Alabama Periodicals

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A periodical is a regularly published magazine, newsletter, or journal. Several valuable periodicals concerning Alabama genealogical research exist. Many genealogical and historical societies publish magazines and newsletters. The articles in these periodicals often include the following:

  • Family genealogies and pedigrees
  • Helpful articles on research methodology
  • Transcripts or indexes of biographical sketches, censuses, church records, migration lists, military records, obituaries, wills, vital records, and more
  • Historical background
  • Current and historical maps
  • Information about local and national records, archives, and services
  • Interesting articles about social life and customs
  • Book advertisements and book reviews
  • Advertisements of professional researcher
  • Queries or requests for information about specific ancestors that can help you contact other interested researchers


Genealogical Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Many Alabama genealogy periodicals are available online at the Alabama Department of Archives and History website.

Major genealogical periodicals for Alabama are:

  • The Alabama Genealogical Register 1959–1968. This periodical is indexed and contains abstracts of marriage, cemetery, probate, and census records. Formerly published by Elizabeth W. Thomas, ed., Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Family History Library book 976.1 B2a.) Index to Vol. 1 at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Alabama Genealogical Society Magazine 1967–. Included are abstracts of newspapers and census, marriage, military, court, and cemetery records. Published by the Alabama Genealogical Society, c/o Samford University Library, P. O. Box 2296, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229–0001. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2ag.) It is indexed. Website includes a complete table of contents for issues from 1967-2005.
  • AlaBenton Genealogical Society Quarterly 1984–. This contains abstracts of court, land, cemetery, marriage, and census records for northeastern Alabama counties. Published by the AlaBenton Genealogical Society, c/o Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library, P.O. Box 308, Anniston, Alabama 36202. (Family History Library book 976.163 B2a.) Most of the volumes are indexed.
  • Central Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly 1974–. They have a surname registration file and a surname index. It includes pedigree charts and queries and abstracts of probate, land, cemetery, military, and marriage records for central Alabama counties. Published by the Central Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 125, Selma, Alabama 36702–0125. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2c.)
  • Deep South Genealogical Quarterly 1963–. This quarterly contains abstracts of census, Bible, military, church, and marriage records. Published by the Mobile Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 6224, Mobile, Alabama 36660-6224. (Family History Library book 976.122 B2d.) There is a surname index to volumes 1–10 and individual indexes to the subsequent volumes.
  • Natchez Trace Traveler 1981–. This publishes abstracts of church, cemetery, court, probate, and marriage records and tax lists of northwest Alabama counties. Published by the Natchez Trace Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 420, Florence, Alabama 35631-0420. (Family History Library book 976.1 D25n.) It includes membership and surname lists, but there is no index for each volume.
  • Pioneer Trails 1959–. It includes pedigree charts of ancestors and abstracts of census, marriage, and cemetery records. Published by the Birmingham Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 2432, Birmingham, Alabama 35201. (Family History Library book 976.178 B2p.) Formerly Pioneers. Formerly Birmingham Genealogical Society. This has a cumulative index to 1970 and individual indexes after that.
  • Settlers of Northeast Alabama 1962–1980. This periodical includes abstracts of land grant, Bible, census, cemetery, and marriage records. Published by the Northeast Alabama Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 674, Gadsden, Alabama 35902. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2s.) Most volumes are indexed.
  • Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society (Quarterly) 1985–1997. Dothan, Alabama: Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2sa.) This source continues under the title Wiregrass Roots (see below).
  • Tap Roots 1963–. Each volume contains an index and abstracts of marriage, census, cemetery, church, family, and Bible records for eastern Alabama counties. Published by the Genealogical Society of East Alabama, P.O. Box 2892 Drawer 1351, Opelika, Alabama 36830–2892. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2ta.)
  • Valley Leaves 1966–. This periodical publishes abstracts of newspapers and death, probate, court, land, military, and census records for the northern counties of Alabama. Published by the Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1568, Huntsville, Alabama 35807. (Family History Library book 976.19 B2v.) It is indexed. Available online.
  • Wiregrass Roots 1997–. In addition to queries, this periodical contains abstracts of newspapers and cemetery, marriage, and census records. Some volumes contain an index. Published by the Southeast Alabama Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 246, Dothan, Alabama 363022–0246. (Family History Library book 976.1 B2sa.) Formerly Southeast Alabama Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Historical Periodicals[edit | edit source]

The Alabama Historical Society prints a periodical with some useful information to genealogists:

  • Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society.

Digital versions at FamilySearch Digital Library and Internet Archive: FamilySearch Digital Library - Vol. 2, Family Search Digital Library - Vol. 3, FamilySearch Digital Library - Vol. 4, FamilySearch Digital Library - Vol. 5.

  • Alabama Historical Quarterly - 119 issues (1930-1982) available online.


Obtaining Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Copies of periodicals are available from the local societies that publish them. Major archives with genealogical collections will have copies of many periodicals, particularly those representing the area they serve. The Periodical Source Index, or PERSI, is the largest subject index to genealogy and local history periodical articles in the world. PERSI is available online and is especially useful because it refers to countless items published in thousands of family history periodicals worldwide. Learn more at the PERSI wiki page here:

  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI). Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library Foundation, 1987-. (Family History Library book 973 D25per; 40 fiche 6016863 (1847-1985); 15 fiche 6016864 (1986-1990).) Partially indexes over 5,000 English-language and French-Canadian family history periodicals. The microfiche indexes are cumulative; book indexes since 1986 are year-by-year. For further details see the PERiodical Source Index Resource Guide (34119).
  • Find My Past Researchers can use the Internet edition of this index at Family History Centers via their site.

Once you locate an article in a periodical, check the FamilySearch Catalog and regional or local libraries for available copies. The Family History Library has collected many periodicals, with some available in digital format and accessible online. United States periodicals may be found in the FamilySearch Catalog with a Place and Subject search, as found here: Alabama-Periodicals. They can also be found by using:

  • Place Search of the country, state/province, and county
  • Title Search of the periodical
  • Keyword Search for the publishing society name.


Also find Periodical resources available at other libraries via WorldCat. As with the FamilySearch Catalog search, search WorldCat using society names, locality names, and periodical title names. Learn more about how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog on our Wiki pages.


References[edit | edit source]