Did your great grandmother delight you with tales of family members who farmed and built Baldwin County? Does your family lore include a bit about ancestors arriving here early in the 20th century with nothing but a dream?
Then the Baldwin County Archives and History department wants to talk to you.
This December, the Baldwin County Commission plans to recognize the kinfolk of those earliest settlers with a recognition ceremony. The evening will be held at the opening of the “Making Alabama: A Traveling Exhibit” at the Baldwin County Coliseum as part of the state’s bicentennial celebration.
Felisha Anderson, Baldwin County Archivist, said it is important for modern residents to recognize the efforts of those who first arrived in the forest covered county.
“Baldwin County is all about our people,” she said. “Because of the tremendous growth in Baldwin County in first part of 20th century, leaders emerged and people left their mark here. We want to recognize those people who have made this county the amazing community it is today.”
The program is officially endorsed as an AL200 project. Alabama is celebrating 200 years
as a state for three years: 2017, 2018 and 2019. This year is designated as the year to “Celebrate Our
People.” A booklet listing the people named as Baldwin County Legends will be published and available
at the Dec. 6 event.
Modern-day relatives can apply to the program but must show first, that they are related to the early settlers and that those individuals arrived in Baldwin County before 1920.
Anderson said many families are using census records to show their ancestors’ residency. A link to those records can be found on the archives website under the E-Library tab. That website can be found at: http://baldwincountyal.gov/departments/archives-history
Birth certificates can be used to show the relationship between individuals.
Anderson said many people are delving into their family history for the first time as they work to be recognized in the ceremony.
“They are getting a chance to work on their genealogy and their helping us identify families we didn’t have listed so it’s been helpful all around,” Anderson said. “It’s really a cool project that the entire county can be a part of.”
The deadline to submit an application is Nov. 26. Even if you don’t meet the deadline to attend the ceremony, Anderson encourages residents to keep digging and keep finding those records and connections to the past.
Families who trace their roots after the Nov. 26 deadline will still be recognized.
If you need help locating records, contact the archives at 580-1897.