Book includes interviews with six elderly, long-time citizens of their towns in Jackson County. People interviewed are James Norwood Clemens, Lillie Mae Cuthbert, Ida Miller Olinger, Opal Wright Peters, Rubilee Moore Smith, Archie Freeman Stewart, Sue Mae Freeman Powell, and Gertrude Isabella Stockton.

Birmingham As It Was in Jackson County, Alabama James Frederick Sulzby Published in 1944. Early Jackson County history of the area around Rash.
The Story of Scottsboro, Alabama Jerry Gist Published in 1968. Lots of good information about Scottsboro.
Bridgeport, Alabama 1891 Bridgeport Bicentennial Commission Published in 1976. Nice historical overview of the history of Bridgeport.
The Story of Woodville John Robert Kennamer Sr. Published in the 1950. Wonderful early Woodville information and pictures.
The Skyline Dream: The Story of a New Deal Resettlement Project Dr. David Campbell Unpublished book manuscript about Skyline Farms.
"Skyline Farms: A Case Study of Community Development and Rural Rehabilitation" in Appalachian Journal, Spring 1983 Dr. David Campbell and David Coombs Unpublished book manuscript about Skyline Farms.
Gay-Tred Employee Newsletters 1978-1980 Gay-Tred Employee newsletters 1978 to 1980.
Gay-Tred Employee Newsletters 1981-1984 Gay-Tred Employee newsletters 1981-1984.
The Heritage of Jackson County: General Introduction Historians and Families of JC Town and Communities; Sights and Memories; Spiritual Heritage; Schools.
The Heritage of Jackson County: Family Histories A to C Historians and Families of JC Last names A to C. The following names: Adams, Adkins, Allen, Alley, Allison, Alspaugh, Anderson, Armstrong,Arnold, Austell, Baker, Ball,Ballard, Bankston,Barbee, Barham, Barnes, Barrentine, Battles, Baxter,Bean,Beaird, Beason, Burgess, Beavers, Beck,Beane, Beeson, Bellomy, Benson, Bibbs, Bingham,Bishop, Black, Blackwell (Arendale),Borum, Bostick, Bouldin, Boyd, Bradford, Brandon, Brannon, Brewer, Bridges, Britt, Brooks, Browder, Brown,Browning, Briant, Bryant, Buchanan, Buckner, Burton, Butler, Bynum, Cagle, Caldwell.
The Heritage of Jackson County: Family Histories C to G Historians and Families of JC Last names C to G. Caldwell, Camp, Campbell, Carlton,Caperton, Carroll,Carter, Clyde, Chambless, Chandler, Chavers, Clay, Clemons, Cobb, Cody, Coffey, Coleman, Colvin, Collins,Combs, Conley, Cook, Coopers, Corn, Cornelison, Cotton, Couch, Cronan, Culver, Cunningham, Cuzzort, Davis, Dawson, Dean, Deerman, Derrick, Dillard, Dobbs, Dollar, Duke, Dulaney, Dutton, Earp, Edmonds, Edmondson, Eller,Elledge, Ellison, England, Farmer, Finley, Flanagan, Flowers, Foster, Frazier, Garner, Gay, Gentle, Gentry, Gibson, Gilbreath, Gill, Gist, Grayson, Griders, Griffin, Griffith, Grizzle, Guin, Gunter, Gwathney.
The Heritage of Jackson County: Family Histories G to L Historians and Families of JC Last names G to L. Gwathney, Hackworth, Haggard, Hall,Hambrick, Hamilton, Hamman, Hammonds, Hammons, Hammonds, Hancock, Harbin, Hastings, Haynes, Helms, Hembree, Hicks, Hill, Hodges, Holcomb, Holder, Holland, Hollaway, Hollis, Horton, Houk, Houser, Hawkins, Hughes, Hunter, Huntoon, Hurt, Igou, Inglis, Isbell, Jacobs, Jacks, James,Jeffrey, Johnson, Jones, Jordan, Judge, Keef, Kennamer, Kennedy, Kirby, King, Kirk, Kirkpatrick, Knight, Knox, Kuykendall, Lands,Lasater, Law, Lawhorn, Lawson, Ligon, Lipscomb.
The Heritage of Jackson County: Family Histories L to R Historians and Families of JC Last names L to R. The following names: Little, Lovvorn, Loyd, Lynch, Mackey, Maples, Martin, Matthews, Mattox, McAbee, McCarver, McClaine, McClendon, McCoy, McCutchen, McFarlen, McGinty, McGlover, McGraw, McGuffey, McRae, McStotts, Michael, Miller, Morgan, Morris, Maples, Miller, Money, Moody, Moore, Nevels, Nichols, Noble, Nye, O'Brien, Osborne, O'Shields, Pace, Padgett, Page, Paradise, Parker, Parish, Parton, Patterson, Payne, Paynes, Peacock, Pendergrass, Perry, Phillips, Pierce, Plemmons, Porter, Potts, Precise, Prince, Proctor, Putman, Ragan, Raulston, Ray, Reed, Reid, Rice.
The Heritage of Jackson County: Family Histories R to T Historians and Families of JCLast names R to T. The following names:Rice, Rich, Richey, Ricker, Riddle, Roach, Roberts, Robertson, Robinson, Rogers, Romans, Rorex, Rounsavall, Rouse, Rousseau, Rudder, Rush, Russell, Sanford, Sartin, Schrimshers, Scott, Selby, Self, Sewell, Shelton, Shepard, Shirley, Shrader, Simmons, Skelton, Sloan, Smart, Smith, Snodgrass, Sparks, Stanley, Stearnes, Stephens, Stewart, Stiefel, Stovall, Swaim, Sutton, Tallent, Talley, Tanner, Tetter, Thomas, Thompson, Thornhill, Tidwell, Tipton, Toland, Tolliver.
