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Donation and Swamp Lands Arranged by County

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Just when you thought you'd looked at all the sources available, here's one you missed: state land sales records. Why did you miss it? Because very few people knew this source existed, and, until now, no one had transcribed the material.

Think about this: you work on your genealogy, going great guns for a while, then you begin to hit road blocks in your research because you need more details about your ancestors' lives. You dabble in genealogical education and learn to use land records. When you run out of county-level deed records, you turn (in Arkansas and 29 other public domain land states), to federal-level records.

All the land in Arkansas once belonged to the federal government and it gradually passed from federal ownership into the hands of landowners who began to pay taxes on it at their local county courthouses. Arkansas' federal land patents are available from many sources, most notably this very website. (See the series of 57 volumes we offer on federal land patents.)

But the source researchers have missed so far is the state-level land records. About one-fourth of the land in Arkansas was given by the federal government directly to the state as swamp and overflowed lands. And before you dismiss swamp lands because your people were hill folks, remember that swamp lands were found in all but three Arkansas counties. Swamp lands were sold by the state government for fifty to seventy-five cents per acre. Many tracts of swamp lands went to land speculators, but many more went to ordinary folks like our ancestors who wanted cheap land.

Donation lands were tracts of land that were previously in taxpayers' hands, but had been abandoned and were earning no tax revenues for the counties or state. The first donation acts were passed by the Arkansas General Assembly in the 1840s, but we don't have those records. Extant donation land records start in 1871. The War was over, government was just beginning to pass out of federal occupation and back into Arkansas' control. Many tracts of land had been abandoned by families of men who failed to come back from the War. Lots of people had left the state for less-chaotic places. To rebuild Arkansas' economy, abandoned land needed to be returned to the people. A series of donation acts did that.

There are records of donation land transactions in large ledgers in the Commissioner of State Lands' office in the capitol building in Little Rock. The swamp land purchase ledgers are there as well. Both sets of records are arranged in chronological order. We've compiled detailed indexes to these records, arranging them in ledger order (see donation and swamp land books in another area on this website) and now, in response to researchers' requests, we've arranged the records in geographic order. We've grouped counties together, pooled donation and swamp lands into regional indexes, and have the books ready for your library shelves.

The books themselves present a great many details about each transaction and the introduction to the books contain more than you'll ever want to know about donation and swamp land sales. In order to let you look at who's in the books before you order, we've taken just the names from the books and posted them in files with links beside each of our book titles. You can click on the [View the names...] links, wait for the file to load into your Internet browser, then choose "save as" from the file menu of your browser to save the file to your hard drive, and look at it off-line in your word processor.

Don't just search these books for your direct ancestors' names. Often, you'll find more information if you'll search for those collateral relatives (those to whom you're related but not descended from). Your branch of the family may have lit out for Bakersfield, California, but the folks left here in Arkansas created records that will help you find your ancestors who lived and loved in this glorious state.

Order the books for the areas where your folks lived. Study the introductory information carefully. Be patient: Dr. John L. Ferguson, director of the Arkansas History Commission, has assigned an archivist to process the papers behind the records in these ledgers from which these indexes were created.

Click here to see a sample of how this information can be used.


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Conway, Faulkner, and Perry Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-263-7, 87 pages, $16.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-528-2, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Benton and Washington Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-264-5, 69 pages, $15.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-529-9, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Lonoke and Prairie Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-265-3, 146 pages, $24.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-530-5, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Lee, Monroe, and Phillips Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-266-1, 125 pages, $22.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-531-2, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Grant, Pulaski, and Saline Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-267-X, 118 pages, $18.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-532-9, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Clay and Greene Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-268-8, 173 pages, $25.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-533-6, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Lawrence, Randolph, and Sharp Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-269-6, 117 pages, $18.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-534-3, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Craighead, Mississippi, and Poinsett Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-270-X, 143 pages, $24.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-535-0, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Arkansas, Chicot, and Desha Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-271-8, 176 pages, $25.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-536-7, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Crittenden, Cross, and St. Francis Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-272-6, 132 pages, $23.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-537-4, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Jefferson County

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-273-4, 97 pages, $16.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-538-1, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Ashley, Bradley, Cleveland, Drew, and Lincoln Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-274-2, 174 pages, $25.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-539-8, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Calhoun, Ouachita, and Union Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-275-0, 129 pages, $23.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-540-4, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Columbia, Lafayette, Little River, and Miller Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-276-9, 96 pages, $16.00

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Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-541-1, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Hempstead, Howard, Montgomery, Nevada, Pike, Polk, and Sevier Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-277-7, 138 pages, $23.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-542-8, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Clark, Dallas, Garland, and Hot Spring Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-278-5, 110 pages, $17.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-543-5, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Pope, Scott, Sebastian, and Yell Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-279-3, 145 pages, $24.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-544-2, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Fulton, Izard, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy, and Stone Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-280-7, 89 pages, $16.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-545-9, $8.95


Arkansas State Donation and Swamp Lands: Cleburne, Independence, Jackson, Van Buren, White, and Woodruff Counties

Compiled by Desmond Walls Allen, ISBN 1-56546-281-5, 276 pages, $33.00

Click here to view the names listed in this book

Or buy this book in .pdf with electronic delivery (no shipping), ISBN 978-1-56546-546-6, $8.95


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