Greene County, Arkansas

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This page written and copyright 2008 by Will Johnson. I am a professional genealogist. If you'd like to hire me you can email me at



Prior to 1819 there was no place called Arkansas. In the below narrative, when I say "Arkansas" for any time before 1819, I mean that area which was in 1819 created as the Arkansas Territory.

Prior to 1800, Arkansas was owned by Spain. From 1800 to 1803, Arkansas was owned by France. In 1803, by the Louisiana Purchase, Arkansas and much more, was bought by the United States.

In 1804, the part of Arkansas that would become Greene County was called New Madrid, in the Louisiana District of Indiana Territory. In 1805 the Louisiana District of Indiana Territory became the Louisiana Territory. In 1812, part of the Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory. In 1813, Arkansas County was created in the Missouri Territory. In 1815, Arkansas County was divided into two parts, the upper part called Lawrence County and the lower retaining the name Arkansas County. The dividing line was the Arkansas River. In 1819, the northern boundary of Arkansas was fixed, separating Arkansas Territory from Missouri. The area that would become Greene County was then part of Lawrence County.

Greene County was formed in 1833 out of the north-eastern corner of Lawrence County. In 1859, the southernmost portion of Greene was taken to become part of the newly formed Craighead County. And finally in 1873, the northernmost portion of Greene was taken to form Clayton County. In 1885, part of the boundary between Greene and Clayton was adjusted.

For early mentions of people and places in Arkansas, see the Arkansas Gazette here.

Settlement Pattern

The Louisiana Purchase and subsequent treaties with Indians to move away, gave to the Federal government all of the land in the state of Arkansas. Before the Federal government is willing to grant land to settlers, they need to do surveys. All the existing surveys are available to view in the BLM database here or here.

First Settlers

Batesville was the central Federal Land Office for Northern Arkansas, and all the early BLM grants were done from this office.


Greene County was formed out of Lawrence County in 1833, as the most north-eastern county in Arkansas. Later Clayton County was formed out of the northern half of Lawrence, so it lost it's title as the most north-eastern county at that time. Clayton County was later renamed to Clay County.

At Arkansas there is a database called Arkansas Marriages, 1779-1992. This is not to be confused with another database they own called Arkansas Marriages, 1850-1900. Or yet a third database called Arkansas Marriages, before 1850.


External links

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