October 24, 2014

Unearthing Genealogical and Historical Photos

Vinita Star

Don’t ever tell me that you can’t find any genealogical or historical records online. I have been transfixed for the last four hours or more just doing searches on a new site I found named Star |Archives. I was doing some research for my friend who is Cherokee, but who also had ancestors who lived in the western lands of Arkansas and were counted as freemen in a Chickasaw census. What makes it more confusing is that I know very little about this area, and how it all connects to the eventual establishment of the state of Oklahoma.  Sometimes, knowing the history of a location is just as important when it comes to finding people in records.

These Star|Archives are not something familiar to me, as far as being a well-known genealogical resource. If you have heard of them before, please let me know. I think that Cuadra Star is just a business contracted by historical societies and such that oversees collections like this and makes them accessible to the public.

I saw some photos in there of people like Bill Pickett, well-known African American cowboy who liked to wrestle a steer down to the ground by biting it on the lower lip. I kid you not! There is a picture of him doing just that, as well as a photo of him on horseback. Bill worked on the 101 Ranch that is located near Ponca City, Oklahoma.

The photo of Vinita Star above was just something that caught my eye. I like the photo, and it happened to turn up in a search using the words “vinita” and “star”. There are not only photos on the site, but links to the holdings to the Oklahoma Historical Society folders with just textual records in them also. I must warn you, I was having a little trouble with the website and errors, so don’t shoot the messenger if it gives you trouble too. Do try to get into it though if you can. If you are doing Oklahoma records research you might find a goldmine.

Oklahoma Historical Society – Archives, Library Catalog and Newspaper Articles

Bill Pickett


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