DeKalb County, Alabama, was created in 1836 from a portion of the Cherokee Cession of 1835, which accounts for the fact that a number of its residents were of Native American descent. Part of southern DeKalb County was detached in 1868, along with parts of five other counties, to form Etowah County. Thanks to the efforts of Dorothy Duff, we now have the first comprehensive index to the marriage records of DeKalb County for the period 1836 to 1916. Mrs. Duff transcribed these marriages from the comprehensive marriage index housed at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Fort Payne, Alabama. The comprehensive index is itself based on official DeKalb County marriage books that form a portion of the Probate Court Records filed at the courthouse.
Since the compiler chose to list every marriage alphabetically by bride and by groom, each of the 10,250 marriages (20,500 brides and grooms) appears twice. The marriages are arranged in tabular format, and for each we are given the names of both parties to the marriage, the date of the wedding, and a citation. Should they choose to do so, researchers can use the citations to consult the original marriage book in which the nuptuals were recorded, or, if unrecorded, the loose papers. Every entry in the official marriage books gives the names of the betrothed, the dates of the marriage bond, marriage license, and marriage certification. DeKalb County researchers will want to read Mrs. Duff’s Introduction for an explanation of the abbreviations used in the text, as well as a description of her method of deciphering and transcribing the records.