Huntsville-Madison County, Alabama Resources

Madison County has a rich history begun in 1808 by the governor of the Mississippi Territory and named in honor of James Madison. Although the remnants of the Cumberland Plateau are evident in the east with Keel, Monte Sano and Green Mountains, the lands to the west are level and loamy. This county produced more cotton than any other county in the state, and cotton mills soon developed. Today the population is highly involved in space technology related to Marshall Space Center and national defense connected to Redstone Arsenal. Historic districts include Twickenham, Old Town, and Five Points. Other towns in the county include Gurley, Madison, New Hope, Hazel Green, Meridianville, Toney and Triana.

Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society
Box 666
Huntsville, AL 35804

(HMCHS) HOPE - History Outreach Program for Educators
These are education resources and are available for use by anyone (teachers, students, parents, scholars) who is interested in history of Huntsville and Madison County.

(HMCHS & HMCPL) Huntsville History Collection
The Huntsville History Collection is an internet portal that provides information about the history and historic architecture of Huntsville and Madison County. It is a work in progress and is expected to grow over the next few years. Some of that growth will come from planned additions by the Huntsville Madison County Public Library, the Collection Webmaster and other contributors of materials.

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library
Special Collections Department
(formerly Heritage Room)
2nd Floor, 915 Monroe St
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 532-5969
Excellent resource for all thing local history and genealogy.

University of Alabama Huntsville
University Archives & Special Collections
(256) 824-6523

Alabama A & M University
State Black Archives
(256) 372-5846
University Archives & Special Collections
(256) 3724717

Oakwood University
University Archives & Special Collections
(256) 726-7247

Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table

Historic Huntsville Foundation
(256) 539-0097
Founded in 1974, it is an educational organization dedicated to the preservation of the architecturally and historically significant sites and structures in Huntsville and Madison County, Alabama.

Fayetteville-Lincoln County Public Library
(931) 433-3286

Burritt on the Mountain
Our mission is to enhance lives and build community through educational, artistic, and recreational experiences while preserving our heritage, land, and historic structures.

City of Huntsville
The City of Huntsville's Main Website

Five Points Historic District
Five Points is a community within a community, where the past blends with the present, and has a character that gives its residents a shared sense of history and connection with a "spirit of place."

Genealogy Trails (volunteer-driven genealogy resources; not affiliated with HMCHS or HMCPL)
Welcome to Madison County, Alabama Genealogy and History: Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy

Madison County History
Old files found in one of the Lawler homesite trunks revealed a handwritten historical research paper written by Ruby W. Lawler during her tenure as a Chairwoman for the Program Committee of the Gurley Historical Society

Huntsville Rewound
A Valuable Source of Contemporary Huntsville History

Madison Station Historical Preservation Society
The city of Madison was founded as a railroad depot town soon after the completion of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad in 1856. The first town lot was sold by James Clemens (father of U. S. Senator Jeremiah Clemens and a distant cousin of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka "Mark Twain") in February of 1857 to George Washington Martin, the town's first merchant.

Maple Hill Cemetery
The Cemetery Department responsible for the historic preservation of nine City of Huntsville cemeteries.

The Marshall Space Flight Center
For more than six decades, NASA and the nation have relied on Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to deliver its most vital propulsion systems and hardware, flagship launch vehicles, world-class space systems, state-of-the-art engineering technologies and cutting-edge science and research projects and solutions.

North Alabama Railroad Museum
At the North Alabama Railroad Museum, located in Chase, Alabama, just east of Huntsville, you will find a facility reflecting a love of trains and a desire to preserve railroad history.

John Hunt of Huntsville, Alabama
An interesting 31 minute audio recording about the “Founder of Huntsville – John Hunt” given by Huntsville historian David Byers. It’s a new perspective based on his critical historical research.



North Alabama Counties

Jackson County located in the northeast corner of the state, was created in 1819 from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians. It was named in honor of General Andrew Jackson. The first county seat was Sauta Cave, followed by Bellefonte and then Scottsboro. Today Jackson County contains 1,069 square miles and the county seat is Scottsboro, named for Robert T. Scott an early pioneer. Other towns include Bridgeport and Stevenson.

Jackson County Historical Association

Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center

Scottsboro Depot Museum

Limestone County was created in 1818 from the former Elk County which had been formed in 1817. It then acquired some of the land that was part of Lauderdale County to the west. The name comes from one of the creeks which flow through it to the Tennessee River. Athens is the county seat. Other towns include Belle Mina, Elkmont, Capshaw and Mooresville.

Limestone County Historical Society

Limestone County Friends of Archives

Limestone County Archives

Lauderdale County is located in the northwest corner of Alabama. It was created in 1818 and named for Lt. Col. James Lauderdale who died in 1814 from wounds received at the Battle of Talladega. Florence is the county seat, named by the city’s architect, Ferdinand Sannoner, for his home town Florence, Italy. Some other towns include Killen, St. Florian, Waterloo and Rogersville.

Tennessee Valley Historical Society

Natchez Trace Genealogical Society

Florence Historic Preservation Commission

University of North Alabama
University Archives & Special Collections

Marshall County was created in 1836 and named for John Marshall, Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court. Claysville was the first county seat followed by Marshall (now Wyeth City), Warrenton, and finally Guntersville. Guntersville was named for John Gunter, a Scotsman, who settled there and married a woman of the leading Cherokee tribe. Their settlement was along the Creek Path where a mission school was established. Other towns include Albertville, Arab, Boaz, and Grant.

Guntersville Historical Society

Guntersville Museum

Morgan County was created in 1818 from land acquired from the Cherokee Indians. Originally called Cotaco County the county seat then was at Somerville. The county was renamed in honor of Revolutionary War hero Gen. Daniel Morgan. The county seat became Decatur, named for Commander Stephen Decatur. Other towns include Danville, Eva, Hartselle and Somerville .

Morgan County Genealogical Society

Morgan County Archives
624 Bank St., Decatur (256) 351-4726

Other Links

Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields
Containing descriptions and images of airfields in all 50 states, this site is a great source of history for the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama.

Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance
Cemetery Preservation Alliance Welcome to the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance (ACPA), dedicated to honoring, recording, restoring and preserving all cemeteries and burial grounds throughout the state of Alabama.

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Alabama Historical Association
The Alabama Historical Association, founded in 1947, is the oldest statewide historical society in Alabama.

Alabama Historic Commission
The Alabama Historical Commission's goals and objectives parallel those in the Alabama Statewide Comprehensive Preservation Plan. These goals guide the agency's federally-funded historic preservation programs, the state-funded preservation programs and the AHC's historic sites.

Alabama Humanities Alliance
The Alabama Humanities Alliance (AHA) exists to provide context, build empathy, and make our state a more vibrant place to live. All through the humanities.

Alabama Preservation Alliance
Alabama Preservation Alliance is the only statewide volunteer organization devoted to preserving the cultural resources of Alabama's rich heritage.

Encyclopedia of Alabama
Free, online resource on Alabama history, culture, geography, and natural environment. This site offers articles on Alabama's famous people

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Save America's Treasures is a national public-private partnership to protect the country's threatened cultural treasures, including significant documents, works of art, maps, journals, and historic structures that documentand illuminate the history and culture of the United States.

This Week in Alabama History
An index to "This Week in Alabama History"