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|Territory: Apr 07, 1798 (MS)|
|Territory: Dec 10, 1817 (AL)|
|Statehood: Dec 14, 1819|
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Today’s Alabama counties did not always exist in the present form. They went through many different changes in the space of a few short years. Alabama Counties were first formed while part of the Mississippi Territory, and after that the Alabama Territory.
Alabama Territorial Counties
The Alabama Territory lasted until December 14, 1819, when it was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state.
The Alabama state legislature formed additional counties from former native lands as the Indian Removal Act took effect and settlers populated different areas of Alabama.
- 1820 – Alabama had 29 counties.
- 1830 – Alabama had 36 counties and Native Americans still occupied large areas of land in northeast and far western Alabama.
- 1840 – Alabama had 49 counties
- 1850 – Alabama had 52 counties
- 1870 – Alabama had 65 counties
- 1903 – Alabama had present 67 counties
Alabama Counties Today
Alabama counties are governed at the local level. Two counties, Shelby and Baldwin, have been granted home rule status by special acts of the state legislature
The Alabama Constitution requires that any new county in Alabama cover at least 600 square miles in area, effectively limiting the creation of new counties in the state.
There are some Alabama counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county. A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have modified very little since 1900.
Fun Facts about Alabama Counties
Counties by Year
- Washington County was the first county created on June 4, 1800.
- The last county to be formed was Houston County on February 9, 1903.
Counties by Census Year
- 1820 – Alabama had 29 counties.
- 1830 – Alabama had 36 counties.
- 1840 – Alabama had 49 counties
- 1850 – Alabama had 52 counties
- 1870 – Alabama had 65 counties
- 1903 – Alabama had the present 67 counties
County Size Facts
- Baldwin County (1,590 sq mi) is the largest county in Alabama.
- Etowah County (535 sq mi) is the smallest county in Alabama.
County Population Facts (2017 Est.)
- Jefferson County (659,460) is the most populated county in Alabama.
- Greene County (8,533) is the least populated county in Alabama.
Alabama City Facts
Alabama’s 10 largest cities (2010) are:
- Birmingham (212,237) is in Jefferson and Shelby Counties
- Montgomery (205,764) is in Montgomery County
- Mobile (195,111) is in Madison, Limestone and Morgan Counties
- Huntsville (180,105) is in Mobile County
- Tuscaloosa (90,468) is in Tuscaloosa County
- Hoover (81,619) is in Jefferson and Shelby Counties
- Dothan (65,496) is in Houston, Dale and Henry Counties
- Decatur (55,683) is in Morgan County and Limestone County
- Auburn (53,380) is in Lee County
- Madison (42,938) is in Madison County and Limestone County
Map of Alabama County Boundary Changes from 1818 to 1980
This Interactive Map of Alabama Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1818 to 1980.
List of Alabama Counties
|County||Created||Created From||County Seat||Populatio (2017 Est.)||Named For||Notes|
|Autauga County||21 Nov 1818||Montgomery County||Prattville||The Autauga or Atagi people, Native Americans who were a sub-group of the Alibamu|
|Baldwin County||21 Dec 1809||Washington County and West Florida||Bay Minette||Abraham Baldwin (1754–1807), U.S. legislator from Georgia|
|Barbour County||18 Dec 1832||former Creek Indian territory and a portion of Pike County||Clayton||James Barbour (1775–1842), Governor of Virginia and U.S. Senator|
|Bibb County||07 Feb 1818||Monroe and Montgomery Counties (as Cahawba County)||Centreville||William Wyatt Bibb (1781–1820), 1st Governor of Alabama|
|Blount County||06 Feb 1818||Montgomery County and Creek Indian territories||Oneonta||Willie Blount (1768–1835), Governor of Tennessee.|
