Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society
It is the objective of the Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society to collect and preserve genealogical and historical information with a focus on Washington County, Arkansas. We wish to encourage and provide training to those interested. We champion ethical and accurate research and publication of genealogical and historical information.
Happy New Year
The New Year brings a time for reflection and revitalization. It is also the start of the term of the new officers for WCAGS. The by-laws of Washington County Arkansas Genealogical Society provide: (a)t the end of each year, a new Publicity / Historian / Program Coordinator will be elected, the President will retire, and all other officers will advance to the next office.[Article V, Section 3]. We have been unable to secure a candidate for Publicity / Historian / Program Coordinator at this time. Cheri Coley has graciously agreed to serve in an interim capacity as a Committee Chairman for programs and publicity until the office can be filled or the by-laws reviewed to move this office to a permanent committee status. Because of the cancellation of the January meeting by predicted icy weather, the new administration was installed at the
February 1, 2007, meeting.
The new officers shown above are
· Jeanne Tackett – President
· Barbara Lewis – Vice President
· Marcia Connors – Secretary
· LaNita McKinney – Treasurer.
An exciting slate of programs and activities is being scheduled which you will not want to miss. Here are the ones already scheduled along with their dates.
· March 11, 2007 – Marcia Connor, Elizabeth Floyd and Carol Reel, present “Researching in Salt Lake City”
· April 15, 2007 -The program will feature a book and resource sharing time. Members are requested to bring any books or materials that have been especially useful to discuss and to share with others.
May 20- “Pieces of Our Past.” A slide program presented by Susan Young from the Shiloh Museum featuring quilts from their collection and stories of the women who created them. Surnames include: Blackburn, Hash, Clark, Slaughter, Smith, Graham, Carmack, Winn, Cartmell, Cross, and Vanzant. The quilts are from Washington, Benton, and Madison Counties.
· June 10, 2007 -Genealogy Jeopardy!
Mark your calendars now for these meetings. All WCAGS meetings are held at Headquarters House, 118 E. Dickson, Fayetteville, AR and start promptly at 2:00PM.
Celebrating Oklahoma’s 100 Years!
On February 11, Rose Stauber from the Delaware County Genealogical Society, presented a program on “Researching your Oklahoma Ancestors and Membership in First Families of the Twin Territories.” Her helpful information and tips on the where to find the records for all persons living in the Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma Statehood combined with her dry wit and humor brought about some lively conversation from our members.
Just finding an ancestor on the Dawes or Guion-Miller rolls is only a small part of tracing any Native American roots, Rose told WCAGS members. It is the documentation provided by the families listed on the rolls that gives the wealth of information that genealogists want. The Guion-Miller roll required all applicants to provide 3 generations of family history on affidavits, plus narratives, plus affidavits of friends and associates verifying the information given was correct.
Rose’s two favorite venues to research Native American roots in Oklahoma are the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Muskogee Public Library as they have many of the original documents available on microfilm and fiche. She also said that she would be glad to help direct folks in the right direction if they want to contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . This is the email address for the Delaware County Genealogy Society.
The New Year Was WHEN?
Almost every researcher in family history has seen dates that look questionable. One need only to look at Internet entries on many family trees to see that some folks are none to careful in recording significant dates. What about those entries that legitimately show dates as 1753/54? Does no one know the exact date of the death of Queen Elizabeth I, since it is listed as 24 March 1603/4 in many places? What gives?
It all goes back to the calendars of ancient Rome. The calendar before Julius Caesar was based on a year of 365 days. Because the earth actually takes more than 365 days to revolve around the sun, the seasons slowly became out of sync with the calendar. The actual time for the earth to orbit the sun is a little less than 365.25 days. So in the time of Julius Caesar one day every 4 years was actually added to the calendar and thus the Julian calendar was born. By the middle ages the calendar was again out of sync with the seasons because 365.25 was a slight over estimate on the true length of a year. By the 16th century the calendar was off by 10 days. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the day following 4th October 1582 would be 15th October 1582. To keep the problem from reoccurring the additional day every 4 years (leap-years) were changed to eliminate end of century years unless those years were divisible by 400. [Are you confused yet?] So, while 1600 and 2000 would still be leap years as in the Julian calendar, the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 would not be. Thus was established the Gregorian calendar.
The Roman civil year started on 1st January. Between the 7th and 12th centuries, the Church of Rome began to push for the use of major Christian festivals as the start of the year. Slowly some European states began to use March 25, the first day of the Feast of the Annunciation, as the first day of the year. By the 16th century European states began reverting to January 1st as the start of the new year. Following 1582 countries that were strongly entrenched with the Catholic Church adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, many of these already recognizing January 1 as the first day of the year.
