28th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

The 28th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair will be on June 2 and 3 in Marshall, Arkansas. The Ancestor Fair has been described as a genealogical swap meet, where family historians, county genealogical/historical societies, patriotic descendant organizations and just plain folks get together to swap information and learn about their ancestors.  This year there will be plenty of room, tables and chairs for whomever wants to display and share informatioin and resources.  We will meet on Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Hall (Veterans Hall) in Marshall, about two blocks north from Highway US 65.

It is visible from the highway and there will be signs.  There are several electrical outlets for computers, but no WiFi.

Information providers may begin setting up at 7:00 a.m., and the doors open to the public at 9:00 a.m.  The Ancestor Fair closes at 3:00 p.m.  There will be two guest speakers: at 10:30 a.m. Timothy G. Nutt, Director of the Historical Research Center at UAMS Library will speak on “Genealogical Information from Odd Places” and at 1:30 p.m. William S.Tucker, FTDNA Tucker Project Founder will talk about “DNA: Testing as Research Tool.”  Both speakers are very knowledgeable about their subjects.

Admittance is free to the Fair and to the talks, however, we encourage donations to meet the Fair’s expenses.

For those who arrive the day before and want to get an early start on meeting long-lost kinsfolk or surveying the field for possible resources, we meet at 5:30 p.m. at Los Aztecas Restaurant on Highway 65 N, to eat and announce research goals.  We order off their menu.

The scope to the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair extends from Pope and Conway counties on the Arkansas River to the Missouri line.  All those who have information, or are researching in this area are encouraged to attend ans swap information.

More information is available from Shirley Gray <shirleysdream@windstream.net> and 870-448-3308.

We encourage anyone who thinks they may have kin in or from this area to come to the Fair.

28th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

28th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

June 2-3, 2017

Marshall, Arkansas

Friday, June 2

Mixer Dinner

(Meet kin, get early start on research)

5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Los Aztecas Restaurant

(order from menu)

Saturday, June 3

Veterans Hall

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Providers set up

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Ancestor Fair

Family historians, historical/genealogical societies, libraries and descendant organizations share information and help researchers


10:30 a.m.

Genealogical Information from Odd Places

Timothy G. Nutt

Director Historical Research Center

UAMS Library

1:30 p.m.

DNA: Testing as Research Tool

William S. Tucker

FTDNA Tucker Project Founder

Contact: Shirley Gray <shirleysdream@windstream.net>


27th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

27th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

June 4. 2016

The Twenty-seventh North Arkansas Ancestor Fair will be held Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the First Christian Church in Marshall, Arkansas. Ray Hanley of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s “Arkansas postcard past” will give a program at 1:30 pm entitled “A Picture Postcard History of Searcy and Newton Counties.”
County and family genealogists and historians will have their information available to share and swap from 9 am to 3 pm at the First Christian Church. Genealogists and historians who want to share their information may begin to set up tables, which will be provided, at 7:30 am. Admittance is free for all events, but donations will be accepted to meet expenses. The Ancestor Fair sponsor is the Searcy County Historical Society, a 501 ( c ) 3 organization.
The First Christian Church in Marshall is off US Hwy 65N beside Simmons First Bank. An Ancestor Fair sign will be at the drive entrance.
Those who arrive on Friday may attend a Mixer-Dinner in order to meet other researchers and get a leg up on the following day’s activities. It will be held at 6:00 pm Friday, June 3rd at Los Aztecas Restaurant on Hwy 65N, Marshall. We will order from the menu.
For more information contact Shirley Gray, 870-448-3308 or by email at shirleysdream@windstream.net.

Ancestor Fair 2016

We will have the Ancestor Fair on Saturday, June 4, 2016, doors opening at  8:00 AM at the First Christian Church in Marshall. People who arrive on Friday or before to do research in the county or for the event on Saturday, may attend a get together at Los Aztecas,  the Mexican Restaurant in Marshall at 6:00 PM.  Due to the low attendance in recent years we have scaled down the program for 2016. There will be a one-hour speaker (like 10:00 to 11:00) on Saturday morning, the remainder of the day will be sharing and obtaining family history. There will no charge but we will take donations.

Ancestor Fair 2015

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 Twenty-sixth North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

Civil War Sesquicentennial

June 5 & 6, 2015

Marshall, Arkansas


Friday, June 5, 2015

SESSION I: Civic Center, Marshall


9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.: Writing the Civil War

Thomas A. DeBlack

Arkansas Tech University

11:00 a.m.–12:00: “I Do Wish this Cruel War Was Over”: Primary Sources in Historic Journals

Mark Christ, Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

SESSION II: Civic Center


1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: Lincoln’s Foothold in the South: Phillips County Arkansas, 1861-1865

David Schieffler

University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

2:30 p. m.–3:30 p.m.: Searcy County 1865: Revenge or Reconciliation?

