Arkansas Genealogy

This guide is designed to assist with using the archival and history resources of the University of Arkansas Libraries for conducting family history and genealogical research.

Three important searches

When conducting Arkansas genealogy at Mullins Library, there are three databases that should be the first line of inquiry:

Library Cataloguehttps://library.uark.edu/

Many exceptional genealogical resources are available either under family names or (more commonly) as county histories.  Since the results of the Library Catalogue are more general, always include “Arkansas” as one of your keywords. For instance, “Arkansas Washington County” will turn up a broad range of publications related to Washington County, Arkansas.  You can also target specific information with more precise terms such as: “Arkansas Washington County Census”.   

Index Arkansashttp://arkindex.uark.edu/

Index Arkansas is an online database that provides very useful citation information to articles published in Arkansas historical journals, magazines, university publications, and newspaper. There is a wealth of genealogical information hidden away in articles.  Many of the Index Arkansas citations related to family histories are only indexed here and cannot be found anywhere else.

Special Collections Online Finding Aidshttps://libraries.uark.edu/SpecialCollections/search.asp

Finding Aids are compiled to help researchers determine the content of archival papers, often without having to travel to the library.  Placing your family name in the search engine from the link above, you may generate a broad range of interesting results.  If the materials are not too fragile, you may also be able to request photocopies of whole folders or specifically listed items. When in doubt whether to schedule a research visit or request duplications, email the Special Collections Reading Room: specoll@uark.edu

Think outside of the box

 

Searching for the historical record of your family can seem a daunting task.  However, there are some methods that can make the work both fun and rewarding.  This guide has been composed to serve as a blueprint, which will enable you to cover the basics of genealogical research.

You will note that there are three research links posted on this page.  Not only are these links vital to your genealogy, but they will enable you to conduct most of the necessary and time-saving preliminary research from home.

Using your family member’s name as a keyword may lead you directly to a good result, and should be your first line of inquiry.  However, in most cases, genealogical information will exist under general topics that cannot be accessed directly.  For instance, if your family lived in a specific area of the state for any length of time, a keyword search for histories of that region is likely to call up invaluable resources for your genealogical research.

Remember, when direct searches fail to render results, try to think outside of the box.  The genealogical data you are searching for might well be there, but it is not organized in such a way that you can easily find the information.  Some of the most rewarding gems for family history can only be discovered by laboriously searching through general topics.