North Arkansas Ancestor Fair

 Jill M. Rohrbach

Civil War Sesquicentennial is the theme for this year’s North Arkansas Ancestor Fair in Marshall on Friday and Saturday, June 3-4. In its 22nd year, the Ancestor Fair is the longest running genealogical event of its kind in North Arkansas.

On Friday, Russell Baker, retired from the Arkansas History Commission, will give a presentation at 9:30 a.m. on “Finding Confederate and Union Ancestors.” Friday afternoon, Searcy County Historian James Johnston will discuss what happened in Searcy and surrounding counties in 1861. He will include information on the formation, betrayal and capture of the Peace Society and the Chain Gang that took them to Little Rock. Following his presentation will be a group discussion where people are invited to tell their family stories of the Chain Gang. Friday’s lectures cost $7.50 for a half day or $10 for all day, payable at the door. The event will be at the new VFW building. The discussion group is free. Friday night there will be a Mixer Dinner with music.

Saturday’s Genealogical Swap Meet at the Searcy County Civic Center on Zack Road, is free. Family genealogists will man booths in order to visit and swap information with the public. There will also be information on writing family history about the Civil War. North Arkansas county genealogical and historical societies will set up tables to offer information and publications for sale. Doors open at 9 a.m. for the public.

This year there will be enough seating for both Friday and Saturday events so that advance registration is not necessary, but early arrivals will get the best seats. For more information, visit or call 870-448-3308.

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