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Village Genealogical Society

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

2013 Meeting Pictures

December 2013 Meeting

President Celinda Chapman opens the Christmas meeting of the VGS

          Joe Gillespie, Membership Chairman

     T.C. Pepper Speaker at VGS Christmas Party

     The Village Genealogical Society met for their annual Christmas Party and meeting on Thursday, December 5th at 2:00 PM in Room 6 of the Coronado Center. Approximately 40 members were in attendance. Celinda Chapman, who was still recovering from knee replacement surgery, opened the meeting and introduced the officers. After that T.C. Pepper presented his thoughts on when it's appropriate to stop work on finding more ancestors and working on passing the information you've developed in useable form for other people (hopefully one of your descendants) to use to continue on with your work. He cited his experience with a distant cousin who contacted him in the 1970's and encouraged T.C. to take over the data he developed on the family. T.C. did take over the information and has continued to enlarge on the work of his cousin. T.C. is now ready to pass his records on and is putting them in shape so someone else can continue on with the information in the future. He encouraged everyone to work toward that end so the information you've found will not be lost for future generations to use. After T.C.'s talk, the door prizes were drawn for, which consisted mostly of the poinsettia table decorations.

November 2013 Meeting

     The Village Genealogy Society met on Thursday, November 7, in Room 6 of the Coronado Center. President Celinda Chapman opened the meeting that was attended by approximately 50 members and one guest. Nancy Holder introduced Mary Reid Warner, who was the speaker for the meeting, and who gave a presentation titled "Problem Solving Tips". Mary Reid covered the various records available for research in the centuries starting with the 17th thru the 20th century, with each century having unique record availability. She stressed the importance of the three steps necessary to come to an informed decision about the data you've found. Gather all possible records, study the records in depth, and decide on the validity to come to a conclusion. Her verbal presentation was supported by numerous slides and a handout that covered the main aspects of her talk.

October 2013 Meeting

     The October Members Meeting of the Village Genealogical Society was held on Thursday the 3rd in Room 6 of the Coronado Center. Approximately 40 members were in attendance to watch a webinar by Megan Smolenyak titled Neglected History. The webinar showed research on several different people, including Michele Obama's ancestors, a search for the rightful place for a Jewish cemetery headstone found on the streets of New York, and an interesting study of who would be the current king of the United States if George Washington had been named King instead of President and his descendents had carried on the line of his monarchy.

September 2013 Meeting

     Jane Hooker, Archival Manager for the Arkansas History Commission, talked to the membership about data available at the Commission. These include Manuscripts (diaries, letters, journals, etc.), Military Records (Confederate pension files, Mexican, and Spanish American Wars, etc.), photographs, newspapers (1819 to the present for over 250 different places in Arkansas), books, census records, county records, and much more. Some data is available online at Jane indicated the Commission is open weekdays and Saturdays, 8:30AM - 4:30 PM.

May 2013 Meeting

At the May 2, 2013 VGS meeting, Dr. Bill Lindsey spoke to the approximately 50 attendees about the Puritan immigration into Southeastern Virginia in the early 17th Century. He pointed out that the earliest settlements were unsuccessful but were followed by others that were eventually successful. The Puritans were eventually persecuted for their religion by the Governor of Virginia who was a Church of England advocate. As a result many of the Puritans moved to Maryland and were assimilated into the Quaker religion which had similar beliefs as their. Thus, if you are looking for your Puritan ancestors, you need to look not only at Virginia records but also Maryland and possibly North Carolina records for that link you couldn't find before. Dr. Bill gave numerous resources to check to help in your search.

April 2013 Meeting

The Village Genealogical Society met on April 4, 2013 and heard a presentation by Nancy Holder, "Breath Life Into Your Ancestors". Nancy showed letters and pictures she had obtained from various sources detailing the lives of some of her direct ancestors. She talked about using these sources to write about the life and times of her ancestors, filling in what she read in the letters to write about their personalities and life experiencies.

March 2013 Meeting

Liz Robbins presented information on the History of Hot Springs during World War II at the March 7, 2013 VGS meeting.

Hot Springs was a center of activity for injured servicemen and women during the War. The Army and Navy Hospital which is very visible in the city from Central Avenue above Bath House Row, was used and expanded to treat the wounded from all theaters of the war. The veterans also were rehabilitated after being released from the hospital, using facilities located throughout the city. The major Hotels in the city were all taken over by the federal government in 1945 to house the thousands of soldiers either being treated or assigned to duty in the city.

There was a relocation center in Hot Springs (one of only six throughout the country) that processed thousands of soldiers that were being released from service or being relocated to other locations throughout the world.

Lastly there was a small POW camp located outside the city to house German soldiers captured during the war.

The talk was very interesting and there a couple of people in attendance that lived in Hot Springs during the war and added comments to Liz's presentation.

Elizabeth Robbins is a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BSE in Education and from New Mexico Highlands University with an MA in English and history. She taught English for thirty-seven years, the last twenty-six at Lakeside High School in Hot Springs. Since 2007, she has been the executive director of the Garland County Historical Society. She is the editor of its yearly journal, The Record, and writes monthly columns for the Sentinel-Record publications On the Go and Senior Scene. She is on the Juvenile Diversion board of the Garland County Juvenile Court and on the board of the Arkansas History Commission.

Febuary 2013 Meeting

The Hot Springs Village Genealogical Society was the beneficiary of a talk by Sheila Beatty on the Orphan Trains. These orphans or deserted children, mainly from the crowded East Coast cities, were moved by train, primarily to the central plains states, but to almost every state in the union. The stories of these children are both heartbreaking and uplifting. There were 5 members of the VGS attending (including Sheila) who had orphan train relatives. Sheila's story of her own father and how she was able to trace him, was a case study of how to do genealogical research.

January 2013 Meeting

The Hot Springs Village Genealogical Society met on January 3, 2013 and listened to a talk by Nell White on the trades of some of the Mayflower passengers. There were several merchants, tailors, a cooper (made barrels), a blacksmith, a couple of printers, carpenters, a doctor (although he had other trades as well), a cordwainer or schumacker (shoemaker), a kempster (wool comber) , a tanner and others that were mentioned in her talk. Nell is a national officer and probably the next president of the Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen: 1607-1783. She is a member of over 20 different lineage societies and feels it is important to join these societies to preserve the work you have done on your lineage and also to promote the philanthropic work of these societies.
For further information you may wish to refer to The Plymouth Colony Archive Project, Passengers on the Mayflower: Ages & Occupations, Origins & Connections 2000,by Patricia Scott Deetz and James F. Deetz.
A website for information and links to historical and lineage societies may be found at List_of_hereditary_and_lineage_organizations or Societies and lineages or simply Google heritage and lineage societies.