A new beginning for New Jersey genealogy…

To begin… that’s what we all must do. Jersey Roots Genealogy has been an idea of mine and last April I decided to move forward out of “neutral” and create my new business “identity”. JRG will be sharing NJ genealogical tidbits, information and research findings to help others with their family history research.  I’m glad you’ve joined us on this journey!  Plus, a bonus to our readers… My first official post is 3 days early!!

It is the same with family history… we must begin or move forward to achieve success.  I urge everyone to take the time to ask the questions about your families today, whether it’s family recipes or traditions or even those weird family stories.  You must ask the question and to receive the answer. It is important to know where we’ve been, so we can better chart our course of who we can be.

Random musings on determining a specific ethnicity while researching… This past weekend, I received an email from a researcher who wanted to confirm their family lore of Native American ancestry, so I offered the following simple advice:

Sometimes it seems that what we are told doesn’t always match what we, as researchers, find when formally putting the pieces together. Oral history is a vital part to everyone’s family. Some family tales are minor mentions, but turn out to be a big deal or simply amazing, and yet others are highly touted and fail to be proven.

As for my recommendations, there are several books that have helped me and I’m sure would be beneficial to you. However, the first and foremost process to document what you know.

Create your family group sheets and pedigree chart(s). These alone will help you determine your “blanks or missing data” in your research. You should start with the standard genealogical approach of using the records of: US census, birth/marriage/death, church, cemetery, land, etc.

Build the framework of your family first, DON’T *jump” generations to chase a name. Be sure to notate all sources found, even if they turn out to be negative. It is a crazy thing to look at a resource more than once, especially if you didn’t make proper notes the first time. I still have plenty of photocopies and notes from research in the early 1990’s that I just *don’t* know where I got them. {sigh}

While you are developing this family framework, a few good resources to become familiar with are:

  • “The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy” by Val Greenwood
  • “Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy” by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra H. Luebking (Editors)

Until next time…

“Things don’t turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.”
– James A. Garfield


4 thoughts on “A new beginning for New Jersey genealogy…

  1. Even though I grew up in New Jersey, (Exit 1), It has only been three years since I learned my roots are deep . I now spend countless hours trying to find the missing puzzle pieces to the DeReamer family of Oxford/Warren County, NJ… It has been exciting and fascinating… What a great feeling to “really belong”.

    Thank you so much for sharing additional sources that might help me find those “pieces” that are missing!

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