The Colonial Arkansas Post Ancestry Digitized Collection
This digitized collection represents a segment of the Core Family Papers (MC 1380), housed in Special Collections. It focuses on the remarkable genealogical and ancestral work related to Colonial Arkansas conducted by Dorothy Core from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s, a task she undertook completely without the luxury of the Internet. In particular, this digitized collection focuses on the four earliest known censuses and inventories of Arkansas Post (1723, 1726, 1743, 1749) and provides evidence of the ancestors whose names are found on these historic rosters of the Lower Mississippi Valley. Using her correspondence with archivists and fellow researchers, her personal notes, copied relevant articles and primary documents, along with family tree charts, this collection provides evidence of the paths taken by a superb genealogist to unearth the history of Arkansas’ earliest European settlers. Though some of these paths remain unexplored, or fork at times towards different ancestral names, this information can help present and future researchers better understand the process of genealogy--the challenges and aspirations but also the joys of finding evidence and links between documents and the documented.
Every document in the Core Family Collection pertinent to early Arkansas colonial ancestry was reviewed. Documents found in this online collection were selected as they related to the names found on the four earliest censuses of Arkansas Post, either at the time of the census or as subsequent generations of these named ancestors took root in the region. Thus, the digitized collection includes such things as:
- Letters to and from archivists discussing particular Arkansas ancestors, verifying or disputing names, seeking information and/or clarification of particular people or events.
- Family trees developed by Mrs. Core which attempt to trace Arkansas ancestors anywhere from the mid-17th Century to the 20th Century.
- Notes (handwritten or typed) that stem from conversations or publications such as the Louisiana Historical Quarterly. These notes provide information on marriages, baptisms, funerals, land grants, wills and so on.
- Photocopies of important 18th century and other documents relevant to the ancestral history of Arkansas Post and the Lower Mississippi Valley (including Natchez, Pointe Coupée, Kaskaskia and New Orleans). Documents include censuses, transcriptions of notary records and marriage contracts, and select publications relevant to the region and period.
Using this Site
The attached table provides the 98 primary family names of those individuals included in the Arkansas censuses and inventories of 1723, 1726, 1731, 1743 and 1749. The column on the right provides the numerous derivatives of these primary names; these spellings vary due to pronunciation and dictation variations, literacy levels, and even the influence of the Spanish language and pronunciation. As you work with this site, please make use of the primary names on the left. These names will ensure that any derivatives present will be accounted for in your search.
Additionally, you will find that you can look at a document in its original form along with a transcription that accurately provides the written text in clearer form. Where possible, translations from French or Spanish are provided. These items can be examined as individual texts or side by side as desired. Researchers will also find numerous clues in Mrs. Core’s notes to point them towards archival holdings, publications, and other resources that can help them further pursue the paths of Arkansas’ ancestors.
This site is also important from a sociological standpoint. One can review this material and learn more about a genealogist and the craft that she carried out well before the age of digital technologies and the Internet. Researchers can follow her thought processes through correspondence with archivists, can catch a glimpse of her dedication to identify individuals and their spouses, and so on. She was extremely devoted to her work and succeeded in providing us with an extensive collection of material that can enhance our understanding of who the earliest European settlers were at Arkansas Post.
The metadata fields included in this site also provide the opportunity for one to conduct more precise research. For example, each document is identified by its census date (1723, 1726, 1743, 1749), by the primary name(s) present, and also by subject and thematic keywords to help one search the material.
Primary Sources Relevant to the Core material – Digitized
To assist those interested in learning more about early Arkansas genealogy, we have included some links to online documents directly related to this project. We have also provided links to online digitized collections that can further support one’s research on this period and location.
Arkansas Post Census of 1723 - This is the earliest known census of Arkansas Post. It is a part of the Core Family Collection.
Arkansas Post Census of 1726 - This is the second oldest census of Arkansas Post. It is a part of the Core Family Collection.
Census of German Families in the Lower Mississippi Valley (1740) - This census is important for knowing more about the early German ancestors who arrived in the Lower Mississippi Valley during the French Colonial period.
Illinois Census of 1723 - Numerous Illinois ancestors eventually became citizens of Arkansas Post. This census provides clues as to how early some of Arkansas’ ancestors arrived in the New World.
Louisiana Territory Census of 1726 - This is a more complete census of Louisiana and the Lower Mississippi Valley in 1726. This census provides clues of ancestors’ locations before and/or after residing at Arkansas Post.
Mobile Census of 1721 - This is perhaps the oldest census of the Lower Mississippi Valley region, taken at Mobile (Alabama) in 1721. It is probable that many of these individuals traveled up and down the Mississippi, venturing in to and out of Arkansas Post.
Natchez Census of 1723 - The settlement at Natchez was important for many of the individuals who lived throughout the Lower Mississippi Valley. This 1723 census also provides information on settlers who lived along the banks of the Mississippi and had opportunities to interact with settlers at Arkansas Post.
