Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on November 22, 2014 in Research

Sometimes known as the Cotton State, Alabama actually has no official nickname.

Library of Congress, “Scenes from Alabama…,” digital TIFF file, Carol M Highsmith, 2010
Library of Congress, “Scenes from Alabama…,” digital TIFF file, Carol M Highsmith, 2010

Five things you may not have known about Alabama:

  1. Huntsville is known as the rocket capital of the world.
  2. Workers in Alabama built the rocket that put the first man on the moon.
  3. Sequoyah, a Alabama resident, created the Cherokee phonetic, written alphabet.
  4. A prehistoric skeleton of a man was found in Russell Cave.
  5. Baseball players Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron and Willie Howard Mays, as well as boxer Joe Louis are all natives of Alabama.

Our new free state guide, Alabama Research Guide: Family History Sources in the Cotton State, has an overview and timeline of the state, along with resources to explore when searching for your Alabama ancestors. Guides for other states are also available in the Learning Center under Free State Research Guides.

Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at She is an active blogger on and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.


  1. Jim

    I feel you omitted one of the best genealogy resource libraries in the state. Wallace State at Hanceville has several floors of Genealogy material in their library. Dr. Robert Davis is an authority on Genealogy, and several courses are taught as part of the history curriculum. They house biographies, microfilm, family files, newspaper archives and much, much more. Anyone doing research in Alabama “must” see what Wallace has to offer.

  2. aria pullman

    I am so mad at your company. I am being charged for a service I don’t want, and there is no way to get my money back because I used Paypal!!!!!

  3. Sandra

    I have a great interest in Alabama. My mom’s paternal side has deep roots since early 1800s. I know Barbour Co. Was never burned and has all court records ect… why are these records not being scanned and put on your site?

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