Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crowder Genealogy

I just wanted to let y'all know that I have a new website. It is the history of my Crowder ancestors. They came to Virginia, moved to North Carolina, and then ended up in Arkansas. I have posted their story. I have posted a few pictures of their descendants. There is also a page with links that I have used to help me in my research of this family. I may be adding more actual documents from the research later and so I'll keep you posted here. Just click on this link to get to it. Crowder Genealogy

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I would like to share with you today a couple of my favorite sites for the state of Arkansas. My ancestors came from there and so I have done quite a bit of research there. The first one I would like to mention is the Arkansas History Commission site. While they don't have a lot of documents digitized that are accessible online, they do have their catalog online and you can search through their collections for items of interest. They also have a good collection of state newspapers. The one time I used their services, they were very prompt in sending me a copy of a newspaper article I had requested.

The other site I would like to mention has been of great use to me in my Confederate widows project. The Original Arkansas Genealogy Project, Civil War website is loaded with information about civil war soldiers and their units from the state of Arkansas. The authors of this site have gone through military service and pension records, as well as census records in an attempt to identify every soldier who served from the state of Arkansas. They also include some histories of the units. I am really appreciative of those who put this site together. I think it is great!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Kentuckiana Digital Library is a website of digital collections from all over Kentucky. According to their website there you can "find over 80,000 photographic images, 100,000 newspaper pages, 230,000 book pages, hundreds of oral histories, and maps documenting the history and heritage of Kentucky."

Kentucky Vital Records Indexes This will link you to digital images of vital records online available through the University of Kentucky. The records were acquired from the Kentucky Office of Vital Records. They are for fairly recent years but it might be of use to someone just getting started. You might also want to read their explanatory notes if you have trouble finding who you are looking for. It explains a lot about how well record keeping was done.

Happy hunting!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Confederate Widows Update

I spent another Saturday at the Family History Library in Salt Lake trying to track down details on the lives of Confederate Widows. Now that I have pinned down my twenty or so names I looked at land records and probate records again. It was interesting to trace a case through the probate court. While there was not a lot of information about the family, it was interesting to note how long it took to probate the cases. In some instances they were drawn out more than four years. Can you imagine the lives of these poor widows while they were waiting to see what would actually be left to them? It must have been very difficult. I did find one widow who fared very well but her husband was wealthy to begin with. Another widow petitioned the court for the entire estate of her husband and was denied. The court suggested to the administrator of the estate that he try to provide the widow with provisions from the estate to get by with if he could. Poor woman!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

West Virginia

West Virginia Archives and History is the website for the West Virginia state archives. They have an extensive vertical file collection. You can look for your surname and then write or call them to have research services performed. They give a chronology of the formation of the counties within the state. They have their own research guides on a few topics to help people know where to look for information. There is no charge to use the site. If you click on the tab "Archives and History" on their home page and from there scroll down to the "Genealogy Corner" and click on it, you will find a wealth of links for genealogical purposes.

When researching West Virginia, it is important to remember that it was taken from Virginia and so early records might be found in Virginia. You might also be interested to know that it is one of three southern states that did not secede during the Civil War. In fact, West Virginia received its statehood during that time because it remained loyal to the Union. It became a state in 1863.

If you want to learn more about when other states received statehood, I recommend 50 States.com They have a nice table with a list of all 50 states, when they were made a state, and in some cases what territory it was derived from.

Confederate Widows Update

I spent 8 hours at the Family History Library yesterday. I was able to identify many men who died in the Civil War from Arkansas in probate records. I should have at least 20 families from Dallas county that I can trace through other records to see what happened when wives lost their husbands. One thing that surprised me was to find a few women who never remarried after their husbands died. They petitioned the government for a pension when that option became available to them in the 1890s. I thought that most, if not all, women would remarry because it would be too hard for them to provide for their own support. I am anxious to finish up the research to make some conclusions and begin writing the paper.