|Bullock County||05 Dec 1866||Barbour, Macon, Montgomery and Pike Counties||Union Springs||Edward Bullock (1822–1861), colonel in the Confederate States Army|
|Butler County||13 Dec 1819||parts of Monroe County and Conecuh County||Greenville||William Butler (?–1818), captain in Creek War|
|Calhoun County||18 Dec 1832||St. Clair County (as Benton County)||Anniston||John C. Calhoun (1782–1850), 7th U.S. Vice President|
|Chambers County||18 Dec 1832||Montgomery and Shelby Counties||LaFayette||Henry H. Chambers (1790–1826), U.S. Senator|
|Cherokee County||09 Jan 1836||Cherokee Indian territory||Centre||Cherokee people, whose lands included Northeast Alabama|
|Chilton County||30 Dec 1868||Autauga, Bibb, Perry and Shelby Counties||Clanton||William Parish Chilton (1810–1871), Alabama Supreme CourtJustice and Confederate congressman|
|Choctaw County||29 Dec 1847||Sumter and Washington Counties||Butler||Choctaw people, whose lands included Alabama|
|Clarke County||10 Dec 1812||Mississippi Territory||Grove Hill||John Clarke (1766–1832), general from Georgia|
|Clay County||07 Dec 1866||Randolph and Talladega Counties||Ashland||Henry Clay (1777–1852), U.S. legislatorfrom Kentucky|
|Cleburne County||06 Dec 1866||Calhoun, Randolph and Talladega Counties||Heflin||Patrick Cleburne (1828–1864), Major Generalin Confederate States Army|
|Coffee County||29 Dec 1841||Dale County||Elba & Enterprise||John Coffee (1772–1833), military leader in War of 1812 and Creek War|
|Colbert County||06 Feb 1867||Franklin County||Tuscumbia||George Colbert (1764–1839) and Levi Colbert (1759–1834), Chickasaw chiefs|
|Conecuh County||13 Feb 1818||Monroe County||Evergreen||The Conecuh River, which flows through the county|
|Coosa County||18 Dec 1832||Montgomery and Shelby Counties||Rockford||The Coosa River, which flows through the county, and is itself named after a Native American village|
|Covington County||17 Dec 1821||briefly renamed Jones||Andalusia||Leonard Covington (1768–1813), Brigadier General in War of 1812 and U.S. Congressman|
|Crenshaw County||30 Nov 1866||Butler, Coffee, Covington, Pike and Lowndes Counties||Luverne||Anderson Crenshaw (1783–1847), Alabama Supreme Court justice and early settler|
|Cullman County||24 Jan 1877||Blount, Morgan and Winston Counties||Cullman||Colonel John G. Cullmann (1823–1895), founder of county seat|
|Dale County||22 Dec 1824||Covington and Henry Counties||Ozark||Samuel Dale (1772–1841), pioneer, Indian fighter, brigadier general and state legislator.|
|Dallas County||09 Feb 1818||Creek Cession of Aug. 9, 1814||Selma||Alexander James Dallas (1759–1817), U.S. Secretary of Treasury|
|DeKalb County||09 Jan 1836||Cherokee Nation||Fort Payne||Johann de Kalb (1721–1780), major general in American Revolutionary War.|
|Elmore County||15 Feb 1866||Autauga, Coosa, Montgomery and Tallapoosa Counties||Wetumpka||General John Archer Elmore, a veteran of the American Revolution and early settler of Alabama.|
|Escambia County||10 Dec 1868||Baldwin and Conecuh Counties||Brewton||Escambia Creek, a tributary of the Conecuh River. The word “Escambia” is believed to come from the Choctaw Indian language, meaning “cane-brake” or “reed-brake.”|
|Etowah County||07 Dec 1866||Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, DeKalb, Marshall and St. Clair Counties||Gadsden||a Cherokee word meaning “edible tree”|
|Fayette County||20 Dec 1824||Marion, Pickens and Tuscaloosa Counties||Fayette||French general and supporter of the American Revolutionary War, Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette (1757–1834), who was touring Alabama at the time of the county’s formation.|
|Franklin County||06 Feb 1818||Cherokee & Chickasaw Nations||Russellville||Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), politician, diplomat, inventor, and publisher|
|Geneva County||26 Dec 1868||Dale, Henry and Coffee Counties||Geneva||Named after Geneva, New York, the origin of several early settlers, and its principal town and county seat.|
|Greene County||13 Dec 1819||Marengo County, Tuscaloosa County, and part of the Choctaw Cession of Oct. 24, 1816||Eutaw||Nathanael Greene (1742–1786), Revolutionary War general|
