Ask the Genealogist


I have been up against this brick wall for about 20 years. Could you please help? My grandfather's name is Jesse Elleman. In 1900 he lived in Prairie County, Arkansas. In 1910 he was still there with his family: Liddie, Cyrus and George. Their names are spelled Ellman in the census. This last name has been spelled several different ways. Anyway I can't find a death record or burial record for Jesse, born in 1858 in Kentucky. I also cannot find where he married his first wife, Julia Ann Peden, or his second wife Lydia—or her maiden name.


Here's what you want to do.

Start by looking at the Prairie County vital records. These records are held by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Request a search of their death records.


Next, look at Prairie County probate records.

Remember that probate case files are usually divided into two groups: testate (those that died with a will) and intestate (those without a will) records.

Examine both sets of records to see if you can locate a probate case file for your grandfather. That will give you more details about his death.

You can borrow the microfilm copies of these records from your area FamilySearch Center. For their catalog of Prairie County records see:

For the FamilySearch Center nearest you see:

To dig deeper, look at Prairie County land records, church records, etc., from the FamilySearch Center.

Let me know what you find.