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Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Arkansas by Bobbi Jones

Guide to Crawford 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

Crawford County, Arkansas
Map of Arkansas highlighting Crawford County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arkansas
Location of Arkansas in the U.S.
Founded October 18, 1820
County Seat Van Buren
Address Crawford County Courthouse
300 Main Street
Van Buren, AR 72956
Phone: 501.474.1312


County Courthouse

Crawford County Courthouse
300 Main Street
Van Buren, AR 72956
Phone: 501.474.1312

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1877; Clerk Circuit Court has court and land records from 1877 and divorce records.[1]

Beginning years for Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy government records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate
1914* 1877 1914* 1877 1877 1877
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Government and Related Websites

County Government and other Local Websites (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 (unofficial site) Provides links to County officials and public records


Parent County

1820--Crawford County was created 18 October 1820 from Pulaski County.  County seat: Van Buren [3]

 It was named in honor of William H. Crawford, President Monroe's Secretary of the Treasury.

Boundary Changes

Parts of the county were taken for various new counties:

  • Washington 27 October 1828
  • Pope 2 November 1829
  • Scott 5 November 1833
  • Franklin 19 December 1837
  • Sebastian 5 January 1851
  • In 1828, part of the Osage and Cherokee Territory was added to the county.

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

Variant Spellings

Record Loss

On March 23, 1877, the courthouse was destroyed by fire and all records were destroyed except those of the treasurer and a few deeds and mortgages. Since that date however the records are complete and are kept in fire-proof vaults.

For a list of record loss in Arkansas counties see: Arkansas Counties with Burned Courthouses


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog'

Populated Places

Alma | Cedarville | Chester | Dyer | Kibler | Mountainburg
Mulberry | Natural Dam | Rudy | Uniontown | Van Buren

Neighboring Counties

Adair County, Oklahoma  • Franklin  • Madison  • Sebastian  • Sequoyah County, Oklahoma  • Washington

Crawford CountyWashington CountyMadison CountyFranklin CountyLogan CountySebastian CountyBenton CountyCarroll CountyBoone CountyNewton CountyJohnson CountyYell CountyScott CountyAdair CountySequoyah CountyLe Flore CountyHaskell CountyCherokee CountyDelaware CountyARCrawford.JPG

Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

African Americans

Bible Records


  • All of the family biographies from the 1889 History of Crawford County, Arkansas by Goodspeed are available free online on My Genealogy Hound


Crawford County Cemetery Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Tombstone Transcription Project  -   USGenWeb Project

Alexander Cemetry, Alma City Cemetery, Bidville Cemetery, Bolton Cemetery, Bryant Cemetery, Dugan Cemetery, Dyer Cemetery,Fairview Cemetery, Gregory Cemetery, Hall Cemetery, Hillcrest Cemetery, Liberty Hill Cemetry, Love Cemetery, Morrison Cemetery, Rudy, New Cemetery, Newberry Chapel Cemetery, Peters Cemetery, Sarah Grove, Steward Cemetery

Online Crawford County, Arkansas cemeteries
from state and national resources
Search for names of people
in Crawford 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


Church Records

Crawford County Church Index - Crawford County ARGenWeb


Wills and Probate Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb


  • Probate Records 1874-1929 Crawford County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds 1877-1909; Administration bonds 1877-1908; Minute index 1877-1929; Minutes 1877-1895; Wills 1874-1929.


Land and Property

Local Histories

Template:AR History Intro

Biography Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Disaster/Epidemic Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Family Group Sheets Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Crawford County Family Website Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

  • History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing, 1889. Online at: ($)
  • History of Crawford County, Arkansas. By Clara B. Eno. Van Buren, Ark.: Press-Argus, 1950. Online at: ($)

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 [1]

  • The area that became Crawford County has been inhabited since the end of the Ice Age, about 12,000 BC. Paleoindians hunted and gathered wild plants and other resources, residing in open air campsites.
  • 1195-1495 - Various theories speculate that the artwork and settlements in Crawford County were left by ancestors of the Osage, Quapaw, Wichita, Tunica, or Caddo tribes.
  • 1818-1828 - Much of the future county was within a Cherokee reservation and therefore unavailable to American settlers..
  • 1820 October 18 - When originally created , Crawford County encompassed a large part of Indian Territory and all or part of five present-day counties—Scott, Sebastian, Franklin, Washington, and Pope.
  • 1840 - Approximately 4,000 people had arrived, and settlements sprang up all over the mountains, valleys, and the river valley.
  • 1850 - Iimmigrants and freight could enter the county by traveling the State Road (Wire Road) from the north, paralleling the western boundary, from Springfield, Missouri, to the Arkansas River.
  • 1862 - The Civil War came early to Crawford County, as did great devastation, deprivation, pain, and suffering.
  • 1874 - As the freed slaves migrated westward, a large population of African Americans settled in the Riverside community near Van Buren.
  • 1870-1880 - Crawford County never experienced phenomenal growth at any one time, but with the advent of the railroads , there came a significant population increase,



Revolutionary War
  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census]. 1841. Digital version at Google Books. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Arkansas, Crawford County on page 191.]
  • Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." FHL Collection 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Arkansas section begins on page 439.]
  • Pension Rolls  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb
Civil War

United States Colored Troops of Crawford County, Arkansas this site gives history and information on burial and a Headstone Project.

Regiments. Service men in Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy 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 Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy:

- 19th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Dawson's) (Confederate)
- 34th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company E
- 35th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company G
- Witherspoon's Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate)



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

Submitted Crawford County Obituaries  -  USGenWeb Archives Project

Newspaper Article Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb


Probate Records

  • Probate Records 1874-1929 Crawford County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds 1877-1909; Administration bonds 1877-1908; Minute index 1877-1929; Minutes 1877-1895; Wills 1874-1929.


Tax Lists  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Vital Records

See also How to order Arkansas Vital Records 
Vital Record Substitutes

Genealogy Societies and Libraries

List of Arkansas Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Crawford County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 276
Alma, AR 72921
Open on Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Crawford County Historical Society
929 East Main Street
Van Buren, AR 72956-4317

Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 796
Rogers, AR 72757-0796
Serving the Arkansas Counties of Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington

Phone:: (501) 273-3890

Arkansas Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 17653
Little Rock, AR 72222

Arkansas Historical Association
416 Old Main, University of Arkansas
History Department - Ozark Hall 12
Fayetteville, AR 72701

(479) 575-5884
(479) 575-2775

Arkansas History Commission One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Trash or Treasure? Phone:
(501) 682-6900
(501) 682-6916

Arkansas Historical Society
422 South Sixth Street
Van Buren, AR 72956

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society
Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis,
President, Little Rock Chapter
P.O. Box 4294
Little Rock, Arkansas 72214

Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy
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


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
RootsWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Sites that search for links pertaining to Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($) Free family history resources and government records

Social networking sites pertaining to Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy Crawford County, AR Genealogy Forum Crawford County Message Board


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 67.
  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. 4.0 4.1 Arkansas. Adjutant General's Office. Report of the Adjutant General of Arkansas, for the period of the late rebellion, and to November 1, 1866, (Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, c1990) FHL fiche 6082312
  5. Desmond Walls Allen, Third Arkansas Union Cavalry, (Conway, Arkansas: Arkansas Research, c1987), pp. 33-92.FHL book 976.7 M28dc
  6. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki, accessed 18 April 2013.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at


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  • This page was last modified on 18 March 2015, at 03:21.
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