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Harmon Township, Washington County, Arkansas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Township of Harmon
Location of Harmon Township in Washington County
Location of Harmon Township in Washington County
Location of Washington County in Arkansas
Location of Washington County in Arkansas
Coordinates: 36°9′30″N 94°15′46″W / 36.15833°N 94.26278°W / 36.15833; -94.26278
Country United States
State Arkansas
 • Total16.5 sq mi (43 km2)
 • Land16.5 sq mi (43 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
1,273 ft (388 m)
 • Total1,394
 • Density85/sq mi (33/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)479
GNIS feature ID69790
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Harmon Township, Washington County, Arkansas

Harmon Township is one of thirty-seven townships in Washington County, Arkansas, USA.[2] As of the 2000 census, its total population was 1,394.

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Andrea Matney: I think we're set. Well good morning everyone. My name's Andrea Bassing Matney. Welcome to the Know Your Records lecture. I'm very pleased to have Anastasia Harman from come and talk. And she's going to give us a really good overview of how to use I learned a lot from her on Tuesday. A really interesting lecture. Even though I've used the software before, I learned some new things from her. As we get settled in I just wanted to make a few quick announcements. For those of you who haven't come to the Know Your Records lectures, please know that we do this every week. We're here in this room or the adjacent one at 11 o'clock every Thursday. Also you should know that we are video recording so those people that can't attend can watch it in the future. So we have those weekly lectures, we have monthly genealogy programming at the Archives I building. We also have the Genealogy Fair that takes place every April. This year it will be April 18th and 19th. And we also have a researcher newsletter. So if you're interested in getting more information about the Know Your Records programs, when you sign in over there just add your e-mail address. And that's totally optional. I'll send you information if you'd like. Now if you're wondering what the noise is next door, I thought I would let you know the guards are having a nice little get together. They have some morale boosting thing. They're celebrating birthdays for this month. So maybe we'll incorporate that into the lecture. So that's what that is. They know we're in here recording. So again my name's Andrea. If you have any questions, I'll be here throughout. And if you have any suggestions for future Know Your Records lectures let me know. And with that, I'll have Anastasia Harmon. She's the lead family historian for Thank you. Anastasia Harmon: Great, thank you. I was going to ask, where should I stay so that I'm ... Andrea Matney: Wherever you want. Anastasia Harmon: Alright. Well I'm going to come up here. So as Andrea said, I'm Anastasia Harmon. I'm lead family historian for And what that basically means is I get to go around the country and talk to people about family history. So lectures and presentations like this. But I also get to go on the news a lot and just talk to reporters about their family history. I'm extremely passionate about family history. I love family history. Some people might say I'm a little young to be so passionate about family history. I've actually been doing family history since I was 8 years old. So it's about 25 years that I've been doing family history. I used to go with my dad and do family history when I was younger. I manage a lot of research for Who Do You Think You Are, the television show - I'm one of the main research managers for that TV show. So I basically live and breathe family history. Now as we're getting started I'd like to get an idea of the mix. How many people attending this are researchers and genealogists coming to the archives to do research? Okay, a few. So how many of you actually work for the archives? Okay. Wonderful. And how many of you actually are doing research - let me ask how many of you do research on Okay. This is good. What we're going to talk about today in this hour - let me turn this on. In this hour we're going to overview the NARA records that are available on We're going to talk about how you can access those records on Ancestry. And then we're going to get into 6 strategies to help increase success in searches on Ancestry. I have a handout that follows along with some of what I'm talking about. So the first thing: What is We are the world's largest online family history resource. We have more than 7 billion historical records, and that's not just NARA records. That's records from across the country and around the world. Many of those records are NARA records. So we've actually been putting records online for 15 years. Does anyone know off the top of their head what the first database was? Anyone? It went online in November of 1996. It was the Social Security Death Index. But Ancestry's been around longer than 15 years. We've actually been around since 1983. We started as a publishing company. So we know family history. We've been doing family history for a very long time. We work with the National Archives. This is our campus in Provo - that you can't see very well. It's not a very good picture, but you can see the pretty mountain. It's a beautiful mountain. So what we do with the National Archives is we access records - we take records that the National Archives has - microfilm, original, books, and such. And then we digitize them. So a couple of things. This is someone digitizing records, and this is sort of the setup. There's a camera here and some lights. And the original records are put on this flatbed area and then the operator actually has a foot pedal, and they take pictures with the foot pedal. And they have a computer, so it's automatically put onto the computer. This is a microfilm scanner. So just a little about digitization: That's really what we're trying to do with National Archives records. To digitize them and help in the ongoing effort of preservation. So a quick overview of the NARA records that you'll find on Ancestry. The first one and probably the most obvious is the Census. We have every publicly-available census, which I'm sure you know. 1790-1930. And very soon - I'm sure everyone in this room is very excited for the 1940 Census. I know I'm very, very excited. I can't seem to wait until April. A couple things about the Census. The first thing I have to say is as a researcher I love the Census. I get pretty geeked out about the Census in general. It's just absolutely hands down my favorite research tool. And I like to start with it even for more advanced genealogy classes, because I've noticed that even advanced researchers don't understand the potential of the Census in telling stories and to really unlock someone's family history. So what I would encourage you to do is, if you really are doing research on a regular basis - especially family history research - really get