Have you tried using Google and Google Books to search your family surnames? You might be surprised to see just what your can find. Try googling your "surname of jackson county alabama" and see what you get. You can use that format for any surname, county and state. Or you can use just the state.
If a book with your surname comes up enter the surname in the books search engine. You may only be able to see snippits but sometimes if the book is the the public domain you can see the entire book. Using this format will also bring up messages posted at the various genealogy websites.
Sometimes the book is available for purchase from Google as an E-Book, usually for aroung $13.00.
Google can also display where the book is located near you in a library or where you can purchase the book.
Dick Eastman has great tips at his genealogy website just google eastman's online genealogy newsletter, its free. You might try Genealogy Roots Blog. There are a host of genealogy blogs online you can search through just by googling genealogy blogs.
Family Tree Magazine has a free newsletter with what's new and how to tips including how to id the age of old photos.
The USGENWEB has a website for just about every county in the nation. Try googling the "county name state usgenwebarchives project". You can find a host of various census, court, marriage, death, birth and other records using this. Some available no where else. Jackson County marriages, cemeteries and census records are on line there.
If researching in GA try the Georgia Virtual Vault. Any other state just google archives of state name.
While Legacy Family Tree sells a family tree maker they also have a version that you can download for free and they have a free newsletter giving a lot of how to tips.
These are just a few of the sources and methods that you can use I am sure that others in our Group can give you more.