The Heritage of Jackson County: Family Histories T to Y Historians and Families of JC Last names T to Y. The following names: Toliver, Toon, Trammel, Travis, Trimew, Troxell, Varnell, Varner, Venable, Wales, Walker, Wagner, Wallace, Wallingsford, Walsh, Wann, Ward, Washington, Webb. Wellborn, Wellington, West, Whatley, Wheeler, White, Whittle, Wilhelm, Wilborn, Wilburn, Wilborne, Welborn, Wilkerson, Wilkes, Williams, Williamson, Wilson, Wininger, Womack, Wood, Woodall, Wollum, Word, Worthem, Wynn/Wynne, York. And late submittals: Elberta Clark, Bob Jones, Porter pictures, Inez Butler, Black Teachers' Association, Word Lumber, Skyline Monument Company, Pierce & Pierce Chiropractic, newspaper history. And some ads
The Heritage of Jackson County: Index Historians and Families of JC Index
Stevenson Story Eliza Woodall I do not have permission to scan this book. The Stevenson Depot Board has plans to reprint it. The Heritage Center and the Scottsboro Depot Museum both have copies that you can use. Here is the list of family sketches in this book: Adams (Bryant, Hambley, Smith), Allen, Allison, Alston, Anderson (Gonce, Rosser, Russell), Armstrong, Arnold, Austin, Ballard, Barrier, Bean, Bogart, Bramlett, Briscoe, Bunn, Burch (Davis), Cameron, Caperton, Cargile, Champion, Cloud, Coffey, Copenhaver, Cowan, Cox (Cawlfield, Brown), Crabtree, Foshee, Foster, Gonce, Graham, Grider, Guess/Gass, Hackworth, Hale, Henninger, Huddleston, Inglis, Jacoway, Kirk, Knox, Lindsay, Longacre, Lovelady, Loyd, Mann, Martin, Mason, Matthews, McCrary, McMahan, Moore, Pankey, Peacock (Malone, Shirley), Price, Rash, Ridley, Riley, Rudder, Russell, Sanders, Schultz, Searcy, Sentell, Shoemake, Schrader, Simpson, St. Clair, Steele, Stevenson, Talley, Tally, Thomas, Timberlake, Troxwell, Walker, Wallace, Washington, Williams, Willis, Wimberley, Woodall, Wynne.
Three Arts Club Cookbook 1966 Members of the 1966 Three Arts Club Club recipe book.
Hollywood and Other Important Cities on Earth Dee Meek Published in the 1958. Also includes the 1917 Jackson County Phone Book.
Legends, Laughter, and a Little Bit of Lineage from Lim Rock, Alabama Marlin D. Tucker, Part 1 Published in the 1993. Wonderful information and pictures of families from around Limrock. Great Limrock School Info.
Legends, Laughter, and a Little Bit of Lineage from Lim Rock, Alabama Marlin D. Tucker, Part 2 Published in the 1993. More general "good old days" information.
Legends, Laughter, and a Little Bit of Lineage from Lim Rock, Alabama Marlin D. Tucker, Part 3 Published in the 1993. Gentle store and Gentle family. Schools and general memories.
Legends, Laughter, and a Little Bit of Lineage from Lim Rock, Alabama Marlin D. Tucker, Part 3 Published in the 1993. Gentle store and Gentle family. Schools and general memories.
My Valley, My Home: The History of Hog Jaw Valley Part 2 John Hembree Published in the 2011. Hog Jaw Valley history and stories.
Rivers and Rails Truth and Tales of Stevenson, Alabama Allen L. Knox Jr. Published in the 1968. Stevenson photos and history,
House of Happiness Story Campbell Long Published in the 19873. Narrative and pictures of the House of Happiness.
In and Around Bridgeport Flossie Carmichael and Ronald Lee Published in the 1969. A history with wonderful pictures of Bridgeport.
Crow Creek Scene Various authors Published in the 1986. Stories of the area in and around Crow Creek.
The Story of the Young Womens' Bookclub and the History of the Scottsboro Public Library Marilyn K. Morris [Reed] Published in the 2009.
Not Forgotten: Memories of Early Flat Rock, Alabama Peggy Hampton and Karen CordellCrowell Published in the 2019, with the permission of the authors.
Chattanooga Sunday Times Memorial Supplement Chattanooga Times Published May 24, 1919. An 8-page supplement to the Sunday Chattanooga newspaper with photos of soldiers from the region who died in World War I.
Mount Carmel Cemetery Book Various authors List of graves, incorporation papers, history of the cemetery.
Jackson County Civil War Soldiers Annette Bradford and James Sentell Published November 2020. A 50-page alphabetic listing of Civil War soldiers buried in Jackson County based on findagrave records. Also in a virtual cemetery.
