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Desha County, Arkansas

Desha County was created 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.

Currently the Desha County Seat can be found 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

Areas next to Desha County happen to be Arkansas County (north), Phillips County (northeast), Bolivar County, Mississippi (east), Chicot County (south), Drew County (southwest), Lincoln County (northwest).

Cities and towns located in Desha County consist of Arkansas City, Dumas, McGehee, Mitchellville, Napoleon (historic), Reed, Tillar, Watson.

Desha County vital records can be obtained from 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 does have Federal Census Schedules to assist in finding out about your family tree. Government Population Schedules are present 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 with your research.

Desha County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Desha County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives. See Also Arkansas Archives, Genealogical and Historical Societies for statewide Addresses and links.

Desha County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers typically forget the advantages of Desha County court, probate, and land files as a source of ancestry and genealogy information and facts. Hidden away in Arkansas courthouses and archives everywhere tend to be the desires and worries of the many Arkansas men and women. The possibilities are very good that your particular ancestors have left a in-depth record of at least quite a few elements of their lives in the Desha County court records. Even if your forebears is not discussed in a Court case, take into account all of the other methods which often can have lead to him or her showing up in court records.

The following details shows exactly what death, marriage, birth,, property, probate, and court records will be in Desha County. The years pointed out below tend to be the first recognized records data for this particular county.

All County Offices Records are located in the Courthouse at Robert Moore Street, Arkansas City 71630; 870-877-2426, unless otherwise noted. Information from the Arkansas History Commission indicates record loss from a courthouse fire in the 1860s. During the Civil War, the Desha County records were sent from Napoleon to Texas for safekeeping and never returned.

I highly recommend you contact the clerk's office to identify hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics before visiting or requesting information because of from time to time changing contact info. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are readily available to interested parties, barring private issues. Many staff will assist people in locating the resources, however it's up to the man or women to perform the basic research.
  • 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

Desha County Genealogy Links

The following are web links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources associated 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. Feel free to submit your own preferred Desha County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Desha Co. AR Books, Newspapers & Publications

Desha Co. AR Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Desha Co. AR Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Desha Co. AR Census Records

Desha Co. AR Cemeteries & Graveyards

Desha Co. AR Church & Bible Records

Desha Co. AR Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Desha Co. AR General and History Websites

Desha Co. AR Immigration & Naturalization

Desha Co. AR Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Desha Co. AR Military Records

Desha Co. AR Schools & Directories

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