The expanding number of records to be found on the Internet is making it easier than ever for family historians to trace their ancestors. Checking these records also can help confirm the accuracy of family lore.

A story handed down through Francis Marion Poore’s family holds that after Francis left Mississippi in 1870, he never saw his younger brother William again, except for a chance encounter around 1910. The meeting occurred at one of the United Confederate Veterans’ picnics in Arkansas that Francis often attended. As told, the story says Francis went to fill a pitcher from a park water pump and there stood William.

A check of reunion dates and places for the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) made it seem likely that this brotherly reunion, if it did happen, actually occurred in Little Rock on May 16-18, 1911. That was when Little Rock served as host for the 21st annual UCV Reunion. The reunion drew more than 140,000 people, including about 12,000 veterans, making it the largest event in Little Rock history. And Francis lived in Pulaski County just outside Little Rock.

Still Little Rock was a long way from William’s farmhouse in Jasper County, Mississippi.

Fortunately, registration forms for the reunion still exist. They can be found on a database of the Arkansas History Commission.

A search of the database turned up a registration form not only for William, but also for brother John F. Poore. A third registration form with a badly misspelled is probably for Francis. All three brothers had been present at the reunion.

More than likely this brotherly reunion at the UCV gathering had been planned rather than being accidental. But Francis may have met up with his brother at the event as he went to fetch the pitcher of water.

William’s registration forms do create a new mystery. One form states William was in Chatman’s Mississippi Company. Another states he was in Chatman’s Regiment. Companies usually carried the name of the commander and regiments were numbered. The name Chatman has not been found for either a company or a regiment. More research of records on the Internet my yet solve this mystery, too.

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