How to Find Arkansas Birth Records

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Statewide registration of births began in 1914 in Arkansas with general compliance by the mid-1930s.

Next Step: When did the birth occur? [edit | edit source]

Birth Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births before 1881[edit | edit source]

Before 1881, no births were recorded by county or state officials. Use this chart to get earlier birth information.

In the chart below, find the approximate year of birth for a person, and search the records listed.

Arkansas Records with Birth Information
This chart covers the basics. Additions are welcome.
For people
born between
Use these records
Birth information provided
1750's-1770's Revolutionary War pensions, etc.
Learn more
  • Name
  • Birth date (month, day, year)
  • Birth place (town or county and state)
  • None of the men in these records would have been born in Arkansas
  • Only men were soldiers, widows could apply
  • Some veterans of the Revolutionary War ventured into Arkansas
1770's-1840's Censuses before 1850 Learn more
  • Name of head of the household
  • Number of males and females in age groups
  • Residence of the parents near the time of birth is clue to birthplace
  • Use other censuses, marriages, and additional records to learn more
1770's-1870 Censuses 1850-1870
Learn more
  • Name
  • Age
  • Birth place (state or nation)
  • Gender
  • Birth years calculated for a 70-year-old. Most were younger.
  • 1870 census indicates if born within the year
  • While relationships are not given, they are often implied by order of ages and birth places.
1780's to present Marriage records Learn More
  • Name
  • Age, "of age," or "minor" in early records
  • Birth date more common since 1880's
  • Place of birth in later records
  • Marriage records are kept by each county clerk, usually from the creation of the county
  • Birth years based on first time marriages of people between 16-30. People older than 30 would have been born even earlier.
  • Remember that people who married in the earliest years would NOT have been born in Arkansas
1780's (few); 1820's-1850's (Civil War) Military Records 1812 and later
Learn more
  • Birth date and place (or only age)
  • Most soldiers were between 18-45 at time of service
  • Men only, widows could apply for pensions
1790's to present Church records
Learn more
  • Names of members
  • Baptism or christening date
  • Age at baptism
  • For children, names of parents
  • Churches vary greatly in the birth information they record
  • Some have no record of children until they reach baptismal age
1790's to present Cemeteries
Learn more
  • Name
  • Birth date or age
  • Married surname of a woman
  • Maiden surname common in later years
  • Most markers that still exist are from the 1850's and later
  • Weathering, floods, vandalism and other factors affect the readability of early tombstones
early 1800's to present Obituaries Learn more
  • Name
  • Birth date (usually month, day, year)
  • Birth place (usually town or county and state or nation)
  • Names of parents
  • Mother's maiden surname (often)
  • These were popular since 1870's
  • Also includes names of living relatives (spouse, children, siblings)
1807-1916 and later Death records - County (started 1877)
Learn more
  • Name
  • Age at death or birth date
  • Place of birth (town or county and state)
  • Names of parents
  • Maiden surname of mother (sometimes)
  • A 70-year-old who died in 1877 was born about 1807. Most were younger than that.
  • Infants who lived even a few hours should be included.
  • Even in the early years, deaths were likely to be recorded. (Check cemeteries, obituaries, and others created around a person's death)
1810-1940 Censuses 1880-1940
Learn more
  • Name
  • Age; 1900 census gives month and year of birth
  • Birth place (state or nation).
  • Gender
  • Relationship to head of household
  • A 70-year-old would have been born in 1810. Most were younger.
  • Includes parent's place of birth (state or nation)
1844-present Death records - State (started 1914)
Learn more
  • Name
  • Exact birth date
  • Age at death
  • Place of birth (state or nation, often town or county)
  • Names of parents (usually maiden surname of mother)
  • A 70-year-old who died in 1916 was born about 1846. Most were younger.
  • Also gives informant's name and address (often a spouse, child, or other close relative)
  • Records within the last 50 years are not available to the public
1870's-present (some earlier) Newspapers
Learn More
  • Gender of child, sometimes name
  • Name of father
  • Name of mother (less often)
  • Their residence
  • Search for birth announcements and items from nearby communities
  • Newspapers started early in more populated areas
Return to top: Choose another birth year

Births from 1881 thru 1913[edit | edit source]

In 1881, some Arkansas counties and cities, such as Little Rock and Fort Smith, began recording births. If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for birth information in other records.

For births that exist during the time period, try the following database:

Includes Index Only
Arkansas Births, 1812-1965 FamilySearch - Free; incomplete; index only; although a few of the entries are for births before 1881 and after 1913, the majority of the entries are for 1881-1913.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

Obtain the Record[edit | edit source]

With approximate birth years and places, you can locate birth records by contacting the appropriate county clerk's office, or on microfilm available through the FamilySearch Catalog by searching ARKANSAS [COUNTY] VITAL RECORDS.

Return to top: Choose another birth year

Births after 1913[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of births began in 1914 in Arkansas with general compliance by the mid-1930s. Currently, there are no complete online indexes to Arkansas births from 1914 to the present. A few entries for births between 1914 and 1965 are indexed in the database Arkansas Births, 1812-1965 at

Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

With full names, dates and places of an event, you can order a copy of the birth certificate for a fee from the Arkansas Department of Health or VitalChek.

Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • Specific relatives
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth certificate cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, there are other records with birth information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another birth year

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