Our Genealogical Helper for Bethel ...
Although we found mention of Bethel during our research, we have little information about it.<1> Given the context of how Bethel was mentioned, we believe that it was a community rather than some type of landmark. We have done a cursory search and if it's a community, we haven't been able to find any evidence that it still exists.
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 Bethel (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 Bethel. 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 Bethel ...
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 3 newspapers that have been published in the area around Bethel.
Although we're unaware of any newspapers that were published in the immediate area of Bethel, there are papers which were published within 14 miles [22.5 km]<2>. A list of those papers, sorted by paper name, can be found on the Extended Newspaper List for Bethel.
Cemeteries Near Bethel ...
Below are cemeteries that are in the vicinity of Bethel.
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 Bethel 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.<4>
While we didn't find Bethel in the Atlas, the following 1895 communities would have been found near the current location of Bethel.
These communities are listed based on their distance from Bethel, with the one closest to Bethel listed first.
| Sugar - Historic [Map] |
| - || While Sugar was mentioned in the 1895 Atlas, it no longer exists |
| - || Located Less than 2 miles to the North Northeast (NNE) from Bethel |
| - || Sugar had a post office and no railroad service |
| Good Springs [Map] |
| - || Located 2 miles [3.2 km] to the Southeast (SE) from Bethel |
| - || Good Springs had a post office and no railroad service |
| Appleton (TN) [Map] |
| - || Located 3 miles [4.8 km] to the North (N) from Bethel |
| - || Appleton had a post office and no railroad service |
| Marbuts (TN) [Map] |
| - || Located 4 miles [6.4 km] to the Northeast (NE) from Bethel |
| - || 1895 population of 42 people |
| - || Marbuts had a post office and no railroad service |
| Mount Rozell [Map] |
| - || Located 5 miles [8 km] to the East Southeast (ESE) from Bethel |
| - || 1895 population of 18 people |
| - || Mount Rozell had a post office and no railroad service |
| Minor Hill (TN) [Map] |
| - || Located 5 miles [8 km] to the Northeast (NE) from Bethel |
| - || 1895 population of 31 people (with 519 people in 2016) |
| - || Minor Hill had a post office and no railroad service |
| Lexington [Map] |
| - || Located 8 miles [12.9 km] to the West (W) from Bethel |
| - || 1895 population of 27 people (with 718 people in 2016) |
| - || Lexington had a post office and no railroad service |
| Dustin (TN) - Historic [Map] |
| - || While Dustin was mentioned in the 1895 Atlas, it no longer exists |
| - || Located 9 miles [14.5 km] to the North Northwest (NNW) from Bethel |
| - || Dustin 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 Bethel. The list can be found on our page for Communities Neighboring Bethel 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 northeast corner of their home county. During their lives, most hospitals were in the next county to the east. Almost all of the nearby churches and cemeteries were in the county to the north.
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 north 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 - 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 Bethel:
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 Lauderdale 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.
Off-the-Road Links ...
The official website for State of Alabama: www.alabama.gov/
|<1>||If we encounter the name of what might be a community, our methodology is to add that name to our Gazetteer. For example, we might find a sentence like "He went north past Bethel and then turned west". While Bethel could be some kind of landmark, we think that it's more likely to be a community. We've added Bethel as a placeholder with the hope that we'll be able to add more information in the future.|
Just as a reminder: Our definition of a community is rather broad and includes those places where several families lived and had a name which identified that place. The community might still exist or it might have existed for just a short period of time. Places of interest include buildings at a crossroad, families in a hollow or maybe the location of a way station. It also includes places like mines, lumber camps, ferry crossings, etc.
Also keep in mind that Bethel could have been on the original document by mistake, misspelled, the original/alternate name of a community that we've listed elsewhere or was placed in the wrong county. Sometimes a post office or train station would have a different name than the community where it's located, so two names might be referring to the same community.
Just in case there has been confusion between counties, we found that there are 12 Alabama communities also named Bethel. While this community is located in Lauderdale County, the others are located in the following counties: Barbour, Calhoun, Cleburne, Colbert, Conecuh, Cullman, Limestone, Randolph, Sumter, Talladega, Walker and Wilcox. For more information, see our Tidbits & Trivia Page for Bethel.
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|<2>||Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'straight-line' distance that stretches from Bethel. A straight line distance ignores things like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line from Point A (ie- Bethel) 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 Bethel. Since we usually use Google Maps, we've provided the following link: Google Map and Driving Directions starting from Bethel
Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Bethel. The point that we are using is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 34.9773, Longitude: -87.2278 [Map]. In this case, the coordinates for Bethel have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).
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|<3>||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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|<4>||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 Bethel, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.|
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For additional information, please visit our Glossary for Bethel.