Arkansas Biography

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Arkansas Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Arkansas Background
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Local Research Resources

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

Online Resources[edit | edit source]


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The best collection of published biographies in Arkansas is at the University of Arkansas Library. Also search the biographical sections of statewide, regional, and county histories for biographical information. In 1889 and 1890 the Goodspeed Publishing Company published a series of regional biographical encyclopedias. Most have recently been reprinted and are indexed.

Family History Library Collection

  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs: of Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland and Hot Springs Counties, Arkansas. . . . Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889. FHL film 934823 item 2. Online for free at the Internet Archive.