Arkansas Genealogy Resources

While working on my husband’s Williams line over the period of about twenty years, I had the opportunity to delve into Arkansas genealogical resources. That was before the internet age, but my visit to the Arkansas State Archives left a very positive impression in my mind. There was a huge collection of material in their holdings.

I decided it was time to take another look at genealogical resources in Arkansas, so, of course, my first search was for the State Archives. The home page welcomes visitors to its new website and its digital collections.

  1. Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society (Arkansas Chapter)- The resources link has a very long list of organizations and websites , including many geared to African-American research and/or local Arkansas research.
  2. ARGenWeb – part of USGenWeb; free site updated by volunteers. It is organized at the county level. Some counties are full of great information, while others are hit and miss.
  3. Arkansas Genealogical Society – The Arkansas Family Historian magazine is digitized and online covering 1962-2009.
  4. Arkansas Historical Association – Many links to online materials and other organizations.
  5. Arkansas State Archives – Not only does the AR State Archives have digital collections, they have links to regional archives – NEARA and SARA. There is also Ark-Cat, which is a database of various collections (not digitized) available to review in person at repositories in Arkansas.

The State Archives digital collection online has 19 collections listed, from historic postcards to women’s history. I didn’t come across anything that specifically related to genealogy, but there are lots of links to add historical context to your family history.

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture – This website describes itself as “is a free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of Arkansas.”

The variety of topics covers quite a range. Be sure to check for copyright use if you plan to publish or post anything, as this is NOT a public domain website. There appears to be a mix of free use and restricted collections.

6. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies – This center is part of the Central Arkansas Library System. It has a digital collection of mostly historical topics online.

7. FamilySearch Wiki – As usual, the FamilySearch wiki has probably the most comprehensive list of websites with Arkansas records online, both paid and free sites. FamilySearch should be your first stop for vital records and probate, as both collections are available. Probate records aren’t indexed, but are browsable and organized by county.

Digitized Arkansas newspapers appear to only be available through subscription sites.

Do you have a favorite Arkansas genealogy site that I’ve missed? If so, please leave a comment.

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