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Grace Keith Genealogy Collection

Whether you are an expert genealogist or new to family research, our collection offers you access to one of the finest and most comprehensive collections in Arkansas. The collection consists of over 14,000 print resources, as well as microfilm, microfiche, maps, and a digital image archive.

While the collection represents all the states and has an Arkansas focus, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Maryland are well represented because they were the principal states from which early settlers migrated to Arkansas.

Make an Appointment    Search the Catalog    Collection History

Research Request

Need access to the library's genealogical records, but can't make it to the library? Our librarians can do the research for you! Please submit the Research Request form or visit the Genealogy Desk for more information.

*Please note that there are some costs involved.

Research request form →

Collection Highlights

Microfilm / Microfiche

Arkansas Census Records
Records from 1830 - 1940
+ Early Washington County marriage, probate & will records

+ Early Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Madison County tax records

+ Confederate Pension Records
+ Indian Territory Federal Census

+ Index to Choctaw 1893

+ Goodspeed’s Histories
Newspapers & Newsletters
+ Early Arkansas Newspapers, misc. 1890-1930

+ Arkansas Countryman (1882-1889; 1924-25; 1927-1930)

+ Fayetteville Witness (1841)

+ Southwest Independent (1854-1856)

+ The Arkansian 1859-1861

+ Fayetteville Weekly Democrat  1868-1920

+ Fayetteville Daily Democrat  1903-1915

+ Fayetteville Democrat 1915-1937

+ Northwest Arkansas Times  1937-2014

+ Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette 2015-present
+ Arkansas Gazette 1828; 1865-1947

+ Prairie Grove Herald  1903-1932

+ Grapevine  1979-1986

+ Village Vista  1973-1976

+ Cherokee Alphabet

+ Choctaw Intelligencer 1851

+ Cherokee Messenger 1844 (vol. 1-12)

+ Tahlequah Cherokee Advocate 1845-1877

+ Government Records / Histories
Print Resources
While our collections have an Arkansas focus, we hold materials from around the country. States with high patterns of early migration to Arkansas are well-represented (VA, NC, SC, GA, KY, TN, PA, MD and MO).

+ Large collection of materials on Arkansas counties

+ Flashback, the publication of the Washington County Historical Society

+ Arkansas Historical Quarterly

+ Indices of early Washington County records

+ Family History Collection (arranged by surname)

+ Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) book

+ Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) books

+ Daughters of American Colonists (DAC) records

+ Cemetery Records

+ Immigration Records & Passenger Lists

+ Military / War resources

+ Dawes Rolls - The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory

+ Plat books and Historical Maps

+ Fayetteville High School Yearbooks

+ University of Arkansas Yearbooks

+ Vertical Files for Fayetteville & Northwest Arkansas topics
Washington County Records
Start date listed below to present
Record collection start dates for the county are listed below. Information from these periods may be found at the library or the Washington County Archive.

+ Birth / Death: 1914

+ Marriage: 1845

+ Court: 1835

+ Land: 1834

+ Probate: 1830

Research Tips

Where do I begin?

Start with your name and birthday then move backward in time. List your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles cousins and other relatives until you cannot remember any more then call them with questions.

Check family resources like

+ Family Bibles
+ Photographs
+ Letters
+ Diaries
+ Scrapbooks

Public Records

+ Census Records – Begin your search with the census to build a framework for your family tree. Census records are collected every 10 years and provide valuable information such as family names, locations and occupations.

+ Vital Records – Vital records include birth, marriage and death records. Many records may be obtained from county courthouses and state vital record departments.

+ Other Key Records – Your research will be enriched by exploring military records, immigration records, church records, as well as will and probate records.

Useful Search Tips

+ Use genealogy charts to stay organized.

+ Record dates in a consistent format. (Example: 1 January 1999)

+ Search for women with maiden names.

+ Diligently document your sources.

+ Try to use original sources.

+ Evaluate the credibility of the information you find - try to verify information with secondary resources to ensure accuracy.


Interested in learning more about genealogy? Join the Genealogy Basics course available through the library’s subscription to Gale Courses or attend an Genealogy program. This course is free with your FPL library card, and will help you learn the resources to begin your research.  

Genealogy Basics through Gale Courses

African American Heritage

A groundbreaking digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research.

Check it out →


Search census records, books, Freedman's Bank and more. 

Check it out →

Washington County Land and Marriage Records

Find information on land records from 1834–1991 and marriage records from 1845–1941 in Washington County, Arkansas.

Check it out →

Resources only available inside the library

Services available: WiFi, public access computers, photocopiers, scanners, microfilm & microfiche readers, magnification devices, and librarians available for assistance

Washington County School Records

Find records from school districts in Washington County.

* This resource is only available inside the library.

Check it out →

Find census, military, immigration and vital records at

* This resource is only available inside the library.

Check it out →

Obituary Search database

* This resource is only available inside the library.

Check it out →

Support the Genealogy Collection


If you are interested in volunteering with the Genealogy Department, please email us at



If you are interested in making a financial donation to support the genealogy department, please contact our Director of Development, Christina Karnatz, at 479.856.7140.

If you are interested in donating genealogical books to our collection, please contact the Genealogy Desk at 479.856.7253 or to learn more.