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.