Alabama Census Records

Starting in 1790, the United States government took a census every 10 years. Alabama residents are included in the censuses for 1820 through 1950.

Alabama’s early census records are limited in comparison to other states of the same age, but there are still several resources available for those looking to explore their family history in the state. A state census was taken in 1820, although records exist for only eight counties, including Baldwin, Conecuh, Dallas, Franklin, Limestone, St. Clair, Shelby, and Wilcox. These records have been published and indexed, and an online database is available on for subscribers to access. Additionally, Elizabeth Shown Mills cites twelve groups of census or census substitute materials for 1706 through 1816-1819 in her essay “Alabama” in Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources.

State censuses were taken sporadically, with a sizable but incomplete collection available. There is a 1855 state census that is indexed, and the 1850 and 1866 censuses survive and are widely available on microfilm, although they are not indexed. The 1866 census includes information about household members killed, wounded or missing in the Civil War. The Alabama Department of Archives and History houses the originals, and microfilmed copies can be purchased from them.

The only extant records for Alabama in the 1890 census are parts of Perryville (Beat No. 11) and Severe (Beat No. 8 ) of Perry County.

In 1907, a census of Alabama’s Confederate veterans was taken, and a census of Confederate pensioners was taken by mail in 1921. Original forms for both censuses are available for examination at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and on microfilm. Alabama Confederate pensioners lists were also published by the Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc., Magazine from 1958 through 1982 for several counties. These resources can provide valuable information for those researching their family history in Alabama.

Alabama Mortality Census Records

The 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1885 censuses included inquiries about persons who had died in the twelve months immediately preceding the enumeration. The 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 Alabama mortality census all survived. Mortality schedules list deaths from 1 June through 31 May of 1849–50, 1859–60, 1869–70, 1879–80, and 1884–85. They provide nationwide, state-by-state death registers that predate the recording of vital statistics in most states. While deaths are under-reported, the mortality schedules remain an invaluable source of information.

Alabama Census Information

Sizeable state census exist for Alabama for the following years:

1855–index (14 counties: Autauga, Baldwin, Blount, Coffee, Franklin, Henry, Lowndes, Macon, Mobile, Montgomery [on film, but not included in the index], Pickens, Sumter [not on microfilm and not included in the index], Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa): name of head of household; number of free white males and females in age categories; number of slaves and free persons of color in age categories.

1866–no index: name of head of household for African-Americans and whites; number of females and males in age categories.

These state census if not available yet online and linked from our site are available at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

For additional Alabama census facts, see the following:

Census Records: A directory of resources providing online access to census records. Copyright 1999-2020, AccessGenealogy.

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