St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
St. Francis County

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

County Facts
County seat: Forrest City
Organized: October 13, 1827
Parent County(s): Phillips[1]
Neighboring Counties
Crittenden  • Cross  • Lee  • Monroe  • Woodruff
See County Maps
Location Map

County Information


When St. Francis County was formed in 1827 the county seat was temporarily located in the home of William Strong, a prominent citizen, until it could be moved to the new town of Franklin. It remained in Franklin until 1840 when it was moved to Madison. In 1855 it was moved to Mt. Vernon. In 1856 the courthouse burned and the county seat was moved back to Madison until 1874 when a vote was taken to move once again to the rapidly expanding Forrest City that began as a railroad construction camp for Nathan Bedford Forrest.[2] After the original frame courthouse in Forrest City burned in 1874 a brick building was constructed that was used until the current building was built. Many of the earlier record books in the current courthouse are laminated derivatives and a number of originals are stored at the St. Francis County Museum, 603 Front Street, Forrest City, Arkansas.

County Courthouse

Saint Francis County Courthouse
313 S Izard Street
Forrest City, AR 72335-3856
Phone: 870-261-1715
Saint Francis County Website

County Clerk has marriage records from 1875, probate records from 1910 and tax records;
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce, court and land records.[3]

St. Francis 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* 1875 1914* 1872 1860 1910
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

1865, 1860s (during Civil War), 1874 Fire destroyed all county records. Some deeds have been reconstructed back to the 1860s.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1827--St. Francis was created 13 October 1827 from Phillips County. 
  • County seat: Forrest City[5]

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 St. Francis County, Arkansas:

See also: Historical Sites

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 St. Francis County page on the website, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. [6]


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of St.Francis, 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 1862-1949 St. Frances 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 settlements 1865-1899; Administration bonds 1862-1892; Appraisements 1881-1944; Claims against estates 1865-1905; Executor bonds 1876-1949; Guardian bonds and letters 1887-1908; Probate records 1865-1886; Wills 1865-1931.

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.

Maps and Gazetteers

Click on a neighboring county to go to the wiki page.
St. Francis CountyCross CountyCrittendenCountyWoodruff CountyPrairie CountyLee CountyWhite CountyPhillips CountyMonroe CountyJackson CountyArkansas CountyTunica CountyDeSoto CountyCoahoma CountyShelby CountyARStFrancis.JPG


Military Records

Civil War

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

- 18th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company G

Online Records

Naturalization and Citizenship


Finding More Arkansas Newspapers Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as St. Francis 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
  • USGenWeb Archives. Free. Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
  • RootsWeb resources. 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. History of St. Francis County, Arkansas 1954, Fred N. McCollum Sr., Publisher, Robert W. Chowning, Author, Published by the Times-Herald Publishing Company, Forrest City, Arkansas, 1954 pp. 8 and 10. Copy in the Arkansas Room, Forrest City Public Library.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 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.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Guy Lancaster, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 15, 2016), “St. Francis County.”
  7. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  8. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.