Scottsboro Municipal Elections Greg Bell Published November 2020. A listing of Scottsboro municipal elected officials from the founding of the town until present.
Joyce Kennamer's Skyline History Joyce Kennamer Written in 1978. Joyce's father James Money applied for the grant that enabled the Cumberland Road and was key to bringing the Skyline Project to Jackson County.
"Skyline Farms: A New Deal Community" Cynthia Rice Published the Spring 2018 issue of Alabama Heritage. A 12-page article with wonderful pictures about the Skyline Farms Colony.
"Paint Rock Valley" John B. Scott Jr. and Anderson Scott Published the Spring 1999 issue of Alabama Heritage. A wonderful 15-page article/photoessay about the Paint Rock Valley, Paint Rock River, caves in the area, and Prince's Store.
District D CCC 1938 Yearbook U. S. Government Published in 1938. A 214-page large-format book about the District D (Mississippi and Alabama) Civilian Conservation Corps camps in 1938, which included the Scottsboro and Guntersville camps.
Truth and Myth about Sauta Cave David Bradford Published in 1977. An extended story with pictures from The Daily Sentinel Weekender supplement about Sauta Cave.
Additional Information about TVA Cemeteries JCHA Published 1934-35. A 64-page compilation of cemeteries in Jackson County surveyed but not moved by the TVA during the building of Lake Guntersville.
The Kate Duncan DAR School Story DAR School Published 1952. A 32-page cyanotype history of the DAR School in Grant.
1936 USGS Maps Showing Pre- and Post-TVA Views of the Tennessee River USGS and Annette Bradford A view of the unique 1936 USGS maps that show both the old River before TVA and the proposed new River after TVA on the same set of maps. These are 11 maps together that show the full river in Jackson County.
Marley and Allied Families (Daniel Martin Letters) Grace Puryear Originally belonged to Eunice Matthews. Lots of good Gay and Martin information. Most important, letters from Daniel McNair Martin of Bellefonte to his daughter Ella Martin Marley in Texas, 1868 to 1872. Good discussions of reconstruction in Jackson County.
Special Newspapers Supplement JC Hospital 1955 and 50 Years Later (2005) Various Authors Special editions of the Sentinel and Progressive Age celebrating the opening of the Jackson County Hospital. Also the 50-Year supplement from 2005.
Index to the Family History Documents Held at the Heritage Center Various Authors Over the years, family genealogists have given copies of their work to the Scottsboro-Jackson Heritage Center. This list is alphabetic.
Part 1 of Paint Rock Valley Pioneers Kittye Vandiver Henshaw, Evelyn Smith Rochelle, and Addie Katherine Stovall Shaver A cemetery census book of Paint Rock Valley cemeteries with maps to the cemeteries and additional family and census information.
Part 2 of Paint Rock Valley Pioneers Kittye Vandiver Henshaw, Evelyn Smith Rochelle, and Addie Katherine Stovall Shaver A cemetery census book of Paint Rock Valley cemeteries with maps to the cemeteries and additional family and census information.
Stevenson, Alabama: A Plan for Historical Development TVA A 1976 Plan for development of historical sites in Stevenson.
Sequatchie Valley Bible Records James Douthat A 1985 collection of Bible Records. 43 pages. Indexed.
Your Vintage Keepsake: A CSA Guide to Costume Storage and Display Margaret T. Ordonez A guide to conserving fabrics.
1948 First Methodist Cookbook Methodist women Recipes, kitchen and beauty tips,and health and weight loss from the 1948 WSCS
Index to the Presley Drugs Ledger Presley Druggists Alphabetic index of entries in the 1930s Presley Drugs ledger.
151st Engineer Combat Battalion Company B 1994 Yearbook Leroy Gist Booklet commemorating the 44th anniversary of Company B, August 13, 1994.
Family History Columns Edna Gay Wrote for the Jackson County Advertiser in 1972 Edna Gay These families are covered: Smith (Anderson, Brooks, Moses), Houk, Lewis, Dodson, Elkins, Luke Machen Day Ledger, Collins, Bouldin, Farr, Turpin, McAllister, Parker, Phillips, Bennet, Whitaker,, McGehee, Bulman, Busby, Hodges (Willis tree), Chattin, Cobb, Brown, Peters, Perkins, Paint Rock Valley.
Dutton Baptist Church: Celebrating 75 Years of Growth, October 20, 1996 Sandy Barrett, Patricia Snith, Betty Green, Louise Duncan, and Vickie Dyer A history of Dutton Baptist Church


