St. Francis County, ArkansasEdit This Page
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Guide to St. Francis County Arkansas genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|St. Francis County, Arkansas|
Location in the state of Arkansas
Location of Arkansas in the U.S.
|Founded||October 13, 1827|
|County Seat||Forrest City|
|Address|| Saint Francis County Courthouse|
313 S Izard Street
Forrest City, AR 72335-3856
Saint Francis County Courthouse
313 S Izard Street
Forrest City, AR 72335-3856
County Clerk has marriage records from 1875, probate records from 1910 and tax records; Clerk Circuit Court has divorce, court and land records.
When St. Francis County was formed in 1827 the county seat was temporarily located in the home of William Strong, a prominent citizen, until it could be moved to the new town of Franklin. It remained in Franklin until 1840 when it was moved to Madison. In 1855 it was moved to Mt. Vernon. In 1856 the courthouse burned and the county seat was moved back to Madison until 1874 when a vote was taken to move once again to the rapidly expanding Forrest City that began as a railroad construction camp for Nathan Bedford Forrest.
After the original frame courthouse in Forrest City burned in 1874 a brick building was constructed that was used until the current building was built. Many of the earlier record books in the current courthouse are laminated derivatives and a number of originals are stored at the St. Francis County Museum, 603 Front Street, Forrest City, Arkansas.
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.
The county records have been burned three times. The first time was in Mt. Vernon in 1856. During the War Between the States the records were moved to a frame home in the woods. The woods caught fire and the home and records burned. After the records were moved from the brick courthouse in Madison in 1874 to a frame building in Forrest City, they were burned again, ostensibly by someone trying to destroy criminal evidence.
Some deeds have been reconstructed back to the 1860's, but most county records begin in 1873 or 1874.
For a list of record loss in Arkansas counties see: Arkansas Counties with Burned Courthouses
- All of the family biographies from St. Francis County, Arkansas included in The Biographical and Historical Memoirs of St. Francis County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890 are available free online at My Genealogy Hound.
Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Arkansas denominations, view the Arkansas Church Records wiki page.
Land and Property
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Arkansas Land and Property for additional information about early Arkansas land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.
Local histories are available for St. Francis County, Arkansas. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Arkansas Local Histories.
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 
Regiments. Service men in St. Francis County, Arkansas served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in St. Francis County, Arkansas:
- - 18th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company G
Finding More Arkansas Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as St. Francis County, Arkansas newspapers in online catalogs like:
- FamilySearch. Do a St. Francis County, Arkansas Place-name search for these and other records in the FamilySearch Catalog (For instructions see, FamilySearch Catalog Place-name Search).
- Fayetteville Democrat at Ancestry.com ($)
- Fayetteville Daily Democrat at Ancestry.com ($)
- Daily Fayetteville Democrat at Ancestry.com ($)
- Northwest Arkansas Times at Ancestry.com ($)
- Courier Times at Ancestry.com ($)
Probate records of Arkansas have been kept by the probate or county courts. You can obtain copies of the original records by contacting the clerk's office in the county courthouse.
The Family History Library has microfilm copies of many Arkansas probate records. See Arkansas Probate Records for more information about Probate records in Arkansas, including statewide indexes.
- Probate Records 1862-1949 Part of: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
- Includes Administration and guardian settlements 1865-1899; Administration bonds 1862-1892; Appraisements 1881-1944; Claims against estates 1865-1905; Executor bonds 1876-1949; Guardian bonds and letters 1887-1908; Probate records 1865-1886; Wills 1865-1931.
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 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
- 1875-1923 - St. Francis County Marriage Books D-N Index 1875-1923 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.
- 1875-1951 - St. Francis County Marriage Books D-X Index 1875-1951 in Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957 at FamilySearch - free.
- St. Francis County, Arkansas Obituary Collection From GenealogyBuff.com ~ Free. From Various Funeral Homes in Forrest City, Hughes, Madison, Palestine, Wheatley, Widener, Caldwell, and Colt.
Vital Record Substitutes
Genealogy Societies and Libraries
Family History Centers
- St. Francis County, AR History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Arkansas Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- Arkansas Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- Family History Library Catalog
- St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- ↑ The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 70.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ History of St. Francis County, Arkansas 1954, Fred N. McCollum Sr., Publisher, Robert W. Chowning, Author, Published by the Times-Herald Publishing Company, Forrest City, Arkansas, 1954 pp. 8 and 10. Copy in the Arkansas Room, Forrest City Public Library.
- ↑ The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- ↑ History of St. Francis County, Arkansas 1954, ibid.
- ↑ Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d7/Arkansasnz.pdf.
- ↑ FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki, accessed 18 April 2013.
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