Welcome to the Macon County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
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Macon County was established by an act of the Alabama legislature on December 18, 1832, although the county did not exhibit its final and present-day boundaries until 1866. The county was created from territory acquired from the last cession of the Creek Indians on March 24, 1832, in the Treaty of Cusseta.
Macon County is named for Nathaniel Macon, a distinguished soldier and U.S. senator from North Carolina. Most of Macon's earliest settlers came from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas via the Old Federal Road that connected Washington, D.C., to New Orleans. Tuskegee became Macon County's first and only county seat in 1832. The original courthouses were simple log and wooden structures. In the mid-nineteenth century, the county erected a brick structure in the Revival and Romanesque styles complete with gargoyles. It continues to serve as the county court house today and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
By the late nineteenth century, Macon County was an important center of African American education. Booker T. Washington established the Tuskegee Normal School in 1881 to train African American teachers. Later known as the Tuskegee Institute and then Tuskegee University, the school employed one of America's most innovative researchers in the field of agriculture, George Washington Carver, as well as a number of other pioneering African American researchers and educators.
During World War II, Macon County was the site of the Army Air Force's segregated flight training program, which gave African American men their first opportunity to serve as military aviators. Known today as the Tuskegee Airmen, almost 1,000 men earned their wings at Tuskegee Army Air Field.
Tuskegee also served as an important site of rallies and protests during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Macon County and Tuskegee were the headquarters for one of the most notorious events in American history, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. From 1932 to 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service, Tuskegee Institute, and state, county, and city health agencies misled African American males infected with syphilis into a treatment program, while in fact withholding treatment, to study the effects of long-term syphilis infection on the human body.
As part of Alabama's Black Belt, Macon County remained largely agricultural until well into the twentieth century. Cotton was the county's main crop until the 1930s and 1940s, when farmers diversified into corn, hay, peanuts, potatoes, and soybeans as well as livestock and poultry. Although Macon County has managed somewhat to move from an agriculture-based economy to an industry-based economy over the last half of the twentieth century, it has done so slowly and with limited success. The county remains largely rural and poor. Government and education provide much of the employment for Macon County.
The county has a total area of 613 square miles, of which 609 square miles is land and 4.3 square mile (0.7%) is water. The population recorded in the 1840 Federal Census was 11,247. The 2010 census recorded 21,452 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Tallapoosa County (north), Lee County (northeast), Russell County (southeast), Bullock County (south), Montgomery County (southwest), and Elmore County (northwest). Communities in the county include Tuskegee, Franklin, Notasulga (partly in Lee County), Shorter, Creek Stand, Fort Davis, Hardaway, Little Texas, and Warriorstand.
Alabama Genealogy & History Network has many records on our county websites - marriage records, cemetery listings, 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 - We have thousands of county marriage records on our county websites. These dates will assist you greatly in obtaining a copy of the original marriage license. 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.
Macon County is located in the east-central portion of Alabama.
A list of Macon County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
For a list of Macon County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Macon County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.