If you are using The Heritage of Jackson County, Alabama book on the JCHA website, here are a few things to remember.

  • Families spell names differently. The county has Hinshaws and Henshaws and they are all kin. They have Clemens and Clemons. My family has Nabors and Neighbors. These are all the same family. Look in the index or search on something other than the last name before you rule out inclusion.

  • I am sure the committee who put together Heritage approached representatives of families who did not respond. Likewise, they approached families and got pages of information from families who have not lived in the county for several generations.

  • Some families have sketches in multiple places.

  • Family sketches are, for the most part, written by family members. The committee compiling the book could not validate all this family information. It could be as riddled with errors as ancestry. Like ancestry trees, the sketches are a starting place, not the be all and end all. Check the original sources.

  • Don't forget this is not the only book with family information. The Stevenson Story includes families from the Stevenson area. Kennamer's Woodville Book is nothing but family sketches and pictures. Some cemetery books, like Paint Rock Valley Pioneers (which I do not have permission to post) contain good family sketches.

  • Look in the logical place. The Limrock books are full of information about Gentles. The Birmingham/Rash book has information about Coffey, Heltons, and Austins, for example.


Legal Sources and Ledgers


In 1999, when the little courthouse was moved to the Heritage Center, records formerly housed at other locations were moved to the Heritage Center. Additionally, historical source documents like store ledgers and paper collections were added to the Heritage Center. These collections were indexed by Jan Boyd Roberts and others and collected and published as a set of grey books titled "Early Jackson County, Alabama Books." The index to these sources is out of print and over time, the books themselves are not clearly labeled, and it is not apparent what set of books is being indexed.

I have broken these indices down into the individual documents they cove and have tried to provide clear instructions for accessing these documents, should you find a pointer in the index that you would like to research. I also remind you that many of these are fragile old sources, and if your only motivation is curiosity, then you might want to leave them undisturbed.

The best of the courthouse legal records (Wills) are available on ancestry. Much of the reason for this research is to locate potentially useful documents, either in the main courthouse, the little courthouse at the Heritage Center, or online through a search facility such as Ancestry or Family Search.