to know all of the questions that every census asks. Family history - a lot of people think of it as just names and dates. And names and dates - that's fine. I can build my family tree back 15 generations. But what I want to know is those stories. It's what brings those people to life. I want to know whose shoulders I stand on. And the census is taken every ten years, and it's an amazing snapshot. So just a couple. This one right here is Helen Keller. A couple things we learn from this census. She was the head of the house. She owns her own house. And they had a radio. The R means they had a radio. She's single. Unknown. Whoever gave the information to the census-taker is saying that they didn't know her age. This right here is a 1930 census for Tom Hank's grandparents. We have Clarence Frager. He is the head of household. They're living in the Oakland, California area. They own their house, which is worth $1500. They had a radio. And his occupation is an inspector or rodent control. That was his occupation in 1930. Other records help clarify that he actually was a squirrel inspector. And he went around. People have taken that and talked about Tom Hank's squirrely past. So immigration records. We have passenger arrival lists. Starting about the 1830's, every ship that came into the United States was required to have a list of every single passenger on board. Much like when we take an airplane ride today, they have a list of all the passengers on board that. So every ship coming into the United States must have a passenger list. As we start getting later - after 1900 - the passenger lists include amazing information. And so those of you lucky enough to have ancestors who come into this country post-1900, you're going to find occupations, you're going to find exact places of birth, you're going to find the name of the closest relative in the country that you came from, which is usually a parent. There's a plethora of information. Those of you who are like me - my most recent ancestor came over in the 1850's - we get names, occupation, and roughly where they came from. And there are a lot of Tom Robesons who came from England and are laborers. So it's helpful of course, but I'm having trouble narrowing that one down. This is Charlie Chaplin coming over in the early 1900's. He's an actor. And right here there's a little stamp that kind of goes off the page, but it says non-immigrant. And this is telling us he was coming to the United States, but he wasn't necessarily planning to stay. So we're kind of pulling together this story of a trip where he's coming over. We also see down here someone named Arthur Stanley Jefferson, who is better known as Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy. They were part of a vaudeville troupe coming to the United States. So we're kind of putting together this story, and that's the whole purpose of these records. Now passenger lists are not just for immigrants. This right here is a list of United States citizens. When we think of people coming to the United States, I think most of the time we think of immigrants. But we forget that those ships are going to bring people who went on vacation back as well. And so right here we have - this is 1914 - we have Harry Houdini. And that's the former president Theodore Roosevelt on this ship. Now there's a story about them coming back. So they're coming back in June of 1914, and they were travelling first class. Which is not a big surprise - the former president and a famous magician. Houdini put on a magic show for the first class passengers and former president Roosevelt said something like, "Houdini, I heard that you are really good at reading minds. So what was I doing last winter?" And Houdini was like, "Well you were travelling the Amazon." And the president was just kind of blown away by it. What he didn't realize is that his trip had been covered widely in newspapers and Houdini had read them. So he wasn't really that much of a mind reader. We also have passengers arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii. And we have passenger lists for people going to San Francisco. So if you see that you have people from the west coast - like my ancestors have been in San Francisco for the last hundred years, and they went to Hawaii a lot. They'd go over to Hawaii, and I see them going to Hawaii and then coming back to San Francisco. And then going to Hawaii and coming back to San Francisco. So I'm putting together their vacations to Hawaii, which is not necessarily anything that's going to give me a huge revelation, but it is kind of cool. Border crossings. So we have border crossings of people coming from Canada into the United States, and also from Mexico into the United States. Something a lot of researchers don't understand - when we think of immigration we think of people coming through Ellis Island. You know, give me your poor and your hungry, and passing the Statue of Liberty. And we hear these stories a lot. There were more than a hundred U.S. ports of entry, but beyond just U.S. ports of entry a lot of people came into Canada because there's a little bit of a loophole. If you cross the Canadian border into the United States, they weren't as stringent in checking in letting immigrants in. And it was a lot easier to land in Canada. So they would take a ship to Canada, they'd come into Canada, and then they'd come down across the border into the United States. So if you can't seem to find your ancestors and you know that you should be finding them - they're coming over in a certain time period - you can't find them coming through one of the regular ports of entry in the United States - try this border crossing and see if they came down from Canada. Also if you happen to have Asian ancestry, we do see a lot of Asians going up into the British Columbia / Vancouver area and then down the Pacific coast into the Seattle area. Passport applications. I have this listed under immigration records, and this is probably a little bit of a misnomer. Passport applications are obviously for U.S. citizens. A couple things I love about passenger applications. This is President Roosevelt and his wife. It's actually before he was the president. So if people were going to travel abroad, just like today you have to fill out passports. After about 1914, these passport applications include pictures. Before about 1914 they did not include pictures, and they include very detailed descriptions of people. So height and weight, but then you get strange things like "sallow complexion" and the shape of their noses. So you get these very, very detailed descriptions. Now you also get an idea of where they're going and where they're planning to travel. So right here we have that Roosevelt is a citizen of the U.S., Assistant Secretary of the Navy, is about to visit England, France, Italy, and Switzerland on government business. But if they were travelling on pleasure, I often see people who are travelling on pleasure I see the same kind of thing. They're listing all of the countries that they're planning to go to. And if they're planning to go on