African American Resources for Arkansas
|Arkansas Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
Introduction[edit | edit source]
Online Resources[edit | edit source]
Research Strategy[edit | edit source]
Follow the strategies described on the African American Genealogy page.
History[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Biographies[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Census Records[edit | edit source]
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Emancipation Records[edit | edit source]
Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]
Genealogies[edit | edit source]
Land and Property[edit | edit source]
Visit the Arkansas Land and Property page to learn more about land records and how to access them. Check the deed book indexes for the years before 1865 for enslaved people listed in the "Description" column. Most county courthouse deed books are digitized on FamilySearch.org. Search the FamilySearch Catalog by county.
Plantation[edit | edit source]
Oral Histories[edit | edit source]
Other Records[edit | edit source]
Military Records[edit | edit source]
- Arkansas and Missouri Union Army muster rolls 1863-1864. This collection contains the muster rolls for the Second and Third Regiments, Arkansas Infantry volunteers of African descent, and a couple of Missouri regiments (Arkansas History Commission).
- Company G, 2nd Arkansas Volunteers of African Descent, United States of America, records. This collection contains records pertaining to Company G, 2nd Arkansas Volunteers, United States Army, during the Civil War.
- The USCT Chronicle: Arkansas. This collection contains stories of the United States Colored Troops as recorded by genealogist Angela Walton-Raji. This link has all of her posts on Arkansas soldiers.
- U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865 ($). This database contains military records of African Americans who served in the Union during the Civil War.
World War I
- Desmond Walls Allen. Index to Arkansas' World War I African American soldiersConway, Arkansas : Arkansas Research, Inc., 2002 FHL DGS 7540974
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
Visit the Arkansas Probate Records page to learn more about probate in Arkansas and how to find them. Pre-1865 records could contain the names of enslaved people from the slaveowner's probate records.
Reconstruction Records[edit | edit source]
Freedman’s Bank[edit | edit source]
An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (visit the African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records page to learn more). This company was created to assist African American soldiers of the Civil War and freed slaves. Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company signature cards or registers from 3 March 1865 to 25 July 1874 may list the name of the depositor, date of entry, age, birthplace, residence, complexion, name of employer or occupation, wife or husband’s name, death information, children’s names, name of father and mother, brothers’ and sisters’ names, remarks, and signature. Early books sometimes contained the name of the former master or mistress and the name of the plantation. Copies of death certificates were sometimes attached to the entries.
Online collections of Freedman's Bank records:
- United States, Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874
- Freedman's Bank Records for Little Rock, Arkansas
- Freedman's Bank Records for Little Rock, Arkansas - browsable images for Little Rock, Arkansas
- U.S., Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1871 ($)
Freedmen's Bureau[edit | edit source]
The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was created by the US government in 1865 until 1872 to assist former slaves in the southern United States. The Bureau created a wide variety of records extremely valuable to genealogists. Such documents include censuses, marriage records, and medical records. These records often include full names, former masters and plantations, and current residences. For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands includes the names of the owners of the plantations or homes that were abandoned, confiscated, or leased. It gives the county and location, a description of the house, the number of acres owned, and the number of cabins of former slaves. These films do not appear to contain the names of former slaves.
To find Freedmen's Bureau records:
- DiscoverFreedmen - the search on this site will utilize all of the Freedmen's Bureau records on FamilySearch, including:
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Claim Records,1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Hospital and Medical Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Labor Contracts, Indenture and Apprenticeship Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Marriages, 1861-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Ration Records,1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of Persons and Articles Hired, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Freedmen's Court Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Land and Property Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of Freedmen's Complaints, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education, 1865-1872
Other FamilySearch collections not included:
- United States Freedmen's Bureau Miscellaneous Records,1865-1872
- United States Freedmen's Bureau, Records of Freedmen, 1865-1872
- Arkansas, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1864-1872 Images only.
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Assistant Commissioner, 1865-1872 Images only. These reports primarily contain statistical and historical information.
- Arkansas, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1864-1872 Images Only.
- Mapping the Freedmen's Bureau - visual guide to the Freedmen's Bureau Field Offices, Freedmen Schools, contraband camps, and battle site locations the US Colored Troops fought
- Records of the Field Offices for the State of Arkansas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 - a National Archives document describing the contents of each field office's records
School Records[edit | edit source]
Slavery Records[edit | edit source]
- State slavery statutes. Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1989. Arkansas FHL fiche 6118903
- Slavery in Arkansas: A Resource for Genealogists. Features Arkansas Slave Names, a searchable, downloadable spreadsheet containing the names of enslaved people, the slaveholders, county, and date and abstract of document.
- Works Project Administration. Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Arkansas Narratives, Parts 1–7. Digital version at Internet Archive made available by Project Gutenberg.
- Taylor, Orville W. Negro Slavery in Arkansas. Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press, 2000. FHL book 976.77 F2t At various libraries (WorldCat).
- George Berry Washington, Black Plantation Owner. By Iroquois Research Institute prepared for Historic Preservation Associates. - Fairfax, Va.: The Institute, 1981. - iv, 84 leaves: ill. F415.C9 W373
- Burton, Arthur T. Black, Buckskin and Blue: African American Scouts and Soldiers on the Western Frontier. Austin, Texas: Eaton Press, 1999. FHL book 978 F2b At various libraries (WorldCat).
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]
The Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872) was created by the US government to assist former slaves in the southern United States. One of their responsibilities was to record the marriages (past and present) of the former slaves. These records can be found in the collections below and include the lists of marriages that occurred previously, marriage certificates, and marriage licenses. The information contained on the records may include the name of the husband and wife/groom and bride, age, occupation, residence, year or date of marriage, by whom, number of children, and remarks.
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Marriages, 1861-1872
- U.S., Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records, 1846-1867
Death[edit | edit source]
- Arkansas Deaths and Burials, 1882-1929; 1945-1963 Index only. Includes name, gender, date and place, age, birthplace, occupation, race, and marital status.
- Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950 Index only. Includes name, death date and place, gender, age, and race.
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Voting Registers[edit | edit source]
Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Visit the Arkansas Archives and Libraries page to learn more about archives and libraries in Arkansas.
Societies[edit | edit source]
AAHGS Arkansas Chapter
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS)
P.O. Box 4294
Little Rock, AR 72214
A Museum of African American History
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
501 W. Ninth Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Telephone: (501) 683-3593
Website: Mosaic Templars Center
Black History Commission of Arkansas
Arkansas State Archives
2B215, 2nd Floor, 1 Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
References[edit | edit source]
- "African American Records: Freedmen's Bureau," "African American Heritage," National Archives, accessed 11 May 2018.