Wednesday, January 29, 2014


   This book grew out of an exhibition about Dellingeras life and work that was curated by Bob Mainfort at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock. The book includes a detailed biography of Dellinger, as well as a discussion of his work, an overview of major collecting efforts in Arkansas by out-of-state institutions, and a history of the University of Arkansas Museum. 
   Lavishly illustrated with over two hundred images of artifacts, this book will now permit archaeologists to see some of the pieces Dellingeras lifetime of work saved and preserved.

    If life is a highway, food is the fuel. The restaurant cuisine of Arkansas was crafted by transportation—and by family heritage. From century-old soda fountains to heritage candy makers, Arkansas wine country and the birthplace of fried pickles, discover the delicious nooks of the Ozarks and scrumptious crannies of the Arkansas River Valley through this tasty travelogue. Learn how fried chicken came to a tiny burg called Tontitown. Discover a restaurant atop a gristmill with a history predating the Civil War. Dine where Bill Clinton, Sam Walton and Elvis Presley caught a bite to eat. Join author Kat Robinson and photographer Grav Weldon on this exploration of over one hundred of the state’s classic and iconic restaurants.  
     Up and down the Arkansas Delta, food tells a story. Whether the time Bill Clinton nearly died on the way to a coon dinner or the connections made over biscuits and gravy or the more common chicken and dumpling feuds, the area is no stranger to history. One of America's last frontiers, it was settled in the late nineteenth century by a rough-and-tumble collection of timber men, sharecroppers and entrepreneurs from all over the world who embraced the traditional foodways and added their own twists. Today, the Arkansas Delta is the nation's largest producer of rice and adds other crops like catfish and sweet potatoes. Join author Cindy Grisham for this delicious look into Delta cuisine.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


This packrat has learned that what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end, it's the family stories that are worth the storage.
-Ellen Goodman,
The Boston Globe


Yonder Mountain, inspired by poet Miller Williams's Ozark, Ozark: A Hillside Reader, is rooted in the literary legacy of the Ozarks while reflecting the diversity and change of the region. Readers will find fresh, creative, honest voices profoundly influenced by the landscape and culture of the Ozark Mountains. Poets, novelists, columnists, and historians are represented--Donald Harington, Sara Burge, Marcus Cafagna, Art Homer, Pattiann Rogers, Miller Williams, Roy Reed, Dan Woodrell, and more.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Are you ready for some FUN? Experience The Natural State like never before as you explore the distinct flavor of Arkansas and discover the state's exceptional communities, beloved celebrations and remarkable destinations... all within the pages of this unique cookbook. You'll discover favorite recipes straight from the kitchens of hometown cooks across the state... Myrtie Mae's Meatloaf, Farmers Market Broiled Tomatoes, and Company's Comin' Pie. Delicious Arkansas fare such as Bread Pudding with Sorghum Sauce, Crawfish Etouffee, Just Good Tamale Pie, and Ozark Slaw will tempt the taste buds and guarantee raves from your friends and family. When dinner is done and everyone's ready to explore, this unique cookbook offers even more. Arkansas' favorite events and destinations are profiled with everything you need to know to plan your trip. From BPW Barn Sale in Camden to Tontitown Grape Festival, Tour da' Delta to Conway's Toad Suck Daze, Arkansas offers family fun to suit every taste.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Turning Dull Genealogy Facts into Family History (Tip of the Day)

While its common for people to use the terms 'genealogy' and 'family history' interchangeably, they actually have a subtle but different meaning. Genealogy, the study of ancestry and descent, refers more to the actual search for ancestors, while family history, the narrative of the events in your ancestors' lives, denotes the telling of your family's story. Family history is genealogy come alive.  

To experience the difference between genealogy and family history, place yourself in the world of an ancestor. For the best experience, select one for which you only have a few dull, dry facts such as birth date, hometown, marriage, children and burial location. Then try to learn the circumstances of his/her life - what he did to put food on the table, how he spent his leisure time, his position in the town or community, the cost of living in effect at the time, the types of food he ate, the clothes he wore, diseases which were prevalent for the time period, the traditions he followed...  

