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Lowndes County Genealogy




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Lowndes County Alabama History and Profile:

Lowndes County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is named in honor of William Lowndes, a member of the United States Congress from South Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the population was 13,473. Its county seat is Hayneville.

Lowndes County is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Lowndes County, Alabama, was established on January 20, 1830.
Civil Rights Era

The county was referred to as “Bloody Lowndes,” the rusty buckle of Alabama’s Black Belt. In 1965, a full century after the American Civil War, things had not changed much: 86 white families owned 90 percent of the land in the county and controlled the government. Black residents worked mostly in low-level rural jobs. Not one black resident was registered to vote.

The success of the Selma to Montgomery marches and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, encouraged civil rights leaders to believe they could fight racism even in Bloody Lowndes. “The Lowndes County Freedom Organization” was founded in the county as a new, independent political party designed to help blacks stand up to intimidation and murder.

Organized by the young dynamic civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lowndes residents launched an intensive effort to register blacks to vote in County.

SNCC’s plan was simple: get enough people to vote so blacks might control the local government and redirect services to black residents, 80 percent of whom lived below the poverty line. Carmichael and others organized registration drives, demonstrations, and political education classes in support of the black residents. Passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act meant that the federal government was on their side, too.

In 1966, the Lowndes County Freedom Organization entered several local residents as candidates for county offices. It adopted the emblem of the black panther in contrast to the white-dominated Alabama Democratic Party’s white rooster. Whites in Lowndes County reacted strongly to the LCFO. In retaliation for civil rights work, white landowners evicted many black sharecroppers, leaving them both homeless and unemployed.

The SNCC and Lowndes County leaders worked to help these families stay together and remain in the county. They bought tents, cots, heaters, food, and water and helped several families build a temporary “tent city”. Despite harassment, including shots regularly fired into the encampment, residents persevered for nearly two years as organizers helped them find new jobs and look for permanent housing. Whites also refused to serve known LCFO members in stores and restaurants. Several small riots broke out over the issue. The LCFO pushed forward and continued to organize and register voters.

The black candidates were defeated then, but others have since been elected. While their initial attempt was unsuccessful, the LCFO continued to fight. Their goal of democratic, community control of politics spread into the wider civil rights movement.

The first Black sherrif in the county was John Hullett, elected in 1970.

Source: Wikipedia

Cities and Towns of Lowndes County, Alabama:

* Benton
* Fort Deposit
* Gordonville
* Hayneville
* Letohatchee
* Lowndesboro
* Mosses
* White Hall

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Lowndes County Government

Hayneville/Lowndes County Public Library
4 Washington Street
Hayneville, AL 36040

White Hall Public Library
640 Freedom Road
White Hall, AL 36040

Lowndes County Historic Places

Calhoun School Principal’s House
Lowndes County Courthouse
Lowndesboro
James Spullock Williamson House

Lowndes County Genealogy Resources

Lowndes County Alabama USGenWeb Project Site

Black Belt African American Genealogical & Historical Society
Covering the Counties of Alabama’s Black Belt Region–Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox

Lowndes County, Alabama USGenWeb archives

Lowndes County Genealogy page at KindredTrails

Vital Records

If you are outside the state of Alabama and are looking to request copies of vital records you must contact the statewide office of vital records:

Alabama Vital Records
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625
(334) 206-5418
Fax: (334) 262-9563

You can also call (334) 206-5418

There were no birth certificates prior to 1908, some counties may have recorded births in a ledger however. One way to search this centrally is by contacting:

Department of Archives and History
624 Washington Ave
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-4363

Birth and Death Records have been recorded in Alabama since 1908, Marriage Records since August 1936 and Divorces since 1950.

Census

1850 Federal Census Index and Transcription

1880 Federal Census Transcription – Bentons Beat – White Residents

Tax Records

Cemeteries

USGS listing of Cemeteries in Lowndes County

Lowndes County Cemetery Transcriptions
Cemetery Transcriptions (Although both are usgenweb this seems a slightly different listing.)

Query Forums

Genealogy Forums can be a great way to find other people that are researching the same ancestors as you are. Even if they may be not be researching the same direct line but related lines you may find information that is useful in your own research. Make sure to verify any other research that you add to your own research and try to document it well. If asking questions in genealogy forums it is good to provide as much information as possible and in the subject of the posting try to give name and a date or range of dates to help make your query more likely to be found. Posts with titles like “looking for family” or “help!” are too generic and something along the lines of “John Smith b. abt 1828 md. Hannah Jones” would be more helpful to get your post read by those that are interested in the John Smith/Hannah Jones family.

Lowndes County, AL at
genforum

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