Hempstead County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Arkansas Gotoarrow.png Hempstead County

Guide to Hempstead 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

Hempstead County, Arkansas
Map of Arkansas highlighting Hempstead County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arkansas
Location of Arkansas in the U.S.
Founded December 15, 1818
Parent County Arkansas County, Arkansas
County Seat Hope
Address Hempstead County Courthouse
PO Box 1420
Hope, AR 71801-1420
Phone: 870.777.2241
Website: local.arkansas.gov/index.php

County Courthouse

Hempstead County Courthouse
PO Box 1420
Hope, AR 71801-1420
Phone: 870.777.2241

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1823 and land records from 1900[1]

Beginning years for Hempstead County, Arkansas Genealogy government records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate
1914* 1823 1914* 1819 1900 1826
*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


  • 1818--Hempstead County was created 15 December 1818 from Arkansas County. County seat: Hope [3] Its existence predates the state of Akansas which was admitted to the union in 1836. Hempstead County was part of the Missouri Territory from 1818 to 1819 and part of the Arkansas Territory from 1819 to 1836.

Parent County

Arkansas County, Arkansas

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

1820 Deed records prior to October 9, 1820 have been lost.
1824 Circuit court records prior to March 15, 1824 are lost.


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Howard  • Lafayette  • Little River  • Miller  • Nevada  • Pike  • Sevier

Hempstead CountyNevada CountyColumbia CountyLafayette CountyMiller CountyLittle River CountySevier CountyHoward CountyPike CountyClark CountyHot Spring CountyOuachita CountyMontgomery CountyPolk CountyBowie CountyCass CountyMorris CountyRed River CountyMcCurtain CountyARHempstead.jpg

History Timeline

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were taken from the Hempstead County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [4]

  • 1818 December 15 - Hempstead County was organized.
  • 1819 - Settlers came up the Red River on keel or flatboats, as well as overland, down the Southwest Trail.
  • 1824 - Washington was established as the first county seat.
  • 1863-1868 - The official population increased in these years as the former slaves were listed in the census for the first time as citizens. It is possible that the non-violent atmosphere in the county attracted other former slaves.
  • 1880-1900 - In 1880, the rich earth near Columbus was producing 1,120 pounds of cotton per acre. Total production of cotton for the county was 13,985 bales, worth an estimated $1.425 million. By 1890, cotton production had increased to 15,985 bales. Cotton continued to be king until after World War I. No cotton is grown in the county today.

Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

African Americans

Bible Records


Online Hempstead County, Arkansas cemeteries
from state and national resources
Search for names of people
in Hempstead 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.
  • ARGenWeb Scroll down to Hempstead - no cemeteries found under ARGenWeb specifically for Hempstead.

More cemetery lists

  • Cemeteries are found on the Hempstead ARGenweb site, the Hempstead Archives website and the Findagrave website.


Church Records




  • Probate Records 1819-1927 Hempstead County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds 1845-1914; Administration dockets 1839-1855; Dockets 1832-1840; Executor records 1861-1927; Guardian bonds and letters 1861-1911; Letters of administration 1826-1830; Miscellaneous probate records 1837-1845; Probate records 1841-1894; Wills 1826-1925; Wills, miscellaneous records 1819-1845.

Land and Property

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.

  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing, 1890. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)



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, Hempstead County on page 191.]
Civil War

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

- 2nd Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Rifles (Confederate), Company H
- 5th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), The Davis Blues
- 6th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) , Companies C and D
- 17th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Griffith's) (Confederate), Company H
- 20th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Companies A, B, C and E

Online Records



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


Probate Records

Online Probate Records


Vital Records

See also How to order Arkansas Vital Records

Vital Record Substitutes

Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Hempstead 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

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


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

Social networking sites pertaining to Hempstead County, Arkansas Genealogy
genealogy.com Hempstead County, AR Genealogy Forum
ancestry.com Hempstead 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. Mary Nell Turner, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, (http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=773&type=Category&item=Counties&parent=Counties%2c+Cities%2c+and+Towns&grandparent=: accessed January 13, 2016), “Hempstead County.”
  5. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/0/0d/Igiarkansasem.pdf.
  6. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.