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Afro-American Geneological and Historical Society, Inc.

Genealogical Organizations

AAHGS, Inc.

P.O. Box 73067  Washington, D.C. 20056-3067

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS) strives to preserve African-ancestored family history, genealogy and cultural diversity by teaching research techniques and disseminating information throughout the community. Our primary goals are to promote scholarly research, provide resources for historical and genealogical studies, create a network of persons with similar interests and assist members in documenting their histories. [from AAHGS Website]
www.aahgs.org

Arkansas Family History Association

This genealogy and family history organization offers free lookups from their website and a very active Internet mailing list. Founded in 1999 by Desmond Walls Allen and Tracey Converse, this association was created with the Internet generation in mind. [Adapted from AFHA website].
www.rootsweb.com/~arfha

Arkansas Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 17653  Little Rock, AR 72212

Arkansas Genealogical Society was founded in 1962 by a group dedicated to preserving and sharing Arkansas genealogical material. A fall meeting of the Arkansas Genealogical Society is held each year featuring well known speakers in the field of genealogy. AGS also undertakes special projects on occasions. For more information regarding upcoming and past events take a look at AGS Seminars & Events. [Adapted from AGS website].
www.rootsweb.com/~args

National Genealogical Society

3108 Columbian Pike Suite 300 Arlington, VA 22204-4304

Founded in 1903 as a non-profit organization, the National Genealogical Society is a dynamic and growing membership of individuals and other groups from all over the country—and the world—that share a common love for the field of genealogy. The site provides a number of web resources as well as books and handbooks to be purchased.
www.ngsgenealogy.org

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African American Genealogy Websites

AfriGeneas

The oldest and largest African American genealogy site. If you are researching African Ancestry, "all roads lead to AfriGeneas." Fresh count daily. Searchable. 40,000 surnames; 5,000 obituaries and death records; 4,000 slave records; 8 years of AfriGeneas list archives with contributions from some of the best known researchers in the field; and networking and collaboration tools such as message boards, mail lists, chats, and calenders.
www.afrigeneas.com

African-Native American Genealogy

Angela Walton Raji's companion website for researching the African citizens of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations. Frequently updated. Includes: Frontier Freedman's Journal index; Freedman surnames; Dawes Roll Freedmen Citizens; Negores in the Creek and Seminole Nations; and Oklahoma Freedmen message board.
www.african-nativeamerican.com

Arkansas Freedmen of the Frontier

This site, hosted and maintained by Angela Walton Raji, contains links to excellent resources on the following topics: the African American Experience in Arkansas, Fort Smith Black History, Crawford County, the Civil War, and more.
www.arkansasfreedmen.com

Lest We Forget

Bennie McRae's comprehensive African American military site with online records and resources for researching the period from the Revolutionary War until the present. Frequently updated. Includes: Military records reference desk, United States Colored Troops, and Military Research message board.
www.coax.net/people/LWF

Free African Americans of VA, NC, SC, MD, and DE

Paul Heinegg's online text with histories of families who were free during the colonial period. Searchable. Frequently updated.
www.freeafricanamericans.com

Afrolumens Project

George Nagle's successor site to Slavery in Pennsylvania.
www.afrolumens.org

African American Cemeteries Online

One-stop resource for searchable cemetery listings and pointers to offsite listings and other cemetery sites. Clearinghouse for preservation issues and alerts. Frequently updated. Includes: hundreds of cemetery listings with thousands of names and cemetery discussion and query board.
www.prairiebluff.com/aacemetery

African American Genealogical Society of Northern CA

Excellent starting point. Regional as well as general resources. Frequently updated. Includes a library and databases.
www.aagsnc.org

The African American Experience in Ohio

One of the earliest state sites and still one of the best. Chronicles the lives of Ohio's African Americans from 1850 to 1920. Part of "American Memory." Searchable and browseable.
http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/

