I started my quest for my dad’s family with his older sister, my Aunt Mable. I remember we were sitting on her couch and I asked her what she knew about her father’s (my Grandpa John Henry) family. She said she didn’t know much, but Grandma had an old Bible. She retrieved the Bible and inside was a note about Grandpa’s father “John” and “Corinth, Mississippi”. My first clue, Yay! Aunt Mable went upstairs and brought down an old framed, hand-colored photograph. Pointing to the little boy in the front she said “this is your Grandpa John Henry and the little girl on Grandma’s lap is Zula.” She didn’t know who the girls in the back were or who the older gentleman in the front was. Now I had some clues; Black Oak, Arkansas and Corinth, Mississippi.
Ancestry.com is a great resource; a little pricey, but gives wonderful access to census records, birth, death, marriage and even military records. My first foray into the Federal census records was the 1910 census for Craighead County, Arkansas. And there they were, in Black Oak: John C. Shoults, age 56 born in Mississippi; Elizabeth Shoults, age 45, born in Mississippi; John H., age 12, born in Mississippi and Zula B, age 8, also born in Mississippi. Back when I first started my research, I only had a dial-up internet connection. I would access the census page and then literally wait five minutes for the page to load. But I still thought it was great.
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