Lamar County Data
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About Lamar County, Alabama...
Lamar County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature on February 4, 1867. During the tumultuous Reconstruction Era, Lamar County was formed from the southern portion of Marion County and the western portion of Fayette County. The county was originally named Jones County in honor of Fayette County resident E. P. Jones.
On November 13, 1867, the county was abolished and the lands returned to Marion County. Less than a year later, however, the county was reestablished on October 8, 1868. This time, the county was named Sanford County, in honor of H. C. Sanford of Cherokee County. The name of the county changed for a third and final time on February 8, 1877. At that time, Sanford County became Lamar County in honor of Sen. Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar of Mississippi. Most of Lamar County's settlers came from South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and many of them made their way to the area that would become Lamar County via General Andrew Jackson's Military Road. Some of the county's earliest towns included Vernon (formerly known as Swayne), Sulligent, and Beaverton.
In 1866, the community of Swayne was designated as the first county seat of Lamar County. Swayne was named for Union general Wager Swayne, who served as Alabama's governmental leader during Military Reconstruction. When Lamar County was recreated in 1868, the community changed its name to Vernon after Edmund Vernon, an immigrant from Vernon, England. The first courthouse in Vernon occupied the site of the present-day structure. The original courthouse was a two-story frame building of brick that was replaced around 1909 with a larger, more modern building featuring huge white columns with Doric capitols. In 1950, the columns were removed during a renovation and a third floor was added. The structure remains the county courthouse.
During the 1830s and 1840s, small-scale farming typified the area that would become Lamar County. Corn, potato, and livestock production were always more important than cotton production, although an increase in cotton production occurred in the 1850s. With access to the Tombigbee River, farmers in the area that would become Lamar County shipped their goods southward to New Orleans and Mobile markets.
Lamar County was created during Reconstruction, and thus, the county had to immediately contend with the economic aftermath of the Civil War. Timber production as well as tanneries and lumber mills provided a boost to the county's economy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but Lamar County remained poor and isolated up until World War II. During the 1930s and 1940s, hydroelectric power provided some relief for the county's workforce, as Lamar County attempted to industrialize. The county met with limited success, however, and in recent decades many of the factories in the county (especially garment factories) have closed.
The county has a total area of 605 square miles, of which 604 square miles is land and 1 square mile (0.1%) is water. The population recorded in the 1870 Federal Census was 8,893. The 2010 census recorded 14,564 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Marion County (north), Fayette County (east), Pickens County (south), Lowndes County, Mississippi (southwest), and Monroe County, Mississippi (west).
Communities in the county include Sulligent, Vernon, Beaverton, Detroit, Kennedy, Millport, and Hoghtogy.
Lamar County, Alabama Records
Alabama Genealogy & History Network has many records on our county websites. Thousands of County marriage records are located on the county websites. Many counties have cemetery listings. 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.