Your Guide to Researching
Arkansas Ancestors


* General Guides * Maps * Statewide Genealogy Websites * Societies, Libraries and Archives *
* Finding and Using Records * Queries & Help * More Links *

General Guides to Arkansas Research

Books you might purchase or use in a library include

Each of the three reference books listed below has a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state. (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are usable)

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook, 3rd ed, revised. (find in a library) (see above for online copy)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Atlases, Maps & Gazetteers

For more information on finding and using maps, see Your Guide to Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers.

  • State Maps
    • Bookmark or print out this county map of Arkansas
    • Good state maps are available in the Handybook or Redbook mentioned above. The Redbook map of Arkansas is also available online.
    • National Atlas: Arkansas map (shows counties)
    • An Arkansas county outline map (.pdf) may be useful if you want to annotate the map.
    • 2 choices: Another outline map, as well as one with the counties labelled.
    • 1892 map of Arkansas; 1895 map;
    • Query the American Memory Maps colletion for maps containing the word Arkansas.
  • County Formation maps online
    • GenealogyInc: Arkansas County Formation Map
    • Atlas of Historical County Boundaries: Arkansas
  • Maps of individual counties in the state, because you will want to see where the townships, cities and villages are located within each county.
    • National Atlas: Arkansas map that shows counties and some larger cities and towns
    • 1895 Atlas - Arkansas has a state map, map for each hcounty and index of towns and cities.
    • Arkansas county maps from an 1889 atlas.
    • Some (not all) of the county pages in Wikipedia will have a link to a township map for that county -- First, click on the county name in the chart on this Arkansas page then scroll down to the bottom of the page, click the small image once to bring it up on a separate screen, then click it again to make it a full page map.
    • Scroll down on this CensusFinder site page for some links to county maps in Arkansas --note that these links are below the large outline map of the state.
  • Topographic maps are important because they show riverways, mountains and other natural features that were important to people living in the area.
    • National Atlas: map of Arkansas rivers and lakes
  • Map Collections
  • Gazetteers
  • FamilySearch Wiki: Arkansas Maps and Arkansas Gazetteers

Statewide Genealogy Websites

Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these statewide sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties. Content will vary, but usually you will find the GenWeb site to be the most robust. All are volunteer driven sites; all data is free, but as time goes by, the upkeep of many of these sites seems to be falling by the wayside.

Societies, Libraries and Archives

For more information on using libraries and archives, see
Your Gouide to Using Libraries and Archives for Genealogical Researc

Finding and Using Records: bible cemetery, census, church, city directories, countyl histories, court & legal, military, land and property, naturalizations, newspapers, probate, vital.

FIRST... use the catalog place name box in the Family History Library catalog to find out what has been filmed covering the state of Arkansas the counties of Arkansas and the cities, villages or townships within the counties.

  • As you type Arkansas in the place box, you will see an alphabetical listing of counties in the dropdown;
    • once in a county, you can click in the place box on the left to see an alphabetical list of the towns, cities and villages within that county.
    • This only shows areas for which material is available at the Family History Library.
  • An item will likely be in one of the three, perhaps two of the three and almost never in all three of these searchs --you need to check each

NEXT... see what is Arkansas material is available online on the Family History Library website,

The Family History Library is not the only place you will find material! A great deal is available online or in libraries and archives, courthouses or other institutions and organizations across the nation. Below is information on some of the records you will seek.

Bible Records: For general information, see Guide to Bible Records, this website)

Cemetery: For general informaton, see Guide to Cemetery Records, this website

Census: For general inforamation, see Guide to Census Records, this website.

Church: For general information, see Guide to Church Records, this website.

City and County Directories: For general information, see guide to city and county directories, this website.

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Arkansas Direcories
  • Arkansas Online Historical Directories -- listed by county
  • Check the Arkansas City Directories site to see if one exists for a city you are interested in -- but don't rely on this. It is neither a comprehensive list of what exists nor a complete record of where it is held.

County and Local Histories: For general informaton, see Guide to County Histories, this website

  • FamilySearch Wiki Arkansas Biography helps you locate some biographies that have been published online
  • GenealogyNet lists online sources for Arkansas county histories.
  • Arkansas Historical Commission's Biodex can be used to find biographical information in a variety of historical resources.
  • Clark & Parham, Arkansas County and Local Histories: A Bibliography. 1976. (find in a library)

Court & Legal; For general information, see guide to law libraries, this website

Land & Property: For general information, see Guide to Land Records, this website.

Military; For general inforamtion, see Guide to Military Records, this website

Naturalizations; For general information, see Guide to Naturalizations, this website

Newspapers: For general information, see Guide to Newspapers, this website

Probate: For general information, see Guide to Probate Records, this website

Tax Records

Vital: For general information, see Guide to Vital Records, this website.

Queries & Help

More Links




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This page last updated February 9, 2013