In Britain the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1752, and the same Act of Parliament changed the first of the year from 25 March to 1 January. The day following 31st December 1751 was decreed to be 1st January 1752. The changes applied to all the Dominions of the British Crown, including the colonies in North America. Until 1752 the year started on the 25th of March in England. So, in 1700, January 1st should be shown as January 1, 1699/1700. January, February and most of March would still have been in what we now consider to be the previous year.
In British Dominions the year starting March 25 was the Civil or Legal Year, and today is sometimes designated as “old style”. An oblique stroke(/) is the most usual indicator, but sometimes the year is shown as a fraction. At other times it may be written as “OS” or “NS” Very occasionally a hyphen is used. Regardless of the form used, it is:
- Only relevant for England and its colonies.
- Only before 1752.
- Only the period between January 1 and March 24 each year.
A good example of the confusion surrounding the old and new style dates is seen in the execution date of King Charles I of England. It is sometimes shown as having taken place on 30 January 1649, but documents written at the time of the execution recorded it as 30 January 1648. Thus today’s historians should correctly show it as 30 January 1648/1649.
If someone walked up to you and said, "Hi, I’m your third cousin, once removed," would you know what they meant? When working on your family history, it’s important to understand the various types of cousin relationships.
- First cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you.
- Second cousins have two of the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
- Third cousins have in common two great-great-grandparents and their ancestors.
- When cousins descend from common ancestors by a different number of generations they are called "removed."
- Once removed means there is a difference of one generation. Your mother’s first cousin would be your first cousin, once removed. She is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents.
- Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. Your grandmother’s first cousin would be your first cousin, twice removed because you are separated by two generations.
Just to complicate matters, there are also many cases of double cousins. This situation usually occurs when siblings from one family marry siblings from another family. The resulting children, grandchildren, etc. are double cousins, because they share four ancestors in common. These types of relationships can be difficult to determine and should be charted one family at a time. [A tip from About.com Genealogy Guide]
Murder of James Ingram
The following is an eyewitness account of a murder in Northwest Arkansas in 1870 found in the Fayetteville Democrat. The newspaper identifies the witness as only a “bystander”
“Murder of James Ingram, I was on the ground at the time James Ingram was murdered at the Roberts school house on Sunday the 4th inst. (sic) I came up just before the shooting took place. I saw several men with revolvers buckled on and thought strange to see such a thing at church. In standing around I could see a good deal of secret talking among the crowd that was armed. In a few moments two wagons drove up and I noticed that they attracted considerable attention, particularly with the men who were armed; and upon Mr. Ingram coming up into the crowd I still noticed that he drew considerable attention. About this time I saw a scattering and getting out of the way and my attention was drawn to that spot when I saw John Stone draw a pistol and fire at Ingram. Ingram run some distance and got behind a horse, Stone pursuing him, he then left the horse and started back towards the crowd when Stone fired again, the ball striking Ingram in the back, killing him almost instantly. Stone followed his victim up to where he fell when Mr. Roberts caught him; the crowd of armed men then came up and I heard some person order Mr. Roberts to let that pistol go, which he did. Stone then run off, well guarded by his friends, some of them threatening to kill any man who attempted to arrest Stone. Such are the facts of the diabolical murder of John Ingram. Bystander” (Fayetteville Democrat 9/17/1870)
WCAGS member, Cheri Coley has researched the Ingram and Graham families and reports that James Ingram was the husband of Amanda Graham, daughter of William and Leah Bloyd Graham. William Graham was one of the founders of the Shiloh Primitive Church in Springdale. James and Amanda were married about 1848.
These are copies of actual questions and requests received by the Family History Department at the LDS Library in Salt Lake City. [Sorry, I just couldn’t let these pass without some comments. Editor]
· Our 2nd great-grandfather was found dead crossing the plains in
the library. [Just how big is that library?]
· He and his daughter are listed as not being born. I would like to find out if I have any living relatives or dead relatives or ancestors in my family. [Off the cuff I’d have to say no.]
· Will you send me a list of all the Dripps in your library? [We don’t have that many, we call the plumber immediately when they start.]
· My Grandfather died at the age of 3. [Frisky little man wasn’t he!]
· We are sending you 5 children in a separate envelope. [We will watch for them.]
· Documentation: Family Bible in possession of Aunt Merle until the tornado hit Topeka, Kansas. Now only the Good Lord knows where it is. [Good enough for us, but not the DAR.]
· The wife of #22 could not be found. Somebody suggested that she might have been stillborn, what do you think? [Probably not.]
· I am mailing you my aunt and uncle and 3 of their children. [Why not let them come in on their own?]
· Enclosed please find my Grandmother. I have worked on her for 30 years without success. Now see what you can do! [If you can’t handle her, how do you expect us to?]