a pleasure visit or if they're going for business, or if they're even planning to go over and live there. So passport applications are a great resource. Military records. We have a lot of National Archives military records on the website. And probably the centerpiece of that are going to be the World War I draft registration cards. When I start talking to people about World War I draft registration cards, a lot of people will say, "Well I didn't have any ancestors who served in World War I, so that doesn't apply to me." And I say wait. It's not that they were called up to serve. It's that they registered for the draft. Just like male 18-year-olds today have to go and register for the draft. The same thing was happening in 1917 and 1918. And it's something like 24 million U.S. men who registered for the draft in this time period. And if I'm remembering the percentages, it's something like 98% of the male population born between 1875-1900. So then I ask, do you have an ancestor who was male born between 1875-1900? Odds are you probably do, and you should look in the draft registration cards. The thing that I like about it is they give a lot of specific information like full name, where they're living, exactly when and where they were born. They registered people - this was going on for a couple of years and so they have a few different form types, and they have different information on each of the forms. One time it helped us break through - Irish ancestors can be especially difficult to trace because you need to know exactly the county they came from in Ireland. One draft registration card that we found - there was a man and we were trying to figure out who his father was and where they came from in Ireland. We just could not find a record. Well we finally found a World War I draft record for him, and it says the name of his father and exactly the county in Ireland. So make sure you check World War I draft registration cards. They can be a huge boost in your research. This right here is Walter Percy Chrysler, who at the time when he filled this out in 1918 - that's the date he filled it out. He was president of Buick Motor Company. He'd go on, of course, to be the head of the Chrysler Corporation. Over here we get a description. Down here we get his signature. And then up here we learn that he is tall height, and has a medium build with brown eyes and brown hair. Tom Cruise's great grandfather was described as short, stout, and bald. So I think Tom may have got the short, but he's definitely not bald. Here's Harry Houdini again. He lists his name as Harry "Handcuff" Houdini, and he also signs it with the same thing as well. So draft registration cards - you definitely want to take a look at those. We also have World War II, what's called the old man's draft. These are the men over age 45 who in 1942 had to register for the draft. Now stop and think about that for a minute. Over the age of 45. We have 60 year old men registering for the draft. This is Babe Ruth. He's 47 at the time. Here's Norman Rockwell. He's 48. But I've seen men in their 60's registering to be called up to serve. Now none of these men were actually called up to serve. And mostly, as I understand, this was taken to see what kind of workforce - if they needed to tap into more of a workforce - what kind was out there. But still, they are registering for a draft. We also have Civil War draft registration records. As you can see here, a little bit different format. But going back a little bit farther in time. Here are some returns from U.S. military posts and several other records. Consulate records. These are records of U.S. citizens abroad. We have reports of marriages - people who were married abroad. We have reports of births - child born abroad of an American father. And then we have reports of deaths of American citizens abroad. This one is Bruce Lee. He dies in Hong Kong. Death by misadventure. And his body was sent back. This is Sinclair Lewis, who died in Rome of heart failure. This right here is Sylvia Hughes. Anyone know who this is? You've probably heard her name. It's Silvia Plath, the author and poet. Her death is carbon monoxide poisoning. Domestic gas. While suffering from depression did kill herself. A thing I like about these is they're very descriptive. To go a bit farther, Silvia Plath actually put her head in the oven. She was suffering depression. Here is J.P. Morgan. He dies in Rome. Now this word right here, which I'm not going to try to say because I don't speak Italian - but it is literally translated as "mental indigestion." Which I guess, perhaps, he thought himself to death. We think that he probably - what do you think it is, Sabrina? An aneurysm. But the Italian is literally translated in English as "mental indigestion." Here's another one who is a little morbid. This man's cause of death was that his head was severed from his body by a machete and done by a disgruntled laborer. So the reason I'm pointing all of these deaths out is that as morbid as it is, the stories that are coming out of this. And that's really how I went back. These records are giving us stories. And that's what family history is all about. It's the stories. Okay, so for this individual, let's go back and figure out why did he have a disgruntled employee? Why was that employee wielding a machete? Let's figure out what's going on. What's the story behind this? Other recent releases: World War II Navy muster rolls. By the way, I've been doing a lot of World War II Navy research recently and these are amazing. Compiled service records after the Revolutionary War, Land Ownership and Township Plats. To see a full list of the National Archives collections on, you can see the front page of your handout. And we're going to go through it. Sabrina, do you remember how many NARA collections we have on Ancestry? Isn't it something like 200 or 300? It's between 200-300. I was going to look it up and I totally forgot to do that. Obviously we can't go through every single collection. But what I want to talk about is - this URL is on the top of the first page on your handout, and if you type this URL in, you're going to come to a page that has this search box on it. Our NARA Collections on landing page. Now if you know a NARA series number, you can go ahead and just type that in and click on search. And that's going to take you to a link where you can actually search that database on But if you don't happen to know the series number, of if you just want to see a listing of all of the NARA titles on Ancestry, you come down here and click here. And when you click here or click on search, you're going to get a page that looks like this. Actually this is it. 366 NARA collections on So you're going to get this screen when you click that. And what this is - this is what happened when I clicked that button. So going back, "Click here to see a listing of all the NARA titles." So I got this. What I have here is - I get the NARA series number, I get the title on NARA, and then I get the title. Something to notice is that the NARA titles are not necessarily the same as