Using Facebook for New Jersey Genealogy

Last week, I was the featured guest on The Forget Me Not Hour: Your Ancestors Want Their Stories to Be Told radio show hosted by Jane E. Wilcox.  She invited me to speak about creating virtual genealogy communities. As a founding member of the Facebook group Nashi Predky / Our Ancestors for Ukrainian Genealogy, I have been willing to talk about starting online communities using social media.  Prior to this interview, I presented at the APG’s Professional Management Conference during day one of their poster sessions.

My poster “Creating a Virtual Community:  Nashi Predky (Our Ancestors) Unites Ukrainian Researchers” focused on the creation of a Facebook group to fill researcher’s need of an online “home” for Ukrainian genealogy. By using the social media platform of Facebook, researchers have the ability to use live arena to get and share information.  While being “only” on Facebook does limit the group’s reach, our success is definitely measurable.  Our group gained over 830 members within its first 12 months!

So, how does this relate to New Jersey genealogy?  The answer is quite simple… Were you aware that there are 40+ groups that focus one NJ genealogy and history?  If not, maybe I can convince you to become a member of one or more!

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South Jersey Church Records… Across the Delaware River

Researchers with roots in South Jersey, particularly those in Burlington and Camden counties, should pay special attention to a collection from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) in Philadelphia.  Officially titled —  Pennsylvania and New Jersey Church and Town Records (1708-1985) —  this collection was indexed, digitized and made available through Ancestry in January 2012. The bulk of the church records within the collection comes from Protestant and Methodist church congregations.  However, additional material available includes cemeteries, funeral home records, historical societies, and newspapers.

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New Jersey Vital Records: What? How? Where? in 2015

I’ve updated a 2013 JRG post on accessing vital records in New Jersey:

Yes, unfortunately, obtaining vital records can be a challenge in New Jersey if you don’t know where to start your search. On March 3, 1848 New Jersey passed “An ACT relating to the registry and returns of births, marriages, and deaths, in the state of New Jersey” which required town clerks to annually submit a certified copy of births, marriages and deaths that occurred in their jurisdictions. This law created a wonderful set of records, we as genealogists, use to solidify our family branches, twigs and roots.

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Do you have Danish ancestry?

Let me introduce you to DANE!  The Danish Archive North East (DANE) is located at the Danish Home in Edison, New Jersey.  Their holdings include books, letters, genealogical information, and sociological data comprising the collection of Danish heritage.  The geographical identifier — Northeast — emphasizes their mission to bring the stories of the many Danes who settled and contributed to the history and growth of the northeastern United States.

Key Holdings for Researchers:

Family Files
Microfilm (Perth Amboy centric)
* City Directories
* Censuses
* Newspapers
Church Records for Our Saviours Danish Lutheran Church
Membership Lists
Library of 1000+ items

Upcoming Event:

Genealogy workshop
Sunday, May 17 – 2-5pm

LOCATION: Danish Home, 855 New Durham Road, Edison, New Jersey

URL:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njdane/

For more information, contact DANE via email.

Crowdsourcing Opportunity: You Can Help!

Do you want to help get New Jersey resources online?  If so, here’s your opportunity to lend a hand in a crowd-sourcing project.   FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators make it possible for FamilySearch.org to publish an average of 1.3 million freely searchable records containing more than three million names each day.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org.  In the FamilySearch indexing system, historical records are indexed by two different volunteers, then an experienced indexer known as an arbitrator reviews and corrects any discrepancies between the two indexers’ work. Only then can records be published for researchers on FamilySearch.org.  Continue reading

Back to blogging and New Jersey genealogy!

Dear Readers:

I hope that you have had a great start with your research in 2015!  My beginning has been a bit bumpy with family medical issues — my oldest daughter suffered a concussion in December — and the loss of an important family member, my grandmother, just before Thanksgiving.  Add to that the crazy winter we had in the Northeast and it seemed as though I could not get many things accomplished.

Now that the Easter holiday has passed and we are finally seeing springlike weather, I have been able to get a multitude of items of my backlogged “To-Do” list, including giving my blog much needed attention.  Please accept my gratitude for your patience!

Watch for upcoming posts on…

  • New Jersey records, A Crowd-sourcing Event
  • Colonial Land Records
  • Getting to Know Vital Registration in NJ: Part 1, 1848-1878
  • and more

Are you interested in a particular topic for New Jersey research?  If so, please email me.

Happy Searching!
Michelle

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions… Have You Written Yours?

How have you fared in 2014? Reviewing my genealogical goals for this past year, I see that I fell just a smidge short of the 5 “must do” items that I put on my 2014 calendar page for January 1st.

1) RESTART my research business – This has been a slow process, but I’m making strides in increasing my client workload and other genealogical activities.  And beginning this month, my genealogy business is my sole focus.

2) EDUCATION –  Success can be claimed here. I was able to attend the Salt Lake Institiute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) in July. Yeah for me!  In 2015, I plan on attending GRIP again.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get to a Genetic Genealogy conference too!

3) MAINTAIN my business identity – Jersey Roots Genealogy hit the airwaves in May 2012 and continues its activities via Facebook, Twitter and blogging. For 2015, I will be continuing to communicate using these tools regularly.

4) REDESIGN genie website – A fresh new look is now online.  JRG had its last redesign in 2013 and I thought it was overdue for an update. Visit me @ http://www.jerseyrootsgenealogy.com

5) SUBMIT my CG application – Well, this one didn’t receive its due attention this year.  Officially, I restarted “my clock” in September and have the binder setup with Requirements #1-#4 already completed, printed and hole-punched. The focus for 2015 is to complete Requirements #5-#7 and submit my portfolio by my due date of August 31st!

While my goals that I’ve list deal mainly with my genealogical business, I have begun a list for the research goals too.  Watch for it in January!

So, what are your 2015 genealogical goals?

Happy Searching!

Michelle