Van Buren County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States
Van Buren County

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

County Facts
County seat: Clinton
Organized: November 11, 1833
Parent County(s): Independence, Conway, and Izard [1]
Neighboring Counties
Cleburne  • Conway  • Faulkner  • Pope  • Searcy  • Stone
See County Maps
Location Map
1920 Ozark landscape by Frank Nuderscher, Arkansas

County Information


The county was named for Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, who was Vice President at the time of the county's formation.[2] It is located in the north central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Van Buren County Courthouse
Main & Briggs;
Clinton, AR 72031
Phone: 501.745.4140
Van Buren County Website

County Clerk has marriage, court and land records from 1859, divorce records from 1874 and probate records from 1860[4]

Van Buren 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* 1859 1914* 1859 1859 1860 1830
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's

Record Loss

1863 Nearly all county records were destroyed by fire.

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 website.

Populated Places

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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
  • Elba
  • Fairbanks
  • Formosa
  • Gravesville
  • Gravel Hill
  • Green Tree
  • Half Moon
  • Morganton
  • Old Botkinburg
  • Palisades
  • Pee Dee
  • Plant
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Rabbit Ridge
Census-designated places
  • Archey Valley
  • Barnett (Damascus)
  • Bradley
  • Cadron
  • Cargile
  • Choctaw (small part of Clinton)
  • Craig
  • Culpepper
  • Davis
  • East Griggs (Clinton)
  • Formosa
  • Holy Mountain (fka Holley)
  • Indian Rock (Fairfield Bay)
  • Liberty

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


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Van Buren, 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.  %±
1840 1,518
1850 2,864 88.7%
1860 5,357 87.0%
1870 5,107 −4.7%
1880 9,565 87.3%
1890 8,567 −10.4%
1900 11,220 31.0%
1910 13,509 20.4%
1920 13,666 1.2%
1930 11,962 −12.5%
1940 12,518 4.6%
1950 9,687 −22.6%
1960 7,228 −25.4%
1970 8,275 14.5%
1980 13,357 61.4%
1990 14,008 4.9%
2000 16,192 15.6%
2010 17,295 6.8%
Source: "".

Church Records

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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

Searcy CountyStone CountyPope CountyConway CountyFaulkner CountyCleburne CountyAR VAN BUREN.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Civil War

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

- 1st Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (Stirman's) (Confederate), Company C
- 10th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate),
- 16th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company F
31th Regiment, Arkansas Confederate Infantry, Companies B, D, and F [9]
- 31st Regiment, Arkansas Infantry
- 36th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Confederate), Company D
- 3rd Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry (Union), Companies B, G, H, I, and M

Online Records

Naturalization and Citizenship


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


Birth Records reveal
Yes or Maybe
 Y  M
Name of Child Green check.png  
Birth Date and Place Green check.png  
Parent's Names Green check.png  
Mother's Maiden Name   Green check.png
Parent's Ages Green check.png  
Father's Occupation Green check.png  
Current Residence Green check.png  
Name of Doctor or Midwife Green check.png  

In 1877, a few county and city clerks[10] started keeping birth and death records.

In 1914, the state law required all county clerks to record births and forward them to the state.

See also: • Arkansas Online Genealogy Records, • How to Find Arkansas Birth Records and • Arkansas Vital Records—Birth.




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.




River Valley Genealogy Society Researchers interested in CONWAY, FAULKNER, PERRY, POPE, YELL AND VAN BUREN COUNTIES.
Farm Bureau Building
201 E. Shady Lane
Morrilton, Arkansas


  • 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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Van Buren County, Arkansas Genealogy and History”,
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren 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), Van Buren County, Arkansas. Page 71 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), 67.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren County, Arkansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Arkansas, accessed 1 October 2018.
  8. Sharon Baker, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, ( : accessed January 15, 2016, “Van Buren County.”
  9. Ronald R. Bass, History of the Thirty-first Arkansas Confederate Infantry, (Conway, Arkansas: Arkansas Research, c1996), p. 12 FHL book 976.7 M2ba
  10. 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)
  11. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki.
  12. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at