Webinar: Researching Your Pre-May 1848 New Jersey Ancestors

Family histories at the New Jersey State Library

Thank you all so much for attending yesterday’s first program of National Family History Month 2018:  Researching Your Pre-May 1848 New Jersey Ancestors!  I hope the information provided will help you further your family research.

In the webinar, we discussed:

1. Useful resources and how to find them on the New Jersey State Library Website.

Colonial Deed – Quit Claim by Benne (Cowaken) to Benjamin Hull 1701 Book AAA p.29

2. The importance of the May 1848 milestone: This was when the State of New Jersey began to collect Birth, Marriage, and Death data for all residents.  These records provide personal information (including birthdate, age, parents’ names) and are highly authoritative because the informant was likely the person themselves or a close relative.

3. The goals of Genealogy: to find a birth, marriage and death record for each individual in a line, working from death to birth, backwards through the generations, starting with yourself.

4. Primary Documents (items produced within a person’s general lifetime) versus Secondary Resources (published items produced long after a person’s death) and how each of these can be useful in researching Pre-May 1848.

Colonial Marriage Bond – Edward Pierce and Katherine Talbot Colonial Marriage Bonds Book 1727-1734 p.131

5. Strategies for researching in pre-May 1848, especially where to start. (If they married or died after May 1848, New Jersey State Vital Records.  If not, Secretary of State’s Estate Papers.)

6. Resources available at the State Library, State Archives, and County Offices particularly useful to researching Pre-May 1848 ancestors. Examples include: Early Land RecordsCounty Marriages and Colonial Marriage Bonds, Family Histories, and Newspaper Extracts.

7. Jeremiah Basse family research example, in which we saw the importance of resources such as Deeds, Wills, and Newspaper Extracts in leaping back a generation.

Don’t forget that the slide deck for the class and a flow chart for Pre-May 1848 research strategies are up on the Genealogy Research Guide’s Guides and Handouts page.  I am happy to answer any further questions you might have!

All featured images taken by Regina Fitzpatrick.