James J Johnston, Searcy County Historical Society

6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.: MIXER DINNER

Petit Jean Co-op, Airport Road, Marshall


Saturday, June 6, 2015

ANCESTOR FAIR: Marshall Civic Center (Air Conditioned): Zack Road

7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.: Providers set up

9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.: ANCESTOR FAIR (Free)

Genealogical Swap Meet:

No registration required for any event.  Just show up; we’ll make a place for you.

Contact: Shirley J. Gray 870-448-3308; shirleysdream@windstream.net


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What Are You Doing With Your Civil War Information?

The 26th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair–June 5 & 6, 2015, will provide guidance on that question.  The Searcy County Historical Society has been sponsoring the last four Ancestor Fairs with themes linked to the Civil War (War Between the States for die hard Rebels).  The two day event–Friday and Saturday–devotes Friday to presentations aimed at helping researchers.  The 2011 presentations were about how to find information in archives and on the Internet.  2012 featured Arkansas materials in Missouri archives; 2013–Civil War materials at the Arkansas History Commission; in 2014 the theme was Civil War materials in Arkansas academe.  So what does one do with all this information?  How does one decide what is meaningful, useful or reliable?

The 2015 (26th) North Arkansas Ancestor Fair will answer those questions and more.  The theme is “Writing and Interpreting the Civil War: Resources Authors Use” and there will be two well-known authors who have written about the Civil War–especially in Arkansas, and an aspiring doctoral candidate, who will share their techniques, resource evaluation and interpreting methods to tell the audience how to make sense of the information and to tell us how to rate its reliability.  The presentations will let us know how to write good history.  The speakers will be: Dr Thomas DeBlack of Arkansas Tech who will do “Writing the Civil War”; Mark Christ, Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, his topic will be “I Do Wish This Cruel War Was Over”: Primary Sources in Historical Journals; and the final speaker, David Shieffler, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, on the Fair’s theme will give “Lincoln’s Foothold in the South: Phillips County, Arkansas, 1861-1865.” This will be a rare opportunity to hear gifted authors talk about how they make sense of Civil War materials to produce solid and revealing history.

James Johnston, Searcy County Historical Society, will present the fifth talk in a series on Searcy County and the Civil war entitled “1865: Revenge or Reconciliation?”

Friday’s presentations will take place in the air-conditioned Marshall Civic Center on Zack Road, beginning at 9:30 am.  There will be a small fee for Friday’s events.  Following the presentations there will be a mixer-dinner at 5:30 pm at the Civic Center.  This is an opportunity for those who will be looking for kin on Saturday to get a head start on finding folks who might have information one is looking for, or who are kin.

Saturday’s “genealogical swap meet” will open its doors at 9:00 am to the Civic Center for the public to meet family historians, county genealogical and historical societies and book sellers who have set up to answer questions and help seekers find answers.  All browsers are welcome; there is no entry fee or set up fee.  It is a time to meet kin with North Arkansas roots.

More information is available at: www.ancestorfair.us and by contacting Shirley Gray at:  1-870-448-3308 or <shirleysdream@windstream.net>


Writing and Interpreting: Civil War Resources Authors Use

After months, or years, of collecting Civil War information, what does one do with it?  How does one organize to tell an intelligent narrative? How does one evaluate the information?  What to put in the text and what in the footnote?  And most importantly, what resources does one use to write a good story/tale/narrative?

The 26th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair will have authors who have and are writing books about the Civil War in Arkansas tell how they have written their books, or are putting their books together.  This is an unprecedented opportunity to hear and talk to authors who have dealt with problems of Arkansas research, and have put it together.  Our authors Dr. Thomas A. DeBlack, Arkansas Tech University, has written “With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861-1874″; Mark Christ, Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, has authored “Civil War Arkansas, 1863″ and edited “I Do Wish This Cruel War Was Overt” and other Arkansas Civil War tomes, and  David Schieffler, doctoral candidate at University of Arkansas-Fayetteville is putting together “Lincoln’s Foothold in the South: Phillips County, Arkansas, 1861-1865.”

This opportunity will be available Friday, June 5th, 2015, from 9:30 a. m. to 3:30 p. m. in Marshall, Arkansas at the Civic Center on Zack Road.  There will be a fee: $10 for all day and $5 for a half day.

The following day at the Marshall Civic Center family historians, county historical and genealogical societies and other genealogical/historical organizations, authors and vendors can set up for free to exchange information, advertise themselves or sell their wares.  Saturday admission and set up are free.

Details and accommodation information is available at: www.ancestorfair.us.  For more information contact Shirley Gray at: 870-448-3308 or shirleysdream@windstream.net.


Family History Providers Needed

What makes a good Ancestor Fair is lots of family history providers.  We encourage anyone with their family’s information to show up and share their knowledge and find kinfolk who are looking for that information.