Friday, September 28, 2018

ASA Branches to Host Research Workshops

Experts teach genealogy research techniques as part of Archives Month

The Arkansas State Archives will present two half-day genealogy workshops in October as part of celebrating Archives Month.

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives (NEARA) will host a workshop from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Powhatan Male and Female Academy at 11 Seventh St. in Powhatan.

The Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA) will present another workshop, “Tracing Your Arkansas Roots: Genealogy 101,” from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Works Progress Administration Gym at Historic Washington State Park at 100 Morrison St. in Washington.

“These half-day workshops will help Arkansans discover their family histories and the depths of their Arkansas roots,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

The workshops are a chance for people of all skill-levels to learn more about how to research family history, said Dr. Wendy Richter, state historian and director of the Arkansas State Archives.

“People need to research their ancestors for a variety of reasons — from validating family stories to finding birth parents,” Dr. Richter said. “This workshop, in celebration of Archives Month, is for beginners and longtime researchers.”

At the NEARA workshop, Archival Manager Meredith McFadden will give genealogy tips and showcase available resources. Special speaker Kermit Channell, Arkansas State Crime Laboratory executive director, then will talk about DNA and its use in genealogy research.

At the SARA workshop, Archival Manager Melissa Nesbitt will present “Behind the Scenes: How to Start Researching Your Family History." Then, professional genealogist and special speaker Thea Baker will discuss “Document Analysis for the Beginning Genealogist.” Baker is an expert in tracing family ancestry and does research for television shows related to genealogy.

Also at SARA, special speaker Sue Bennett, who is curator of the Visual Resources Library at the University of Central Arkansas, will present “Hitting the Road: Where to Go, What to Pack and How to Plan Your Genealogy Road Trip.” The library provides images for classroom use, study and research and holds collections including historical images.

Teachers going to the NEARA workshop also have the opportunity to earn two professional development hours for attending. Attendees at both workshops can get help with research projects after the presentations.

Both the SARA and NEARA workshops are free, but registration is required at and at, respectively. Light refreshments will be provided at both events, and attendees will have the chance to win door prizes from