Desha County, Arkansas Genealogy
Guide to Desha County, Arkansas ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 2.28 Voter Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Desha County Courthouse
Robert Moore Avenue
PO Box 188
Arkansas City, AR 71630
Desha County Website
County Clerk has marriage records from 1865 and probate records;
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce, court and land records.
Desha County, Arkansas[edit | edit source]
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.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
For animated maps illustrating Arkansas county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Arkansas County Boundary Maps" (1813-1925) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
Populated Places[edit | edit source]
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:
History Timeline[edit | edit source]
Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were taken from the Desha County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. 
- 1838 December 12 - Created by legislative act , Desha County was detached from Arkansas and Chicot counties.
- 1860-1865 - During the war, county records were moved by wagon to Richland Township and later to Clarksville, Texas. Some records were never recovered.
- 1927 - Desha County’s greatest tragedy came in the spring of 1927, when a flood inundated 478,000 acres after levee breaks occurred on the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Many of the county’s 26,684 citizens were forced to flee to hill counties or to live on second floors, in tent cities, and in boxcars on the levee.
- 1930-1931 - The Drought of 1930–31 and the Great Depression, with unemployment over thirty percent, added to economic woes.
- 1940-2010 - The population of Desha County peaked in 1940 at just over 27,000. By 2010, it had dropped to 13,000.
Desha County is Arkansas's 40th county, formed on December 12, 1838, and named for Captain Benjamin Desha who fought in the War of 1812.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Bible Records[edit | edit source]
Biographies[edit | edit source]
Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Census Records[edit | edit source]
1840 Federal Census Index - USGenWeb Project Archives
1850 Federal Census Index - USGenWeb Project Archives
Church Records[edit | edit source]
- 1875-1899 - Nebraska, Church Records, 1875-1899 at FamilySearch — index
- Dumas Churches - churchangel.com
- McGehee Churches - churchangel.com
List of Churches and Church Parishes
Court Records[edit | edit source]
Directories[edit | edit source]
Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]
African Americans[edit | edit source]
- 1867-1872 - Desha County Marriage Index 1867-1872 in Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957 at FamilySearch - free.
Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]
Genealogies[edit | edit source]
Guardianship[edit | edit source]
Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]
Desha County Federal Land Records - USGenWeb Archives Project
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Local histories are available for Desha County. They may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more about local histories, see Arkansas Local Histories.
Riverboat History - Desha County ARGenWeb
Goodspeed's History - Desha County ARGenWeb
- Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing, 1890. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- Maps of Arkansas (1813-1925)
- 1895 Desha County Map - livgenmil.com
- Township Map - Desha County USGenWeb
Migration[edit | edit source]
Military Records[edit | edit source]
War of 1812
Military Land Grants War of 1812 (partial list) - USGenWeb Project Archives
Regiments. Men in Desha County served in various regiments and companies. Those listed below were specifically formed in this county:
- - 3rd Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), 
- - 5th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate)
- - 6th Regiment, Arkansas Militia (Confederate) , Napoleon Cavalry
- - 8th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate)
- - Carlton's Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate)
- 1861-1865 - Arkansas Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1890-1963 - Arkansas Confederate Soldier Home,1890-1963 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1891-1939 - Arkansas Ex-Confederate Pension Records, 1891-1939 at FamilySearch — index and images
- Civil War Amnesty List - Desha County ARGenWeb
- 1901-1929 - Arkansas Confederate Pensions, 1901-1929 at FamilySearch — index and images
World War II
Rohwer Relocation Center - Desha County ARGenWeb
World War II Enlistees A-F - USGenWeb Project Archives
World War II enlistees G-L - USGenWeb Project Archives
World War II Enlistees M-R - USGenWeb Project Archives
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Finding More Arkansas Newspapers Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Desha newspapers in online catalogs like:
- FamilySearch. Do a Desha County, Arkansas Genealogy Place-name search for these and other records in the FamilySearch Catalog (For instructions see, FamilySearch Catalog Place-name Search).
- Fayetteville Democrat at Ancestry.com ($)
- Fayetteville Daily Democrat at Ancestry.com ($)
- Daily Fayetteville Democrat at Ancestry.com ($)
- Northwest Arkansas Times at Ancestry.com ($)
- Courier Times at Ancestry.com ($)
Desha County Newspapers - Desha County ARGenWeb
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
Other Records[edit | edit source]
Periodicals[edit | edit source]
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
Online Probate Records
- 1783 – 1998 Arkansas Wills and Probate Records 1783-1998 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1817 – 1979 Arkansas Probate Records 1817-1979 at FamilySearch — images
School Records[edit | edit source]
Tax Records[edit | edit source]
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
Birth[edit | edit source]
|Name of Child|
|Birth Date and Place|
|Mother's Maiden Name|
|Name of Doctor or Midwife|
In 1877, a few county and city clerks started keeping birth and death records.
In 1914, the state law required all county clerks to record births and forward them to the state.
- Arkansas Births and Christenings, 1812-1965 at FamilySearch. (Free, index only)
- Small file, but worth searching. Most entries were user-submitted.
Marriage[edit | edit source]
- 1779-1966 - Arkansas, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1856 - 1952 - Desha County Marriage Books A-Z, A1-I1 Index 1856-1952 in Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957 at FamilySearch - free.
- 1860 - 1976 - Arkansas Church Marriages, 1860-1976 at FamilySearch — index and images
Death[edit | edit source]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Voter Records[edit | edit source]
- 1868-1910 - Arkansas, County Voter Registration Records, 1868-1910 at FamilySearch — index and images
Research Facilities[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
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.
- For current information about a center near you, go to the Family History Center Map
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
Websites[edit | edit source]
- 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[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Genealogy Trails History Group, “Desha County, Arkansas Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ark/desha/
- Wikipedia contributors, "Desha County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desha_County,_Arkansas
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Desha 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.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Desha County, Arkansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desha_County%2C_Arkansas, accessed 10 September 2018.
- Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, (http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=765&type=Category&item=Counties&parent=Counties%2c+Cities%2c+and+Towns&grandparent= : accessed January 13, 2016), “Desha County.”
- FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records," in FamilySearch Wiki.
- Calvin L. Collier, They'll do to Tie To: the story of the Third Regiment, Arkansas Infantry, C.S.A.,(Little Rock, Arkansas: Civil War Round Table Associates, 1959) p. 10. FHL book 976.7 M2c
- such as Sebastian County (Fort Smith) and Pulaski County (Little Rock) (No entry in FamilySearch Catalog found for Pulaski County nor for Little Rock, Aug 2014)