the Ancestry titles. So if you know a NARA title and you go looking for that exact same title on, you may not find it. That's how you can find this complete list. Like I said, you can scroll through and things like that. One thing to point out: on your handout there are also two other methods on how to get a complete list. We went through the way where you go to that URL. But to get to that same landing page you can go through the card catalog. And I have step-by-step instructions on the worksheet. And then you can also go to the NARA website and get a listing of all the NARA collections on Ancestry on the NARA website. All of that's on the front of your handout and I'm not going to go through it in the lecture. But it is step-by-step instructions so that you can get there yourself. So there are several ways that you can see that complete list. We're going to get into 6 strategies to search I apologize, I have a very dry mouth today. Okay. Before we get into that, what I'd like to start my search class with is to talk a little bit about how's databases are structured. Because to understand a little bit of their structure is going to give you a little bit more background while you're searching. That's going to be helpful for you. The first type of database we have on Ancestry is what we call Index and Image Titles. Earlier I showed you people scanning original records. So we go through and scan these original records or the microfilm. We have all these digitized images. And then we take from those images and we create indexes. So think of the census. Think of how many millions of names are in that census. Well those are hand indexed. Name by name, field by field, everything that's in that index is hand indexed. Then we take all of those images. We take those hundreds of thousands of images and millions of names, and we have a team that just stitches them together. So that when you go to and you type in your ancestor's name of John Smith and click search, it's going to bring up search results that you can click on. It's going to take you to an index page. You click on View Record and it's going to take you right there. I need to say that this still blows my mind, that we can take images and indexes of millions of names and stitch everything together. And be able with a few clicks of a mouse to just find an answer. So the type of records that we see with this - census records, passenger lists, draft registration cards are going to be those indexes and those images. Now the next type is an index only. Which means that all we have is the index, and we don't have an actual image. But there's enough information to help you find the actual record. Down here at the bottom - hopefully you're familiar with an index page. Scroll down. A lot of people don't do this. Scroll down a little bit and you're going to see something that says Source Information. And it's going to tell you where it came from. Original data, general index to pension files, National Archives. Here's the series number. It's going to tell you exactly where that came from. The nice thing of course with pension files is we have the pension index cards on Ancestry, but we don't have the files. So you can come here and learn where we got it from. So an example of an index-only title on Ancestry from NARA would be the World War II Army enlistment records. Which is not pictured here. The next grouping - there aren't necessarily any NARA records that are of this grouping, but I want to explain this as well. The OCR, which stands for Optical Character Recognition. Basically what this is is when you type in your Ancestor's name - John Smith - Ancestry goes through and reads textual documents. This is usually with textual things. It reads the text and it brings back the closest matches. We don't index newspapers and other things like that. It would be too much. We couldn't do it. So that's why you'll get things like - here we have Lucille Ball. So we did a search for first name Lucille. Last name Ball. And you'll notice on the page it's highlighted each of these terms. But it's also highlighted all of these other terms right here that are the same thing. This is why sometimes you get a little bit of wonky results when you're looking at newspapers. Just be aware, it's because the computer is doing the very best it can to read that thing. Sometimes if you have two R's next to each other - if you have a last name with two R's next to each other, you're going to get results back that are an M. Or sometimes if the text is blurry it can't read, so you get a little bit wonky results also. If you're searching for an ancestor whose name is Green, you're going to get people whose last name is Green, you're going to get the green grass, you're going to get anything in the newspaper that has "green" on it. So just be aware of the limitations there. The last couple things. Image first. These are where images go up first. And you can browse them image by image. They haven't been indexed yet. And this would be a lot more like the traditional method of research where you're going image by image. The other thing is member contributed content. We have a lot of family photographs and family documents. In fact, I go to a lot of conferences showing people how to use Ancestry. And while I'm doing that I'll often use my own family. And especially - I swear every time I go to a new conference and I'm showing someone how to search Ancestry, I find a new picture of an ancestor I've never seen before. So there's a lot of things you can find that way. We have about 30,000 titles or databases on And I mentioned before we have 7 billion historical records. We kind of subdivide those into different groupings, if you will. First of all we have record types. So we have census records, immigration records, vital records, things like that. So you can think of them subdivided like that. Then we have - for certain ethnicities, to help with research we have records that are grouped into different ethnicities. So African-American records or Jewish records. Things like that. And then you can also group them by country. So U.S. records, U.K. records, Australia records. Now some records can be in all of these. For example, the 1930 Census is a census record. And it's definitely an African-American and/or a Jewish record, and it's a United States record. So it kind of goes across all those things. So I just wanted to kind of get that idea of different ways that you can group records and different ways we group some of the records on Ancestry. So this brings us to our first search strategy, which is to start with a global search. Now a global search is what you do from the homepage. When you go on the first thing you're going to see is that search box. You type in someone's name, and you put some information on them, and you click search. And that is searching through all of our titles. So 30,000 titles at once. It is a lot of things. Like I said this is what you do from the home page. So when do you use global search? Well if you're a beginner and you're just getting started with family history, we strongly