Ancestor Fair – 2003

14th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

Leslie and Marshall, Arkansas – June 5 – 7, 2003



Thursday, June 5, 2003

SESSION I: Sunset Restaurant – $5
1:00 – 3:30 p.m.: To Washington and Back with William Monks: Civil War Research in the National Archives;
John Bradbury, Jr, Manuscript Specialist, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, U of M Rolla
New Answers to Old Questions: Civil War in the State Archives
Lynn Morrow, Local Records Director, Missouri State Archives

SESSION II: Sunset Restaurant – $3
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: The Lost Years: Civil War Circuit Court Case Files
Robert Neumann, Greene County, Missouri Archivist

DINNER WITH PROGRAM: Sunset Restaurant, Marshall
6 – 9 p.m.: $15
Tricks and Traps of Confederate Records
Bryan Howerton, Civil War Historian, Searcy

Friday, June 6, 2003

SESSION III: Leslie Public School – $5
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon: “What Was Your Name in the States?” – Finding Civil War Ancestors with a Computer and the Internet;
“Shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom of Information” – Union Ancestors on the World Wide Web
Don Montgomery, Historian, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

SESSION IV: Leslie Public School – $5
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: “The Southern Soldier Boy” – Confederate Ancestors on the World Wide Web;
“Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys Are Searching!” – More Civil War Information on the Internet
Don Montgomery, Historian, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

MIXER DINNER: Grade School Cafeteria, Marshall
6:30 p.m. – ?: $9

Saturday, June 7, 2003

Leslie Public School
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.: Providers set up
9:00 a. m. – 3:00 p.m.: ANCESTOR FAIR Free
Genealogy Swap Meet

Find Your Civil War Bushwhacker/Jayhawker in Leslie, Arkansas

It is time to swap information about those north Arkansas ancestors at the Fourteenth North Arkansas Ancestor Fair, June 7, 2003, in Leslie, Arkansas. First started thirteen years ago in the back room of a Marshall, Arkansas restaurant, the Ancestor Fair has become a tradition for family researchers to meet in the Searcy County towns of Marshall and Leslie to share family information, buy the latest books on North Arkansas and hear speakers reveal the latest tricks of ancestor hunting.

It is all free on Saturday, June 7, at the Leslie Public School, in the small town just off US Hwy 65, 90 miles north of Little Rock. If one wants to look for someone who has information on a north Arkansas family, or if one wants to set up a table to share family information – and hopefully collect some too – or sell a book one has just published or entice someone to join a county historical society, it is all free: entrance, table space, electrical hookup and chairs. The doors open to the public at 9:00 a.m. and close at 3:00 p.m. In between is the frenzied activity of the biggest collection of ancestor searchers in north Arkansas – and they come from all over, from wherever Arkies have emigrated to. Each one has a piece of a family tree and is willing to share it. Some have become genealogy addicts and attend every year. They enjoy the fellowship; they find missing kinsfolk, and they agree to meet others they have corresponded with at Leslie. Folks have a great time at the North Arkansas Ancestor Fair.

The big Genealogical Swap Meet on Saturday is preceded by two days of Side Shows – speakers who reveal sources of information to ardent researchers or methods for finding that elusive ancestor. Most north Arkansas counties lost their records during the Civil War, but – as with all government-run operations – the Civil War created lots of information about soldiers, their families, refugees, deserters, Jayhawkers and bushwhackers. The theme for the Fourteenth North Arkansas Ancestor Fair is how to find that information. The Civil War destroyed documents, but it also created them, and finding those documents is the theme of this year’s Side Shows.

Many north Arkansas families were refugees in Missouri during the War and speakers from Missouri will talk about using national, Missouri state and county archives to research that time and place. Similarly, the Internet has become a great resource tool and Prairie Grove Battlefield Historian Don Montgomery will demonstrate how to find your Civil War soldier on the Internet – so come prepared to ask him to find yours.

One can just show up on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Leslie Public School and browse and visit to one’s heart’s content.

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