Store and Medical Ledgers

These are very fragile old documents that often have to be pulled out of glasses cases. If your motivations is to find out of your grandfather preferred Juicy Fruit or DoubleMint, I would not disturb these books. What use is such a record? Many things happen in the 10 year periods between census records. Sometimes a store ledger proves that a person was in a location at a given time, but only if the name is exact--Robert J.Williams, not Bob Wms. I talked with the DAR chapter here about whether or not such "evidence" can be used in proving residency for a DAR application, and she said, it could be. You might also learn, for example, if your relative was buying "chill tonic" that they were suffering from malaria, or if they were buying a mercury compound they were suffering from syphilis. Be careful what you wish for.



Link to Index Location Contents Notes
1836-1939 Langston Welborn Collection Glass case the Little Courthouse

14-age alphabetic list of names from promissory notes, letters, legal documents, and store accounts from William S. Welborn of Langston between 1844 and 1939. Towns named include Larkin's Landing, Bellefonte, Lankston, Larkinsville and Wannville.

List arranged in chronological order. Many names appearing in this Account Book are not found in the 1840 or 1850 Census. Some slave name and age references.
Caldwell & Maddox 1852-1855 and Caldwell 1890 Bellefonte Ledgers and Business Index Glass case the Little Courthouse

20-age alphabetic list of customers, the daily transactions in the Hamlin Caldwell and Thomas Maddox mercantile business in Old Bellefonte between 1952 and 1855. Also 17-page list of 1890 customers and 5 pages of business customers of Caldwell mercantile business in Bellefonte.

Business customers are essentially an 1890 "who is in business" list. 1850s customer list could help establish location of family not found in census records.
1853-1855 George and Thomas Griffin Store and Post Office Journal in Larkin Fork Glass case the Little Courthouse

Larkin Fork is located in the northern part of Paint Rock River Valley in Jackson County. 12-page alphabetic list of names of store patrons from an account ledger.

Many of the descendants of the families recorded in this ledger are still residents of Upper Paint Rock Valley in 1991. Many of the names listed in this index do not appear in the 1840 or 1850 census of Jackson County, Alabama.
1853 Woodville, Presley Woodall Store Ledger Glass case the Little Courthouse

We only have two pages of the index. The two index sheets contain the A's , B's, part of the C's and one D.

Nowhere in the Ledger is the location pf the store mentioned. Many of the names in the Ledger are not found in the 1840 or 1850 census Many of the charge customers were living in the Woodville area when the 1850 census was taken.
1854 Larkin Fork Store and Post Office Day Journal Glass case the Little Courthouse

14-age Cash book and ledgers from Presley Wood's Store in Woodville.

Small number of purchasers.
Index to Selected Ledgers W. H. Payne Drug Company Bookcase in the Little Courthouse

Cash book and ledgers from Payne's Drug Company.

Entire set not indexed. Only 1875, 1877, 1900 charge purchases indexed. Some water damage to the collection.
1868-1890 Dr. Felix Grant Medical Journals, Paint Rock Valley Heritage Center

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1858-1865 Index to Ledgers of the Clement CC Tay;or General Store Heritage Center

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1857-1865 Index to Ledgers of the Abner HyderGeneral Store in Princeton Heritage Center

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1855-1866 Index to Ledgers of the Harris and Shelton Store in Bellefonte Heritage Center

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Road Books


There should be three sets of road books. Only one of these sets, Book 3, survives. Book 3 included the minutes of the Jackson County Mission of Roads and Revenue from February 1853 to April 1866. During this period, the commission consisted of the chairman, Probate Judge J. G. Dixon, and four elected commissioners. As these minutes been, these men make up the commission: Lorenzo Russel of Stevenson; Mose Jones of Jones' Cove; Moses Maps of Woodville; and John S. Eustace of Princeton. This commission was responsible for: Overseeing the elected and appointed officials; tax assessment and collection, license, and fee schedules; appointing Township School Trustee, road Overseers, and election officials; providing for the retention of prisoners; maintaining the Jail and Courthouse; and providing for the poor people.

I have consulted this set of books because of family members who were keepers of the road. But tracking the land owned by these men provides a pretty fair estimation of the location of the stage road through the county. See February 1855 if this is of interest to you. Also read Wendell Page's excellent introduction and selected abstracts of this set of books.



Link to Index Location Contents Notes
Index to Road Book 3 Commissioners' Court 1853-1886 Too red books in the historic documents bookcase on the north wall of the probate office

Minutes from the meetings of the Commissions of Roads and Revenue between 1853 and 1886

See introduction.
Index Names and Miscellaneous Entities 1853-1861 Two red books in the historic documents bookcase on the north wall of the probate office

Minutes from the meetings of the Commissions of Roads and Revenue between 1853 and 1861

See introduction.


