31st North Arkansas Ancestor Fair Cancelled

     The 31st North Arkansas Ancestor Fair was to be held June 5 and 6 in Marshall, Arkansas, but it has officially been cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

     It is an opportunity for ancestor hunters to meet relatives and research on the ground; it was a popular event.  The Searcy County Historical Society has sponsored the Ancestor Fair since its beginning in 1989 and hopes to do it again when the pandemic is over and businesses open up again–maybe in 2012.  For more information contact Shirley Gray at 870-448-3308 or shirleysdream@windstream.net.

30th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair Report

            The 30th North Arkansas Ancestor Fair held Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1 in Marshall attracted more people than we’ve seen in a couple of years.  There were 77 who registered, or were otherwise identified, and probably at least half again as many who did not leave a paper trail.  So the estimated attendance was at least 120, and probably more.  A quick survey of attendees revealed that about 20 came from Searcy County, 40 from Arkansas outside Searcy County, seven from Oklahoma, six from Texas and two each from Mississippi and Missouri.  About forty-five attended the Friday night Mixer-Dinner at the Los Aztecas Mexican Restaurant where they met kinfolk for the first time and renewed old contacts.

            An unexpected draw was the dedication by the Sons of Confederate Veterans of a marker recognizing Searcy County men who served in the Confederate Army.  They brought a cannon and an honor guard.  The marker sits on the Veterans Hall grounds in Marshall where the Ancestor Fair was held.

            Four counties were represented-Boone, Marion, Searcy and Van Buren, and four heritage organizations–DAR, SAR, SCV and UDC.  They all offered resources for the researchers and signed up new members.  The Arkansas State Archives office, Scotland, Arkansas and the Chickamauga Nation, as well as some family historians, all had tables with information about their purview.

            Joshua C. Youngblood, Outreach Librarian at Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries–Fayetteville gave two well-attended and appreciated talks on what can be learned by interpreting old photographs and on broadening research strategies through regional and national collections.

            Shirley Gray managed and produced another well-organized Ancestor Fair for north Arkansas’s researchers.  She has committed to doing Ancestor Fair 31 on June 5 and 6, 2020 in Marshall, Arkansas, for which all researchers are thankful.  Those interested may keep abreast of Ancestor Fair 31’s progress on the Ancestor Fair website: www.ancestorfair.us.


Buffalo National River archaeologist Suika Rivett will give the program at the June meeting of the Searcy County Historical Society meeting. Her topic will be “National Register Eligible and Listed Places on the Buffalo within Searcy County.” Ms Rivett is a popular presenter at Historical Society meetings and her topic will interest many people.

The Society will meet at 7:00 p.m., Friday, June 28 at Marshall’s First Christian Church, off Hwy 65N. All are invited. Coffee and nibbles will be available.


The Searcy County Historical Society will meet with the Ancestor Fair

Mixer-Dinner on Friday, May 31 at Los Aztecas Mexican Restaurant in Marshall. People are invited to come at 5:30 p.m. to order a meal and get started on family research. Or to come at 7:00 p.m. for a brief update on homestead signs along the Buffalo National River and meet kinfolk.

Searcy County Historical Society

Searcy County Historical Society Meeting

            Dr. Wendy Richter, Arkansas State Archivist, will give the program to the Searcy County Historical Society on Friday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the First Christian Church, Marshall.  Dr. Richter will talk about Arkansas’s State Archives and explain how the State Archives (old Arkansas History Commission) can help Searcy County with storing and archiving the county’s records.  This should be of interest to all researchers and anyone interested in the county’s records.

            Coffee and cookies will be available.  Everyone is invited.