|Hale County||30 Jan 1867||Greene, Marengo, Perry and Tuscaloosa Counties||Greensboro||Stephen Fowler Hale (1816–1862), lieutenant colonel in Confederate States Army killed at Gaines’ Mill, Virginia.|
|Henry County||13 Dec 1819||Conecuh County||Abbeville||Patrick Henry (1736–1799), American Revolutionary War patriot and Governor of Virginia|
|Houston County||09 Feb 1903||Dale, Geneva and Henry Counties||Dothan||George S. Houston (1811–1879), 24th Governor of Alabama and U.S. Congressman|
|Jackson County||13 Dec 1819||Cherokee Cession of 1819||Scottsboro||Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), 7th U.S. President|
|Jefferson County||13 Dec 1819||Blount County||Birmingham||Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), 3rd U.S. President|
|Lamar County||04 Feb 1867||southern portion of Marion County and the western portion of Fayette County||Vernon||Lucius Q. C. Lamar (1825–1893), U.S. Supreme Court justice|
|Lauderdale County||06 Feb 1818||Cherokee and Chickasaw Cession of 1816||Florence||James Lauderdale (1780–1814), Colonel in War of 1812|
|Lawrence County||06 Feb 1818||Cherokee and Chickasaw Cession of 1816||Moulton||James Lawrence (1781–1813), naval officer in War of 1812|
|Lee County||05 Dec 1866||Chambers, Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa Counties||Opelika||Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), Commander of the Confederate States Army|
|Limestone County||06 Feb 1818||Cherokee and Chickasaw Cession of 1806 and 1816.||Athens||Limestone Creek, which flows through it, whose bed is of hard limestone|
|Lowndes County||20 Jan 1830||Butler, Dallas and Montgomery Counties||Hayneville||William Lowndes (1782–1822), U.S. Congressman from South Carolina|
|Macon County||18 Dec 1832||the last cession of the Creek Indians, March 24, 1832||Tuskegee||Nathaniel Macon (1758–1837), U.S. legislator from North Carolina|
|Madison County||13 Dec 1808||Cherokee and Chickasaw Cession of 1806||Huntsville||James Madison (1751–1836), 4th U.S. President|
|Marengo County||06 Feb 1818||the Choctaw Indians by the treaty of Oct. 24, 1816||Linden||Napoleon’s great victory at Marengo over the Austrian armies on June 14, 1800|
|Marion County||13 Feb 1818||Tuscaloosa County||Hamilton||Francis Marion (1732–1795), military leader in the American Revolutionary War|
|Marshall County||09 Jan 1836||Jackson County and Blount County and Cherokee Cession of 1836||Guntersville||John Marshall (1755–1835), Chief Justice of the United States 1801–1835|
|Mobile County||18 Dec 1812||Mobile District of West Florida after annexation into Mississippi Territory||Mobile||Mobile Bay, on which county is located.|
|Monroe County||29 Jun 1815||Creek Indian lands ceded by the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814||Monroeville||James Monroe (1758–1831), 5th U.S. President|
|Montgomery County||06 Dec 1816||Monroe County||Montgomery||Major Lemuel P. Montgomery (Tennessee) who was killed in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, 1814|
|Morgan County||06 Feb 1818||the Cherokee Indians by the Treaty of Turkeytown of 1818||Decatur||Gen. Daniel Morgan (1736–1802) of Virginia, a hero of the American Revolutionary War .|
|Perry County||13 Dec 1819||the Creek Indians in the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson.||Marion||Oliver Hazard Perry (1795–1819), naval officer in War of 1812|
|Pickens County||20 Dec 1820||Tuscaloosa County||Carrollton||Andrew Pickens (1739–1817) of South Carolina, General in the American Revolutionary War.|
|Pike County||17 Dec 1821||portions of Henry and Montgomery Counties by an act of the Alabama General Assembly on December 17, 1821||Troy||Zebulon Pike (1779–1813) of New Jersey, explorer and officer in War of 1812.|
|Randolph County||18 Dec 1832||Creek Indian territory by the Creek Cession of 1832||Wedowee||John Randolph (1773–1833), U.S. Senator from Virginia|
