Once I located and viewed my great grandfather Moses Crittenden’s homestead in Polk County Arkansas I was on a quest to find out more about Cherokee Polk County Arkansas homesteads.
I headed next to the Polk County Library in Mena, Arkansas. The library has a genealogy and history room with a good selection of reference material about the early days of Polk County.
Like elsewhere in Arkansas, I found little reference to Cherokee residents in the 1800s and early 1900s. This lack of recognition of the history of Cherokee settlers in Arkansas was a constant surprise on my research trip to Arkansas and will be the subject of an article in the future.
I did find a few documents related to deaths and births of members of Moses’ extended family in the historical section on vital statistics in the genealogy room.
After a few hours I was ready to leave when I noticed a spiral bound book in the early history of Polk County section of the library. Realizing that I had not pulled that book off of the shelf yet, I found something called the “Family Maps of Polk County, Arkansas”.
Looking at the cover I was assuming that inside was a history of the founding families of Polk County and where they resided. Given the lack of mention of Cherokee citizens in all the other reference materials I did not expect to find any information about my family members.
So I was overwhelmed with the wealth of information that I found in this unassuming appearing book. The book has detailed maps by section and range of all of the first homesteads purchased in Polk County, Arkansas. A search of the index by name found entries for Moses Crittenden and many of his extended family members.
Ends up that the cemetery I had stopped at that morning to take some photos was sitting on land once owned by Thomas Quinton, first cousin of Moses’ first wife, Edith Quinton.
I found over two dozen homesteads of members of my extended family, some of which are highlighted in just one of the many maps.
Anyone with Cherokee ancestors in Polk County Arkansas in the 1800s and early 1900s should try to get a copy of this book.
My next journal entry will be about my afternoon spent driving through the land of my ancestors, an afternoon that I hold close to my heart.