Database of Servitude and Emancipation Records

This is the online standard that every state archive should be measured against. Ongoing projects. Ease of use. Fully searchable across databases.
www.sos.state.il.us/departments/archives/servant.html

The Freedmen's Bureau Online

Part of Christine Charity's pioneering genealogy site. Unique resource. Infrequently updated.
http://freedmensbureau.com

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy

Online version of Gwen Midlo Hall's Louisiana Slave databases. Over 100,000 names. Fully searchable.
www.ibiblio.org/laslave/introduction.php

Genealogy of Jamaica

If you have Jamaican roots then this is a must-visit site.
www.rootsweb.com/~jamwgw

Cyndi's List: African-American

Over 600 links.
www.cyndislist.com/african.htm

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Online Genealogical Resources

Ancestors

The companion web site to the PBS family history and genealogy television series.
www.pbs.org/kbyu/ancestors/

Ancestry.com

Subscribers can search for records from a large number of fully searchable databases.
www.ancestry.com

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites

Provides users with more than 236,500 links to genealogical resources.
www.cyndislist.com

Family Search Internet Genealogy Service (LDS)

The home page for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints geneological resource web site. Provides numerous resources for beginning and continuing your research.
www.familysearch.org

Genealogy Today

Offers a variety of articles and resources for conducting your research.
www.genealogytoday.com

The Genealogy Home Page

Provides links to a large number of resources and a 'what's new' section that is updated frequently.
www.genhomepage.com

Obituary Links Page

A state-by-state directory of obituary resources.
www.obitlinkspage.com

Olive Tree Genealogy

Search for your family origins and immigrant ancestors in free databases.
www.olivetreegenealogy.com

RootsWeb

A free service of Ancestry.com.
www.rootsweb.com

Tombstone Transcription Project

Describes the project and provides information on recording and documenting cemeteries.
www.rootsweb.com/~cemetery

USGenWeb

Describes the project objectives and provides free resources for research.
www.usgenweb.org

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Local Research Facilities

Arkansas Department of Health  Division of Vital Statistics

Arkansas Department of Health  Division of Vital Records  4815 West Markham Street  Slot 44  Little Rock, AR 72205  (501) 661-2174
Hours: Monday though Friday, 8:00 a.m until 4:30 p.m.

The Division's website provides complete information on the types of certificates that may be obtained that the requirements for obtaining them.
www.healthyarkansas.com/certificates/certificates.html#

Arkansas History Commission

One Capitol Mall  Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 682-6900
Hours: Monday though Friday, 8:30 a.m until 4:30 p.m.

The Arkansas History Commission (AHC) is one of the oldest existing state agencies in Arkansas. Arkansas' official State Archives, the AHC works to: keep and care for the official archives of the State of Arkansas; collect material bearing on the history of Arkansas from the earliest times; copy and edit official records and other historical material; and encourage historical work and research. At the AHC, the history of Arkansas and its people can be researched through manuscripts, books, microfilm, newspapers, maps and visual materials plus census, county, military, Indian, cemetery and church records.
www.ark-ives.com

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

100 Rock Street  Little Rock, AR 72201  (501)918-3056
Open Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies exists to promote the study of Arkansas history and related disciplines. The Genealogy Division provides a wonderful opportunity for family history research. The collection contains materials on most aspects of genealogical research, as well as a wealth of specific records from the United States and abroad.
www.cals.lib.ar.us/butlercenter

Central Arkansas Library System

Main Library: 100 Rock Street  Little Rock, AR 72201  (501) 918-3034

In 1975, a major development in public library service for central Arkansas occurred. Little Rock Public Library's Board of Trustees and the Trustees of the Pulaski-Perry Regional library agreed to a merger of the libraries in Little Rock, Jacksonville, Sherwood, and Perryville, and the bookmobile services of the Little Rock Public Library and the Regional Library into one library system, which adopted a new name -- the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS). The Central Arkansas Library System is a Public Corporation formed by Interlocal Agreement among six central Arkansas cities and counties for the purpose of constructing, operating, and maintaining public libraries, and providing library services for the citizens of central Arkansas. Addresses for other locations are available on the CALS website.
www.cals.lib.ar.us

