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Guide to Clay County, Arkansas ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Arkansas State with State Seal.png Arkansas
Online Records


Clay County, Arkansas
Map
Map of Arkansas highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arkansas
Location of Arkansas in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 24, 1873
County Seat Piggott
Courthouse
Address Clay County Courthouse
PO Box 306
Piggott, AR 72454
Phone: 870.598.2813 

Contents

County Courthouse

Clay County Courthouse
PO Box 306
Piggott, AR 72454
Phone: 870.598.2813 

Clerk Circuit Court has land, divorce and court records from 1893. County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1893.[1]

According to History and Traditions of Clay County , compiled by Robert T. Webb, edited and indexed by Frank Cochran, the people moved the county seat from Corning to Boydsville in 1877. Most of the people lived in the eastern part of the county and it was difficult to travel through the bottoms to Corning. Changing the county seat did not change the difficulty of crossing the bottoms, but only transferred it to the people in the Western part. In 1881 the county was divided into two districts with Boydsville the Eastern county seat and Corning the Western county seat. In 1888 the people voted to move the eastern county seat to Piggott.

Early History of Clay County Seats

Western District Courthouse History


Beginning years for Clay County, Arkansas government records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate
1914* 1893 1914* 1893 1893 1893
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Government and Related Websites

County Government and other Local Websites
County-clerk.net (unofficial site) Clerks have jurisdiction over birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, land use, land rights, real estate, and other court records. Site provides links to unofficial websites with online records
PublicRecords.com (unofficial site) Provides links to County officials and public records

History

Parent County

  • 1873--Clay County was created 24 March 1873 from Randolph and Greene Counties. County seat: Piggott [3]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Arkansas county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Arkansas County Boundary Maps" (1813-1925) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.


Variant Spellings

Record Loss

The Eastern District courthouse burned on January 11, 1893 with total record loss. For a list of record loss in Arkansas counties see: Arkansas Counties with Burned Courthouses


Places/ Localities

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog'



Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Butler County, Missouri • Dunklin County, Missouri • Greene • Randolph • Ripley County, Missouri

Clay CountyGreene CountyRandolph CountyLawrence CountyCraighead CountyDunklin CountyPemiscot CountyNew Madrid CountyButler CountyRipley CountyStoddard CountyMississippi CountyLake CountyDyer CountyLauderdale CountyFulton CountyARClay.JPG

Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

African Americans

Bible Records

Cemeteries

Online Clay County, Arkansas cemeteries
from state and national resources
Search for names of people
in Clay County
Get a list of cemeteries
(then click to names of people)
Find printed records
(Often more complete)
  • Find A Grave Click "Refine Last Search" on the left, enter a name, click "Search"
  • Billion Graves Enter a name and click "Search" (Statewide. Can search by county, but many with no results.)
  • Find A Grave Click Search for a Cemetery on the right, click All Countries - click United States, click State, click County and search.

More cemetery lists


Partial Listings - none are complete.  Some also contain directions to cemetery as well as photographs.

Allen
Allmandinger
Bethlehem
Black
Blooming Grove
Bond
Brown
Brownie
Cantwell
Corning
Crockett
Cummings
Gilchrist
Gravel Hill
Green
Hall
Hardin
Hill
Hillsboro
Hitt
Hosea
Johnson #1
Johnson #2
Leonard
Liberty Hill
Little Flock
Mary's Chapel
Masterson
Mitchell
Moark
Mound
Myer Hill
New Hope
Nimmons
Parks
Piggott
Purcell
Redenbo
Richwoods
Rock Springs
Rogers
Saint Bernard
Salem
Scatterville
Travillian
Underwood
Williams
Williams
Winston
Woodland Heights US Genweb
Woodland Heights BillionGraves

Census

Church Records

Church records vary greatly, depending upon the the record keepers and beliefs of the church. They may give: a member's dates of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information, maiden name; and death date. For more information, see Arkansas Church Records.

See also Towns and Townships to find records listed at the town level in the FamilySearch Catalog.

