EARLIEST EXTANT MARRIAGE RECORDS
Arkansas County - Arkansas
The oldest extant records to be found at the Court House
in DeWitt, Arkansas County, Arkansas, are headed "MATRIMONIAS
de BLANCOS" and "ENTEROS de BLANCOS"...Marriages of Whites and
Burials of Whites.
Twenty-two marriages and twenty burials were recorded in
Spanish by Catholic priests, Pedro Janin and Juan Brady, during
the period 1796-1802.
In the back of the same ledger are found unrelated records
of a later date... entered by John Dodge as Clerk of the General
Court, Arkansas County, Territory of Missouri, from 4 July 1814
to 24 April 1819.
In 1969, only email portions of the first four sheets in
the ledger remained intact. When microfilmed at a somewhat
earlier date by the Arkansas History Commission, these same
sheets were already mostly illegible. Ten sheets following,
containing entries on both sides, were faded and fragile but
mostly legible. Blank sheets separate the two series of records
contained in the ledger.
This reconstruction of the deteriorated portions has been
prepared from the originals, Halliburton's HISTORY OF ARKANSAS
CO., 1541-1875, pages 51-52, Arkansas History Commission card
files, and "Catholic Church Records of Arkansas" from the Myra
Vaughn Collection in the Arkansas History Commission Archives,
The Catholic church records for the Parish of Arkansas were
entered In French. In copying from the originals, Mrs. Vaughn
translated parts as she copied. The present location of the
original registers for the Arkansas region is not known to the
Arkansas History Commission.
The names are hare given in French version as most of the
parties were of French origin. Where widely variant spelling
exists, both are noted. A (?) Indicates the transcriber
experienced difficulty in reading the script.
The first seventeen marriages were performed by Pierre
(Pedro) Janin; the last five (not found in the Myra Vaughn
Collection), by Juan Brady.
Assisting in translations were Mrs. Gene (Nicole) Hatfield,
a native of Montreuil Sur Mer, France, Assistant Professor of
Languages, State College of Arkansas, Conway, Ark., and Mr. and
Mrs. Marc Core of Hew Orleans, holding BA degrees in French, LSU.