recommend that you use the global search. We find people who - and this is just our researcher's tone - that people coming to Ancestry for the first time have the most success with the global search. Second, to see what you can learn about somebody - Sorry, I guess the two next points kind of go together. To see what you can learn about somebody you don't know a lot about. I like to use global search to pick off that low-hanging fruit, because odds are the first several records are going to be for that person. So I like to pull down all the low-hanging fruit. Get that stuff as quickly as I possibly can. And then I focus my time on digging deeper and really doing the detective stuff. And the last thing is as a check to see what you might have - what has been added since you last searched this individual. Now I don't know about you, but sometimes when I do research I get tunnel vision about an ancestor. I know all of these things, and I know all of these things, and what I'm missing is these things, and I'm only searching for that. Well once my mom called me, and she doesn't really understand what Ancestry does. You'd think after I've worked for the company for seven years she might understand a little bit more. Or maybe I'm just really bad at explaining what Ancestry is. But she said, "What does Ancestry say about John Wesley Stevens?" And I say, "Why don't you ask me what I say about John Wesley Stevens?" Because I'm the family historian. And I'm like fine, whatever. So I start typing in, doing a global search on John Wesley Stevens. What does Ancestry say about John Wesley Stevens? Well of course the first several records were records I had never seen about him, even though I knew everything about him. So I would suggest that you listen to your mothers and then that you just do a quick check every once in awhile. Do a quick global search. We are always adding new records to Ancestry. NARA records and others. So just do a quick global search. See what you don't know yet. Okay, I do want to talk about the matches that you receive through a search on Ancestry. Global search gives you the best possible matches for your search criteria from the 7 billion records on Ancestry. And often that's thousands of results. Now these matches are ranked from 1 to 5 stars, and they're going to come to you with 5 being the closest match. You have more stars, it's more likely to be a match. And it's going to be ranked with the most likely matches down to the least likely matches. Now you will get thousands of possible matches, but filtering techniques are going to help us weed through this. And it's very important, before we get to filtering, I want to talk more about proximity. So we have algorithms. Our search database uses these algorithms to take what you enter into the search box and translate it into the search results. I want to talk a little bit about what it's doing there. First of all, we look at measuring closeness. So first typographical. Provo is typographically close to Probo because the B and the V are next to each other. I have an ancestor whose last name is spelled Salm. I can't tell you how many searches I've done for Alma Slam. I've mistyped my ancestor's name many times. Catherine is phonetically close to Katharen. Just different spellings of the same name. Jack is culturally close to John. 1880 temporally close to 1881. Boston is geographically close to Cambridge. These are important. You want a search that's going to look at all of these things. So just click on name variations. In the indexes that we've created, we've come across more than 800 variations of the name Catherine. When you do a search on, by default it is going to search for all 800 variations of these. You want a search engine that does that, because can you think of 800 name variations? If pressed I could probably come up with 25-30. Katherine with a K, Catherine with a C, Catheryn with a Y, with an INE. Kate and Katie. We could probably come up with 25-30 as a group. But 800 naming variations. You don't want to type those in. I don't want to type in 5 name variations. I'm kind of lazy like that. I like that the search engine is going to do this for me. Okay, naming problems. Names can be spelled phonetically. Names can be spelled differently than one expects. I need to say that this one is kind of a big one. With younger genealogists I run across this a lot. No, his name was spelled like this. I know it. Well you may know how his name was spelled, but he may not have known how his name was spelled. Or the people writing his name down might not have known how his name was spelled. So be cognizant that it may not be spelled the way that you like. The same thing with birth years. You may know exactly when he was born, but the person writing the record down may have not understood when he was born. So kind of give and take there. Names can be abbreviated, they can be translated from a different language, mistranscribed, or miskeyed. Our search database, when it is giving you results it is taking many of these into account. The reason why you want this to be done - Actually before I get into that... Okay, a simplified search. Let's do a search for Catherine Lawson, born 1920 in Boston, MA. You're going to get results for Kate Lawson. So name closeness. You're going to get one for Catherine Lawson born 1915. Temporally close. And then one for Catherine Lawson born 1920 in Lowell, MA. Geographically close. You want this to happen because - I will give you an example. I was doing some research in the 1930 Census for a friend, and I said, "Where do you think you family was living in 1930?" California. They've always been in California. Everyone's been in California for as long as we can remember. So 1930, what is that? 80 years ago at this point? We're not talking very long. So I do a search on it. They weren't living in California. They were living in Arkansas in 1930. The family had not been in California for as long as anyone can remember, unless people can't remember past 80 years. Which I guess some people can't. But you want something that's going to give you that margin of error. Now these are simplified. You could have also gotten a Kate Lawson born in 1950 in Lowell, MA. You want this to be able to do this. So I want to stop here and have a lesson from the Cheshire Cat. Alice in Wonderland, you maybe have read the book or seen the movie. Alice is walking along and she comes to a crossroads, and she meets the cat. And she says to the cat, "Which road should I take?" And he says, "Well where do you want to go?" And she says, "Well I don't know." And he says, "Well then it doesn't matter which road you take." So let's pretend for a minute that Alice is a genealogist and the Cheshire Cat is giving her some research advice. "Which records should I search?" says Alice. And the cat says, "Well what do you want to learn?" And Alice says, "Well I don't know." And the Cheshire Cat would say, "Well then it doesn't really matter what you search." This brings us to search strategy #2, which is to know your search goal. Now the fact that it's search