Because the New Jersey colonial census records and the U.S. Federal census schedules of 1790 through 1820 for New Jersey were destroyed, early genealogy research there can be especially difficult. However, two invaluable collections of historical and genealogical records can help overcome this obstacle.1. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New JerseyWhat: During the late 1800s, William Whitehead, Corresponding Secretary of the New Jersey Historical Society, amassed an enormous collection of historical documents relating to his state, and in 1880 he edited the first volume of Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, which covered the years 1631-1687. Since then, 41 more volumes of documents have been produced by the society over the decades, each one covering a specific collection (like government documents or early wills), or time period, or geographical area of the state.For example, there is, in this record set, an …Read more
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As professional genealogists, we help people learn about and connect with their ancestors every day. But did you know that we also help people connect with living relatives?One case we worked on involved a family of eleven children who were split up after a tragedy in the early 1900s. The children of the youngest daughter, only a toddler at the time, had grown up never knowing they had a large extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins. We were able to trace almost all of the ten siblings as they moved forward with their lives, separating to follow various occupations across the western United States. The client and his sister received a whole new family that welcomed them with open arms.Genetic genealogy has brought similar results for clients who were finally able to identify their biological father and have subsequently been accepted into the extended family as a long-lost brother.We have also successfully been able to track down living relatives for …Read more
Newspapers are often an under-utilized resource in genealogy, a treasure trove of unique information. The obituaries, social columns, news bulletins, various notices, and even advertisements are invaluable for their ability to tell us things we would have a difficult time finding elsewhere, as well as giving an authentic look into the culture of the time and place. In my own research, I have personally encountered more than one research mystery that only became clear when I searched for the relative in a newspaper database.Why, then, have they so often been underused? Most of this stems from their uniqueness and inaccessibility. Newspapers have been created throughout history by various towns, individuals, organizations, religious groups, and political factions. They are not a government record (like the census) that could be easily rounded up and made available. Because they are published on such a regular basis, having a complete collection of a historic title can also be …Read more
As genealogists, we're often asked to research the likelihood and details of a client's Native American heritage.The Cherokee are currently the largest federally-recognized native tribe in the United States. Although they originally lived in the Southeastern United States, they were among the people forcibly relocated by the policies of President Andrew Jackson in the 1830s via the Trail of Tears. Today, many of their descendants are headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They were known as one of the “Five Civilized Tribes,” and were known to have closely interacted and assimilated with the settlers in their areas. They even started becoming U.S. citizens as early as the 1810s and 1820s.The Cherokee are particularly known for having the first written language of any North American native group, developed by a man named Sequoyah in the early 19th century. As a result, the literacy rate for the Cherokee was quite high – better even than that of the Southern white settlers.The …Read more