To dig up the answers to these questions, you can turn to a variety of historical resources: timelines, social histories, community histories, newspaper accounts, biographies, etc. The records which gave you the names and dates for your ancestors are also a source for potential clues. Census records may be able to tell you about your ancestor's neighborhood, occupations, educational background, and financial situation. Wills may provide insight into your ancestor's feelings, friends, and possessions. Immigration and naturalization records may offer a look at your ancestor's motivations for moving to a new country.  

In your quest to learn more about where you came from, don't limit yourself to the 'genealogy' search. Learn all you can about the lives of your ancestors, tell the stories of your living family members, and bring your family history to life.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Get Over Spelling

First and last names of your ancestor will be spelled differently, sometimes different ways in the same document. There is more to "matching" people that the spelling of their first and last name. Make certain you have valid reason to believe people appearing in different records are the same person.

And remember--the name is usually considered the "same" if the pronunciations are the same. That missing "e" may irritate you, but it doesn't mean it's an entirely different person.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Funeral Cards

Uncovering death information about an ancestor can frequently reveal details about his or her life and family that would be difficult to find in any other source. Obituaries frequently include birth, marriage, and death dates and places of the deceased, the maiden name of a wife, children names, parents’ names, occupations, places of residence, and highlights of his/her life. 

Unfortunately, not every ancestor had an obituary published revealing these details for the benefit of descendants. Instead, some people discover printed memorial or funeral cards in collections of their parents or relatives. While these cards don’t give the range of detail often found in obituaries, they can still be of great value in furthering research. 

Funeral cards are an overlooked free genealogical resource. They often contain both the birth and death date and should not be used as a substitute for vital records because the person giving the information might not have known for sure when the deceased was born or died. However, it's a good place to start.  


Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Get Away from What You Want to Prove

When analyzing a record or set of materials that does not make sense, get away from what you "want to prove" and try to think "what do these documents really say?" You may find that they do not say what you think they do. And not every record says what we want or expect it to.

Sometimes our preconceived notions are what is getting in the way.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Online Social Security Death Index (SSDI)

The Social Security Death Index is a free database of deaths reported to the Social Security Administration, mostly since1961.

You can find this very helpful index at several web sites. 

Here is a link to one:  Social Security Death Index

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Are the Records Available?

You don't want to plan a trip halfway across the country only to find that the records you seek were destroyed in a courthouse fire. Or that the office stores the marriage records in an offsite location, and they need to be requested in advance of your visit. Or that some of the county record books are being repaired, microfilmed, or are otherwise temporarily unavailable.

Once you've determined the repository and records you plan to research, it is definitely worth the time to call to make sure the records are available for research.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Did the Name of the Place Change?

Names of locations can change over time. Is it possible that the village or place for which you are looking is now known by a different name? 

Street names can change as well, causing confusing for researchers with city ancestors.

Neighborhoods can have names that may also change over times.

Churches merge together and form a new congregation, frequently with a new name.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Question Every Sentence

The next time you read an old obituary that you think is not helpful, stop at the end of every sentence. Ask yourself:

  • would this fact have generated a record?
  • have I looked for those records generated by the facts in this obituary?
  • how would the informant have known this detail?
  • is there a chance this statement is correct?
  • are the details in chronological order?
  • would one person have had first hand knowledge of all this information?
  •  are there any details in this obituary that are inconsistent?  
Please visit the Library's Online Obituary Database for the Jefferson County Area covering the periods of 1860's through "current day!" 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Lines Over a Letter in a Name?

If you see a single line over one letter in a name in a document, it usually means that the letter was actually used twice in the name and not just once.

This notation was not used everywhere, but this illustration shows a "Fanny" written as "Fany" with a line over the "n."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


When searching online newspaper content, don't ignore content from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. For a variety of reasons, your ancestor may have been mentioned in a distant newspaper, especially if he/she did something slightly unusual or noteworthy.

And sometimes those unusual items don't always get passed down to future generations.

If you have a library card with our library system; check out our Library's new database: "Newsbank"

If you live outside our County feel free to stop by the Library's Genealogy Department to use this database and others the Library offers. 

Click on the NewsBank Icon below to be taken to the database log in page.