strategy #2 of 6 should say how important this search strategy is. To know what you're doing. What are you searching for? Is it a general look to see what Ancestry has about a specific individual? Are you trying to find a specific record or piece of information, like a birthday or something like that? I would say write down your goal. "I'm searching for military records about Alma Ernest Salm." That's my goal. Not necessarily a specific piece of information or a specific record, but I want to know about his military career. So the search box then becomes your most important part of the search. And that's obviously where you start the search. Let me back up a little bit. This is the search box. And we're going to look at this piece by piece. This is the advanced search box. If you clicked on Hide Advanced, you'd go back to just the name and date kind of thing. And there would be a thing that says Advanced Search. So you click on that and you're going to get this. So a few things. Alma Ernest. You can add in first and middle names. Under here you see this Use Default Settings. If you click this arrow it's going to let you choose some more specific things. Now I went through all that proximity and closeness and how important it is. It's also important that you have complete control and that you can restrict things down. That's extremely important as well. So you can restrict too advanced matches and phonetic matches. Similar meanings and initials only. So you can restrict it down. The default is going to be all of that closeness and proximity that we talked about. The exact matches is going to help you refine it. The same kind of thing with last names. You restrict to exact matches and sounds. Phonetic and similar meanings. So that's what you can do with names. You can add in different life events. You can do birth, marriage, and death. Where they lived, arrival and departure dates. There's this Add Life Event thing link right here. So when you do look for locations and things like that, if you click on Default Settings it's going to say, "I'm only looking for this place." or "I'm only looking for this county and surrounding counties." or "I'm looking for any matches in this state." or "I'm looking for any matches in this state and surrounding states." So it lets you really dial in or out on how big, geographically, you want that search. And that's very important too. You want for those people who are in Arkansas, when they really should be in California, you want a search engine that's going to search that far. But you also want the control to bring it in and focus on where you want to search. You can add in family members. So parents, spouse, siblings, and children. You can also choose to do exact matches for that. Now Collection Priority. We have, as I mentioned before, that you can search records that are for a specific ethnicity or country. And you can choose that under collection priority. There's a little checkbox right here. If it's unchecked, it's going to give records from that country a little bit more - it's going to put them closer to the top. If you check the box it's going to show only records from those collections. Word of caution: I had ancestors who I didn't realize had ever left the country. I thought they were only United States. Well I unchecked it, and I found out they took several trips to England. And I would have missed out on several records for them. So you may know that your ancestors only stayed in the United States, but they may not have told you that. The one thing I'd like to say on this is that this is sticky. So once you do a search on this, it's going to stay there unless you change it. If you're researching on a computer in a NARA facility, you want to make sure that the researcher before you hasn't set it to Australia records only and your ancestors are not from Australia. Just be careful, it could change your results. Also one way we subdivide our records is into historical records, family tree histories, publications, photos and maps. You can click on different ones. If you click them all you're going to get results from all those areas. Let's say you only want family trees. You uncheck everything and you only get people's family trees. This is also sticky. So just be aware that if you're getting strange results, check and make sure that something isn't going on here. A few search box hints. Know what you're searching for, as I said before. Fill out as much information as you know or as you can guess. You and the people that you're going to help do research know more about their ancestors than they think that they know. And as you start asking questions, they're going to start remembering things. One way to guess is - When you ask somebody, "When did your grandfather pass away?" "Well I don't know." "Well were you alive when he passed away?" "Yeah I was about 11." "Well when were you born?" "I was born around 1954." So grandpa probably passed away around 1965. "When was he born?" "I don't know." "How old do you think he was when he died?" "He was about 60." Okay, we'll say he was born about 1905. We may be wrong, but it narrows it from the eons of time down to roughly a 60 year range that's going to help solidify our search a little bit. If you're searching for an ancestor for the first time it's better to be broad at first and then narrow it down. We're going to talk about exact matches a little bit later on, but I suggest that if you're just doing a search on an ancestor for the first time, that you just be very broad and then narrow down. So you click search and you get 27,000 possible matches. Or more. Maybe you get half a million matches. And I have people come up to me at conferences and be like, "Your search sucks. Your search is horrible because it's giving me half a million matches and I don't have time. How come Ancestry expects me to search through so many matches?" We don't. In fact, don't do it. If you only take one thing away today, it is never ever search through so many matches. In fact I don't even want 100. That's way too many matches. Then what do we do? Well this brings us to search strategy #3, which is to filter your searches. It is not the intent that you go through one by one for half a million matches or 27,000 matches. That is not the intent. And you're not using Ancestry to its full capacity if you're doing that. So let's talk about what you can do. We're going to filter things down. So you click search and you get 27,000 matches. Right here, these are again the best possible matches. These are the possible search results over here. You can see the ranking. We have up to 5 stars. This is a 4 star match. Down here I have a 3.5 match. And as I go down they're ranked even less. And again that's ranked on your search criteria on that whole closeness that we talked about. Over here we have where you can edit your search information. You can click on Edit Search and edit that. And then over here we can narrow results down by category. So the one thing is, let's remember our search results. I'm interested in finding military records for my great grandfather