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Lafayette County

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October 15, 1827

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Marquis de Lafayette    Lafayette County was formed on October 15, 1827 and named in honor of Marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero and American general who fought during the American Revolutionary War and who toured the US in 1824/25 upon the 50th anniversary of the founding of the nation. The local pronunciation of the name is "luh-FAY-ut".
    The displacement of thousands of farmers by the New Madrid Earthquakes also contributed to the settlement of Louisiana Purchase lands. The quakes and war prompted President James Monroe in 1815 to survey and offer lands from the purchase to veterans and displaced farmers. He chose surveyor William Rector to direct the office at St. Louis, Missouri, with responsibility for all U.S. lands west of the Mississippi River. Rector's nephews, Henry Conway and James Sevier Conway, participated in the surveys. One result was that James Conway acquired hundreds of acres of fertile land along Red River as part of what was called Long Prairie.
    Before James Conway settled on the prairie, however, a small caravan of post—War of 1812 pioneers on flatboats had arrived in 1819. Other than their origin in Wilson County, Tennessee, a few miles east of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, and their recent service in the War of 1812, they were bonded by intermarriage. East Tennessean James Conway would also marry one of them. One leader of the group was Colonel James Bradley, who in 1813 had been ordered by General Jackson to lead his troops to Natchez for the defense of the "southern country." Thomas Dooley also served at New Orleans, and his name appears several times in Jackson's documents at the Hermitage. George Duty served in the War of 1812 and lived a few miles from the Hermitage. William Crabtree Sr. was a resident of middle Tennessee before Jackson and also served in the war.
    The first years for the settlers on Long Prairie were especially difficult. Weather, isolation, unhappy (mostly Caddo) Indians, swamp creatures (snakes, wolves, bears, etc.), inadequate medical care, and other uncomfortable wilderness conditions afflicted the community. Several members of the families died during the first few years, and by 1826, the year James Conway married Polly Bradley, a significant segment of the group moved 100 miles eastward. One of Polly's uncles, Hugh Bradley, led some of the families to a portion of Union County that would become Bradley County, named for him.


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Arkansas Dept of Health

Arkansas Dept of Health
Division of Vital Records, Slot 44
4815 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 661-2174
Fax: (501) 663-2832
  • Vital Records is responsible for the collection and issuance of birth and death certificates and marriage and divorce coupons.
  • Birth and death certificates serve two purposes. They are the definitive legal documents of identity and they collect important medical information about the two most important events – birth and death.
  • Marriage and divorce coupons are so called because they are removed from the bottom of marriage and divorce certificates, the original of which is retained in the offices of the county clerk of courts; these coupons contain limited information.

Arkansas State Archives

Arkansas History Commission
One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
The History Commission, the official state archives, is a facility in which those interested in Arkansas history may engage in research. The staff does not undertake research requests from the public. The Research Room is open from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday through Saturday. It is closed on state holidays. If you are traveling long distances, please call to confirm hours/days of operation at 501.682.6900.

Arkansas Genealogical Society

  • 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.
  • 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.
Circuit Clerk
1 Courthouse Square
Lewisville, AR 71845
Phone (870)921-4878
County Clerk
1 Courthouse Square
Lewisville, AR 71845
Phone: (870) 921-4633

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Adjacent Counties

Hempstead County | Nevada County | Columbia County | Miller County
Webster Parish, Louisiana | Bossier Parish, Louisiana | Caddo Parish, Louisiana

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