Columbia County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
Columbia County

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


County Courthouse

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.[2]

Columbia 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* 1853 1914* 1860 1853 1853
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

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

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 Columbia 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 Columbia County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [5]

  • 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.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Columbia, 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


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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

African Americans

Funeral Homes



  • Probate Records 1849-1931 Columbia County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds and letters 1853-1925; Dockets 1866-1891; Executor and guardian bonds and letters 1856-1924; Probate record index 1854-1926; Probate records 1853-1886; Wills 1849-1931.

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.
Columbia CountyLafayette CountyMiller CountyHempstead CountyNevada CountyOuachita CountyCalhoun CountyDallas CountyClark CountyPike CountyHoward CountySevier CountyLittle River CountyCleveland CountyBradley CountyUnion CountyUnion ParishClaiborne ParishWebster ParishBossier ParishCaddo ParishLincoln ParishMarion CountyCass CountyBowie CountyMcCurtain CountyARColumbia.JPG


Military Records

Civil War

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

Naturalization and Citizenship


Finding More Arkansas Newspapers Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Columbia 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. Mike McNeill, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( :accessed January 12, 2016), “Columbia County.”
  6. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at