Summer finally got here to New Jersey, even if we had our doubts that it ever would, back there in the dark days of February and March. What better way to celebrate than by getting your walking shoes on and exploring a bit of the past through a series of Hudson County history tours?
If you’re in the area, take a look at the topics below. All tours cost $10, and reservations are required. (Be advised that all tours also require walking over a variety of distances. If you have any questions, contact the tour leader.) For more information, see the Hoboken Museum’s tour page.
May 30: Lafayette History Tour (presenter: Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy) –Drs. Jenny Furlong and Rebecca Shapiro, historians, explore Jersey City’s oldest neighborhood, including historic residences and such prominent landmarks as the American Type Foundry and St. Mary’s Greek Byzantine Rites Church.
June 6: A Walking Tour of Bayview-New York Cemetery (presenter: Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society) — Historian Dennis Doran of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy leads a walk through a cemetery where many notable politicians and entrepreneurs from Jersey City’s past are buried.
June 7: A Walk Along the Harsimus Branch Embankment on Sixth Street (presenter: Embankment Preservation Coalition) – The coalition will explore this imposing remnant of the Pennsylvania Railroad in downtown Jersey City, which they are working to transform into a nature habitat and public park as a segment of the East Coast Greenway.
June 14: The Stevens Family Legacy (presenter: Bob Foster, director of the Hoboken Historical Museum) – Gain insight into the impact left in Hudson County by the prominent (and civic-minded) Stevens clan, including a visit to Hoboken Cemetery on Tonnelle Avenue, where many family members are buried.
June 20: “On The Waterfront” Bus Tour (presenter: Hoboken Historical Museum) – Cinema buffs will enjoy this excursion led by film industry expert Lenny Luizzi, which highlights Hoboken locations from the classic film starring Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint.
A quick note: The Archaeologist has an article featured in the current issue of Actuarial Review. Yes, really.
This story grew out of my ongoing research into the fate of my German grandfather’s sister, an ancestress whose long-ago presence in the United States I discovered only a few years back. (I wrote about her here and here.) The more I dug into the story of the 1921 automobile accident that caused her death, the more it got me to thinking how quickly and radically America’s roads changed in the years after the First World War. This article delves into that a bit, and reflects on a world in which auto insurance was still in its infancy.
It all goes to show that you never know where genealogy might lead you.
As the little ribbon at the top of my Ancestry.com page reminds me: Free access to immigration and naturalization records until Sept. 2.
A nice holiday-weekend present if you don’t have a subscription and you want to take a look.
Hurry, hurry; get to a meeting or a seminar before everybody closes up and goes fishing for the summer. If you’re in New Jersey, you’re in particular luck. Check out the Spring Genealogy Seminar 2011 hosted by the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. It’s another full day of presentations, this time at the College of New Jersey campus in Ewing. Here’s the rundown:
• Megan Smolenyak, Trace Your Roots With DNA: Learn how Y-DNA and mt-DNA testing can shed light on your family tree, as well as what newer testing methods can tell you.
• Laura H. Congleton, Identifying and Researching Civil War Ancestors: How to best use federal, state and family records, and what common pitfalls to avoid.
• Carol Sheaffer and Nancy Nelson, Don’t Forget the Ladies: Finding and Identifying the Women in Your Past: Enhance your understanding of family history by uncovering the female legacy in a variety of sources.
• Laura H. Congleton, Welcome to the Club: An Introduction to Lineage Societies: A primer on things society-related, from membership requirements to record repositories.
Genealogical Society of New Jersey, Spring Genealogy Seminar 2011. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 4, 2011, The College of New Jersey Science Complex, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ. Register by May 28 to ensure lunch and sessions choices. For more information and to download a brochure, see the GSNJ website.
Immigration, Immigration, Immigration is the topic. (The Connecticut Ancestry Society wins the Forthright Program Title Award!) And if you are interested in immigrant ancestors, Saturday, May 21 looks to be a fine time to head to Southport, Conn. to hear a trio of lectures on their experience.
Maritime history expert Norman Brouwer will deliver two talks: Immigration in Sailing Vessels and Immigration in Steam Vessels. Each talk will focus upon the realities of travel in these respective eras, including food on board, hazards at sea and what records survive. Typical ports of departure and arrival will be covered, including Castle Garden and Ellis Island, along with immigration from the closing of Ellis to the present day.
For the third lecture, author Leslie Albrecht Huber will talk about Methodologies for Immigration Research — drawing upon case studies from her recent book The Journey Takers. Her talk will consider ancestors’ lives on both sides of the Atlantic and how to use and evaluate a variety of sources in researching immigrants.
Immigration, Immigration, Immigration. Sponsored by the Connecticut Ancestry Society. 10 am. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 21 at the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave., Southport, CT. Donation suggested. More information: Connecticut Ancestry Society website (go to left-hand column and click on May 21 “Meeting Announcement” link).
Do you have old family photos that help tell stories of New Jersey days gone by?
Then check out MyJerseyRoots, a project being launched by the Rutgers University Libraries as part of Rutgers Day — Saturday, April 30, when all sorts of events run campuswide from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to Stephanie Bartz of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey list (and Rutgers University’s Alexander Library), MyJerseyRoots offers New Jersey citizens the opportunity to “document the everyday life of our cities, small towns and rural communities from past to present,” an excellent idea. Today’s family keepsake can be tomorrow’s historical treasure! If you think you can drop by the main campus in New Brunswick with some interesting old photos, read on.
On Rutgers Day you can bring up to five images to the Alexander Library (169 College Ave., 4th floor), where Rutgers Library personnel will scan, digitize and record information that documents the photos. The library says the sorts of images they’re seeking include:
- photos of people, families, and/or neighborhood groups
- street scenes
- pictures at street fairs, parades, and other events
- pictures of houses/farms/office buildings/businesses
- pictures in and of religious institutions
- school photos – either of classes or activities
- photos of clubs, organizations, and civic groups
An added bonus: The first 25 participants in the digitization program will receive a free USB flash drive. There will also be brochures prepared by library staff, containing basic tips for photo preservation.
For more information on MyJerseyRoots, take a trip on the New Jersey Digital Highway. Full press release on the photo-preservation event is here. And for other interesting programs at the Library on Rutgers Day, click here.
Not classic mystery authors, but descendants of Thomas Sayre (1597-1670), formerly of Leighton Buzzard, Bedforshire, England, who immigrated to America circa 1634 and co-founded Southampton, Long Island, New York circa 1640. I will let study coordinator Gregory Morley explain more:
Many researchers are supplementing their primary and secondary sources (paper trail) with Y-DNA analysis. My research aims to learn why at least two different haplogroups exist among the current population of Sayre descendants or paternal relatives of Sayre including spelling variations. The project is also open to those who have not participated in Y-DNA testing.
This project uses the first five generations of Sayre males beginning with Thomas Sayre (1597-1670). Thomas was the son of Francis and Elizabeth (Atkins) Sayre. Thomas and wife, commonly reported as Margaret Aldred/Aldrich, had four sons: Job, Daniel, Francis, and Joseph, representing generation #2. Up to three additional generations of known male descendants from each son are identified in the project.
If you believe your male ancestor was related to Thomas but was not one his sons, you are encouraged to include your lineage.
This link will open the Sayre Family Research project, a two question multiple choice survey, which should take about two minutes to complete. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5GJLWJD
h/t NJ-GSNJ email listserve.