Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society
This is the first edition of Your Newsletter for the Washington County Genealogical Society. It is our goal to publish this newsletter once a month. That may be a lofty goal and we may change it to a bi-monthly one. We will have to see. For right now it is monthly. We will try to fill the space with items that we hope you find interesting. In order to do that we need for you to send us your ideas of what you would like to see or anything you would like to share with our group. This is your newsletter, so let us know what you think.
Meet Your Officers
WCAGS was formed in 2002 and was the brainchild of Peggy Hackler of the Fayetteville Public Library. She approached some folks who frequently did research in the Grace Keith Collection about starting a genealogy group and from there the Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society took shape. The first slate of officers was Carol Reel, president; Marvin Shirley, vice–president; Cheri Coley, secretary; Kyle Spicer, treasurer. During the first year the position of Publicity/ Historian was added and Lisa Carper was selected to fill the position for the remaining term. In order to provide continuity to the fledgling organization the first year’s officers were asked to stay for a second year. Only one was unable to serve for a second term. The bylaws provide for the orderly progression though the officer ranks from Publicity/ Historian to President.
For the next 6 months we will present a short biography of your officers, past and present. It seems only fitting that we begin with our president who has worked so hard for the last 18 months to make this society come together as functional group.
Carol A. Reel
Carol is a retired Insurance Sales Agent, a position that she held for 25 yrs. She holds BA, MA degrees in History and Philosophy. Carol was born in Illinois, and reared in south Texas, near the city of Houston. Her father was a Warden in the Texas Department of Corrections and she grew up on an agricultural Prison Unit that had originally been a sugar plantation. Her mother was a schoolteacher and at one time taught basic education in the prison school set up by her father.
Her interest in genealogy came in large part from spending a lot of time with her grandmother and her family in east Texas, seeing old houses full of “interesting stuff” and listening to the old folks’ stories. Carol told us, “ Grandmother left me the family archive and the charge to finish her work.”
Her mother’s families, Fooshees, Swanns and Codys, were southern families who immigrated to East Texas most after the Civil War but a few prior to that time. Her father’s families, Bounds, Brown and Pippen, were also southern families and moved to Texas following the war. All of the families made their living in agriculture and small business. Her paternal grandfather was one of the first licensed morticians in Van Zandt Co, Texas. The love of family history runs in the Reel family also. Carol’s mother-in-law who is in her 91st year was born in Elkins and contributed the information on the Horner and Divelbiss families to the Washington County History Book, which can be found at the Fayetteville Library.
Carol and her husband, Blanchard, moved to Washington County from Oklahoma in 1990. They have three children and two grandchildren.
We are pleased to welcome the following folks as new members, Hazel Sanders, James McConaughy, and Marcia Finnegan.
We are glad that you have joined us.
Our group continues to grow, but we still need everyone’s help to make this a vital genealogy society in Northwest Arkansas. Invite you friends and fellow researchers. Membership applications can be obtained at the Fayetteville Public Library or on our website at www.rootsweb.com/~arwcags/ .
For those of who haven’t already done so, you really need to check out the website. (www.rootsweb.com/~arwcags/) It is great and getting “greater” every day! There is a bunch of new stuff on there, including the recent work of our members on surveying and mapping Washington County cemeteries. A huge THANK YOU goes to Cheri Coley for her hard work in getting this site up and going and keeping it up to date for all of us!
A Helpful Hint
The following is excerpted from a longer article by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG. The entire article can be found at Ancestry.com
Tick marks are a too-common cause of errors in the interpretation of census data. From 1850 forward, unexplained markings are rampant on the microfilmed and digitized pages that we regularly consult. Worse, the fact that we are using filmed images or digitized images made from the film, rather than the original manuscripts, makes it harder to discern exactly what was written by the enumerator and what markings might have been added later by some other party.
The problem is not so hard to counter, if we understand two things:
- know the instructions given to the enumerator, including the types of marks and abbreviations that were authorized for that particular year; and
- carefully distinguish between the data the enumerator recorded and the quite different “tick marks” the statisticians added.
Researchers will find the basic instructions outlined in two guides to the 1790–1930 federal censuses. Both are available in most Government Document departments of college, university, and major urban libraries. The current (2002) guide is available from the Census Bureau itself.
Happy Hunting Y’all.
Jeanne Tackett, Publicity/ Historian