Founded in 1836, Cherokee County lies in the north-east corner of Alabama and was originally Cherokee territory before becoming a state county.
When doing research for Cherokee County public records, you will likely find what you are looking for at the health department office in Centre. That is where you can order certified copies of most vital records for the county, and for any other county in Alabama.
At the office, you can fill out an application form and make your request. You will have to provide ID when you do so as well as pay the current search fee. If they can't find the Cherokee County public record you are looking for, you will not get a refund because you are paying for the search not the document.
The state Vital Records Department also accepts requests, and you can send your application and fee by mail to Montgomery. It's usually a 7 to 10 day wait to get your ordered documents back to you. A visit to the health office in Centre usually means while-you-wait service.
Cherokee County Birth Records
Cherokee County birth records are the hardest to access unless you are looking for your own or an immediate family member's records. In that case, you just need to fill out the forms and make the request. The cost for each certified copy is $15 USD. For other records, you can only access them if they are more than 125 years old (based on the date of birth). They are considered confidential until that time.
Cherokee County Death Records
The privacy time-frame for Cherokee County death records is only 25 years. For any deaths within that time, you can only get a copy of the record if you are the parent, child, spouse or sibling of the deceased. Copies are $15 USD each, but you can usually get free access through the State Archive or even through an online genealogy search since the records are publicly available (provided they are older than 25 years). You can also find death record information through old newspaper archives and church records.
Cherokee County Marriage Records
Marriage records have only been kept by the state since 1936, but any Cherokee County marriage record from after that date will be freely accessible to the public. There are no relationship or time restrictions. A marriage record will cost you $15 USD, just like the other types of vital records. Since 1950, divorce records have also been kept by the state and are open to the public.
Cherokee County Criminal Records
Unlike the vital records listed above, Cherokee County criminal records are not open to requests by the public. You also do not order these from the county, but rather then Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center in Montgomery. Employers have limited access for background checks and individuals are allowed to get copies of their own Cherokee County criminal records if they wish. The cost for the documents is $25 USD and you will need to include your fingerprints along with the forms (available from the ACJIC website).