Alma Ernest Salm. So I do a search him and I get 27,000 search results. Well if I click right here on this link on military, because that's my search goal, right here it's going to filter down to 70. That's a little bit more manageable than 27,000. Maybe more than I actually want to look for, but notice this. All of these records - I have Utah military, I have World War II prisoners of war, I have U.S. veteran's grave sites. Down here I have a World War II Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard casualty from the World War I time period. None of these were up here at the top before. In fact they weren't even on the first or second page before. But now that I've filtered them down to military they're at the top of the list. And boom, those records are all about him. Now let's say I do know that he was a prisoner of war in World War II. I think I'd like to learn a little bit more about that. Well over here you can see that we're at military. We've narrowed it by category to military. Well under there there's some subcategories. I can look at draft and enlistment, or casualties, or soldier/veteran/prisoner rolls and lists and histories. So I'm going to click on this soldier and veterans list, and when I click it it's going to bring up this screen. And it's down to 45. And that's even more manageable than 50. Do you see how what we're trying to do in everything is we're narrowing down. We get these massive search results, but the whole purpose is to narrow down based on your search goal to what you're looking for. And you can see that I've added in some other databases to this one. Now from here I could also drill down to specific databases. Like just the U.S. World War II Navy muster rolls, if I wanted to look for all of those for him. One other thing, this is back to the 27,000 screen. These are ranked and sorted by relevance. They're sorted by the stars, the matching here on how close. If I were to click on this arrow, it would give me a drop down. And it would give me another option. And if I choose that option it's going to be summarized by category. So instead of being individual results from different databases, going from 1900-1910 on the passenger crew list. These are all the different databases on Ancestry. And it's telling me how many results are within each. You can toggle between the two. From here you can again get back to sort by relevance, so you can go back and forth. So when do you go beyond global search? Well if your ancestor has a very common name, you're probably going to need to go beyond a global search. If your ancestor was written or indexed incorrectly, or for a record that you know or think should exist is not coming up. That's when you want to go beyond. So that brings us to strategy #4, which is to get closer with the collection search. Now this would be searching just census records or just immigration records or just birth, marriage, and death records. So that's what I mean by collection search. It's very helpful, for example, if you know - Let's say that you're trying to find your immigrant ancestor's passenger list and you don't want results cluttered by census and birth, marriage, and death results. We could go on and on and on with this. But do you notice that we actually already did this when we were filtering down our global search results. But you can also go to the search page. Let's say you're on the home page. You can click on search. It's going to bring you to the main search tab. And over here on the right-hand side I can just go straight into birth, marriage, or death in census. I don't have to narrow it down on the side. I can just go straight into that collection. I want to talk a little bit about Exact Search here. In the search boxes you're going to see these little boxes that either say "Match all terms exactly" or under year ranges, or things like that. You're going to say exact. When you click that button, you're telling the search engine that you want it to find exactly this piece of information number for number, letter by letter. If you're doing a year range, I always suggest doing at least a 1-2 year buffer zone. So if I were to check exact, it's going to search for people born between 1893-1897. I know that my great grandfather was born in 1895, but he might show up in another record as being born in a year before or a year after. So this is going to help. This is not going to limit myself. The same thing with locations. If you say my ancestor was born in this specific place and you choose that it must be matched exactly, if you have a record that says he was born somewhere else - sometimes ancestors don't seem to know which country they were born in. And it switches from record to record what country they were born in. But if you limit yourself to only that place, you might be missing out on records. Now my intention in talking about exact search is not to scare you away from using it, because doing exact things is a very powerful search tool. However, be cautious because you can exact yourself out of any matches. And there might be lots of records for your ancestors, but you click on exact in so many places that you just exacted yourself out of matches because there's no record that matches everything that you're doing. If you choose "Match all terms exactly," which is sometimes at the top of a search box, it's going to include - it will search for records that include all the criteria you enter. So let's say that you enter a birth and a marriage date and a death date, and they lived in this place. There's not very many records that are going to include a birth, marriage, and death date. And so what it's going to look for is records that include all three of those dates. But you're going to miss out on all the census records. Because census records don't record death dates. Because the person hasn't died yet. So just be very careful when you do it. Less is more. When you're doing a non-exact search, more is better. You want to put in everything you can think of. When you're doing an exact search, start with a few search criteria and make them exact, then look at your search results. And then you can click on that edit field. And then you can add in a bit more information and narrow down the results. You just want to be judicious. So it's very, very powerful. Just understand how it works before you exact yourself out of any matches. Search strategy #5 is to search an individual title. So I will go into an individual title when I know that my ancestor should be in the 1920 Census. Because I saw them in the 1910 Census and I found them in the 1930 Census. And they were living in the same place, so they should be in the 1920 Census. And for some reason I cannot find them. So I will go directly into the database for 1920 and do a search. And the nice thing about when you go into a database is it's going to have a more refined search box. So this would be for a passenger list that's going to include the exact arrival date. So when you do a global search you're mostly putting in just the year and the location where they came in. Well now I