Welcome to the Henry County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Henry 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.
Henry County was created by the Alabama General Territorial Assembly on December 13, 1819. At the time of its creation, Henry County encompassed a vast area that included the entire southeast Wiregrass region and beyond.
Throughout the nineteenth century, however, large portions of Henry County were carved out to create a total of nine other Alabama counties: Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston as well as parts of Barbour, Pike, and Crenshaw.
Over the course of nearly 100 years, Henry County went from being the largest county in Alabama to one of the smallest in the state. In 1832, the state government added a portion of land now in the northwestern corner of the county. The area, which sticks out from the rest of Henry County, is now known as "The Nook."
Henry County was named for Patrick Henry, the famous statesman and orator from Virginia. The earliest settlers came to the area from Georgia and the Carolinas via Fort Gaines after the 1814 Treaty at Fort Jackson, in which the Creeks ceded their lands along the Chattahoochee River to the United States. The first settlements were made in the northeastern part of the county and along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
The county seat of Henry County has changed locations several times because of the many territorial changes. The first county seat was Richmond, a town no longer in existence. A small log building served as the county courthouse from 1822 to 1826, when the county seat moved to Columbia, where a log courthouse was in use from 1826 to 1833. At that time, the county seat was moved to its final location in Abbeville.
Several wooden courthouses served the county between 1833 and 1889, when a two-story brick courthouse with a four-sided clock tower was built on the same site. In 1935, the fifth courthouse was remodeled with the exterior plastered and painted white, becoming known as the "White House." In 1965, the fifth courthouse was torn down to make way for the sixth and present-day courthouse, a three-story Neoclassical structure surrounded by 46 narrow columns.
Like most of Alabama, farming was the prevailing occupation in Henry County until well into the twentieth century. However, because of the isolation of the Wiregrass region and its relatively poor soil, the area was sparsely settled until after the Civil War. What farming occurred before the war was mostly subsistence. After the war, the timber industry boomed, as lumbering interests rushed in to take advantage of the yellow pine trees that covered the county.
The county has a total area of 568 square miles, of which 562 square miles is land and 6 square miles (1.2%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 2,638. The 2010 census recorded 17,302 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Barbour County (north), Clay County, Georgia (northeast), Early County, Georgia (southeast), Houston County (south), and Dale County (west). Communities in the county include Abbeville, Dothan (partly in Dale County and Houston County), Headland, Haleburg, Newville, Graball, Otho, and Shorterville.
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.
Henry County is located in southeast Alabama.
A list of Henry County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of Henry County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
For a list of Henry County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Henry County, Alabama Schools. Some of these have photos and additional information.