Our Genealogical Helper for Shelby ...
We have a couple of goals for our Gazetteer:
- That it be a tool that can help us with planning our trips.
- That it also helps us to understand the community in which our ancestors lived, the community that was part of their daily lives.
By learning about Shelby (and the surrounding area) during the time that our ancestors lived, we hope to have a better understanding of both their community and its relationship to their lifes. We hope that this tool helps to give us insight while doing our genealogical research.
As we add data and organize our Gazetteer to help with our family research, we will be adding to this, our Genealogical Helper for Shelby. While we don't have information that is specific to any given person or family, we intend to expand our understanding about where and how people lived.
It's still very early in our research, but as we gather more information it will be added to this page.
Newspapers Published in the area of Shelby ...
An ongoing effort between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has resulted in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
To share their results, the partnership has created the Chronicling America website. The goal of this partnership is to assemble a database about the current and historic newspapers of the United States. This includes a growing collection of scanned images from selected papers. All of it available to the public on their website.
Using information that we've taken from the Chronicling America website, we've identified 66 newspapers that have been published in the area around Shelby.
We have organized these newspapers into two lists:
- A Local Newspaper List - focusing on the papers published in the immediate area of Shelby. There are actually two parts to this list - papers printed in the immediate area of Shelby and those printed in the larger area surrounding Shelby.
- An Extended Newspaper List - a longer list, sorted by paper name and containing those papers published within 18 miles [29 km]<1> of Shelby.
Cemeteries Near Shelby ...
Below are cemeteries that are in the vicinity of Shelby.
This is a new section and is likely to have errors. If you find an error, such as a missing cemetery or we have the wrong name, please let us know. If you know of them, we would also appreciate learning about previous or alternate names.
If you click on the [Map] that follows each cemetery's name, a new browser window will open with a Google map showing a satellite view of the area where the cemetery is located. We have tried to place the cemetery in the center of the map, but we're still working on our data and the map might not not be centered properly. If you don't see the cemetery right away, try zooming-in. Usually, but not always, you can see the outline of the cemetery and some of the headstones.
If you need information about a burial or interment, photos, transcripts, how to contact the cemetery or local authorities, please visit our selection of Genealogy Websites (see below).
If not found below, our Cemetery List for Shelby covers a larger area, with the cemeteries listed in alphabetical order.
Nearby Communities in 1895 ...
We've built the following list with information that came from an Atlas published by Rand McNally in 1895. The Atlas had details such as the population of the community (which appears to have come from the 1890 Census) and whether there was a post office and/or railroad service available. We also indicate if the community no longer exists and is now historic.<3>
The Rand McNally Atlas shows that Shelby had a population of 753 people in 1895 with a post office and railroad service.
These communities are listed based on their distance from Shelby, with the one closest to Shelby listed first.
| Columbiana [Map] |
| - || Located 5 miles [8 km] to the North Northwest (NNW) from Shelby |
| - || 1895 population of 654 people (with 4,168 people in 2015) |
| - || Columbiana had a post office and railroad service |
| Shelby Springs [Map] |
| - || Located 6 miles [9.7 km] to the West Northwest (WNW) from Shelby |
| - || Shelby Springs had a post office and no railroad service |
| Marble Valley [Map] |
| - || Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the East Southeast (ESE) from Shelby |
| - || 1895 population of 27 people |
| - || Marble Valley had a post office and no railroad service |
| Talladega Springs [Map] |
| - || Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the East (E) from Shelby |
| - || Talladega Springs had a post office and no railroad service |
| Calera [Map] |
| - || Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the West (W) from Shelby |
| - || 1895 population of 753 people (with 13,213 people in 2015) |
| - || Calera had a post office and railroad service |
| South Calera [Map] |
| - || Located 9 miles [14.5 km] to the West Southwest (WSW) from Shelby |
| - || South Calera had a post office and railroad service |
| Jumbo [Map] |
| - || Located 9 miles [14.5 km] to the South (S) from Shelby |
| - || Jumbo had a post office and no railroad service |
| Fayetteville [Map] |
| - || Located 10 miles [16.1 km] to the East Northeast (ENE) from Shelby |
| - || 1895 population of 146 people |
| - || Fayetteville had a post office and no railroad service |
We've also created an expanded list of communities that existed in the 1890's and were located in the area around Shelby. The list can be found on our page for Communities Neighboring Shelby in the 1890's.
Neighboring Counties ...
When searching for family records, we have frequently made the mistake of not checking the neighboring counties.
For example, we have great-grandparents who lived in the southwest corner of their home county. During their lives, most doctors were in the next county to the west. Almost all of the nearby churches and cemeteries were in the county to the south.
So when searching for records, we had our best success by looking in neighboring counties instead of the county in which they lived: their home county contained property and probate records; the county to the west contained birth and death records; the county to the south contained their burial records. If we hadn't included the neighboring counties, we would have missed many valuable sources of information.
If you're in a similar situation, we hope that the following information helps.
Websites to Help With Your Genealogy Research ...
When we do our genealogical research, we first visit the websites from Cyndi's List, FamilySearch, the UsGenWeb Project or Genealogy Trails. These helpful websites offer the information directly or else point to where you can find it. Their information is open to all and free to view - although it should be mentioned that they might link to other websites which do charge.
To help you get started, the following links will take you to the pages that are relevant to Shelby:
These websites are specific to Alabama:
Website for the Alabama Department of Archives & History
Not to be confused with the official state website, we've found the Digital State Archives for Alabama to be a good source for additional links.
These pages are specific to Shelby County:
Genealogy information for nearby counties:
Cemetery Information and Directories for Alabama:
Of Special Interest ...
The GenDisasters website specializes in newspaper articles about tragedies and disasters. While it makes interesting reading all by itself, it should be of special interest to genealogists and family historians looking for people who were either affected by or directly involved in such tragedies.
Miscellaneous References and Mentions for Shelby ...
While our initial data for Shelby came from various goverment sources, we have found mention of Shelby in old books and maps. When we do, we'll find a fact here or a snippet there. We've created the following list to keep track of the documents we found useful in adding to our knowledge about Shelby.
We hope that the following list of documents will be of interest to you.
|Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide|
| Published by Rand McNally & Co. (Document found on Google Books)|
|Notes for Shelby:|
| ||Services available at that time (1895): had Post Office, Railroad Station |
|Both the GNIS and FIPS databases contain entries for Shelby.|
| See our Misc Page for Shelby for more information.|
|<1>||Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'straight-line' (or point-to-point) distance starting from Shelby. A straight line distance ignores things like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line drawn from Point A (ie- Shelby) to Point B.|
If you need the driving distance, we recommend that you use one of the Mapping Services listed on our Map Page for Shelby. Since we usually use Google Maps, we've provided the following link: Google Map and Driving Directions starting from Shelby
Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Shelby. The point that we are using is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 33.1097, Longitude: -86.5836 [Map].
- Return to Citation
|<2>||The Find-a-Grave website is an excellent research tool with information about a cemetery's location and interments. They also offer a forum for their members which can provide additional help. More information about Find-a-Grave can be found on their website: findagrave.com.|
- Return to Citation
|<3>||We use the term 'Historic' broadly and it generally means that the community no longer exists. However, it can also mean that the community might still exist, but was significantly larger or had a more 'official' existence in the past than it does now. Unfortunately our sources of data have proven to be unreliable. If you can provide us with more specific information about Shelby, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.|
- Return to Citation
For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Shelby.