Arkansas Genealogy

This guide is designed to assist with using the archival and history resources of the University of Arkansas Libraries for conducting family history and genealogical research.

County and State Histories

These overview histories will provide background and context for your research.  Most are available on reserve at the main service desk in Mullins Library.

Manuscript Collections

Other Resoures

Biographical Index cites entries in seventy-five standard sources on Arkansas history. It includes references to biographies in the Goodspeed's histories for five regions in Arkansas published in the 1890s, as well as several multi-volume histories of the state (such as Herndon's Centennial History of Arkansas, Hallum's Biographical and Pictorial History of Arkansas, and Williams's Arkansans of the Years).

State birth & death records (since February 1, 1914) and marriage & divorce records (since 1917) should be requested from the Arkansas Department of Health, 4815 W. Markham Street Slot 44, Little Rock, AR 72205.

Published family histories, reminiscences, and autobiographies are listed in the library catalog by the name of the family or individual about whom the book is written.

County histories have been published for many of Arkansas's counties ranging from the Goodspeed's histories mentioned above to individual county histories written for the nation's bicentennial, the state's sesquicentennial, and other special occasions. These can be identified in the library catalog through a subject search.

Military history. A popular source for this topic is The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (E491.U6). The index is shelved with the series and in the Reference Department. Microfilm of the Index to Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Arkansas is in Multimedia Services (E553.U535), but this library does not have the records themselves. Many helpful sources on this topic are described in Manuscript Resources for the Civil War (E553.9 .U59).

For researching Native American ancestry, the library has the name index to the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, of the Dawes Commission (REF E78.I5.U27). However, we do not have the actual rolls.

City Directories.  A signficant difference between a city directory and a phone book, is that you can research the residents of a city street or residency by year.  Special Collections houses a  large number of city directories from many parts of the state.  If we do not have your specific year or city, be sure to contact the local public library of the location that you are researching. 

In Remembrance: An Electronic Index of Arkansas Deaths, 1819-1920.  Hosted by the Arkansas History Commission, this database provides researchers with the location of death records in early Arkansas.  The data has been collected from numerous sources including church publications, cemetery records, mortality censuses, newspaper obituaries, or county and local records.  The link can be accessed on the History Commission Search Page; chose In Remembrance Death Records as the Record Type

Maps and Atlases

Alumni Resources and University History