Map of Lower Mississippi Valley in 1733 - This map presents the settlements and forts of the Lower Mississippi Valley in 1733.
Map of Lower Mississippi Valley in 1744 - This map presents the settlements and forts of the Lower Mississippi Valley in 1744.
Le Profond and its Passenger List (1720) – The Profond was a French vessel that transported many of the early French ancestors to the Lower Mississippi Valley in the early 1720s. This passenger list is rich with the names of men, women, children, workers and soldiers who ended up in settlements all along the Lower Mississippi River including at Arkansas Post.
Athanase de Mezieres and the Louisiana Texas Frontier – The journal presented here discusses some of the people and events of the Arkansas River Valley during the mid-18th Century. It helps to determine, among other things, the relationship of the name Dufour with Brindamour.
Digitized Collections Relevant to French Lower Mississippi Valley History
The following digitized collections hold information relevant to the Lower Mississippi Valley, to Arkansas and its ancestors.
Canada/France Archives – These archives provide access to hundreds of documents relevant to the colonization of New France. Though primarily devoted to the Quebec region, one will still find significant information on the Lower Mississippi Valley including access to censuses, passenger lists, troop lists and so on.
Drouin Collection - This organization requires a subscription to access their material. However, if engaged in significant genealogy work with connections to the Quebec region, this website will provide access to church records and notary records, including material from Arkansas, Illinois and Mobile.
Library and Archives of Canada – The Library and Archives of Canada are an additional rich source for learning more about New France. This site also holds many of the same documents found in the Canada/France Archives mentioned above but further provides images, maps and connections to documents housed in Ottawa at their National Archives.
Library and Archives of Québec – The Quebec archival materials contain an abundance of information relevant to many of the individuals who lived in the Quebec region, many of whom may have made their way south down the Mississippi River. This site contains a wealth of material devoted to the early period of New France beginning in the early 17th century through the French period of Colonial Arkansas.
Louisiana Historical Society – The Louisiana Historical Society has made available, online, its complete collection of Louisiana Historical Quarterly issues from 1895 to 1974. A membership is required to access this material. However, once secured, one can conduct research in the journal itself and find a tremendous amount of information relevant to ancestors and events of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Arkansas Post.
Newberry Library – One of America’s premiere archival holdings, this library provides access to material devoted to early America, including the Lower Mississippi Valley. While much of the material is not available online, it is a resource into which one can gain access to select materials via Interlibrary Loan.
Tulane University Digital Library – French Colonial, Spanish Colonial, and Nineteenth-Century Louisiana Documents Online Collection. The Louisiana Research Center’s online collection “features French-language documents with a special emphasis on the French colonial period.”
Wisconsin Historical Society – The northern part of the Mississippi River also had a significant amount of French contact during the colonial period. This resource provides additional information on French encounters, exploration and settlement in the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
Secondary Sources Relevant to the Core Material
Alvord, Clarence W. The Illinois Country, 1673-1818. Springfield, IL: Illinois Centennial Commission, 1920.
Andrews, Johnnie. Natchez Colonials: A Compendium of the Colonial Families of Southwest Mississippi, 1716-1800. Prichard, Ala.: Bienville Historical Society, 1986.
Arnold, Morris S., and Dorothy Jones Core. Arkansas Colonials, 1686-1804: A Collection of French and Spanish Records Listing Early Europeans in the Arkansas. DeWitt, AR: DeWitt Publishing Co., .
Arthur, Stanley Clisby, George Campbell Huchet de Kernion, and Charles Patton Dimitry. Old Families of Louisiana. New Orleans: Harmanson, 1931.
Belting, Natalia Maree. Kaskaskia under the French regime. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1948.
Bolton, Herbert Eugene. The Spanish Borderlands: A Chronicle of Old Florida and the Southwest. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921. (Chronicles of America Series, v. 23)
Bourgeois, Lillian C. Cabanocey: The History, Customs, and Folklore of St. James Parish. New Orleans: Pelican Publishing Co., .
Brown, Margaret Kimball, and Lawrie Cena Dean. The Village of Chartres in Colonial Illinois, 1720-1765. New Orleans: Published for La Compagnie des Amis de Fort de Chartres [by] Polyanthos, 1977.
Conrad, Glenn R. The First Families of Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Claitor's Pub. Division, 1970.
______. St. Charles: Abstracts of the Civil Records of St. Charles Parish, 1770-1803. Lafayette, LA: University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1974.
Core, Dorothy J., Grand Prairie Historical Society, and Arkansas History Commission. Abstract of Catholic Register of Arkansas, 1764-1858. Gillett, AR: Grand Prairie Historical Society, .
Delafosse, M. "La Rochelle et le Canada au XVIIe Siècle". Revue D'histoire De L'Amérique Française. 4 (4): 469. (n.d.)
DeVille, Winston. Gulf Coast Colonials: A Compendium of French Families in Early Eighteenth Century Louisiana. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968.