Branch Libraries

  • Sue Cowan Willams Library
    1800 South Chester Street  Little Rock, AR  (501) 376-4283
  • Terry Library
    2015 Napa Valley Drive  Little Rock, AR  (501) 228-0129
  • Aerospace Education Center
    3301 E. Roosevelt  Little Rock, AR  (501) 399-9401

William F. Laman Public Library

2801 Orange Street  North Little Rock, AR 72114  (501) 758-1720
Open Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Sundays: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Laman Library offers classes and lectures, book clubs, internet access, a genealogical section, separate children's library with activities, meeting rooms and more. Adjacent to the library is Laman Plaza, designed by architect E. Fay Jones of Fayetteville. [from City of North Little Rock website]
www.laman.net

LDS Family History Centers

  • Family history centers are branches of the Family History Library
  • Over 3,700 family history centers operate in more than 88 countries
  • Local family history centers are staffed by helpful volunteers
  • About 100,000 rolls of microfilm are circulated to family history centers each month
  • To locate the nearest family history center, call 800-346-6044 (in the United States and Canada) or go to the LDS Family Search site.

LDS Family History Center - Little Rock

13901 Quail Run Drive  Little Rock, AR 72210  (501) 455-4998
Open Tuesday & Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Thursday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Call to make sure someone is there)

LDS Family History Center - Jacksonville

6110 J.P. Wright Loop Road  Jacksonville, AR  (501) 985-2501
Open Tuesday & Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ottenheimer Library (UALR)

2801 S. University Ave.  Little Rock, AR 72204  (501)xxx-xxxx
Hours vary by semester

The Ottenheimer Library was completed in 1976, and holds more than 470,000 volumes. Other resources include the Government Documents Depository, microfilm and microfiche, recording equipment, subscriptions to 2,500 periodicals, and the UALR Archives and Special Collections. The fifth floor of the building is the location for the Multimedia Services Center, the Off-Campus Credit Program, the Institute for Economic Advancement, and the Institute of Government with its public administration master's degree program.
http://library1.ualr.edu

Pulaski County Court House

401 West Markham  Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 340-8411

The Pulaski County Court House houses marriage and divorce records, civil and criminal records, bills of sale, property deeds and more.

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Historic Sites and Museums Interpreting African-American History in Arkansas and Nearby

The Alpha Phi Alpha House

1500 Ringo St.  Little Rock, AR

The Home owned by the Alphas was built in 1925 for Aldridge E. Bush, the youngest son of John E. Bush, co-founder of the Mosaic Templars of America. The home, called the Bush-Dubisson House is on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was sold in the 1930's to Daniel J. Dubisson, who in 1917 joined forces with an embalmer to establish an undertaking business which was known as Dubisson Undertaking Parlor. This business, now Dubisson Funeral Home, remains in existence today, and speaking of how history goes full circle, it is with the Dubisson Funeral Home that our Funeral Home Project, "The Final Emancipation" is being conducted.

The Daisy Bates House

1207 West 28th St.  Little Rock, AR

The Daisy Bates House, a National Historic Landmark, was the de facto command post for the Central High School desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was the first time a president used federal powers to uphold and implement a federal court decision regarding school desegregation. Mrs. Daisy Lee Gaston Bates, with her husband Lucius Christopher (L.C.) Bates, resided at this address during the Central High School desegregation crisis in 1957-1958. The house served as a haven for the nine African-American students who desegregated the school and a place to plan the best way to achieve their goals. It is private property and is not open to the public. [from National Park Service website]
www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/ak2.htm

Ernie's Museum of Black Arkansans (EMOBA)

12th & Louisiana St.  Little Rock, AR 72201  (501) 661-9903

EMOBA is a newly developed organization located in the heart of Arkansas. The campus is in the historic Quapaw district and is currently on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The museum is dedicated to the history of black Arkansans beginning in the period of slavery. Its focus is on the significant contributions black Arkansans have made to the development of our state. By showcasing the contributions of past generations of black Arkansans, EMOBA serves as an inspirational instrument in keeping these contributions and this heritage alive to promote pride and unity in all communities throughout Arkansas.

