Tracing your roots: APL has genealogy options to help you find your lineage

Published 3:19 am Saturday, September 3, 2016

Those looking to trace their heritage can find a medley of books, microfilm, indices and more at the Andalusia Public Library.

Thanks to donations from individuals and the hard work of Genealogy Librarian Linda Harrell, information is but a trip to the library away for many.

Harrell has compiled an index of the Andalusia Star-News’ stories (and its newspaper predecessors) through 1930 for locals to look up on microfilm.

“We have microfilm of the newspaper that dates back to the late 1800s,” APL director Karin Taylor said.

Harrell has also recorded a list of obituaries from the Star-News, alphabetically. Those are up-to-date.

Family histories are catalogued by last name.

See related story: DIfficult to trace African-American family histories

“Some of this comes from Curtis (Thomasson), families and stuff I started,” Harrell said. “All of this you can pull out and make copies of.”

There are heritage books available for most of Alabama’s 67 counties, which includes families, businesses, schools, churches and even library information.

A list of Covington County cemetery records is also available.

“Cemetery listings are by surname,” Harrell said. “It tells where people are buried.”

Harrell has gathered most of that information from the newspaper, as well.

She also has compiled random information such as Debreaux Hill, the Flood of 1929, Montezuma, crimes, what Native Americans lived in the area, and information about the Three Notch Road.

They also have Census records from 1740-1940, with the exception of the 1890 Census.

“That’s just lost history,” she said. “You can’t even find that in the state archives.”

While Harrell has worked hard gathering the information, the genealogy section is actually the brainchild of Ann Rabren and Margaret West.

“Linda just got the ball rolling,” Taylor said.

For those who wish to begin searching for their lineage, Harrell suggests that they come information like birth and death dates of the oldest relatives of whom they know.