Arkansas County Resources
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This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott, Ph.D., FUGA in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Arkansas county vital, land, and probate records are held by the county clerk, with some counties having two courthouses. This is indicated by “and” followed by a second address. Either one might have been used for recording purposes. Some county clerks also maintain court records, but most are at the office of the clerk of the circuit court. Addresses for county courthouses are given at <www.accessarkansas.org/government_local.php>. Most Arkansas counties do not provide online services; however, postings on this site include current telephone numbers for each county judge’s office. Calls can be transferred to the county clerk and/or clerk of the circuit court’s offices. A random check indicates most telephone listings are current, but some listings show 501 prefixes, which have now changed to 479.
Dates given are for the first known records in the category in that county; these dates do not imply that all records are extant from that date. For data concerning county record losses, creation dates, boundary changes, and additional information, see Russell Pierce Baker, Guide to the Microfilmed County Records at the Arkansas History Commission (Conway, Ark.: Professional Genealogists of Arkansas, 1989), and James Logan Morgan, A Survey of the County Records of Arkansas (Newport, Ark.: Arkansas Records Association, 1972). Both were used in compiling the chart that follows.
Although 1914 was the date of initial registration of births and deaths, compliance was extremely limited; therefore, only a small percentage of actual births and deaths were recorded during the first decades after the law was enacted. For that reason, beginning dates of births and deaths are not given in the chart. Parent counties are those defined here as those in session laws. Later boundary changes between counties also occurred, but these are not included. See the Baker and Morgan sources cited above for this information.