Hopewell Baptist Church, near Reyno

Court

(Western District)
Clay County Clerk's Office
Western District
800 W 2nd St
Corning AR 72422
870-857-3480

(Eastern District)
Office of the County Clerk
PO Box 306
Piggott AR 72454-0306
870-598-2813

Various Court Records of Clay County

Genealogy

Land and Property

Land and property records can 1) place an ancestor in a specific location, 2) provide economic information, 3) reveal family relationships, and more.

After land was transferred to private ownership, transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse in the form of deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, and others.

See Arkansas Land and Property for more about online collections and early Arkansas land grants and patents from the government to private ownership.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for {{{1}}} County. They may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. Click for a brief Timeline History of the county. For more about local histories, see Arkansas Local Histories.

See also Towns and Townships to find records listed at the town level in the FamilySearch Catalog.

History Timeline

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Arkansas County - The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture [2]

  • Native American tribes dispersed in northeast Arkansas included the Quapaw as well as Osage who hunted in the area.
  • 1800s - early, European settlement in the Clay County area began with Pierre LeMieux, a Frenchman who settled east of the Black River.
  • 1800s - Veterans of the War of 1812 who were given land grants in Arkansas began to settle in the area.
  • 1849-1850 - Congress passed the Swamp Land Acts of 1849 and 1850. Public swampland was transferred to Arkansas, and then the land was sold cheaply.
  • 1873 - March 24, During Reconstruction, Clayton County was created by the Arkansas legislature taking portions of Greene and Randolph counties.
  • 1875 - Arkansas General Assembly of 1875 changed the name of Clayton County to Clay County.
  • 1883 - Railroads did more than provide a new avenue for export and import of raw and finished products. They also brought more settlers into the area.
  • 1900s - At the start of the twentieth century, the timber industry reached its zenith.

Maps

Military

Civil War
Civil War Battle

The following Civil War Battle was fought in Clay County.

Naturalization

Newspapers

Finding More Arkansas Newspapers Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Arkansas newspapers in online catalogs like:

Occupations

Probate Records

Probate records of Arkansas have been kept by the probate or county courts. See Arkansas Probate Records for more information about Probate records in Arkansas, including statewide indexes.

  • Records 1881-1955 Part of: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds and letters 1881-1955; Guardian bonds and letters 1893-1938; Inventories and appraisements 1881-1919; Minutes 1881-1918; Probate records 1893-1906; Sale bills 1881-1920; Wills 1884-1944.

Taxation

Arkansas tax records replace missing censuses and provide lists of residents during years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years for some counties. For more information see Arkansas Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Arkansas Vital Records State Department of Health, the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred or order electronically online. See also How to order Arkansas Vital Records

See also How to order Arkansas Vital Records

Birth
  • 1947-1958 - Clay County Birth Index 1947-1958. Batch C734491 at FamilySearch - free.[5]
Marriage
Death
  • 1947-1958 - Clay County Death Index 1947-1958. Batch B734489 at FamilySearch - free.[5]
Vital Record Substitutes

Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Clay County, Arkansas
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch Catalog Select topics. For towns, click here.
WorldCat Click an item for libraries near you. For more information, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library Located in Indiana, they are heavily involved in digitizing much of their collection.
Arkansas History Commission Select the county Arkansas state agency involved in organizing, digitizing, and maintaining the records of state and local history.
Local libraries and Arkansas Archives and Libraries may suggest other catalogs

Family History Centers

Websites



Sites with online indexes or images of records
ARGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Sites that search for links pertaining to Clay County, Arkansas
RootsWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Clay County, Arkansas
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
Arkansas History Commission AR state agency involved in organizing and maintaining state and local history of AR
See also local libraries and Arkansas Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Clay County, Arkansas
GeneaBloggers enter "arkansas" in the search box to see a list and links to Arkansas Blogs
Google+ list of groups from "arkansas genealogy" search
Facebook list of groups from "Arkansas Genealogy" search
genealogy.com Clay County, AR Genealogy Forum
ancestry.com Clay County Message Board

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 66.
  2. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 65-67. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/5/5c/Igiarkansasad.pdf.
  6. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki, accessed 18 April 2013.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 18 December 2014, at 19:51.
  • This page has been accessed 18,102 times.