Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States
Arkansas
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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Arkansas, United States
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Flag of Arkansas
US Locator Arkansas.png
Location of Arkansas
Record Description
Record Type Marriage
Collection years 1837-1957
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
County Courthouses, Arkansas



What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of an index and images to marriages recorded in counties of Arkansas for the years 1837 to 1957. Many marriages recorded in the South, are separated by race in volumes, books, or registers. Be sure to check to determine if you have the right set of marriage records. There may be related records included with marriage records. Once an image of a marriage record is located, browse through preceding and following images to check for related records. This project was indexed in partnership with the Arkansas Genealogical Society. There are three types of marriage records:

  • Marriage books are usually large, bound volumes, especially those with printed columns. Entries were made chronologically. Some volumes, especially those for earlier years, were written in paragraph format, often with two or three marriages on each page. When printed pages were introduced later, marriages were recorded in columns, allowing for many entries per page.
  • Marriage licenses may be in paragraph format or printed forms.
  • Marriage returns are usually in paragraph format.

County officials, usually the county clerk, began keeping marriage records from the time the county was formed. When the person obtained a license, he went to a minister or other person authorized to perform marriages, such as the justice of the peace. That person sent a return to the county clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred. Most marriages that took place in a county were recorded by civil authorities.

Marriage records validate a wife’s legal claim to property.

The date and place of marriage and the name of the officiator are very reliable. Other information depends upon the knowledge and reliability of the informants (usually the bride and groom). Only a few deliberately provided false information.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

While earlier records are usually less complete, information found in marriage records usually include:

  • The names of the groom, bride, and officiator.
  • The date of the marriage or license
  • Birth dates and places of the bride and groom (in later records)
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Name of the officiator, either a Minister (MG) or a Justice of the Peace (JP)

Collection Content

Coverage Table and Map

A coverage table for this collection is available in the wiki article Arkansas County Marriages, Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records)

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Arkansas marriages, click here.

Sample Image

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the bride or groom
  • The location and approximate date of the marriage

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

What Do I Do Next?

  • Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members
  • In case you need to find this record again later, copy the citation below in the Citing This Collection section. It's always a good idea to keep your citation on a Research Log. This is an important tool to help keep track of what you have and have not found. Family search wiki has a Example Research Log that you can download and use
  • Print or download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed

I Found the Person I was Looking for, What Now?

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby locality
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Arkansas, County Marriages 1837-1957." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing County Courthouses, Arkansas.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.