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center

2125 Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive  Little Rock, Arkansas  501-374-1957
Open: Monday - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Sunday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In September 1957, Little Rock's Central High School became a crucial battleground in the struggle for civil rights. The nation sat transfixed as nine black students attempted to enter the previously all-white school. While a hostile crowd watched, Arkansas National Guard troops blocked their entrance. Three weeks later, after negotiations between Arkansas Governor Orval E. Faubus and President Dwight D. Eisenhower failed to resolve the stalemate, Eisenhower called the Army's 101st Airborn Division to escort and protect the nine students entering the school. A former Mobil service station that sits across from Central High serves as The Visitor Center. The station has been restored to its 1957 appearance and features the exhibit, "All the World is Watching Us: Little Rock and the 1957 Crisis," as well as a bookstore with wide selection of educational materials. [from National Park Service website]
www.nps.gov/chsc

Martin Luther King Jr. Heritage and Enrichment Center

3012 Martin Luther King Drive  Little Rock, AR  (501) 244-2041 or (501) 376-3904
Open: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturday 10 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The mission of the Martin Luther King Jr., Heritage and Enrichment Center is to identify and promote the understanding of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the development of a diversity of programs and events to serve all residents of Little Rock. The Center shall be a clearhinghouse of knowledge and understanding of the cultural heritage of this community and its contribution to the success of this City and State. The Center shall be a place of pride and respect, showcasing the wealth of this community through the people who are served and the programs that are implemented. The Center shall act as a benchmark for economic development and the revitalization of quality housing stock in this community. [from the project brochure]

Mosaic Templars of America Building

Broadway and Ninth Streets  Little Rock, AR  (501) 376-377

The Society for the Preservation of the Mosaic Templars of America Building ("MTBPS") organized in 1992 for the purpose of securing and rehabilitating the Mosaic Templars Headquarters Building at the corner of Broadway and Ninth Street in Little Rock, Arkansas. The building housed the Mosaic Templars of America, a black fraternal organization that by the 1920's had amassed one of the largest concentrations of black-owned and controlled capital in the United States. The Mosaic Templars Building is currently being restored and will become the Mosaic Templars of America Center for African American Culture & Business Enterprise under the Department of Arkansas Heritage. [from Department of Arkansas Heritage website]
www.mosaictemplarspreservation.org

National Civil Rights Museum

450 Mulberry Street  Memphis, TN 38103  (901) 521-9699
Open Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Summer hours extended until 6 p.m.

The National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM) was opened in 1991 at the site of the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. The Museum exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on the human rights movement worldwide, through its collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs.
www.civilrightsmuseum.org

PHOEBE (People Helping Others Excel By Example)

608 West Grand Avenue  Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901-3922  (501) 624-9400

A nonprofit, community based organization, PHEOBE has been a catalyst for the preservation, protection and promoting of the African American culture and resources in Hot Springs/Garland County. Since 1997, its primary program, The Uzuri Project has promoted the use of film in documenting oral histories of senior adults in the community.
www.theuzuriproject.org/ (website under construction)

Philander Smith College

One Trudie Kibbe Reed Drive  Little Rock, AR 72202  (501) 375-9845

Established in 1877, Philander Smith College is the result of the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to make education available to freedmen (formerly enslaved African-Americans). It is Arkansas' oldest private historically black college (HBC). A privately supported, four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), PSC is located in the beautiful historic Quapaw Quarter of downtown Little Rock. The James M. Cox Administration Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [from the PSC website] Heritage website]
www.philander.edu

