I thought I'd mention to Oates family researchers there are FREE genealogy records available on the website www.alabamapioneers.com.
Many settlers traveled to Alabama during the early "1800's" due to the opening of the Alabama territory. They often married in Alabama, had lots of children and traveled farther west around 1837 and the Civil War. You can also find the website by searching for the word alabamapioneers.com on Google
When you reach the site, Just type the name in the search box and remember to use various phonetic spellings since there were few schools and census workers often spelled phonetically. To lower the number of searches, type the name again, in any 2nd search box and be sure to check the box exact phrase only. Donna