Our Genealogical Helper for Bessemer ...
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 Bessemer (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 Bessemer. 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 Bessemer ...
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 24 newspapers that have been published in the area around Bessemer.
We have organized these newspapers into two lists:
- A Local Newspaper List - focusing on the papers published in the immediate area of Bessemer. There are actually two parts to this list - papers printed in the immediate area of Bessemer and those printed in the larger area surrounding Bessemer.
- An Extended Newspaper List - a longer list, sorted by paper name and containing those papers published within 4 miles [6.4 km]<1> of Bessemer.
Cemeteries Near Bessemer ...
Below are cemeteries that are in the vicinity of Bessemer.
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 Bessemer 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 Bessemer had a population of 4,544 people in 1895 with a post office and railroad service. In 2016, Bessemer had a population of 26,511 people.
These communities are listed based on their distance from Bessemer, with the one closest to Bessemer listed first.
| Old Jonesboro [Map] |
| - || Located Less than 2 miles to the North Northwest (NNW) from Bessemer |
| - || Old Jonesboro had railroad service and no post office |
| McCalla [Map] |
| - || Located 2 miles [3.2 km] to the West Southwest (WSW) from Bessemer |
| - || 1895 population of 48 people |
| - || McCalla had a post office and railroad service |
| Sloss [Map] |
| - || Located 2 miles [3.2 km] to the Northeast (NE) from Bessemer |
| - || 1895 population of 265 people |
| - || Sloss had a post office and railroad service |
| Blue Creek Junction [Map] |
| - || Located 2 miles [3.2 km] to the North (N) from Bessemer |
| - || Blue Creek Junction had railroad service and no post office |
| McAdory [Map] |
| - || Located 2 miles [3.2 km] to the West Northwest (WNW) from Bessemer |
| - || McAdory had railroad service and no post office |
| Brickyard Junction [Map] |
| - || Located 3 miles [4.8 km] to the North Northeast (NNE) from Bessemer |
| - || Brickyard Junction had railroad service and no post office |
| Bullard Shoals - Historic [Map] |
| - || While Bullard Shoals was mentioned in the 1895 Atlas, it no longer exists |
| - || Located 3 miles [4.8 km] to the West Northwest (WNW) from Bessemer |
| - || Bullard Shoals had railroad service and no post office |
| Morgan [Map] |
| - || Located 4 miles [6.4 km] to the Southeast (SE) from Bessemer |
| - || Morgan had railroad service and no post office |
We've also created an expanded list of communities that existed in the 1890's and were located in the area around Bessemer. The list can be found on our page for Communities Neighboring Bessemer 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 southeast corner of their home county. During their lives, most doctors and hospitals were in the next county to the east. 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 east 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 start with the websites from Cyndi's List, FamilySearch, the UsGenWeb Project or Genealogy Trails. These professional and volunteer websites offer the information directly or else point to where you can find it. Their information is open to all and free to view - you should note 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 Bessemer:
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 website for the State of Alabama to be a good source for additional links.
These pages are specific to Jefferson 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 Bessemer ...
While our initial data for Bessemer came from various goverment sources, we have found mention of Bessemer 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 Bessemer.
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 Bessemer:|
| ||Services available at that time (1895): had Post Office, Railroad Station, Express Office |
|We have found Bessemer in these Censuses: 2010-1990|
| See our Census Page for Bessemer for more information.|
|Both the GNIS and FIPS databases contain entries for Bessemer.|
| See our Misc Page for Bessemer for more information.|
Off-the-Road Links ...
Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Bessemer. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.
The official website for Jefferson County: www.jeffcointouch.com/
The official website for State of Alabama: www.alabama.gov/
|<1>||Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'straight-line' (or point-to-point) distance that starts in Bessemer. A straight line distance ignores obstructions like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line drawn from Point A (ie- Bessemer) to Point B.|
If you need the driving distance (or directions), we recommend that you use one of the Mapping Services listed on our Map Page for Bessemer. Since we usually use Google Maps for our own planning, we've provided the following link: Google Map and Driving Directions starting from Bessemer
Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Bessemer. The point that we are using is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 33.3714, Longitude: -86.9708 [Map]. In this case, the coordinates for Bessemer have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).
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|<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.|
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|<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 Bessemer, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.|
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For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Bessemer.