Walker County Data
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About Walker County, Alabama...
Walker County was established by the Alabama legislature on December 26, 1823, from parts of Marion and Tuscaloosa counties. The final boundaries were established in 1850, when the northern portion of Walker County was used to establish Winston County. Walker County was named for U.S. Senator John Williams Walker (1783-1823), the first senator from Alabama.
Most of the county's earliest settlers came from Kentucky and Tennessee via General Andrew Jackson's Old Federal Road. Other early settlers came from the Carolinas and Georgia. Some of the earliest towns and settlements in Walker County were Jasper, Eldridge, Oakman, Parrish, and Sipsey. By the end of the nineteenth century, the towns of Walker County were flourishing due to booming coal and timber industries aided by the construction of new railroad lines.
Jasper became Walker County's first and only county seat in 1823. Named in honor of Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero, Jasper was first settled in 1815. The town was served by a number of courthouses, all of which were lost to fires in 1865, 1877, 1886, 1907, and 1932. In that year, the present courthouse was built, and since then it has undergone a number of 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 seven people in the Walker County communities of Argo, Cordova, Oakman, and Sipsey.
Walker County remained largely agricultural throughout the nineteenth century, with wheat and corn serving as the county's major crops. Coal and timber industries were especially important to the local economy by the late nineteenth century. The Warrior Coal Field underlies Walker County, which was second only to Jefferson County in coal production by 1900 and is still an important component of the economy.
Throughout the early twentieth century, a series of locks and dams along the Black Warrior and Sipsey rivers allowed Walker County to increase its industrial economy using hydroelectric power. Furthermore, the Smith Dam on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River created more than 8,000 acres of surface water for boating, fishing and other aquatic activities, resulting in a booming recreational industry.
The county has a total area of 805 square miles, of which 791 square miles is land and 14 square miles (1.7%) is water. The population recorded in the 1830 Federal Census was 2,202. The 2010 census recorded 67,023 residents in the county.
Neighboring counties are Winston County (north), Cullman County (northeast), Blount County (east), Jefferson County (southeast), Tuscaloosa County (southwest), Fayette County (west), and Marion County (northwest).
Communities in the county include Carbon Hill, Cordova, Dora, Jasper, Sumiton (partly in Jefferson County), Eldridge, Kansas, Nauvoo (partly in Winston County), Oakman, Parrish, Sipsey, Burnwell, Curry, Empire, Goodsprings, Mount Hope, Quinton, Slicklizzard, Spring Hill, Townley, and Union Chapel.
Walker 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.