Deeds

The little courthouse at the Heritage Center has an entire wall of lovely book labeled "Mortgages." These are the original Jackson County deed books. They have been copied and placed in the probate office at the Jackson County Courthouse. Use these books to access deed information, and use the indexes below to discover whether your family members bought or sold property during the years indicated.

There are several system for classifying deeds in Jackson County, and how you locate and view a deed depends on when the deed you want was probated. In either case, you begin with a name, either the buyer or the seller (in some states, this is called guarantor and guarantee), and find this person in an index, and that index give you the information you need to locate the actual deed. These deeds are found in the wall of red books on the south wall of the back room in the probate office.

In Jackson County, beginning of the county to 1982, There are two sets of Deed books in the back of the second room of the Probate Office. Note: Deed Book 1 has been gone forever. There is a Direct Index to Deeds. Use these black books to find the deed if you know the seller’s name. Thiere is also the Reverse Index to Deeds. Use these red books of you know the buyer’s name and the date the property was purchased.

Inside these books, you see Alphabetic Tabs. The names in the list are not alphabetized. You have to go down the list until you find the name you are looking for. Notice that the book includes a range of date, usually just a few years, which gives you some margin for errYesterday, I was looking for when William Logan Martin sold his house on East Laurel, so I used the sellers index and found this record in 1906.The bottom line tells me that W. L. Martin sold his property to L. W. Rorex on May 31, 1906. This is followed by two number. 37 and 563. This mean Book 37, Page 563 in the old set of Deed Books in the back room.

Additional information about using deed books is found in Wendell Page's introduction to the index for Book A below.



Link to Book Index Location Contents Notes
1839-1840 Deed Book A Index Index Heritage Center

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1846-49 Deed Book B Index Index Heritage Center

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1854-1855 Deed Book C Index Index Heritage Center

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1831-1833 Deed Book D Index Index Heritage Center

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1834-1835 Deed Book E Index Index Heritage Center

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1834-1835 Deed Book F Index Index Heritage Center

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1834-1851 Deed Books D and F Fragments Index Heritage Center

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1855-1857 Deed Book G Index Index Heritage Center

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1865-1868 Deed Book H Index Index Heritage Center

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Probate Court Records

According to Investopedia, probate court is a segment of the judicial system that primarily handles such matters as wills, estates, conservatorships, and guardianships, as well as the commitment of mentally ill persons to institutions designed to help them. When wills are contested, for example, the probate court is responsible for ruling on the authenticity of the document and the mental stability of the person who signed it. The court also decides who receives which portion of the decedent's assets, based on the instructions in the will or—barring that—other laws in place.

The role of the probate court is to make sure that a deceased person's debts are paid and assets are allocated to the correct beneficiaries. The term probate is used to describe the legal process that manages the assets and liabilities left behind by a recently deceased person. Probate is multifaceted in that it covers the overall legal process of dealing with a deceased person's assets and debt, the court that manages the process, and the actual distribution of assets itself. Individual states have specialized probate courts. Some states do not call it a probate court but instead refer to it as a surrogate’s court, orphan’s court, or chancery court.

So, our early record about Orphan's court has very little to do with orphans. Remember that at this early date, women, children, and slaves were not recognized as legal entities. A woman had to have a court-appointed guardian to stand for her in legal situations. Orphaned children needed a legal guardian. Slaves were property and had no rights at all. They were dealt with as property, not a people with legal rights and certainly without the right to inherit. Wills in which property was left to slaves were taken into court and broken. There is an excellent discussion of this topic here



Link to Index Location Contents Notes
1820-1830 Settlement of Estates Jackson County Orphan's Court Copies available at the Heritage Center and Library

The only extant Jackson County probate court records prior to 1830. (Deeds begin in 1831.) First entry dated October 1, 1820. Recorded beginning in May 21, 1824 by Stephen Carter, County Clerk.

