St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.pngArkansasGotoarrow.png St. Francis County

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

Arkansas State with State Seal.png Arkansas
Online Records

St. Francis County, Arkansas
Map of Arkansas highlighting St. Francis County
Location in the state of Arkansas
Map of the U.S. highlighting Arkansas
Location of Arkansas in the U.S.
Founded October 13, 1827
County Seat Forrest City
Address Saint Francis County Courthouse
313 S Izard Street
Forrest City, AR 72335-3856
Phone: 870-261-1715

County Courthouse

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

County Clerk has marriage records from 1875, probate records from 1910 and tax records; Clerk Circuit Court has divorce, court and land records.[1]

Beginning years for St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy government records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate
1914* 1875 1914* 1872 1860 1910
*State birth and death records began in 1914. Limited compliance until 1920's


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.[3]

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.

Parent County

  • 1827--St. Francis was created 13 October 1827 from Phillips County.  County seat: Forrest City [4]

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.

Variant Spellings

Record Loss

The county records have been burned three times. The first time was in Mt. Vernon in 1856. During the War Between the States the records were moved to a frame home in the woods. The woods caught fire and the home and records burned. After the records were moved from the brick courthouse in Madison in 1874 to a frame building in Forrest City, they were burned again, ostensibly by someone trying to destroy criminal evidence.[5]

Some deeds have been reconstructed back to the 1860's, but most county records begin in 1873 or 1874.

For a list of record loss in Arkansas counties see: Arkansas Counties with Burned Courthouses


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Crittenden  • Cross  • Lee  • Monroe  • Woodruff] •

St. Francis CountyCross CountyCrittendenCountyWoodruff CountyPrairie CountyLee CountyWhite CountyPhillips CountyMonroe CountyJackson CountyArkansas CountyTunica CountyDeSoto CountyCoahoma CountyShelby CountyARStFrancis.JPG

Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

African Americans

Bible Records




Church Records



Land and Property

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 Timeline

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Arkansas County - The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture [1]



Civil War

Regiments. Service men in St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy:

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



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:



Probate Records

  • Probate Records 1862-1949 Part of: 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.


Vital Records

See also How to order Arkansas Vital Records

Vital Record Substitutes

Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers


Sites with online indexes or images of records
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
Sites that search for links pertaining to St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy
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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
Arkansas History Commission AR state agency involved in organizing and maintaining state and local history of AR
See also local libraries and Arkansas Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to St. Francis County, Arkansas Genealogy
GeneaBloggers enter "arkansas" in the search box to see a list and links to Arkansas Blogs
Google+ list of groups from "arkansas genealogy" search
Facebook list of groups from "Arkansas Genealogy" search St. Francis County, AR Genealogy Forum St. Francis County Message Board


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), p. 70.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. History of St. Francis County, Arkansas 1954, ibid.
  6. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  7. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "Arkansas County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)," in FamilySearch Wiki, accessed 18 April 2013.