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A resource for research in the Heart of Dixie

Here are the quick facts:

• It was admitted to the Union on 14 December 1819 — so this year it celebrates its bicentennial.

• It was named after an Indian tribe.

• It was originally part of Mississippi Territory.

• Its capitals have included St. Stephens, Huntsville, Cahaba, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.

• It occupies 52,423 square miles of land and 1,673 square miles of water, and is 191 miles wide and 332 miles long.

• Its highest point is 2,407 feet above sea level, at Cheaha Mountain, and its lowest point, at sea level at the Gulf of Mexico.

• Its state bird is the yellowhammer, state flower the camellia, state wildflower the oak leaf hydrangea, state game bird the wild turkey, state mammal the black bear (and it has a state insect, state butterfly, state reptile, state mineral, state rock, state gemstone and even a state fossil, and more). It even has a state spirit: the Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey.

If you haven’t figured out yet that it’s Alabama, well, perhaps you might want to visit the Encyclopedia of Alabama and its Quick Facts page — where all of this information came from.1

Encylopedia of Alabama

The brainchild of the Alabama Humanities Foundation and Auburn University and hosted at Auburn, the Encyclopedia of Alabama is a terrific resource for anyone who — like The Legal Genealogist — has roots in Alabama (and, yes, is headed off there later this week to speak at the Alabama Genealogical Society’s 2019 Spring Seminar). Its mission, it says, is–

… to present trustworthy and authoritative information on a wide range of topics. EOA is a collaborative effort involving many individuals and organizations and offers articles written or adapted specifically for it, and new content is added to the site regularly. Our authors come from all areas of scholarship and range from scholars at academic institutions to scientists out in the field. Whenever possible, articles are enhanced with multimedia content, making EOA a dynamic educational tool. Multimedia content is made possible by the generosity of organizational partners that have shared their collections and archives with the project. The Alabama Humanities Foundation holds the copyright to EOA’s original content in trust for the citizens of Alabama.2

Categories of information available on the site range from history, geography and environment, government and politics, and peoples, to folklife, science and technology, and sports and recreation.

There are numerous image galleries with everything from wildflowers to historic Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile to the Selma-to-Montgomery March of 1965.

Some featured articles include — and you’ll forgive me for leading off with this one — Alabama and the Courts, the Colonial Era in Alabama, Native Americans in Alabama, Notable Women of Alabama, and The Scottsboro Trials.

So take a look at Encyclopedia of Alabama if you’re researching in the Heart of Dixie — and come on out this weekend and join us at the Alabama Genealogical Society’s 2019 Spring Seminar.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Researching the Yellowhammer State,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 4 Mar 2019).


  1. Alabama Quick Facts,” Encyclopedia of Alabama ( : accessed 4 Mar 2019).
  2. About EOA,” Encyclopedia of Alabama ( : accessed 4 Mar 2019).
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