Welcome to the Tuscaloosa County Alabama Genealogy & History Network website providing free information to genealogical and historical researchers.
To share your Tuscaloosa 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.
Tuscaloosa County is one of the oldest counties in Alabama. The Alabama General Assembly created Tuscaloosa County on February 6, 1818, from former Creek and Choctaw Indian lands. It is believed that the county received its name from Tascaluza, a Native American tribal leader in the area at the time of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto's march through Alabama.
The county's earliest settlers came from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. Some of the earliest towns included Newton, Northport, Holt, Coaling, and Tuscaloosa. The city of Tuscaloosa was designated the state capitol from 1826 until 1845, when the government was moved to the more centrally located Montgomery. While Tuscaloosa served as the state capitol, a charter for the establishment of the first public university was issued in 1827. In 1831, the University of Alabama officially opened its doors with an enrollment of 52 students.
Tuscaloosa was designated as the county seat of Tuscaloosa County in 1819, and in 1822, the county seat was moved to Newton, just a few miles from Tuscaloosa. Within a few short years, Newton was incorporated into Tuscaloosa, and Tuscaloosa again became the county seat in 1826. Many of the original structures, including the courthouse, were destroyed in a tornado that swept through in the 1840s. The present courthouse, a modern brick structure, was built in 1964 and has undergone several renovations and additions.
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 39 people in Tuscaloosa and surrounding communities.
Farming was the prevailing occupation in Tuscaloosa County throughout the nineteenth century, and the most significant agricultural crops were wheat, corn, and oats. Tuscaloosa County also sits atop the Warrior Coal Field, and coal mining was important to the county's economy as well. Extensive forests in the northern part of the county brought timber industries to the county during the early to mid-nineteenth century as well.
With the introduction of hydroelectric power in the early twentieth century, industrial growth boomed. Today, the county's economy is diverse and expanding, especially along the Interstate 20/59 Industrial Corridor, where automotive parts, electronics, plastics, wood products, food products, and chemicals are manufactured and produced. Healthcare and education account for roughly 30 percent of the non-agricultural workforce, and Tuscaloosa County has drawn major investments from companies in Germany and Japan.
The county has a total area of 1,351 square miles, of which 1,322 square miles is land and 29 square miles (2.2%) is water. The population recorded in the 1820 Federal Census was 8,229. The 2010 census recorded 194,656 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Walker County (northeast), Jefferson County (east), Bibb County (southeast), Hale County (south), Greene County (southwest), Pickens County (west), and Fayette County (northwest).
Communities in the county include Northport, Tuscaloosa, Brookwood, Coaling, Coker, Lake View, Moundville (partly in Hale County), Vance (partly in Bibb County), Woodstock (partly in Bibb County), Holt, Abernant, Buhl, Cottondale, Duncanville, Echola, Elrod, Fosters, Kellerman, Kimbrell (partly in Jefferson County), Moores Bridge, Peterson, Ralph, Romulus, Samantha, Windham Springs, and Kaulton.
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.
Tuscaloosa County is located in the west-central portion of Alabama.
A list of Tuscaloosa County communities & places. Some of these have additional history information.
For a list of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Cemeteries, tombstone photos and more.
A list of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Churches with photos and additional information for many.