Pike County Data
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About Pike County, Alabama...
Pike County was created from portions of Henry and Montgomery counties by an act of the Alabama General Assembly on December 17, 1821. The county's boundaries changed several times with the creation of Barbour, Bullock, and Crenshaw counties. The present-day boundaries were set in 1897.
Pike County was named for General Zebulon Montgomery Pike, an explorer and statesman from New Jersey who mapped much of the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase, and Pike's Peak in Colorado is also named for him. Most early settlers came from the Carolinas and were of Scots-Irish origin. Others came from Georgia via the Old Federal Road, built by Gen. Andrew Jackson and his forces. Some of the earliest settlements and towns were Orion, Brundidge, Henderson, China Grove, and Goshen.
The 1821 act creating the county provided for a temporary seat of justice at the house of Andrew Townsend in Louisville until Pike County commissioners selected the site for the county seat. Little is known about this first seat, as Louisville eventually became a part of Barbour County. The Pike County seat was moved to Monticello in 1827, and a log courthouse was built in 1828. That building was torn down in 1839 and rebuilt as an inn, which was itself eventually torn down.
In 1837, the citizens wanted a more centrally located seat of justice, so the county seat was moved to Troy, which was originally known as Deer Stand Hill. The court met in local stores until the courthouse was built in 1839. In 1880, this structure was torn down and rebuilt as an opera house, which was also eventually torn down. A brick courthouse was erected in 1880 and expanded in 1898. Over the course of the twentieth century, the courthouse was restored and remodeled and remains in use today.
Pike County's thin, sandy soils were fertile when farmers first arrived in the early eighteenth century, but after just a year or two of farming, the soil became depleted. Thus, before the Civil War, Pike County did not develop the large farms and plantations so common in other areas of Alabama, and agriculture remained mainly at the subsistence level. After the Civil War, however, farmers learned to terrace the land to retain the topsoil and began adding commercial fertilizers. Cotton soon became a major cash crop until the boll weevil arrived in the mid-1910s, followed by the Great Depression in the 1930s. Farmers diversified into other agricultural activities, especially peanuts and livestock, and other industries began to develop, including gristmills and lumber mills. In the 1960s and 1970s, steel and plastic production became important when Lockheed Martin and KW Plastics Recycling opened.
The county has a total area of 673 square miles, of which 672 square miles is land and 1 square mile (0.9%) is water. The population recorded in the 1830 Federal Census was 7,108. The 2010 census recorded 32,899 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Bullock County (northeast), Barbour County (east), Dale County (southeast), Coffee County (south), Crenshaw County (west), and Montgomery County (northwest).
Communities in the county include Brundidge, Troy, Banks, Goshen, Curry, Kent, Orion, Pronto, River Ridge, and Spring Hill.
Pike 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.