Butler County Historicial & Genealogical Society  

The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc.

Robert Newton

Robert Newton family
~ Butler County, Alabama ~

P. O. Box 561
Greenville, Alabama 36037

Telephone: (334) 383-9564

[email protected]

Preserving the history and heritage of Butler County and its people since 1964

Perdue sisters Melba & Edna & Jeanette
                & Zelna

Perdue sisters, 1950: "It was a good year."
Melba & Edna in front, Jeanette & Zelna
leaning on car.
BCHGS Membership   /   Publications Available   /   Library Research Room

Butler County Beginnings
(county history, biographies, family stories & photos, other data)

Note: RootsWeb sites were "frozen" (converted to "Read Only") by Ancestry.com in 2024, and we can no longer edit and update them. Please contact the Historical Society by postal mail or telephone if you have a question, especially if you're asking about paying for membership or publications.

Historical Society
Butler County is a county older than the state of Alabama. We were created on December 13, 1819 -- one day before Alabama became a state. Our first county seat was at Fort Dale, where a large pioneer community grew into existence around the fort built by Capt. Sam Dale in spring 1818 near the Federal Road. Fort Dale was the site of Butler County's first school, first church and first Masonic lodge. It was one of our first voting precincts, and the first court session in the county was held under the trees around the fort. In 1822, the county seat was moved to Greenville (originally called "Butlerville"), where it remains today.

The Butler County courthouse burned in April 1853, but our Historical Society has collected a vast amount of records to bridge the gap caused by this unfortunate occurrence. There ARE many surviving records before 1853 -- just ask us!

was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime event!

Costumed guides & musicians in Pioneer
                  Cemetery Midway display

Bonnie Pierce & AREA quilt Bicentennial horses & wagon

Bicentennial flag presentation

See more photos on our FACEBOOK page: Butler County Historical Society on Facebook

Alabama200 Birthday Celebration
Alabama's Bicentennial Celebration was also amazing! Saturday, December 14th, 2019 was a memorable day, filled with great history, heritage and happenings. Another GREAT local celebration was held for the town of Greenville's bicentennial in 2022. The "Camellia City" event on October 15, 2022, drew a large crowd of residents and visitors who enjoyed every minute.

Greenville tour brochure 2022
Greenville Bicentennial flag 2022

Skipper family
                    postcards banner

"A Taste of Butler County, Alabama: Treasured Family Recipes of the Butler County Historical Society" is our cookbook published in 2004 to celebrate the Society's 40th anniversary. Reprinted again and again, it's filled with over 250 pages of wonderful family photos, heirloom recipes and priceless stories and memories. Only $12 plus $3 shipping per copy! Send your check or money order for $15 per book to:
BCHGS COOKBOOK, P. O. Box 561, Greenville, AL 36037

Cookbook cover

Featured on the cookbook cover is a 1904 photograph of the Stringer family of northeastern Butler County: Josiah Hope Stringer (1867-1931) and wife Nancy Elizabeth Thornton (1870-1946) with 11 of their 13 children.

HISTORIC NOTECARDS are also available: 12 cards & envelopes $10.00, or 6 cards & envelopes $5.00, plus shipping cost (depending on amount ordered). Assorted subjects: people and places of Butler County.

The Palings inn & stagecoach stop at
                        Fort Dale James & Charlotte Phelps family about

The Palings (left) was an inn and stagecoach stop that operated at Fort Dale from about 1818 until the mid-19th century, first as a log cabin and later as a plantation-style dwelling. Its last main building, pictured above left, burned to the ground in 1953 (photo courtesy of the Alabama Department of Archives & History).

James and Charlotte Phelps had their family photograph taken about 1900-1905 on the front porch of their log cabin (above right). The pioneer Phelps home was built of huge squared logs cut from original-growth pine timber, with a later clapboard addition.

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What is The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society?
(and what does it do)?

The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society is a nonprofit organization established in 1964 in Greenville, Alabama (the county seat), with 58 charter members. Everyone interested in the history of the county and its families was invited to participate.

Founding members worked hard on important preservation projects: surveying cemeteries, transcribing early county documents, censuses, family bibles, diaries and letters, visiting elderly residents and writing their stories, and more.

The community continues to benefit from these volunteer efforts today as The  Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society provides information and research opportunities to members and the public. Visitors may explore their heritage at the BCHGS research room in Greenville or from a distance through the Society´┐Żs many publications.
Courting by motorcycle
Effie Pryor courted by Mode Harrison
with his Indian motorcycle. 
The Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society today is one of the largest genealogical groups in Alabama. We have several hundred members as individuals and organizations, not only in Alabama and neighboring states of Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee, but all over the United States: Texas, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, New Mexico, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana.

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MEMBERSHIP in our Society
helps preserve the records of your ancestors' lives.

$25.00 annual membership (as of 2024) in The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society includes:

                  *  4 issues of the society's Quarterly, published continuously since 1965.
                  *  Free queries and family history articles published in the Quarterly.
                  *  Free pedigree chart submission for the Quarterly and our surname files.
                  *  Research support from dedicated volunteers who love Butler County history.
                  *  Photograph identification/publication to help identify unknown ancestors.

Membership form and ancestor registry   Membership Form

We invite you to join us in preserving the records of our ancestors' lives. Your membership and contributions support important projects such as cemetery preservation, record transcriptions, photograph identification and preservation, maintaining the research room collection, erecting historic markers and presenting public programs and more. It's a great way to preserve the heritage of our community and educate the children of future generations so that they will appreciate the past.

(Even if you decide that current membership is not for you, a financial donation in memory of a loved one or Butler County ancestor is a memorial gift that lasts forever. Give a gift from the heart !)

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PUBLICATIONS of The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society
Our dedicated volunteers have been transcribing and publishing Butler County records through the Quarterly and book publications since 1964. Three major early record books (original Butler County Land Tracts 1817-1860, 1853 Tax Records, and Probate Minutes Index 1853-1929), and four quarterlies a year for over 50 years -- that's a treasure trove of sources for Butler County researchers. With many records lost in the 1853 courthouse fire, our Society's publications provide a great bridge over the gap.

Publications available  List of publications

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The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society's RESEARCH COLLECTION
is housed in our Research Room in the back of the
Greenville/Butler County Public Library
(309 Fort Dale Road, Greenville, AL).
Street sign

Our files are a wonderful source of information found nowhere else -- news clippings, obituaries, pedigree charts, bible records, family letters and photos, queries, cemetery records, census and military records, genealogies, biographies and county histories, and thousands of other research items.

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The Butler County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 561  *  Greenville, Alabama  36037
Telephone: (334) 383-9564 (please leave a message) or contact us by E-mail

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 BCHGS Membership   / Publications    /  Research Room   /  E-mail


Copyright 2024 by Annie Crenshaw