About the Arkansas Genealogical Society

In 1962 the Arkansas Genealogical Society was founded by a group dedicated to preserving and sharing Arkansas genealogical material.


The purpose of the society is to promote family history research, to educate persons in genealogical research methods and the use of historical records, to publish articles pertaining to Arkansas ancestors, and to preserve and make accessible historical, genealogical, and biographical sources pertaining to Arkansas.


Membership may be entered at any time during the calendar year. Gift memberships and memorials are also welcome. Click here to join.


The society is directed by a board elected by the membership. The board governs according to bylaws that may be revised only by a vote of the membership.


The official publication of the Arkansas Genealogical Society is the Arkansas Family Historian, issued four times a year, in March, June, September, and December. In addition to source material, both primary and secondary, family data is sought from members to be included in the quarterly. Members may send an unlimited number of queries to be printed in the Arkansas Family Historian.

AGS has published a number of books and CDs. Visit the AGS store for a complete list of Arkansas resource materials offered.

Support of Libraries

AGS has contributed to the genealogical collection of books and other materials at the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and at other libraries and archives with genealogical collections. Books sent to AGS to be reviewed in The Arkansas Family Historian are always donated to a library that does not possess a copy. AGS sometimes purchases and donates special resources, such as the films of the Draper Manuscripts at the Arkansas History Commission.

Research Requests

The Arkansas Genealogical Society does not have personnel or facilities to do research on request. We encourage you to contact qualified researchers by using the member directory of the Association of Professional Genealogists. This can be found online at www.apgen.org.

Seminars and Workshops

Each fall the Arkansas Genealogical Society holds a seminar featuring a well-known speaker in the field of genealogy. The society’s annual membership meeting is held during the seminar. AGS also offers free workshops, especially for beginning researchers, and tries to partner yearly in a Road Show co-sponsored by a local genealogical or historical society.

Certificate of Arkansas Ancestry

AGS issues “Certificates of Arkansas Ancestry” to recognize descendants who prove their lineage from Arkansas residents who were in Arkansas before 31 December 1900. The five certificate categories are Colonial, Territorial, Antebellum, Nineteenth Century and now a Civil War certificate is available. An application form is available to download and fill out.

Records Preservation

Another major project of the Arkansas Genealogical Society has been the indexing of the “Prior” birth certificates filed beginning in 1942 by persons born before 1 Feb 1914 when state registration of births began. Access to certificates of 100-year-old births has been made possible by the publishing of the index in books and on CDs.