Craighead County, Arkansas Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Jonesboro
Organized: February 19, 1859
Parent County(s): Mississippi, Greene, and Poinsett[1]
Neighboring Counties
Dunklin (MO)  • Greene  • Jackson  • Lawrence  • Mississippi  • Poinsett
See County Maps
Location Map
College of Jonesboro, Craighead County, Arkansas

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for state Senator Thomas Craighead. It is located in the northeast of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Craighead County Courthouse
511 South Main Street
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Phone: 870.933.4520
Craighead County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1878 and tax records.
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce records from 1878 and land records from 1900[3]

Craighead 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 1878 1914 1878 1900 1878 1830
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until the 1920s

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

  • 1869,1878 - All records were destroyed by a fire in 1869 and again in 1878.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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
  • Lunsford
  • Otwell
  • Big Creek
  • Black Oak
  • Brookland
  • Buffalo
  • Gilkerson
  • Greenfield
  • Herndon
  • Jonesboro
  • Lake City
  • Lester
  • Little Texas
  • Maumelle
  • Nettleton
  • Powell
  • Prairie
  • Promised Land
  • Taylor
  • Texas

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 Craighead County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [7]

  • 1803 (pre) - Some groups of Shawnee, Delaware, and Cherokee moved west of the Mississippi River and through the area.
  • 1811-1812 - The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812 kept many potential settlers away from northeast Arkansas and induced the few Native Americans there to move elsewhere.
  • 1817 - Immigration to the area began increasing due to allayed fears of earthquakes and the attractiveness of the bounties given to veterans of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
  • 1820 - An act of Congress continued the land bounty program.
  • 1850 - The Bounty Land Act in 1850 allowed for veterans of the Mexican War (1846–1848) to obtain land warrants.
  • 1850 - The U.S. Congress granted the state of Arkansas all swamp and overflow lands, many of which were in the region now included in Craighead County.
  • 1859 February 19 - Crighead County was formed.
  • 1869-1885 - A high incidence of courthouse fires in Jonesboro destroyed many of the county’s early documents.
  • 1906 - Jonesboro’s growth was enhanced with the creation of City Water & Light (CWL) as a municipal utility.

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 Craighead, 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 3,066
1870 4,577 49.3%
1880 7,037 53.7%
1890 12,025 70.9%
1900 19,505 62.2%
1910 27,627 41.6%
1920 37,541 35.9%
1930 44,740 19.2%
1940 47,200 5.5%
1950 50,613 7.2%
1960 47,303 −6.5%
1970 52,068 10.1%
1980 63,239 21.5%
1990 68,956 9.0%
2000 82,148 19.1%
2010 96,443 17.4%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

  • Probate Records 1878-1971 Craighead County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)- How to Use this Collection
    • Includes Administration and guardian bonds 1899-1936; Administration bonds and letters 1878-1923; County Court records 1878-1884; Dockets 1887-1892; Guardian bonds 1878-1938; Letters of administration and guardianship 1884-1903; Probate records 1878-1927; Wills 1886-1930.

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Craighead 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]

Lawrence CountyGreene CountyJackson CountyPoinsett CountyMississippi CountyDunklin CountyAR CRAIGHEAD.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 Craighead County served in various regiments and companies. Those listed below were specifically formed in this county:

- 8th Battalion, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company E

Online Records

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 Craighead 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.

  • 1947 - 1965 - Craighead County Birth Index 1947-1965. Batch C735504 at FamilySearch - free.

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 Craighead 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 Craighead County. For state-wide library facilities, see Arkansas Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Genealogy Society Of Craighead County
315 W Oak Ave
PO Box 844
Jonesboro, AR 72401

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, “Craighead 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), Craighead 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, "Craighead County, Arkansas" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Arkansas accessed 3 September 2018.
  7. Nancy Hendricks, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 12, 2016), “Craighead 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