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HMCPL Special Collections: Online Databases

HMCPL Special Collections is the community's archive. We empower individuals to seek their past, explore Huntsville and Madison County, and connect with history.

Online Resources

So what's the big deal with online ancestry websites? Excellent question!

Websites such as,, and provide a large amount of records that are KEYWORD SEARCHABLE. That means instead of traveling to different archives and libraries just to drudge through a bunch of indexes that may or may not include your family, you have the opportunity to sit at your local library and have the online resources do the drudge work for you!

Online Resource Highlight
This free website allows you to search state and cities where bureau offices where located. Records can list name, vital dates, spouse and children, and possibly the plantation the where a person was enslaved. Details and available online records will vary from state to state.

Local Group Highlights Library History

Check out this "The History of Libraries for the Black community in Huntsville, Alabama" map made by Rocket City Civil Rights!

StoryMapJS: The history of libraries for the black community in Huntsville, Alabama (

Online Databases
The library offers patrons access to library edition for free. Use your library card number and PIN to access this database on our computers or bring your device to access it over the library Wi-Fi. Records available through Ancestry include census records, family trees compiled by other users, immigration records and more. This database is not available to at home users.
This website contains military records going back generations and is a valuable tool in tracing your ancestors who served in the military. Records available include Civil War service records,  Revolutionary War service records, World War I and World War II service records, and military pension records. This database is available from home with a valid library card and PIN.
This free website is a good resource for additional information regarding marriages, deaths, and births. Some actual certificates are also available here.