Welcome to the DeKalb County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your DeKalb County, Alabama genealogy or history information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - we will be pleased to include it here. If you have information to share for other Alabama Counties, visit the Alabama Genealogy & History Network state website and choose the appropriate county.
DeKalb County was created by an act of the state legislature on January 9, 1836, and is named for the Revolutionary War hero, General John B. DeKalb. Prior to European American settlement, the area was occupied by the Cherokee, most notably Sequoyah, who created the Cherokee syllabary at Wills Town.
In 1835, DeKalb County became part of the lands ceded by the Cherokee Nation to the federal government in the Treaty of New Echota. A majority of the Cherokees opposed the signing of this treaty, however, and refused to leave. Pres. Andrew Jackson sent federal troops to transport the Indians to new lands in the west. Troops were ordered to build stockade forts in Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia and forcibly remove the Indians from their lands in preparation for relocating them to Indian Teritory (now Oklahoma) in what became known as the Trail of Tears. Captain John Payne was sent to Willstown Mission, present-day Fort Payne, to command the local garrison of soldiers and see to the construction of the stockade.
During the Civil War, DeKalb County, like many north Alabama counties, opposed secession. Though no major battles were fought in the county, the tiny town of Valley Head was home to a Union encampment during the campaign to seize Chattanooga. The county has had six county seats, with Fort Payne becoming the final and present one in 1876. The current courthouse is the third courthouse built since the 1870s.
Fort Payne is home to the Alabama Fan Club & Museum, which celebrates the history and achievements of the music group Alabama, which was named Country Music Group of the 20th Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. The museum houses the group's many awards as well as collections of items relating to their youth in Fort Payne.
Cloudmont Ski Resort in Mentone, the only snow-ski resort in the state, features two 1,000-foot, beginner-intermediate slopes. DeKalb County's unique sandstone cliffs attract rock climbers from all over the Southeast, and DeSoto State Park features hiking, scenic waterfalls, and canyons. Little River Falls, located in Fort Payne, lies just upstream from the headwaters of Little River Canyon. In 1992 the waterfall became part of Little River Canyon National Preserve, one of the nation's newest national parks. Sequoyah Caverns, located in Valley Head, features unique reflective underground lakes known as "looking-glass" pools.
The county has a total area of 779 square miles, of which 777 square miles is land and 2 square miles(0.2%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 5,929. The 2010 census recorded 71,109 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Jackson County (north), Dade County, Georgia (northeast), Walker County, Georgia (east), Chattooga County, Georgia (east), Cherokee County (southeast), Etowah County (south), and Marshall County (west).
Communities in the county include Fort Payne, Henagar, Rainsville, Collinsville (partly in Cherokee County), Crossville, Fyffe, Geraldine, Hammondville, Ider, Lakeview, Mentone, Pine Ridge, Powell, Sand Rock (partly in Cherokee County), Shiloh, Sylvania, Valley Head, Alpine, Adamsburg, Aroney, Beaty Crossroads, Chigger Hill, Dawson, Dog Town, Grove Oak, Guest, Hopewell, Lake Howard, Loveless, Battelle, Bootsville, and Rawlingsville.
Alabama Genealogy & History Network has much information on our county websites - cemetery listings, community data, etc. Please visit the county or counties of interest to you.
Birth Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains records of births from 1908 to present. This was the year Alabama began keeping official birth records. You can obtain official copies of birth certificates by visiting the birth record page on their website and following the instructions. Since there are no official birth records before 1908 for births prior to that date you will need to determine birth information from census records, bible records, baptismal records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Death Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains death records after 1908 on file. This was the year Alabama began keeping official death records. You can obtain official copies of death certificates by visiting the death record page on their website and following the instructions. Since there are no official death records before 1908 for deaths prior to that date you will need to determine death information from census records, bible records, funeral home records, cemetery tombstones, etc.
Marriage Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health can provide you with information for marriages that took place from 1936 to present by by visiting the marriage record page on their website and following the instructions.
All existing county marriage records for any date not listed above (and for the dates listed above for that matter) may be obtained from the county's Probate Office in which the marriage was held.
Divorce Records - The Alabama Department of Public Health maintains divorce records from 1950 to present. You can obtain official copies of devorce records by visiting the divorce record page on their website and following the instructions. Records for divorces occuring before 1950 may be obtained from the Circuit Clerk in the county where the divorce took place.
DeKalb County is located in the northeast corner of Alabama.
A list of DeKalb County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of DeKalb County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
For a list of DeKalb County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of DeKalb County, Alabama Schools. Some of these have photos and additional information.