Hempstead County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
Hempstead County
United States
Hempstead County

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

County Facts
County seat: Hope
Organized: December 15, 1818
Parent County(s): Arkansas[1]
Neighboring Counties
Howard  • Lafayette  • Little River  • Miller  • Nevada  • Pike  • Sevier
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


The county was named for Edward Hempstead, a Missouri congressman. The County Seat is Hope and was founded November 5 , 1833.[2] It is located in the southwest of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Hempstead County Courthouse
PO Box 1420
Hope, AR 71801-1420
Phone: 870.777.2241
Hempstead County Website

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1823 and land records from 1900[4]

Hempstead 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[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1914* 1823 1914* 1819 1900 1826
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

  • 1820 - Deed records prior to October 9, 1820 have been lost.
  • 1824 - Circuit court records prior to March 15, 1824 are lost.

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 MapofUS.org website.

Populated Places

The following are locations in Hempstead 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 Hempstead County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [7]

  • 1818 December 15 - Hempstead County was organized.
  • 1819 - Settlers came up the Red River on keel or flatboats, as well as overland, down the Southwest Trail.
  • 1824 - Washington was established as the first county seat.
  • 1863-1868 - The official population increased in these years as the former slaves were listed in the census for the first time as citizens. It is possible that the non-violent atmosphere in the county attracted other former slaves.
  • 1880-1900 - In 1880, the rich earth near Columbus was producing 1,120 pounds of cotton per acre. Total production of cotton for the county was 13,985 bales, worth an estimated $1.425 million. By 1890, cotton production had increased to 15,985 bales. Cotton continued to be king until after World War I. No cotton is grown in the county today.

Additional Information

  • 1818--Hempstead County was created 15 December 1818 from Arkansas County. County seat: Hope [8] Its existence predates the state of Akansas which was admitted to the union in 1836. Hempstead County was part of the Missouri Territory from 1818 to 1819 and part of the Arkansas Territory from 1819 to 1836.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Hempstead, 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

African Americans

Funeral Homes



  • Probate Records 1819-1927 Hempstead County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Administration bonds 1845-1914; Administration dockets 1839-1855; Dockets 1832-1840; Executor records 1861-1927; Guardian bonds and letters 1861-1911; Letters of administration 1826-1830; Miscellaneous probate records 1837-1845; Probate records 1841-1894; Wills 1826-1925; Wills, miscellaneous records 1819-1845.

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: Ancestry.com ($)

Maps and Gazetteers

Click on a neighboring county to go to the wiki page.
Hempstead CountyNevada CountyColumbia CountyLafayette CountyMiller CountyLittle River CountySevier CountyHoward CountyPike CountyClark CountyHot Spring CountyOuachita CountyMontgomery CountyPolk CountyBowie CountyCass CountyMorris CountyRed River CountyMcCurtain CountyARHempstead.jpg


Military Records

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, Hempstead County on page 191.]

Civil War

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

- 2nd Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Rifles (Confederate), Company H
- 5th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), The Davis Blues
- 6th Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) , Companies C and D
- 17th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Griffith's) (Confederate), Company H
- 20th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Companies A, B, C and E

Online Records

Naturalization and Citizenship


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


Other Records


Probate Records

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

Vital Records

See also How to order Arkansas 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
  • 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, “Hempstead County County, Arkansas Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ark/hemp/
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Hempstead County County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hempstead_County,_Arkansas
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. 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.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Mary Nell Turner, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, (http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=773&type=Category&item=Counties&parent=Counties%2c+Cities%2c+and+Towns&grandparent=: accessed January 13, 2016), “Hempstead County.”
  8. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/0/0d/Igiarkansasem.pdf.
  10. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.