Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
Crawford County

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

County Facts
County seat: Van Buren
Organized: October 18, 1820
Parent County(s): Pulaski[1]
Neighboring Counties
Adair (OK)  • Franklin  • Madison  • Sebastian  • Sequoyah (OK)  • Washington
See County Maps
Location Map
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Arkansas by Bobbi Jones

County Information


The county was named for William H. Crawford, United States Secretary of War in 1815. The County Seats are Jonesboro, Lake City and was founded October 18, 1820. It is located in the northeast of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Crawford County Courthouse
300 Main Street
Van Buren, AR 72956
Phone: 501.474.1312
Crawford County Website

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1877;
Clerk Circuit Court has court and land records from 1877 and divorce records.[3]

Crawford 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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914* 1877 1914* 1877 1877 1877 1830
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

  • 1877 - On March 23, 1877, the courthouse was destroyed by fire and all records up to that time were destroyed except those of the treasurer and a few deeds and mortgages.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1820--Crawford County was created 18 October 1820 from Pulaski County. 
  •  It was named in honor of William H. Crawford, President Monroe's Secretary of the Treasury.
  • County seat: Van Buren[5]

Parts of the county were taken for various new counties:

  • Washington 27 October 1828
  • Pope 2 November 1829
  • Scott 5 November 1833
  • Franklin 19 December 1837
  • Sebastian 5 January 1851
  • In 1828, part of the Osage and Cherokee Territory was added to the county.

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 the county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
  • Alma
  • Bidville
  • Cedar Creek
  • Cedarville
  • Chester
  • Cove City
  • Dean Springs
  • Dora
  • Dyer
  • Jasper
  • Kibler
  • Lancaster
  • Lees Creek
  • Locke
  • Mountainburg
  • Mulberry
  • Oliver Springs
  • Porter
  • Rudy
  • Uniontown
  • Upper
  • Van Buren
  • Vine Prairie
  • Whitley
  • Winfrey

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 Crawford County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [7]

  • 1818-1828 - Much of the future county was within a Cherokee reservation and therefore unavailable to American settlers..
  • 1820 October 18 - When originally created , Crawford County encompassed a large part of Indian Territory and all or part of five present-day counties—Scott, Sebastian, Franklin, Washington, and Pope.
  • 1840 - Approximately 4,000 people had arrived, and settlements sprang up all over the mountains, valleys, and the river valley.
  • 1850 - Iimmigrants and freight could enter the county by traveling the State Road (Wire Road) from the north, paralleling the western boundary, from Springfield, Missouri, to the Arkansas River.
  • 1862 - The Civil War came early to Crawford County, as did great devastation, deprivation, pain, and suffering.
  • 1874 - As the freed slaves migrated westward, a large population of African Americans settled in the Riverside community near Van Buren.
  • 1870-1880 - Crawford County never experienced phenomenal growth at any one time, but with the advent of the railroads , there came a significant population increase.

Population Timeline

  • 1850      7,960
  • 1860      7,850
  • 1870      8,957
  • 1880      14,740
  • 1890      21,714
  • 1900      21,270
  • 1910      23,942
  • 1920      24,739
  • 1930      22,549
  • 1940      23,920
  • 1950      22,727
  • 1960      21,318
  • 1970      25,677
  • 1980      36,892
  • 1990      42,493
  • 2000      53,247

Data extracted from: Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Additional Information


Bible Records


  • All of the family biographies from the 1889 History of Crawford County, Arkansas by Goodspeed are available free online on My Genealogy Hound

Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Crawford, 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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1830 2,440
1840 4,266 74.8%
1850 7,960 86.6%
1860 7,850 −1.4%
1870 8,957 14.1%
1880 14,740 64.6%
1890 21,714 47.3%
1900 21,270 −2.0%
1910 23,942 12.6%
1920 25,739 7.5%
1930 22,549 −12.4%
1940 23,920 6.1%
1950 22,727 −5.0%
1960 21,318 −6.2%
1970 25,677 20.4%
1980 36,892 43.7%
1990 42,493 15.2%
2000 53,247 25.3%
2010 61,948 16.3%
Source: "".

