Welcome to the Madison County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Madison 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.
Mississippi Territory governor Robert Williams created Madison County by executive order on December 13, 1808. The county was named for President James Madison, who was then serving as secretary of state under President Thomas Jefferson. Originally inhabited by Chickasaw and Cherokee Indians, the first white settlers arrived between 1802 and 1804 at Ditto's Landing on the Tennessee River and in the area of present-day New Market.
The first sale of public lands was held on August 9, 1809. Georgia planter Leroy Pope purchased acreage around Big Spring and succeeded in having it selected as the county seat on July 5, 1810. The town was briefly known as Twickenham, the English home of Pope's ancestors. This name proved unpopular, and on November 25, 1811, the territorial legislature changed the name to Huntsville, in honor of John Hunt, the original settler of Big Spring.
Between 1810 and 1819, Madison County grew rapidly in both population and size with further public land sales, and Huntsville quickly became a commercial center in the heart of a rich cotton-based agricultural region. During Alabama's transition from territory to state in the summer and fall of 1819, Huntsville was named its temporary capital. Alabama's first constitutional convention convened in Huntsville on July 5, 1819, and the first session of the legislature met there on November 9, 1819. Although the state legislature moved the capital to Cahaba after Alabama became a state, Huntsville continued to flourish, serving as the cotton-trading center of the Tennessee Valley during the 1840s and 1850s.
Huntsville remained an important commercial and cultural center until its capture by Union forces on April 11, 1862. The first occupation lasted only a few months, but the city was recaptured on July 4, 1863, and remained under Union occupation until the end of the war. Madison County and Huntsville suffered severely from the effects of the war but began a slow recovery soon after county's rich farmlands returned to cultivation in the post-war period.
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 nine people in the Madison County communities of Harvest (7) and Toney (2).
The county has a total area of 813 square miles, of which 802 square miles is land and 11 square mile (1.4%) is water. The population recorded in the 1810 Federal Census was 4,699. The 2010 census recorded 334,811 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Lincoln County, Tennessee (north), Franklin County, Tennessee (northeast), Jackson County (east), Marshall County (southeast), Morgan County (southwest), and Limestone County (west).
Communities in the county include Huntsville (partly in Limestone County), Madison (partly in Limestone County), New Hope, Gurley, Owens Cross Roads, Triana, Harvest, Hazel Green, Meridianville, Moores Mill, New Market, Redstone Arsenal, Big Cove, Brownsboro, Chase, Hobbs Island, Maysville, Monrovia, Moontown, Plevna, Rainbow, Ryland, and Toney.
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.
Madison County is located in north-central Alabama.
A list of Madison County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of Madison County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
For a list of Madison County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Madison County, Alabama Schools. Some of these have photos and additional information.