Finding family history

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Selma-times-Journal

The second floor of the Selma/Dallas County Public Library houses a collection of little-known resources that rival that of popular Web sites such as and Unlike these Web sites, however, this information is free.

Nichols, the Director of the Selma/Dallas County Public Library said that people from all over the world have traced their roots back to Dallas County and have used the library to help in their efforts.

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Sheronda Sanders, the library’s coordinator of information services agreed.

She said that people usually begin their search at the card catalog, which can also be accessed online via the library’s Web site at

Other possible starting points are the surname index, which lists all of the people who have visited the library over the years and the local history file, which contains a variety of information compiled from newspaper articles, brochures and publications.

Both Sanders and Nichols stressed that the library’s genealogy resources are not just limited to Dallas County.

Other pieces that may help people sort out their family tree puzzle are the family history files and books organized alphabetically by last name, Selma city directories that date back to 1874, the Dallas County marriage records, Alabama census records and local newspapers that are on microfilm, scrapbooks and yearbooks from Dallas County schools and the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

In addition, the library can provided people with maps of Old and New Live Oak Cemeteries and information about other Dallas County cemeteries, Sanborn Maps which show what buildings were present in the city during a certain year and Jewish genealogy records.

For those people who need assistance with their genealogy research, two part-time volunteer genealogists are available.

The Selma/Dallas County Public Library is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (334) 874-1722 or visit the library’s Web site at