Welcome to the Franklin County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Franklin 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.
Franklin County was created by an act of the territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, almost two years before Alabama became a state. The county was named for Benjamin Franklin and originally contained parts of Colbert County. Franklin County is located in what was once territory occupied by the Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Creeks.
In 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr hid for two weeks in Dismals Canyon, located in the town of Phil Campbell in the northeastern part of the county, after killing political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Between 1816 and 1820, Andrew Jackson and his troops built Jackson's Military Road, which shortened travel time between Nashville and New Orleans, through portions of Franklin County.
In 1840, the county became one of the leading iron manufacturers in the state. Iron produced at the Cedar Creek Iron Works aided both the Mexican and Civil War efforts. The furnace was destroyed in July 1864 during Union general Lovell H. Rousseau's raid through Alabama.
For years, county leaders fought over the location of the county seat and settled on Russellville in 1820, named for Maj. William Russell, who settled in the area after serving with Andrew Jackson during the Creek War of 1813-14. In 1832, the state's first rail line, the Tuscumbia Railroad, opened in Franklin County. In 1849, leaders of the town of Tuscumbia (now in Colbert County) began lobbying for a change of county seat. Eventually, Russellville and Tuscumbia leadership agreed to move the county seat to a central location, which they named Frankfort.
After Colbert County was created in 1867, the Franklin County seat was moved to Belgreen, which remained the seat until a mysterious fire destroyed the courthouse in 1890. An election was called to determine a new seat, and a heated battle broke out between supporters of Russellville and those of the rival town Isbell. Eventually, the town of Russellville won out, and the county seat was moved back to it original location in 1891.
On April 27, 2011, a massive storm, causing numerous powerful tornadoes, struck the southeastern United States. More than 250 people were killed in Alabama, including 27 people in the Franklin County communities of East Franklin (3), Phil Campbell (23), and Double Springs (1).
The county has a total area of 647 square miles including 13 square miles of water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 4,988. The 2020 census recorded 32,113 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Colbert County (north), Lawrence County (east), Winston County (southeast), Marion County (south), Itawamba County, Mississippi (southwest), and Tishomingo County, Mississippi (northwest). Communities in the county include Red Bay, Russellville, Hodges, Phil Campbell, Vina, Belgreen, Spruce Pine, Atwood, Liberty Hill, Nix, and Pogo.
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.
Franklin County is located in Northwest Alabama.
A list of Franklin County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
For a list of Franklin County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Franklin County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.