• 43°
franklin county times
FILE Chris Ozbirn, left, will be a guest speaker at the Old Tishomingo County Genealogy Fair in August. In March Ozbirn received the Roger Bedford Unsung Hero Award at the Franklin County Partnership Awards Banquet, pictured.

Tishomingo Genealogy Fair to feature Franklin speaker

The Fifth Annual Old Tishomingo County Genealogy Fair is set for Aug. 18-19 – and a familiar local face will be a part of the festivities.

The yearly fair, which is sponsored by Alcorn County Genealogical Society, Prentiss County Genealogical Society, Tishomingo County Historical and Genealogical Society and the Mississippi Humanities Council, will be held just across the state line in Corinth, Miss., and will feature a number of guest speakers – among them, Franklin County Archives Director Chris Ozbirn.

Ozbirn said Tishomingo’s Gale Judkins reached out to her about speaking.

“You know me – I can’t say no,” Ozbirn said. “I love to tell about the archives. Every time I can go and get the word about us, I’ll always do that.”

In particular, Ozbirn said, Judkins was interested in her skill in grave dousing, which will be Ozbirn’s presentation topic Aug. 19 at 9 a.m.

“I can go to a cemetery and, as I’m walking through the cemetery, I can find unmarked graves. Once I find a grave, I walk and figure out the length of the grave. That tells me if it was an adult or a child. Then I can tell you if that is the grave of a male or female,” Ozbirn said. “I do that with a pair of metal coat hangers. I have done that technique from Mississippi to North Carolina, and I’ve never missed a grave.”

Ozbirn was introduced to the technique years ago by archives visitors from Texas. She tested it for herself in the local KP Cemetery and Old Town Cemetery – to great success.

“I don’t know how it works. I just know it works,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of skeptical people –“ but when they try it for themselves, Ozbirn said, the doubters become believers.

The two-day Genealogy Fair will begin Friday at 1 p.m. with a bus tour, leaving from Waldron Street Christian Church, 806 East Waldron Street. The tour will include multiple stops in historic downtown Corinth. Following the tour will be a speaker from the Interpretive Center to cap off Friday events. A Dutch treat dinner will round of the evening at Pizza Grocery.

Saturday events will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church. Other speakers Saturday, in addition to Ozbirn, include Joyce Dixon-Lawson on researching African-American roots and Dr. Joan Mitchell on using DNA in genealogy research.

People are also invited to bring their family information to share.

To attend, individuals can fill out and mail in their registration, including the following information: full name, complete mailing address, email address, whether or not they will attend the bus tour and whether or not they would like to purchase a box lunch (Subway sandwich or chicken strip box, $8; attendees may instead choose to bring a lunch or visit a local restaurant during the lunch break.) Forms should be mailed to ACGS, P.O. Box 1808, Corinth, MS 38835.

Attendees may also choose to register online at www.avsia.com/acgs.

Ozbirn encouraged people to attend this special event.

“I’m really honored and proud I can go and represent Franklin county. That’s a way of making friends in our profession, and all of us working together makes it a whole lot better,” Ozbirn said. “You always need to meet and know other people – and of course, get the word out about the archives.

“Preserving history – that’s for everybody.”

The fair is free to attend.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: American Legion Posts 64 and 120 – ‘Veterans Strengthening America’

Franklin County

RHS graduate crowned Miss Northwest Shoals

Franklin County

RHS graduate crowned Miss UNA

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: In memoriam – Monuments honor the fallen of Franklin

High School Sports

RHS senior chosen as Bryant-Jordan Region 8 Scholar winner

High School Sports

Russellville High School ladies soccer team members participate in annual Night to Shine

News

Russellville High School Scholars Bowl team qualifies for state tournament

News

Vina kindergarteners connect with lots of other classes

News

PCHS JAG student places in district conference

Features

Wedding Spotlight: Layne and Frank Edwards

Franklin County

RHS senior competes at state DYW competition

News

Extension, 4-H present free resume workshop

Franklin County

Franklin County has lots to love

High School Sports

Russellville High School honors alum Luther Tiggs with special night of basketball

News

BTCPA announces second production of season

News

RMS holds annual state assessment celebration

Franklin County

Red Bay welcomes new city attorney

Franklin County

Attempted traffic stop leads to high-speed vehicle pursuit, wreck 

Franklin County

Vehicle pursuit ends in wreck, arrest 

News

RFD, RHS collab promotes job readiness, community safety

Franklin County

Local students named to Mississippi State University’s fall 2023 President’s List

News

Russellville Elementary features among U.S. News & World Report best elementary schools

News

RCS receives recognition as finalist for national award

News

Plans get underway to raise funds for cancer research in memory of Bedfords

x