|Russell County||18 Dec 1832||Creek Cession of 1832 from former Creek Indian territory||Phenix City||Col. Gilbert C. Russell of Mobile, a U.S. military officer who fought in the Creek Wars.|
|Shelby County||07 Feb 1818||the Creek Indians in the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson following their defeat at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.||Ashville & Pell City||Isaac Shelby (1750–1826), a American Revolutionary War hero and first governor of Kentucky|
|St. Clair County||20 Nov 1818||portions of Shelby County by the Alabama Territorial General Assembly on November 20, 1818||Columbiana||Gen. Arthur St. Clair. A general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and president of the Continental Congress.|
|Sumter County||18 Dec 1832||former Choctaw Indian lands ceded to the United States in the Choctaw Treaty of 1830, also known as the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.||Livingston||Gen. Thomas Sumter (1734–1832), U.S. Congressman from South Carolina and a American Revolutionary War hero|
|Talladega County||18 Dec 1832||the Creek Indians by the Creek Cession of 1832||Talladega||Talatigi, Creek Indian name for the county seat, meaning “border town”|
|Tallapoosa County||18 Dec 1832||land ceded by the Creek Indians in the 1832 Treaty of Cusseta.||Dadeville||derived from the Tallapoosa River.|
|Tuscaloosa County||06 Feb 1818||the Cherokee and Choctaw Cession of 1816||Tuscaloosa||from Tuskaloosa, a Mississippian chieftain who was killed in battle by forces commanded by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540.|
|Walker County||26 Dec 1823||parts of Marion and Tuscaloosa Counties||Jasper||John Williams Walker (1783–1823), the first U.S. Senator from Alabama|
|Washington County||04 Jun 1800||as a county of the Mississippi Territory by proclamation of Gov. Winthrop Sargent.||Chatom||George Washington (1732–1799), 1st U.S. President|
|Wilcox County||13 Dec 1819||portions of Dallas and Monroe counties||Camden||Lieutenant Joseph M. Wilcox (1790–1814), an army officer from Connecticut who fought and died in the Creek War of 1813-14.|
|Winston County||12 Feb 1850||the northern portion of Walker County||Double Springs||John A. Winston (1812–1871), 15th Governor of Alabama.|
List of Old Former / Extinct Alabama Counties
At least 10 Alabama counties that were established no longer exist. These are important for genealogy research purposes.
The below Alabama counties no longer exist:
Baine County, Alabama
Baker County, Alabama
Benton County, Alabama
Created on December 18, 1832 from former Creek Indian territory and named for Colonel Thomas Hart Benton. Its county seat was Jacksonville.
Cahawba (Cahaba) County, Alabama
Cotaco County, Alabama
Created on February 6, 1818 as from created from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians by the 1818 Treaty of Turkeytown. The County seat was at Somerville. It was named for a creek that flows through it.
Established on December 7, 1821 with Woodville as its county seat. It was named in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur of the United States Navy.
Abolished / Dissolved several years later on December 28, 1825, divided between Madison County and Jackson County.
Established by Mississippi Territory prior to Mississippi–Alabama split on May 9, 1817 with Woodville as its county seat. It was named for the Elk River.
Abolished / Dissolved a year later on January 26, 1818, prior to Alabama statehood.
Jones County, Alabama
Established on February 4, 1867 with land taken from the southern part of Marion County and the western part of Fayette County.
The County was named in honor of Fayette County resident E. P. Jones. On November 13, 1867, the county was abolished and the lands returned to Marion County.
Hancock County, Alabama
Sanford County, Alabama
Created on October 8, 1868. It was named in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur of the United States Navy. Sanford County was renamed to Lamar County on February 8, 1877.