Freiberg, Edna B., and John Churchill Chase. Bayou St. John in Colonial Louisiana, 1699-1803. New Orleans, La.: Freiberg, 1980.
Halli Burton, W. H. A Topographical Description and History of Arkansas County, Arkansas from 1541 to 1875. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.
Higginbotham, Jay. Fort Maurepas: The Birth of Louisiana. Mobile [Ala.]: Colonial Books, 1968.
______. Old Mobile: Fort Louis de la Louisiane 1702-1711. Mobile [Ala.]: Museum of the City, 1977.
Husley, Val. Biloxi: 300 Years. Virginia Beach, VA: Donning, 1998.
Jetté, René. Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles du Québec. Montréal, Québec, Canada: Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 1983.
Kennedy, Jo Myrle. Dauphin Island, French Possession, 1699-1763. Huntsville, Ala.: Strode Publishers, 1980.
Kinnaird, Lawrence. “Spain in the Mississippi Valley, 1765-1794,” in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1945, Volume II, (Pt. 1), The Revolutionary Period, 1765-1781. Washington DC: U.S. GPO, 1949.
Louisiana Historical Quarterly. http://www.louisianahistoricalsociety.org/ .
Maduell, Charles R. The Census Tables for the French Colony of Louisiana from 1699 through 1732. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1972.
McDermott, John F., ed. Frenchmen and French Ways in the Mississippi Valley. (Conference on the French in the Mississippi Valley, 1967. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and Saint Louis). Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1969.
Phares, Ross. Cavalier in the Wilderness; The Story of the Explorer and Trader Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1952.
Shinn, Josiah Hazen. Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967.
Thomason, Michael. Down the Years: Articles on Mobile's History. [Mobile, Ala.]: Gulf Coast Historical Review, 2001.
Trudel, Marcel. Catalogue des Immigrants: 1632-1662. Histoire De La Nouvelle-France. 3. Montréal: Hurtubise HMH, 1983.
Compiled by Linda Jones, Ph. D., Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Arkansas, 2013.
Dorothy Jones Core
Dorothy Jones Core (1920-1997) was an editor, researcher, genealogist and historian who spent much of her life in pursuit of learning more about French Colonial Arkansas ancestors and their role in developing Arkansas Post.
Born in Stuttgart, Arkansas, to George Rex and Sarah Sweigard Jones, Dorothy Jones graduated from Texas State College for Women in 1939. A year later, on June 22, 1940, she married Norman Watts Core. While her husband traveled as an enlisted man in the early 1940s, Mrs. Core served as a clerk at the Army Air Force Depot in Stuttgart, resigning her position in 1944 to join her husband at the Naval Air Station on Johnson Island in the Pacific Ocean. In April, 1946, they returned to Arkansas where they engaged in rice farming until 1960 when Mr. Core began to sell insurance and Mrs. Core served as an accountant for the Rice Center Supply Company in Stuttgart. In the early 1960s Core began to trace her family history and that of early French Arkansas colonists. She joined the National Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1966, served as the local president of the DAR in the 1970s, and eventually became heavily involved in the Grand Prairie Historical Society (GPHS), editing its journal, Bulletin, from 1971 to 1992 and serving as chief editor until 1994.
History was a primary passion of Mrs. Core. In the 1980s she collaborated on the book Arkansas Colonials, 1686-1804 with Judge Morris S. “Buzz” Arnold, an expert in his own right on Arkansas History. Mrs. Core passed away on April 19, 1997. Her vast collection of family and research materials was donated to Special Collections at the University of Arkansas in 1998.
Arkansas Humanities Council Funding
Dorothy Core's collection contains a tremendous amount of material devoted to the early Arkansas ancestors dating from 1686, the founding of Arkansas Post, into the 20th Century. Interested in learning more about the early French Arkansas ancestors and in making this material available online for researchers and genealogists alike, faculty in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Arkansas, in conjunction with Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Libraries, submitted a successful grant proposal to the Arkansas Humanities Council in 2012 to digitize and place online segments of this collection. The grant project focused on the first four censuses of Arkansas Post, with a goal of developing an online, searchable site, which will allow individuals to learn more about Arkansas’ European ancestors in the early 18th Century. Numerous individuals participated in this grant project including the following:
Dept. of World Languages – Dr. Linda Jones and Ms. Amalie Holland
Alumni of the Dept. of World Languages – Mr. Joseph Covey and Ms. Claude Petit
Special Collections – Mr. Timothy Nutt, Ms. Janet Parsch, Ms. Deb Kulczak, Ms. Martha Parker, Mr. Jason W. Dean, and Mr. Arthur Morgan
The project team is grateful for the support of the Arkansas Humanities Council and the opportunity to present this project as a strong contribution to the history of the state of Arkansas and the Lower Mississippi Valley. The team also thanks those organizations which graciously allowed us to reproduce materials previously published, including the Grand Prairie Historical Society and the Louisiana Historical Association.