Category Archives: Uncategorized

Civil War Survey

The Department of Arkansas Heritage is conducting a survey regarding the establishment of a Civil War museum. Below is the email they sent:

Good Morning!

Act 921 of the Regular Session of the 91st General Assembly directed the Department of Arkansas Heritage to conduct a feasibility study concerning the establishment of an Arkansas Civil War museum. The feasibility study is required to include research on the demand and interest in Civil War tourism in Arkansas, and a survey was created as part of that research.

To reach many different Arkansans across the state, your help is needed! Please take this short survey and let your voice be heard. 

Go to the survey here:

Department of Arkansas Heritage


2011 In Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


The Arkansas Genealogical Society has an “Arkansas Ancestry Certificate” that they will award to anyone that can prove their ancestors resided in Arkansas during a specific period. There are five classes of the certificate:

Colonial – For an ancestor who resided in Arkansas prior to 1 January 1804

Territorial – For an ancestor who resided in Arkansas prior to 15 June 1836

Antebellum – For an ancestor who resided in Arkansas prior to 6 May 1861

Nineteenth Century – For an ancestor who resided in Arkansas prior to 31 December 1900

Civil War Ancestry – For an ancestor who served in a Confederate or Union Arkansas unit between 1861 and 1865, or applied for an Arkansas Confederate pension, or whose widow applied for such pension, or a Union soldier or soldier’s widow who applied for a U.S. pension while living in Arkansas

These certificates don’t really prove anything. What they do, however, is set a goal for our research. To achieve the certificate, we have to provide an unbroken chain of provable genealogy from ourselves back to the ancestor that lived in the time period. I’m certain I can obtain the Civil War Ancestry and the Nineteenth Century certificate with ease, but getting the others will certainly be a challenge.


Arkansas Genealogical Society. “Arkansas Ancestry Certificate”.  Retrieved from the Internet on 10 November 2011.

Ancestor Fair: Lessons Learned

I learned a few things at the Ancestor Fair, and not necessarily about my family tree!

I have a tendency to keep to myself.  So at the genealogy swap meet, I probably didn’t get as much information as I could have if I had been more open with folks.  At the Graham reunion, I spent my time in binders and not talking to the people around me, some of which I hadn’t seen in nearly twenty years.

I sometimes come off as a know-it-all, especially if I feel I’m right. At the reunion, there was a sheet passed around detailing the descendants of Jesse Graham.  I looked over this sheet and started pointing out the errors.  Or perhaps “errors”, the things that I thought were wrong.

I came with nothing and asked for more.  At the fair and at the reunion there were people sharing CDs of GEDCOM files, binders with printouts of documents and letters, old photographs in family albums, and more.  I had nothing prepared, and could only share what I could remember off the top of my head.

So, for next year’s reunion I have this plan:

Mingle, don’t be critical, and bring something to share!

North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

The “oldest and most popular family-history event in north Arkansas” will be held 3-4 June 2011 in Marshall, Arkansas. “The North Arkansas Ancestor Fair is an annual event that offers county historical societies and family historians sharing and collecting information about northern Arkansas families.”

Regular readers of Graham Ancestry know that Marshall is the epicenter from which my Graham and Watts lines radiate.  Odds are high that there will be distant cousins in attendance carrying the ripe fruit of family knowledge waiting to be harvested.

I also hear that the world-famous author of Graham Ancestry may be in attendance!


North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

The Birth of Disinformation

Something recently happened at that bothers me.

Ancestry has this feature called Member Connect that lets researchers connect their family trees and any supporting documents to other members’ family trees.  Once connected, Ancestry notifies members when any other members link to their trees or documents.  That’s actually a very handy feature.

Here’s the part that bothers me.  I received notification through Member Connect that another researcher had linked to the entry for William Thomas Graham in the Arkansas Death Index. At first I got excited because I thought, “Oh boy, another distant cousin that I can press for information!”  Then I looked at this other member’s tree and saw immediately that she had attached the document to the wrong William Thomas Graham!

I’ve done a lot of research on our William Thomas Graham, as chronicled here, here and here.  I’ve been in touch with our William’s grandson and great grandson.  I’m extremely certain that I’ve got it right, and that the entry in the Arkansas Death Index refers to our William.

Nobody wants erroneous information to be spread around.  I sent a message to the other member, but she has yet to make a correction.  What if she refuses to accept that she made an error?  What if she thinks that I’m in error?

In the original version of my article on Nona Elizabeth Graham, I reported that Find A Grave listed her middle name as Irene, which completely contradicts every other source I have on Nona.  I’ve recently been in touch with Nona’s son DJ and he informed me that after Nona’s passing, Franklin Lathum married a woman named Irene Jordan.  Whomever made the Find A Grave entry clearly confused the two women.

And the wrong information gets spread around the Internet.

Eliza Revisited

Today, I published a major revision of my article from October 2010 on Eliza Ann Graham.  The following changes have been made:

  • Added detailed information from the 1880 census.
  • Added more details from the marriage document of Eliza and Siler Watts, and included a scan of that document.
  • Tweaked 1900 census paragraph.
  • Added an image from 1920 census.
  • Added both Eliza’s and Siler’s ages at death.
  • Added to variations of Eliza’s name.
  • Added a paragraph on variations of Siler’s name.
  • Made adjustments to the article’s formatting to match the appearance of other articles.

Read the revised article here!

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