Welcome to the Morgan County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Morgan 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.
Morgan County was created by an act of the Alabama Territorial General Assembly on February 6, 1818, preceding Alabama's statehood by almost two years. The county was created from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians by the 1818 Treaty of Turkeytown. The county was originally named Cotaco for a creek that flows through it.
When the area was officially opened in 1818, settlers came mostly from Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The first towns in present-day Morgan County grew up along the banks of the Cotaco and Flint creeks and their tributaries. Some of these early towns were Flint, Danville, Bluff City, Decatur, and Hartselle. On June 14, 1821, the name was changed to Morgan County in honor of Gen. Daniel Morgan of Virginia, who fought in the American Revolution. The county seat was at Somerville from 1818 until 1891, when it was moved to Decatur.
During the Civil War, northern Morgan County was a hotly contested area because of its access to a railroad bridge across the Tennessee River. Decatur hosted headquarters of both Union and Confederate forces during the war. The Battle of Decatur in 1864 destroyed all but three buildings in the city. Later, courthouse fires in 1926 and 1938 destroyed many records about the county's early history.
The first settlers in what would become Morgan County were generally farmers. Some established large-scale cotton plantations on the fertile lands bordering the Tennessee River. Those who settled along the county's abundant small creeks worked small farms.
Abundant ferries and steamboat stops made early Morgan County a center for cotton shipping and the lumber industry. Cattle, hog, and sheep farming were minor economic efforts in the Cumberland Plauteau region as well. During the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority made the Tennessee River navigable with a series of locks and dams, which also provided abundant and inexpensive electricity. Morgan County's economy thus shifted from agriculture and forestry to industry and manufacturing.
The county has a total area of 599 square miles, of which 579 square miles is land and 20 square mile (3.3%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 5,263. The 2010 census recorded 119,490 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Madison County (northeast), Marshall County (east), Cullman County (south), Lawrence County (west), and Limestone County (northwest).
Communities in the county include Decatur (partly in Limestone County), Hartselle, Priceville, Trinity, Falkville, Somerville, Eva, Basham, Brooksville, Burningtree Mountain, Danville, Hulaco, Lacey's Spring, Morgan City (partly in Marshall County), Moulton Heights, Neel, Ryan Crossroads, Six Way, Union Hill, Valhermoso Springs, Lacon.
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.
Morgan County is located in the north-central portion of Alabama.
A list of Morgan County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
For a list of Morgan County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Morgan County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.