Welcome to the Monroe County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Monroe 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.
Monroe County was created by David Holmes, governor of Mississippi Territory, on June 29, 1815, from land acquired from the Creek Indians in the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson. Originally encompassing all the land ceded by the Creeks, the county amounted to a large portion of Alabama. It later was reduced in size, however, by the creation of Montgomery, Conecuh, and Wilcox counties.
The county was named in honor of U.S. President James Monroe, who was then secretary of state under President James Madison. The first settlers were largely of English descent and came from Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Some of the earliest settlements and towns were Claiborne, Monroeville, Manistee, and Perdue Hill.
Claiborne served as the first county seat of Monroe County. In 1832, the seat was moved to the more centrally located Monroeville. A year later, the first county courthouse burned and all records were lost. A new brick courthouse and jail were constructed in the 1850s. In 1903, the Monroe County government built a new courthouse, and the old building became the county's first bank. The 1903 courthouse, now known as the Old Courthouse, is part of the Monroe County Heritage Museum. The present-day courthouse, known as the New Courthouse, was built in 1963 and continues to serve Monroe County.
Farming was the prevailing occupation in Monroe County until well into the twentieth century. The two major crops were cotton and corn. With easy access to more than 20 river landings, the county soon became home to the largest cotton market in the state. Although farmers attempted to diversify in the early twentieth century, no other major crops proved as successful as cotton.
The county's many acres of forest along the Alabama River brought the timber industry to the area, and paper mills dotted the county by the middle to late nineteenth century. In 1937, Vanity Fair opened the first apparel plant in Monroeville, and the county slowly began to shift from an agriculture-based economy to an industry-based economy. During the 1970s, the county saw its greatest industrial expansion with the opening of the Georgia-Pacific Plywood Mill, Temple-Inland Particle Board Mill, and the Alabama River Pulp-Paper Mill.
The county has a total area of 1,034 square miles, of which 1,025 square miles is land and 9 square mile (0.9%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 8,838. The 2010 census recorded 23,068 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Wilcox County (north), Butler County (east-northeast), Conecuh County (east), Escambia County (southeast), Baldwin County (southwest), and Clarke County (west).
Communities in the county include Monroeville, Beatrice, Excel, Frisco City, Vredenburgh, Megargel, Peterman, Uriah, Buena Vista, Burnt Corn, Finchburg, Franklin, Goodway, Manistee, Mexia, Natchez, Old Salem, Old Texas, Perdue Hill, River Ridge, Scratch Ankle, Tunnel Springs, and Wainwright.
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.
Monroe County is located in the Southeast portion of Alabama.
A list of Monroe County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
A list of Monroe County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.
For a list of Monroe County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Monroe County, Alabama Schools. Some of these have photos and additional information.