Cleveland County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
Cleveland County

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

County Facts
County seat: Rison
Organized: April 17, 1873
Parent County(s): Dallas, Bradley, Jefferson, and Lincoln [1]
Neighboring Counties
Bradley  • Calhoun  • Dallas  • Drew  • Grant  • Jefferson  • Lincoln
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


County Courthouse

Cleveland County Courthouse
Main and Magnolia Streets; PO Box 348
Rison, AR 71665
Phone: 870.325.6521
Cleveland County website

County Clerk has marriage records from 1880, along with divorce, probate and court records.[2]

Cleveland County, Arkansas

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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914* 1880 1914* 1873 1873 1873
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

Although specific courthouse disasters are not known, it is reported that the records are incomplete and some are not in good condition. Several tax books, one marriage record, and one or more court records are missing.

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

Boundary Changes

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

The following are locations in Cleveland County, Arkansas:

History Timeline

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were taken from the Cleveland County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [5]

  • 1834 - The third Quapaw Treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate was the beginning of the end of the Indians treaty lands in Arkansas.
  • 1864 April 25 - The most important event in what became Cleveland County during the Civil War was the Battle of Marks’ Mills.
  • 1873 April 17 - Cleveland County was established.
  • 1910 - The high point for population of the county.
  • 1970 - The low point for population of the county.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


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

Census Records

Church Records

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



  • Probate Records 1873-1974 Cleveland County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration records 1876-1908; Guardian records 1877-1909; Inventories 1877-1974; Letters of guardianship 1909-1938; Probate records 1873-1893; Wills 1877-1947.

Land and Property Records

Local Histories

Local histories are available for {{{1}}} County. They may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. Click for a brief Timeline History of the county. For more about local histories, see Arkansas Local Histories.

  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing, 1890. Online at: ($)

Maps and Gazetteers

Click on a neighboring county to go to the wiki page.
Cleveland CountyLincoln CountyDrew CountyBradley CountyCalhoun CountyOuachita CountyDallas CountyHot Spring CountyGrant CountyJefferson CountyArkansas CountyDesha CountyChicot CountyAshley CountyUnion CountyColumbia CountyNevada CountyClark CountyGarland CountySaline CountyPulaski CountyLonoke CountyPrairie CountyARCleveland.JPG


Military Records

Civil War

Civil War Battle

The following Civil War battle was fought in Cleveland County.

Map showing Civil War battles in Arkansas.

Naturalization and Citizenship


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


Other Records


Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

Vital Records





Research Facilities


Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.





  • 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


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 65-67. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Louise Mitchell, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 12, 2016), “Cleveland County.”
  6. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 15 August, 2012)
  7. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at