Little River County, Arkansas Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
United States
Little River County

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

County Facts
County seat: Ashdown
Organized: March 5, 1867
Parent County(s): Hempstead and Sevier[1]
Neighboring Counties
Bowie (TX)  • Hempstead  • Howard  • McCurtain (OK)  • Miller  • Sevier
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


The county was named for the Little River. The County Seat is Ashdown and was founded March 5, 1867.[2] It is located in the Southwest area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Little River County Courthouse
351 N 2nd Street
Ashdown, AR 71822
Phone: 870.898.7208
Little River County Website

County Clerk has marriage and probate records from 1880;
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and land records.[4]

Little River 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* 1880 1914* 1868 1867 1880 1830
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

  • 1882 - County court records from 1867 to January 1876 were destroyed by fire in 1882. And marriage records from 1867 to December 1880 have been lost.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1867--Little River County was created 5 March 1867 from Hempstead and Sevier Counties.  
  • County seat: Ashdown[6]

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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
  • Cerro Gordo
Census-designated places
  • Little River (Winthrop)
  • Red River
  • Richland
  • Wallace

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 Little River County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [8]

  • Some Caddo settlements existed in the area that would become Little River County, but the Caddo moved south out of the Great Bend area by 1778.
  • 1820-1825 - A Quapaw reservation also included parts of southwest Arkansas but that land eventually was exchanged for lands west of the territorial border.
  • 1800s (early) - Pioneers had already begun settling in the area.
  • 1861-1865 - As they did throughout America, people suffered during the Civil War.
  • 1867 March 5 - Little River County was established.
  • 1889 - The construction of railroads had a definite impact on the development of some towns and the decline of others. Little River County had its first railroad in 1889.
  • 1920-2010 - Little River County population hit its high mark in 1920 at 16,300 and its low mark in 1960 at 9,200. It has been in the 13,000s the last 40 years.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Little River, 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.  %±
1870 3,236
1880 6,404 97.9%
1890 8,903 39.0%
1900 13,731 54.2%
1910 13,597 −1.0%
1920 16,301 19.9%
1930 15,515 −4.8%
1940 15,932 2.7%
1950 11,690 −26.6%
1960 9,211 −21.2%
1970 11,194 21.5%
1980 13,952 24.6%
1990 13,966 0.1%
2000 13,628 −2.4%
2010 13,171 −3.4%
Source: "".

Church Records

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



  • Probate Records 1869-1907 Little River County portion of the collection: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979: Arkansas Probate Records, 1817-1979 FamilySearch Historical Collections (Free, browse images)
    • Includes Probate records 1869-1875; Wills, letters of administration and guardianship 1872-1907.

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.

  • History of Richmond  Mrs. Moffett Carolan Gardner
  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing, 1890. Online at: ($)

Maps and Gazetteers

McCurtain CountyBowie CountyCass CountySevier CountyHoward CountyPike CountyHempstead CountyMiller CountyLafayette CountyAR LITTLE RIVER.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Civil War

Naturalization and Citizenship


Finding More Arkansas Newspapers Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Little River 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


  • 1871 - 1876 - Little River County Birth Index 1871-1876. Batch C586341 at FamilySearch - free.[9]




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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Little River County, Arkansas Genealogy and History”,
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Little River County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Arkansas
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Little River County, Arkansas. Page 68 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), 66.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Little River County, Arkansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Arkansas, accessed 4 September 2018.
  8. Martha P. Trusley , The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 14, 2016), “Little River County.”
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  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