Welcome to the Jackson County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Jackson 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.
Jackson County was created by the Alabama State Legislature on December 13, 1819, from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians. The original county consisted of nearly twice its current area, but in 1821, it was cut in half in the creation of Decatur County, which was soon abolished. Some of its former territory was divided between Jackson and Madison counties, but most of the land went to the newly created Marshall County.
Jackson County was named in honor of Gen. Andrew Jackson, who was visiting Huntsville and the Alabama General Assembly when the county was established. Most of the earliest settlers came to Jackson County from South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, although some came from as far away as North Carolina and Virginia. Some of the earliest settlements and towns included Sauta Cave, Bellefonte, Bridgeport, Stevenson, and Scottsboro.
During the Civil War, Jackson County was the site of much fighting between Union and Confederate troops. The courthouse and several homes in Bellefonte were burned by Union troops, and combat took place at the Battle of Bridgeport and the Scottsboro Skirmish. Scottsboro gained national media attention during the 1930s when nine African American men, known popularly as the Scottsboro Boys, were wrongfully accused and convicted of raping two white women. In 1934, the federal government established Skyline Farms, one of several experimental cooperative farms, in Jackson County.
Like most of Alabama, farming was the prevailing occupation in the area that became Houston County until well into the twentieth century. The region's relative isolation and seemingly poor soil meant that it was sparsely settled until after the Civil War. Prior to that time, only a few subsistence farms existed in the area. After the war, the timber industry boomed as lumbering interests rushed in to take advantage of the longleaf pine forests that covered the county. During the early years of the twentieth century, farmers realized that the sandy soil could be made fertile with the aid of commercial fertilizers, and the county became a cotton-producing region.
When Jackson County was created in 1819, Sauta Cave was established as the temporary seat of justice, but shortly thereafter it was moved to the village of Sauta located near Birdsong Spring. In 1828, county records were moved into the new brick, two story courthouse in Bellefonte which served as the county seat for 40 years. In 1859, a county election was held to determine whether a new court house should be more centrally located in Stevenson or Scottsboro. Stevenson was chosen but the Civil War nullified this action, and the matter was not settled until 1868.
On September 5, 1868, the Commissioners Court met in Bellefonte and voted to remove the county seat from Bellefonte to Scottsboro, named for its founder Robert T. Scott, a native of North Carolina. In November 1868, county records were moved from Bellefonte to a small brick house in Scottsboro rented by Probate Judge David Tate. (In the 1980s this "little brick" was moved to the grounds of the Scottsboro-Jackson County Heritage Center, located one block from the courthouse square.) The new courthouse was completed in 1870 at a cost of $25,000 and served the county until 1912 when the county commissioners began dismantling its walls. The new building was inspected and accepted in January 1913 and cost the county $44,503.03. Forty-one years later, a mass renovation was completed in 1954. In 1967 new office additions were added to the courthouse. The four small glass panes in the north door transom are the only components remaining in continuous use since the original building was constructed in Scottsboro in 1870.
The county has a total area of 1,127 square miles, of which 1,078 square miles is land and 49 square miles (4.3%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 8,751. The 2020 census recorded 52,579 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Marion County, Tennessee (northeast), Dade County, Georgia (east), DeKalb County (southeast), Marshall County (southwest), Madison County (west), and Franklin County, Tennessee (northwest).
Communities in the county include Bridgeport, Scottsboro, Stevenson, Dutton, Hollywood, Hytop, Langston, Paint Rock, Pisgah, Pleasant Groves, Section, Skyline, Woodville, Baileytown, Bass, Bolivar, Bryant, Estillfork, Fackler, Flat Rock, Francisco, Gorham's Bluff, Higdon, Hollytree, Larkin, Liberty Hill, Limrock, Long Island, Princeton, Rash, Rosalie, Swaim, Trenton, and Bellefonte.
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.
Jackson County is located in the northeast corner of Alabama.
A list of Jackson County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of Jackson County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
For a list of Jackson County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Jackson County, Alabama Schools. Some of these have photos and additional information.