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The Perry County Historical and Genealogical Society was organized in December 1997 at the Max Milam Library in Perryville (Perry County) with only two people in attendance. Betty Burke was elected the first president and Jackie Paul Myers the first secretary and treasurer. Meeting times were set for the second Tuesday of each month, and with permission of the librarian, Jan Guffey, the organization met at the library. Six people attended the second meeting in January 1998: Betty Burke, Jackie Myers, Elise Hill, Leroy Williams, John Pennington, and Pearl Bowen Pennington, who was elected vice president.
The goals of the society were: 1) to create and foster interest in genealogy; 2) to gather and preserve genealogical and historical data through library and educational means, including lectures, discussions, and workshops; and 3) to provide the public with genealogical source materials. The first year bylaws were adopted, membership was expanded, and officers were elected for three-year terms. Two successful ancestral fairs were held, and Lynda Suffridge gave a beginning genealogy workshop. Suffridge offered to edit a publication for the society, and so began the Perry County Historical & Genealogical Society Newsletter in the spring of 1999. Three issues were published the first two years, and then it became a quarterly publication. In August 1999, Elise Hill died and left her extensive collection of family research books to the Max Milam Library.
President Betty Burke appointed a committee of Buford Suffridge, Lynda Suffridge, Jackie Myers, and Palmer Myers to begin the process of gathering material for a general history book of Perry County and its inhabitants. The society had been collecting oral history interviews from the older people of Perry County, and many of these were transcribed and appeared as articles in the book. Additionally, other people submitted their family histories and photographs for the book. Perry County, Arkansas: Its Land & People was published in 2004. Other society publications include Pedigrees, Perry County, Arkansas, compiled by Joyce Hill; Collection of Obituaries (1890–1999) of Perry County, Arkansas, compiled by Jackie Myers; Census of Cemeteries, Perry County, Arkansas, compiled by Palmer Myers; and Perry County, Arkansas Marriages, 1881–1947 and Perry County, Arkansas Marriages, 1947 to 2000 compiled by Roberta Anderson.
The society meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Max Milam Library. Membership is $15 and includes a subscription to the newsletter.
For additional information:Perry County Historical & Genealogical Society. Perry County, Arkansas: Its Land & People. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 2004.
Perry County Historical & Genealogical Society Newsletter. Perryville, AR: Perry County Historical & Genealogical Society (1999–).
Buford SuffridgePerry County Historical and Genealogical Society
Last Updated 4/23/2012
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