Abstracts at the end of this index by Ann Chambless.
1856-1859 Probate Court Minutes Book A, Part 1 and 2 Heritage Center

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1858-1865 Probate Court Minutes Book B, Part 1 and 2 Heritage Center

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1874-1883 Index to Probate Court Fees Heritage Center

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1875-1880 Index to Probate Court Oaths Heritage Center

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1875-1880 Index to Probate Court Oaths Heritage Center

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1877-1893 Probate Court Minutes Index Heritage Center

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Probate Court Evidence File Index Heritage Center

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Circuit Court Records

The Alabama Circuit Courts are the state trial courts of general jurisdiction in the State of Alabama. The Circuit Courts have jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases. For civil cases, the courts has authority to try cases with an amount in controversy of more than $3,000 and has exclusive original jurisdiction over claims for more than $10,000.[1] The Circuit Courts are the criminal trial courts for most felony charges, and for some misdemeanors and lesser included offenses.[1] The Circuit Courts also have appellate jurisdiction over certain cases arising from the Alabama District Courts (the trial courts of limited jurisdiction in Alabama).

The team of indexes assembled by Wendell Page indexed the Circuit Court minutes between 1842 and 1868. Additional information about these court records is found in the first of these three indexes.



Link to Book Index Location Contents Notes
Index to Circuit Court Minutes 1842-1844 Wo red books in the historic documents bookcase on the north wall of the probate office

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Jackson County Circuit Court Minutes and Judgments Heritage Center

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Index to Circuit Court Judgments 1858-1863 Wo red books in the historic documents bookcase on the north wall of the probate office

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Chancery Court Records

Under the English legal system that we inherited, there were two kinds of courts: church (chancery) courts and the king's court, identified as “law" courts with "legal" jurisdiction. That same system was duplicated in America, and most states continued to have two courts: one for matters traditionally handled by the church courts involving matters of "equity" and another for matters that were governed by either the common law (not statutory) and statutory law. The jurisdictions did not overlap, but one person seeking relief could have both equity claims and legal claims. In Alabama, the same judges handled both types of cases, although there were separate judges for each jurisdiction in some states, such as Tennessee. Each court, chancery and law, had clerks to accept pleadings and keep records of cases. The clerk in charge of the chancery court was called the "Register in Chancery". On the law side, the clerk was called simply, "Clerk of Court". Lois Stewart was the last Jackson County Register in Chancery.


Link to Index Location Contents Notes
1842-1851 Chancery Court Minutes, Fines, and Reports Index Heritage Center

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1851-1858 Chancery Court Minutes Book Index Heritage Center

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1866-1876 Chancery Court Fee, Docket, and Order Records Index Heritage Center

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Rollup of Slaves Mentioned in All Other Indexes


Having helped a number of African-Americans trying to trace their ancestors, I appreciate first-hand how difficult this is. There are slaves census records in 1850 and 1860 but all these records record is the age and sex of the slave, not the name. The first census, the 1870 census called by man the Freedman's Census, is the first treatment of African-Americans as people with actual names and identities. Slaves had only Christian names, and often the names the same names as children born about the same time in the slave-owner family. Our family, for example, had a son who died in 1836 named Napoleon Bradford. There were black Napoleon Bradfords in the same area until 1930.

According the Henry Louis Gates (and my experience), slaves usually took the surname of the plantation where they were living at Emancipation. So even though a slave might have been born on the Jones plantation, for example, and might even have shared DNA with the white Jones family, if they were sold to the Smith family in 1860, the took the surname Smith. That slaves were sold out of their nuclear families makes is very hard to trace.

When I try to trace an African-American family, I usually look at the 1860 slave census and then look forward to the 1870 census to see if the ages and sexes of the families remain consistent, and this helps establish a family unit. This does not always work, but it is always worth try.

The team of people who built these indexes created a unique document that is made up of all the slave references in other indexed documents. I have also found Chancery Court records very helpful in the past. For example, I read a case where a white slave owner took another white man into chancery court because he he exchanged goods for the labor of a slave, and the slave had not been returned as agreed. The slave was identified as Isaac, son of Dicie, and this is very good information to have to establish kinship. Here is the roll-up of slave references from other county pre-Civil War documents.

Link to Book Index Location Contents Notes
Index to Slave Names Appearing in Public Records Not a single book. A rolled-up index to all other documents in this collection./b>

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Phone Books


Links to Useful Publications



Locations in Jackson County on the National Register of Historic Places

Links are to the actual paperwork and photos submitted to put these Jackson County locations on the National Register of Historic Places. Here is the wikipedia table of Jackson County places on the national registry. .

Virtual Cemeteries