Genealogy Society Excited About Adding New Sources

LR News Contributor

Wynelle Choate, treasurer of the Little River Genealogy Society, enthusiastically explains about various records on microfilm the Society has recently acquired. Photo by Carolyn Myers

ASHDOWN – Anyone interested in finding information about their ancestors might consider attending meetings of the Little River Genealogy Society in Ashdown.

This group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Cossatot College. Jenny Stone and Wynelle Choate, president and treasurer, respectively, are happily optimistic about the new genealogical material the Society has acquired recently and its potential for helping many people who want to learn more about long-deceased relatives.

Stone said that she and Choate were looking at all the various types of records available in the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA) building in Historic Old Washington when they came across area school censuses.

They agreed that a number of those would be a great asset to Little River Genealogy Society and would bring their microfilm records up to date. Choate said, “We ordered them from the Arkansas State Archives and we now have census records from 1941 in Plainview Schools, from 1956 in Ashdown, from 1978 in Ashdown and Winthrop, from 1937 in Alleene and from 1941 in Peyton, back to schools that aren’t even here anymore.

So you can go through these on microfilm reader and see when your mother or grandmother was in school and who their teacher was. It’s just fascinating!”

Stone and Choate both explained that, although the Society meets monthly at the college, their records are actually kept in an upstairs room at Three Rivers Museum in Ashdown.

The room contains all sorts of records, as well as microfilm and a microfilm reader and printer. If a seeker finds records they need on microfilm, Stone or Choate will be able to print that information for the person.“We have books, books and more books,” Choate said.

“Over a period of years, we’ve bought marriage records from other counties and states; we’ve probably got books on just about every state. We have cemetery records, lots of those. We concentrated a lot on McCurtain County, Okla., Bowie County, Texas, and Little River and Sevier counties. And we have all Arkansas Census Records on microfilm through about 1930 or so.”

The two officers are delighted that the Society now has on microfilm copies of the Little River News through February 2019 and also some film of the Foreman Sun newspaper.

“So many people were looking for things in the Little River News and we didn’t have that information. Now we have it. We want everyone to know that if you’re looking for records you haven’t been able to find before, come and see the new sources we have.”

The officers explained that anyone is welcome to check the records, no matter if they live out of this area or out of this state. The books may not be taken out but a patron is welcome to sit upstairs and go through them as long as they want.

Those wanting to use the microfilm reader and/or printer should phone Stone or Choate to come and operate the equipment. Their phone numbers are available at the museum and they will be on call from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. – the same hours that the museum is open.

Stone would like to see lots of new members in the Little River Genealogy Society and see more use of the available information the Society continues to update.“When we see something we think will benefit our members, we just get it,” Stone said.

“We also have a Facebook page and we send out reminder emails to members. We eagerly welcome new members. The Society is open to everyone.”


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