Arkansas, Sebastian County Births and Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Arkansas, Sebastian County Births and Deaths, 1877-1929; Including Fort Smith Death Records, 1945-1963 .
This Collection will include records from 1877 to 1963.
This collection consists of birth and death records from the Sebastian county clerk’s office in Fort Smith, Arkansas and the Fort Smith city clerk’s office. The records are generally handwritten on preprinted pages.
County and city officials began keeping records from the time the county was formed and the city was incorporated.
Birth and death records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens, to safeguard their legal interests, and for public health reasons.
The birth and marriage records are usually reliable depending upon the reliability of the informant.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Fort Smith City Clerk. Arkansas, Sebastian County Births and Deaths. Central Arkansas Genealogical and Historical Society, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Birth records usually include the following information:
- Child’s name
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Parents' names
- Parents' ages
- Birth place of parents
- Occupations of parents
- Number of other children in the family
Death records usually include the following information:
- Name of deceased
- Social Status (Married, divorced, single, widowed)
- Birth Place
- Last Residence
- How long in this state
- Death place
- Death date
- Father’s name
- Mother’s name
- Cause of Death
- Duration of illness
- Burial place
How to Use the Record
To search this collection using the index:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
Be aware there may be inaccuracies such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try looking for variant spellings of the surnames.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the birth or death occurred
- The approximate date the event occurred
- The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the the infant, or the deceased
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.