African-American Cultural Center

E. Boone Watson Community Center  1005 Logan  Jonesboro, AR 72401  (870) 219-1058

This center emphasizes the history of African-Americans who lived and worked in Craighead County and interprets the period from the arrival of the first slave in 1860 to the present day. It also includes contemporary history of African-Americans in other parts of the country.
www.clt.astate.edu/dsc/aaculturalcenter.htm

Floyd Brown-Fargo Agricultural School Museum

RR 2 Box 291  Brinkley, AR  (870) 734-1140

Fargo Floyd Brown started the Fargo Agricultural School in 1919. It is said that Brown built the school with $2.85. The school provided a quality high school education to thousands of black students for 30 years. The property was later sold to the State of Arkansas and now serves as a museum of the legacy Brown left behind. Two miles north of Brinkley, on Hwy. 49, then Floyd Brown Drive.

Delta Cultural Center

141 Cherry Street  Helena, AR 72342  (870) 338-4350

The Delta Cultural Center tells the story of efforts to settle and cultivate the fertile Mississippi River Valley. It also features the great African-American heritage of gospel and blues music. The Delta Cultural Center, located in historic downtown Helena, Arkansas, is a museum dedicated to the history of the Arkansas Delta. The Arkansas Delta region's heritage is steeped in rich sights, sounds, people and events. It is the mission of the Delta Cultural Center to preserve, interpret and present the cultural heritage of this legendary 27-county region. From its music to the mighty river that runs through it, the Delta story unfolds within this unique Helena landmark. The Delta Cultural Center is comprised of two museum locations - the Depot and the Visitors Center. The Depot houses the museum's acclaimed permanent collections. The Visitors Center, located one block north of the Depot, features the museum's permanent music exhibit, temporary exhibits and the Museum Store. Discover the Delta at the Delta Cultural Center! The Delta Cultural Center is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
www.deltaculturalcenter.com

Sue Cowan Williams Library

1800 Chester Street  Little Rock,, AR 72342  (501) 376-4282

Opening in March 1997, the Sue Cowan Williams Library was established as part of the Central Arkansas Library System to serve residents of the eastern portion of Downtown Little Rock. The library was named in honor of Sue Cowan Willams for championing the battle for Equal Wage for Equal Work. Williams was a teacher at Dunbar High School and in 1942 she filed and won a lawsuit against the Little Rock School District for paying black teachers less than white teachers. Her legal council in this battle was none other than future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
www.cals.lib.ar.us/locations/wm.html

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Keepers of the Spirit Exhibit

1200 N. University  Pine Bluff, AR 72601  (870) 543-8236

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff houses the permanent exhibit "Keepers of the Spirit," a tribute to the legacy of Dr. L.A. Davis, Sr. and AM&N College, highlighting the tenure of the former president and chancellor. UAPB also houses the "Persistence of the Spirit" exhibit, which displays the history and contributions of African-Americans in Arkansas. Call for exhibit schedule.
www.uapb.edu

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Additional Resources

Arkansas Humanities Council

10800 Financial Centre Parkway  Suite 465  Little Rock, AR 72211  (501) 221-0091
Open Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Humanities Council was established in 1974 to develop a statewide program to acquaint the citizens of Arkansas with the fields of study known as the humanities. These fields of study are concerned with understanding human experiences, ideas, and beliefs. The humanities include archeology, comparative religion, ethics and philosophy, history, history and criticism of the arts, history and philosophy of law, languages, literature, and those fields within the social sciences that use historical and philosophical methods. The Arkansas Humanities Resource Center (AHRC) collection includes exhibits, videotapes, slide/tape programs, audio CD's, and other audio resources.  These materials are for use by Arkansas audiences only.
www.arkhums.org

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Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 AAHGS Arkansas Chapter