Craighead County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
Craighead County

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


County Courthouse

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[2]

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

Record Loss

  • 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

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

  • 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.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Craighead, 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 1878-1971 Craighead County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • 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

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.

  • Stuck, Charles Albert. The story of Craighead County : a narrative of people and events in northeast Arkansas. Jonesboro, Arkansas : C.A. Stuck, c1960.

Maps and Gazetteers

Click on a neighboring county to go to the wiki page.
Craighead CountyMississippi CountyPoinsett CountyJackson CountyIndependence CountySharp CountyLawrence CountyGreene CountyClay CountyRandolph CountyWhite CountyWoodruff CountyCross CountyCrittenden CountyDunklin CountyPemiscot CountyLauderdale CountyTipton CountyShelby CountyFayette CountyDyer CountyLake CountyARCraighead (2).jpg


Military Records

Civil War

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


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

  • Arkansas Online Historical Newspapers - identifies historical archived and digitized newspapers available online on both free and pay-to-access websites. Includes newspapers for Craighead County.


Other Records


Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

Vital Records


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




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. Nancy Hendricks, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 12, 2016), “Craighead 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