Welcome to the Mobile County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Mobile 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.
The territory that would become Mobile County had a colorful colonial history. Variously controlled by the French, the Spanish, the British, and finally the United States, the area and its major city, Mobile, were host to many cultural shifts prior to its official establishment as a county.
Mobile County was created by proclamation of the governor of Mississippi Territory, David Holmes, on December 18, 1812, soon after the U.S. Congress had annexed the Mobile District of West Florida. Spain initially maintained its claim over the area, peacefully coexisting with the Americans in the territory. The following year, however, General James Wilkinson occupied the district with a military force, and the Spanish commandant surrendered his garrison on April 13, 1813.
The northern portion of Mobile County is home to the MOWA (Mobile and Washington County) band of Choctaw Indians, whose ancestors settled in the area after the Creek War ended in 1814. Although the MOWAs have not received official recognition from the federal government, the group was formally recognized as a tribe of Alabama in 1979, making the MOWAs eligible for such services as education and housing.
After coming under American control, Mobile prospered as a port, with the increasing use of steamboat technology making upstream transportation possible. By the 1850s Mobile ranked second to New Orleans among the South's seaports on the Gulf Coast, exporting lumber and cotton from a huge drainage area to the interior of the state.
Through Mobile, Alabama was able to maintain a steady trade with Europe and the West Indies up until the time of the Civil War. Although Mobile was able to escape occupation by Union troops until the very end of the war, the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864 resulted in the defeat of the Confederate Navy and the capture of strongholds around Mobile. It was in this battle that Union Admiral David Farragut is believed to have shouted the famous rallying cry, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"
Mobile County's economy after the Civil War was driven by the success of the Port of Mobile, where the shipping channel had been deepened and shipbuilding increased. The port's success as a major distribution center was also furthered by railroad expansion. In the 1870s, the cotton trade was supplemented by coffee, and the port became a major center for the importation of Brazilian coffee.
The Port of Mobile continued to modernize and expand at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1922 the Alabama State Docks Commission was created and empowered to build, operate, and maintain wharves, piers, docks, grain elevators, warehouses and other terminals, structures, and facilities. Mobile's shipbuilding industry played a vital role in contributing to the nation's war efforts in both World Wars I and II.
Mobile County suffered a severe blow from the effects of hurricane Camille in 1969, with a loss of 250 lives and $1.5 billion worth of property. Ten years later the county lost another $1 billion in property to hurricane Frederic. Hurricanes Ivan in 2004 and Katrina in 2006 left the county with additional significant losses. Despite these catastrophes, Mobile County's economy, as well as the state as a whole, continued to benefit from the activity of the Port of Mobile. In 1999, the port was the 14th largest in the nation in total tonnage, providing more than 118,000 jobs and an estimated economic impact statewide of more than $3 billion.
The county has a total area of 1,644 square miles, of which 1,229 square miles is land and 415 square mile (25.2%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 2,672. The 2010 census recorded 412,992 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Washington County (north), Baldwin County (east), Jackson County, Mississippi (southwest), George County, Mississippi (west), and Greene County, Mississippi (northwest).
Communities in the county include Mobile, Bayou La Batre, Chickasaw, Citronelle, Creola, Prichard, Saraland, Satsuma, Semmes, Dauphin Island, Mount Vernon, Grand Bay, Theodore, Tillmans Corner, Alabama Port, Axis, Bucks, Chunchula, Coden, Eight Mile, Fernland, Heron Bay, Irvington, Kushla, Le Moyne, Mauvilla, Mon Louis, St. Elmo, Union Church, and Whistler.
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.
Mobile County is located in the southwest corner of Alabama.
A list of Mobile County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of Mobile County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
For a list of Mobile County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Mobile County, Alabama Schools. Some of these have photos and additional information.