"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 29 August 2002


Alabama On My Mind

After the Civil War, many of the South were devastated by the destruction of their homes and communities. Many set out for new lands and adventure. Many just left to escape heartache and begin a new life somewhere fresh.

Many Central Texas families originated from Alabama.

Where should you begin your search for information? I would recommend the Alabama Department of Archives & History http://www.archives.state.al.us/. The website offers the following directories that will be of great interest to historians and genealogists:

Clicking on the feature “Site Index” will take you to a greater detailed list of resources and materials available at the Archives.

Currently the Alabama Archives is building a new West Wing that is to be completed by January 2004. This new building will continue the rich tradition of historical preservation in Alabama. In 1901, Alabama was the first state in the Nation to establish a state department of history and archives.

By clicking on “Research Resources” you will be able to immediately ascertain the records available for each of the counties in the state at http://www.archives.state.al.us/referenc/procount.html. This feature gives a brief narrative on each county and a photograph of the current courthouse building.

For example the entry for Marengo Co., AL:

Marengo County was created by the Alabama Territorial legislature on Feb. 6, 1818 from land acquired from the Choctaw Indians by the treaty of Oct. 24, 1918. The name of the county was suggested by Judge Abner Lipscombe, and was given as a compliment to the first white settlers, expatriated French citizens and commemorative of Napoleon's great victory at Marengo over the Austrian armies on June 14, 1800. Marengo County is situated in the west-central part of the state. It is bordered by Hale, Greene, Perry, Dallas, Wilcox, Clarke, Choctaw and Sumter counties. The county seat was originally known as "Town of Marengo." In 1823 the name was changed to Linden, a shortened version of "Hohenlinden," scene of a French victory in Bavaria in 1800. Other towns and communities include Demopolis, where French expatriates settled and formed the Vine and Olive Colony, Myrtlewood and Sweet Water. Courthouse fires occurred in 1848 and 1965.

The Archives will accept written requests for research services, however there is a $20 out-of-state reference fee. Mail requests to: Alabama Dept. Archives & History, P.O. Box 300100, Montgomery, AL 36130-0100.

Alabama Maps

If you are interested in how to get from here to there in Alabama, you will want to check-out the website “Alabama Maps” http://alabamamaps.ua.edu/ operated by the Dept. of Geography at the University of Alabama. This website has a verity of Alabama historical maps available for individual counties as well as statewide maps from before 1826 to after 1900.

In addition, the website has historical maps for the Southeastern United States, the Civil War era and Railroads and the Western Hemisphere for the time-period before 1750 to after 1850.

In additional to these historical maps, there are hundreds of contemporary maps available.

Have fun researching these maps.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 26 Dec 2002 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604