can put the day, month, and year. And that can really help me narrow things down. So you get this more exact field for the search box to fill out. How to find individual titles. You can find them on the Ancestry homepage. You can go into the Ancestry card catalog to look for them. And you can filter down a list of global search results. In fact, you may have noticed now that we're talking about category and individual search, you might say, "This sounds kind of familiar." It should, because when we were talking about filtering down - remember we went into military records, and then we went into prisoner lists, and then there was a list of individual databases. You're basically going right there while you're filtering from a global search to category search. And then you can go into a specific database. I do that all the time. And sometimes I'll actually just go into a specific database, because I don't even want to go through that process of filtering. I just want to go into a specific database. Also the NARA collections on the landing page that I talked about - it's discussed on the first page of the handout - is going to help you get to a specific title as well. Last search strategy, #6, is search outside the box. When I talk to people, they look at the search box and they think, "I have to fill out every piece of information in that search box. I have to put in the first name and the last name. And when they were born, and where they were born." Every single piece of information. I want to liberate you from that. Please feel liberated from filling out every piece of information in the search box. You don't have to. It's okay if you don't. In fact, it may help you break through some brick walls if you don't fill out the search box exactly the way it's laid out. A couple things. Play around with various combinations of information about your ancestors. You don't always have to search for a name. In fact sometimes I do searches without any names. Sometimes I will do a search with only a first name or only a last name. Try searching with both a woman's maiden and married name in the search box. I might do a search for myself. I might type in Anastasia, and in the last name area I type in "Sutherland Harmon" I just type them both in. That can sometimes be helpful. Try doing an exact search in the 1930 Census for all of the males named Alma born between 1895-1901 in Utah. Now I'm narrowing some things down because I'm trying to find him. Maybe his last name was butchered so horribly that I would never find it by including that last name. Try searching for all the Salm families. Not exact, so I get similar and last names living in Salt Lake County in 1870. I'm actually working on a project where oftentimes I'll just type in - I know this person lived in Maine, I know roughly when he was born, and I know he was a man. I'm actually just going to do a search for all the men born in this time period in Maine. Now it's very, very large - that's why I do it first. It's very large. And then I can filter down. Let me try all the males born in this time period with the first initial W. That helps me narrow things down. You can be successful when you search outside the box. I wanted to talk a little bit about the power of searching outside the box. And actually just the power of search. Because we have 7 billion historical records on We have more than 300 databases of NARA records on But that means nothing if you can't find a record about your ancestor. If you can't find the record that you're looking for it doesn't matter that there's 7 billion historical records. That's great, but who cares if they're not about me. I was at a conference and this woman came up, and she said, "So does have records?" Yes. As a matter of fact we do. "I'm trying to find my dad's dad. There was a divorce, he left a family, nobody really knew anything." She only knows his name. Okay. She says her dad was born in 1928, so I was like, sweet, we're going to look in the 1930 Census. We'll get his parents' names. We'll go from there. We'll find out when the grandfather was born. We'll go from there. Well actually he was born in and lived in the Dominican Republic because his dad was working there. Now that puts a little damper on things because the 1930 Census wasn't taken in the Dominican Republic because it's not part of the United States. Okay, so we can't do that. So what was his mother's name? Let's shift to grandma. What was your grandma's name? And she says, "Which one? She was married 4 times." Alright, well let's search on all of them. So we put in Barbara, and then literally in the last name box we did - and I'm making these names up. I can't remember. I should have written this down. You know, we put in "Smith Jones Taylor Johnson Billings" Just right in a row in the last name search box. And we got the first six results, all her with different last names. We would not have found those, though, if we hadn't put all the last names in of that woman. So in there, there was a passenger list with dad and grandma sailing from the Dominican Republic into New York City. And it was after. The grandma and grandpa got divorced in the Dominican Republic, and she sails back with her children. And the woman is like, "You know what? I think I remember hearing that my grandfather was from New York City." Alright, let's give it a try. Because all we know about this man is his name and that maybe he was from New York City. Well we get a passenger list of the grandfather coming back from the Dominican Republic to New York City. So we knew it was him. And it had his exact date of birth. So now armed with his name, New York City as his birthplace, and his exact date of birth, we add that into the search criteria. We refine the search criteria. And we get a 1900 Census listing him and his parents. It was five minutes. And she didn't know anything about her grandfather. We found her great grandparents. So the reason I like to stop with this is, search is powerful. It is a powerful tool. Learn to use it so that you can filter it down and find your ancestors. Those NARA records, those national records about your ancestors, on Thank you. I'll take questions up here after if you have any. Andrea Matney: Thank you so much for coming. We hope to see you next week. Dr. Sharpe is going to talk about horse tales. Horses that are in federal records. So we hope to see you next week. Thank you.



According to the United States Census Bureau, Harmon Township covers an area of 16.5 square miles (43 km2), all land.[2] The township was created from Elm Springs Township in 1908.[1]

Cities, towns, villages


The township contains no cemeteries.

Major routes

The township contains no state highways.


  1. ^ a b Baker, Russell (1985). Arkansas Township Atlas 1819-1930. Hot Springs, AR: Arkansas Genealogical Society. p. 202. OCLC 11528205.
  2. ^ a b "Township of Harmon, Washington County, Arkansas." U.S. Census Bureau. Breakdown. Retrieved August 10, 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 January 2018, at 23:49
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