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Desha County, Arkansas
Genealogy, History & Facts

Desha County, Arkansas Facts

When was Desha County, AR Created?
Desha County was established on December 12, 1838 and was formed from Arkansas County. Parts of Desha County was used to form the following counties: Lincoln 1871. Other county boundry changes occured when Part annexed to Drew 21 January 1861, part of Chicot attached 10 February 1879, part of Lincoln attached 10 March 1879, line with Lincoln changed 27 March 1925. The county was named in honor of Benjamin Desha, a soldier in the War of 1812.

What is the County Seat of Desha County, AR?
The County Seat is located in Arkansas City (the town of Napoleon was the first county seat. In the 1870s, the Arkansas River began to claim Napoleon and the county seat was moved to Watson. In 1879, it moved for a final time to Arkansas City) and in addition the county government website is www.arcounties.org/

What counties are adjacent to Desha County, AR?
Bordering Counties are Arkansas County (north), Phillips County (northeast), Bolivar County, Mississippi (east), Chicot County (south), Drew County (southwest), Lincoln County (northwest).

What cities and towns are in Desha County, AR?
Cities and towns located in the County include Arkansas City, Dumas, McGehee, Mitchellville, Napoleon (historic), Reed, Tillar, Watson.


Desha County, AR Vital Records

Where can find Desha County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Desha County vital records can be found at the Arkansas Deptartment of Health has Birth & Death records since February 1, 1914, Marriage Records since January 1917 and Divorce Records since January 1923. You may go to the Desha County health department to obtain a Birth or Death certificates which can be issued while you wait. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Arkansas for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Desha County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also order Order Electronically Online or you can download an application for copies of Desha Co. Birth CertificatesMarriage CertificatesDivorce CertificatesDeath Certificates  to mail.


Desha County, AR Census Records

What Desha County, AR census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Desha County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940.

Desha Co. Slave Schedules can be acquired for 1850 & 1860. Desha Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Desha Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Desha Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be acquired for 1890. You'll find free online and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Arkansas Census Records Research Guide


Desha County, AR Courthouse and Government Records


Desha County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Desha County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Desha County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also Arkansas Corthouse Records Research Guide

All County Offices Records are located in the Courthouse at Robert Moore Street, Arkansas City 71630; 870-877-2426, unless otherwise noted. 

  • Desha County Clerk of Circuit Court is the clerk of the circuit, chancery court, and juvenile court and usually acts as the ex-officio recorder of Desha county. The duties of the clerk are to maintain a record of all proceedings of the circuit, chancery and juvenile courts and to prepare the dockets for courts in Desha County. They are also the ex-officio Desha county recorder; and is responsible for recording deeds, mortgages, liens, and surety bonds, and many other orders and instruments which involve property within Desha county.
    • Phone: (870) 877-2411
    • Court Records: 1840
    • Land Records: 1839
    • Divorce Records: are maintained among the equity records (Divorces issued prior to 1950 are located here. Divorces issued after 1950 can be found  at the Arkansas Department of Public Health)
  • Desha County Clerk , as clerk to the probate court, the clerk files all instruments making them a matter of record in descendent estate cases, and swears in all witnesses in contested estates. The clerk, also in this capacity, maintains all records relative to adoptions and guardianship cases within Desha county.
    • Phone: (870) 877-2323
    • Marriage Records: 1852 
    • Probate Records: 1852
  • Desha County Assessor's Office maintains County tax records. These records are usually arranged by legal description and are not indexed.
    • Phone: (870) 877-2431
  • BLM Land Records

Desha County, AR Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Desha County, AR?
A list of Desha County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Arkansas Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Desha County, AR Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Desha County, AR?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Desha County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Professional Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a cost. This is merely a list which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another.

Desha Co. AR Books, Newspapers & Publications

Desha Co. AR Cemeteries & Church Records

Desha Co. AR Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Desha Co. AR General and History Websites

Desha Co. AR Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Desha Co. AR Military Records

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