Russell County is in south-eastern Alabama, and it was formed as a county in 1832. Many Russell County public records were kept from that year on, but there are also some material from earlier. The state as a whole began requiring vital statistic registrations in 1908 so you will certainly be able to find records from that year until the present day.
When doing research or when you need documents for other legal identification reasons, you can get most Russell County public records from the health department office in Phenix City. They are open to the public so you just have to go to the counter and submit your request forms, and pay a small fee for the search.
The forms require identifying information about the record you want, such as full names, dates and locations. If you have the information handy, you can just complete the form right at the desk otherwise, go to the Alabama Department of Public Health website to print out a copy at home.
They use one form for all kinds of vital records, so watch which fields you are filling in or you may not get the records you expect.
Russell County Birth Records
Birth records for all counties in Alabama are under a privacy restriction order, and can only be requested by immediate family members for 125 years after the date of birth. Extended family members are not permitted to make requests, so you have to be the child, parent, sibling or spouse of the person on the record unless it is your own. After 125 years, anyone can have access. Russell County birth records will cost $15 for each one requested. For extra copies of the same record, you can get them certified as well for $6 each.
Russell County Death Records
Russell County death records are also kept private from public requests but only for 25 years. Until that time, only immediate family members can get copies of the death certificate and each copy will also cost $15. These records do become public material after 25 years, and can often be found in libraries or the State Archives if you don't need to get an official certified copy from the county.
Russell County Marriage Records
You don't have to worry about the age of the record with any Russell County marriage records because they are held as public documents at all times. So if you need a copy, you can make a request for any marriage registration no matter who its for. The health department controls these as well, and the cost will also be $15 per record retrieval.
Russell County Criminal Records
Criminal records are not "vital records" and do not fall under the same rules. The county does not issue this material, only the state does and you are only allowed to make a request for your own personal criminal background files. Russell County criminal records can be requested from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center in Montgomery, and your forms can be sent to them by mail. Each request will have a $25 fee.