Located at the Bentonville Public Library
THE HISTORY of
The Northwest Genealogical Society officially began on May 28, 1971, when 17 local
citizens met informally to discuss their family histories and to share their
individual resources. After realizing there was very little experience
among the group in tracing their ancestry, they decided to form a club that
would focus on providing both assistance and resources to its members.
For the next several months, they continued holding meetings, elected officers,
and officially approved the bylaws of the Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society on November 21, 1971.
This new Society would serve the interests of families with roots in Benton, Washington,
Carroll, and MadisonCounties (Originally
served more counties).
The original charter members were: Edith Bates, Vivena Blackman, Donna
Cooper, Jessie Cowen, Rita Duren, Belva Easley, Rayburn Easley, Lillian Fagala,
Evelyn Jennings, Grace Kane, Myra Kuhn, Mary Marholtz, Verba Jo Pearce, Danny
Putman, Doris Raby, Maudine Rand, Carolyn Roughton, Josie Stanley, and Thelma
The Backtracker, the
quarterly publication from the Northwest Arkansas
Genealogical Society, introduced its first issue in December, 1971, and has
been published continually ever since.
The Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society’s
first research “Library” opened in 1973 and was located in a member’s
garage. The early members pooled their books so all could benefit from
them. The Society then began purchasing books of important, early court and
government records that continue to be the foundation of any genealogy research
facility. These well thought-out decisions and continued donations from members
have contributed to make the Library an excellent place to research your family
As the number of books continued to grow,
so did the need for a larger “Library”. From the garage
the Society moved to the Bentonville Public Library when they were offered a small section of
shelves for the Genealogical Research Library. A microfilm
reader and film cabinet was added to assist the Library's patrons. Through the years the library collection was
housed in various locations, including the Peel House and ComptonGardens.
In September of 2006, the Society donated their genealogical collection to the
Bentonville Public Library when their new building was opened to the public.
This collection, which now contains over 4,000 books, 120
microfilms, and 163 CDs, is located in the William Enfield History &
Genealogy Research Room inside the Bentonville Public Library at 405 S. Main
Street, Bentonville, Arkansas.This
collection allows researchers to trace their family roots from the very
beginning of our country when the ships first arrived, and throughout the
original colonies and territories as we developed as a nation.Nearly every state in the union is
represented and new volumes are being added weekly.
The Northwest Arkansas Genealogical Society meets monthly
January through November at
on the fourth Monday of the month at the Bentonville Public Library.The May meeting is reserved yearly for
special events. Please contact the Library at (479) 271-6820 for
scheduling and event details for May. The public is invited to attend.
Yearly dues are
$15.00 per calendar year. Members receive a year’s subscription to the Backtracker, published
quarterly, and free posting of queries.
all questions to:
c/o Bentonville Public Library