Columbia County, Arkansas Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Magnolia
Organized: December 17, 1852
Parent County(s): Lafayette, Hempstead, and Ouachita [1]
Neighboring Counties
Claiborne (LA)  • Lafayette  • Nevada  • Ouachita  • Union  • Webster (LA)
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Christopher Columbus. It is located in the south southern of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Columbia County Courthouse
1 Court Sq, #1;
Magnolia, AR 71753
Phone: 870.235.3774
Columbia County website

County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1853, divorce and court records from 1860 and probate records.
The County Library has cemetery records.[3]

Columbia County, Arkansas[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914 1853 1914 1860 1853 1853 1830
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until the 1920s

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
  • Emerson
  • McNeil
  • Magnolia
  • Taylor
  • Village
  • Waldo

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were taken from the Columbia County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [7]

  • 1836 - Early white settlers began arriving in significant numbers to the area only after Arkansas achieved statehood.
  • 1852 December 17 - Columbia County was created from portions of Lafayette, Hempstead, Ouachita, and Union counties.
  • 1880 and before - Relative isolation and transportation difficulties have long been a problem for Columbia County. Columbia is the only one of Arkansas’s seventy-five counties not situated on a river.
  • 1880s - The railroad led to the creation of the communities of McNeill (later McNeil) and later Waldo.
  • 1937 - The discovery of producing oil and gas fields led to positive changes almost overnight that continued into the 1950s.
  • 1943 - Columbia County voters banned the sale of beer and wine.. The county remains “dry” to this day.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Columbia, Arkansas online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Arkansas Cemeteries for more information

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 12,449
1870 11,397 −8.5%
1880 14,090 23.6%
1890 19,893 41.2%
1900 22,077 11.0%
1910 23,820 7.9%
1920 27,670 16.2%
1930 27,320 −1.3%
1940 29,822 9.2%
1950 28,770 −3.5%
1960 26,400 −8.2%
1970 25,952 −1.7%
1980 26,644 2.7%
1990 25,691 −3.6%
2000 25,603 −0.3%
2010 24,552 −4.1%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]


Barges Chapel Methodist Church

  • 1820-1872 - Barges Chapel Methodist Church Baptism Index 1820-1872. Batch C586261 at FamilySearch - free.
  • 1896, 1915 - Barges Chapel Methodist Church Marriage Index 1896, 1915. Batch M586261 at FamilySearch - free.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Columbia County. They may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more about local histories, see Arkansas Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Hempstead CountyNevada CountyOuachita CountyLafayette CountyUnion CountyBossier ParishWebster ParishClaiborne ParishAR COLUMBIA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Men in Columbia County served in various regiments and companies. Those listed below were specifically formed in this county:

- 6th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) , Company E
- 19th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Dockery's) (Confederate)
- 33rd Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Companies A and G

Online Records

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name   Green check.png
Parent's Ages Green check.png  
Father's Occupation Green check.png  
Current Residence Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1877, a few county and city clerks[8] started keeping birth and death records.

In 1914, the state law required all county clerks to record births and forward them to the state.


See also: • Arkansas Online Genealogy Records, • How to Find Arkansas Birth Records and • Arkansas Vital Records—Birth.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voter Records[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Columbia County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Arkansas Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Columbia County. For state-wide library facilities, see Arkansas Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Columbia County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Arkansas Societies.

Columbia County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 375
Magnolia, AR 71754-0735
Telephone 870-234-7115

Websites[edit | edit source]

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
Linkpendium. Free. Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList. Free. Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Columbia County, Arkansas Genealogy and History”,
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Coumbia County, Arkansas. Page 67 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 65.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Columbia County, Arkansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Arkansas, accessed 2 September 2018.
  7. Mike McNeill, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( :accessed January 12, 2016), “Columbia County.”
  8. such as Sebastian County (Fort Smith) and Pulaski County (Little Rock) (No entry in FamilySearch Catalog found for Pulaski County nor for Little Rock, Aug 2014)
  9. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records," in FamilySearch Wiki.
  10. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at