· I have a hard time finding myself in London. If I were there I was very small and cannot be found. [Try staying out of the pubs!]
· This family had 7 nephews that I am unable to find. If you know who they are, please add them to the list. [We will gladly include them on our forever-lost list.]
· We lost our Grandmother; will you please send us a copy? [Sorry, she is too big for our copy machine.]
· Will you please send me the name of my first wife? I have forgotten her name. [She has forgotten yours too.]
· A 14-year-old boy wrote: "I do not want you to do my research for me. Will you please send me all of the material on the Welch line, in the U.S., England and Scotland countries? I will do the research." [And you are sure you don’t need any help?]
· I would like to know how many descendants I really have? [That must have been some party!]
100 Years Ago or Thereabouts
Taken from the Fayetteville Democrat, February 7, 1907.
Street Commissioner S. H. Blackmer is putting in his time collecting the street tax during the bad weather. The books will be kept in first class order and those who have been able to evade paying their tax in the past will have small avenue of escape. When it is so plainly seen that the money is urgently needed to work the streets it is strange that a man would endeavor to avoid paying his tax.
Information has been received here that Tobe Allen died at Los Angeles, California on Thursday night, January 31st of spinal menengitis. He left here about six weeks ago for the West. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Allen and was born and reared at Farmington, four miles west of this city. Deceased was about 30 years of age and was an upright, industrious young man, of fine character and popular in the community where he was known. His death is a sad blow t his family and they have the sincere sympathy of their friends in their sorrow. [Editor’s note: spelling and punctuation have not been corrected.]
And now you know!
It is December 31, 1852 and Henry Hydenwell sits at his desk. He dips his pen in ink and begins to write his New Year’s resolutions.
1. No man is truly well educated unless he learns to spell his name at least three different ways within the same document. I resolve to give the appearance of being extremely well educated in the coming year.
2. I resolve to see to it that all of my children will have the same names that my ancestors have used for six generations in a row.
3. My age is no one’s business but my own. I hereby resolve to never
list the same age or birth year twice on any document.
4. I resolve to have each of my children baptized in a different church, either in a different faith or in a different parish. Every third child will not be baptized at all or will be baptized by an itinerant minister who keeps no records.
5. I resolve to move to a new town, new county, or new state at least once every ten years, just before those pesky enumerators come around asking silly questions.
6. I will make every attempt to reside in counties and towns where no vital records are maintained or where the courthouse burns down every few years.
7. I resolve to join an obscure religious cult that does not believe in record keeping or in participating in military service.
8. When the tax collector comes to my door, I’ll loan him my pen, which has been dipped in rapidly fading blue ink.
9. I resolve that if my beloved wife Mary should die, I will marry another Mary.
10. I resolve not to make a will. Who needs to spend money on a lawyer?
Thanks go to Barbara Lewis for letting us all in on this secret!
A Lineage Society for Everyone!
The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America: Membership is open to any man of the age of 18 years, of good moral character and reputation, and a citizen of the United States, who is lineally descended, in the male line of either parent, from an ancestor who settled in any of the colonies now included in the United States of America prior to May 13, 1657; and one or all of whose intermediate ancestors in the same line, who lived in the period of the American Revolution, from 1775 to 1783, adhered as patriots to the cause of the colonies, shall be eligible for membership in the Order. Website: http://www.founderspatriots.org/membership.htm
National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America: The female version to the above. Website: http://www.founderspatriots.org/membership.htm
The National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century: A patriotic, genealogical and heraldic society of women who trace their ancestors in this country to the founders who settled the thirteen original colonies before 1701. The Society has chapters organized in forty-six states and one chapter in Canada. There is a local chapter here in Fayetteville. The objectives of this society are:
· To aid in the preservation of the records and of the historic sites of our country:
· To foster interest in historical colonial research:
· To aid in the education of the youth of our country:
· To commemorate the noble and heroic deeds of our ancestors, the founders of our great Republic:
· To maintain zealously those high principles of virtue, courage and patriotism which led to the independence of the Colonies and the foundation and establishment of the United States of America:
· To maintain a Library of Heraldry and preserve the lineage and Coats of Arms of our Armorial ancestors:
· To develop a library specializing in seventeenth century American colonial data:
National Society Sons of the American Revolution: The SAR is a historical, educational, and patriotic non-profit, United States 501(c) 3, corporation that seeks to maintain and extend
· The institutions of American freedom
· An appreciation for true patriotism
· A respect for our national symbols
· The value of American citizenship
· The unifying force of e pluribus unum that has created, from the people of many nations, one nation and one people.
To be eligible for membership you must be a male age 18 or older, a citizen of good repute in the community and the lineal descendent of an ancestor who was at al times unfailing in loyalty to the cause of American Independence and rendered acceptable service by overt acts of resistance to the authority of Great Britain. The patriotic service and line of descent must be documented and the applicant must be acceptable to the society. There is a local chapter in Fayetteville.