Church Records

Crawford County Church Index - Crawford County ARGenWeb

Court Records

Wills and Probate Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



  • Probate Records 1874-1929 Crawford County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds 1877-1909; Administration bonds 1877-1908; Minute index 1877-1929; Minutes 1877-1895; Wills 1874-1929.

Land and Property Records

The state of Arkansas began giving out land grants in Crawford County as early as 1840's, but land transactions as the county level are only microlfilmed and available after 1877.

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.

Biography Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Family Group Sheets Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Crawford County Family Website Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

  • History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing, 1889. Online at: ($)
  • History of Crawford County, Arkansas. By Clara B. Eno. Van Buren, Ark.: Press-Argus, 1950. Online at: ($)

Maps and Gazetteers

Adair CountySequoyah CountyLe Flore CountyWashington CountyMadison CountyFranklin CountyLogan CountySebastian CountyAR CRAWFORD.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

As a wildly rural western territory until the middle of the 19th century, Arkansas and her counties were not embroiled in military happenings until the Civil War. Military records for Crawford County are at state and federal levels.

Revolutionary War

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census]. 1841. Digital version at Google Books. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Arkansas, Crawford County on page 191.]
  • Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." FHL Collection 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Arkansas section begins on page 439.]
  • Pension Rolls  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

Civil War

Arkansas seceded from the Union on 6 May 1861. The Civil War brought destruction to Crawford County, as two early battles in 1862 ravaged the region. Though technically a Confederate state, many of the small farmer residents in Arkansas (especially in the north) were Union sympathizers. While there were 48 infantry regiments for the Confederate Army (plus considerable numbers of cavalry and artillery battery units), there were 11 Union infantry regiments, four cavalry regiments, and two artillery batteries.

Online Records

Regiments. Men in Crawford County served in various regiments and companies. Those listed below were specifically formed in this county:

- 19th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Dawson's) (Confederate)
- 34th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company E
- 35th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company G
- Witherspoon's Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate)

Naturalization and Citizenship


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

Submitted Crawford County Obituaries  -  USGenWeb Archives Project

Newspaper Article Index  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb


Other Records


Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

Tax Lists  -  Crawford County ARGenWeb

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.




Crawford County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 276
Alma, AR 72921
Open on Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Crawford County Historical Society
929 East Main Street
Van Buren, AR 72956-4317

Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 796
Rogers, AR 72757-0796
Serving the Arkansas Counties of Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington
Phone:: (501) 273-3890

Arkansas Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 17653
Little Rock, AR 72222

Arkansas Historical Association
416 Old Main, University of Arkansas
History Department - Ozark Hall 12
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-5884
(479) 575-2775

Arkansas History Commission One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Trash or Treasure? Phone:
(501) 682-6900
(501) 682-6916

Arkansas Historical Society
422 South Sixth Street
Van Buren, AR 72956

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society
Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis,
President, Little Rock Chapter
P.O. Box 4294
Little Rock, Arkansas 72214


  • 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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Crawford County, Arkansas Genealogy and History”,
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Crawford County, Arkansas. Page 67 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 65.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Crawford County, Arkansas" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Arkansas accessed 3 September 2018.
  7. Wanda M. Gray, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 12, 2016), “Crawford County.”
  8. 8.0 8.1 Arkansas. Adjutant General's Office. Report of the Adjutant General of Arkansas, for the period of the late rebellion, and to November 1, 1866, (Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, c1990) FHL fiche 6082312
  9. Desmond Walls Allen, Third Arkansas Union Cavalry, (Conway, Arkansas: Arkansas Research, c1987), pp. 33-92.FHL book 976.7 M28dc
  10. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.
  11. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at