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution: The DAR, founded in 1890, is a volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to keeping America strong by promoting patriotism, preserving U.S. history and supporting education programs. Any woman is eligible for membership who is no less than eighteen years of age and can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. She must provide documentation for each statement of birth, marriage, and death. Admission to membership in the NSDAR is by invitation through a Chapter in your State Organization (or Unit Overseas). No Chapter may discriminate against an applicant on the basis of race or creed. There are local chapters in Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville and Buena Vista. Website: http://www.dar.org/
National Society United States Daughters of 1812: This society was organized on January 8, 1892 on the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. The society requires lineal descent from an ancestor who rendered military, naval or civil service between the close of the American Revolution in 1783 and the close of the War of 1812 in 1815. Membership is available to women age 18 and over. Website: http://www.usdaughters1812.org/index.htm
The Descendants of Mexican War Veterans: Adult Full membership is open to any person who is at least 18 years of age, is of good moral character and is one or more of the following:
- A lineal descendant (or collateral kinsman or kinswoman) of a U.S. veteran who rendered honorable service in the war with Mexico for any length of time between April 25, 1846 and August 2, 1848.
- A descendant of a civilian employee of the U.S. armed forces who served during the Mexican War as a teamster, laundress, steamboat hand, etc.
- A descendant of a veteran of General Zachary Taylor’s "Army of Occupation" in Texas from July 1845 to April 1846.
- A descendant of a veteran of Col. John C. Fremont’s 1845-1846 expedition to California.
- A descendant of a California "Bear Flag Revolt" participant
The Society of California Pioneers: Established in 1850, The Society of California Pioneers is a lively year-round venue for the study and enjoyment of California art, history and culture. It was founded by individuals arriving in California before 1850 and has continued to thrive under the leadership of the descendents of those first Californians. It offices are located in downtown San Francisco. If you are a direct descendant of a settler who was in California prior to 1850 you are eligible to join this oldest historical organization west of the Mississippi whose objective is enjoying California history, while helping to preserve and promote it for future generations. The Society of California Pioneers maintains a non-profit public history museum, a fine art gallery, and a research library with an excellent California history collection. The Society’s records and papers include hundreds of original pioneer diaries, a large collection of nineteenth century photographs, family tree records, maps, manuscripts, artwork, clothing, tools and other belongings of early pioneers of the state. Website: http://www.californiapioneers.org/
Gone to Texas Pioneer Certificate: The Texas State Genealogical Society will issue a Gone To Texas Pioneer Certificate upon receipt of proof that the applicant is a direct descendent of settlers who resided in Texas prior to 1886. Neither residence in the state nor membership in the Texas State Genealogical Society is required. Website: http://www.rootsweb.com/~txsgs/TSGSGonetoTX.pdf
First Families of the Twin Territories: If you can trace and prove your lineage back to an individual who settled in one of Oklahoma’s two territories on or before 16 November 1907, you are eligible for this society. On 16 November 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a proclamation declaring statehood for Oklahoma. A huge crowd at Guthrie received the telegraphed message that the Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory had been merged to form the forty-sixth state. In a mock wedding ceremony, symbols of these two diverse communities, a woman representing the Indian Territory and a man from Oklahoma Territory, were united in marriage. 2007 is the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma Statehood. Website: http://www.rootsweb.com/~okgs/fftt.htm
Every Lineage society has very specific rules for application and admission. We have given only a synopsis of the few listed here. Please check the websites listed for more information, applications and fees. The list included in this article is by no means all-inclusive. There are many others.
Have you checked out the WCAGS website recently? It is now updated and ready for the New Year thanks to the efforts of our webmasters, WCAGS members David and Cheri Coley.
Have you also noticed that we have only a few family histories and pictures from you, our membership? One of the ways we can all help to meet the objectives of this society is to contribute our research to the website. Contributions also promote free genealogy for the public. Please go to htttp://www.rootsweb.com/~arwcags/ and click on Families or Pictures for the instructions to submit your information.
Family Links is also in need of your contributions for our quarterly articles. We love to put our members names “in print”!
It has been a long time since the last issue of Family Links. I apologize for that. The newsletter is now on a quarterly publication schedule and I promise that it will be better than ever. Along those same lines it is also time for membership renewals. A renewal form is attached to this newsletter. For those of you who receive this publication by email, a downloadable renewal application can be found on line at http://www.rootsweb.com/~arwcags/.
Our next general meeting will be March 10, 2007, at Headquarters House, 118 E. Dickson, Fayetteville AR. Come join us and bring a friend!
‘Til then, happy hunting, y’all.
Editor, Family Links