So You Want To Find Your Ancestors

Take your legal pad in hand and write your name, date and place of birth, date and place of marriage, name of spouse, name(s) of children and their date and place of birth. You might add any other pertinent facts such as education – where and when. Also, include your health genealogy, adding any major health conditions experienced to alert future generations. Do the same for all generations, if you can find the information.

On the next page, list all the same information for your parents. If they are deceased, put down the date of their deaths and place of burial. Remember to list the place and date of their births and marriage, and their cause of death.

Now you are on to new pages for your grandparents, and then your great grandparents and so on through the generations. Few people know about the earlier generations in their family, but if you know something, put it down.

If members of your family were immigrants, you need to know when they arrived and where they were they from. Were they naturalized? If your ancestors entered this country through the Port of New York from 1820 to 1892, look for information online at Castle Garden. If they came any time from 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island has records online. Court houses everywhere maintain many records in the County Clerk’s office. Churches maintain baptismal and marriage records. Funeral directors keep death and burial records. The Latter Day Saints have extensive records and Hunterdon has a LDS Library on Red School House Road in Clinton Township. If you have any of this kind of information contact the appropriate agency for confirmation.

Hunterdon County Historical Society maintains an extensive genealogical Library that is open every Thursday (except holidays) from Noon to 4pm and on the second and fourth Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. The Library is open at no charge and people are there to help you. Remember to bring a pad and pencils; no pens are allowed.

Your work will be easier if you search one parent’s line at a time. It becomes confusing and mistakes can be made working with multiple lines.

After exhausting local sources, the State Archives at Trenton, 225 State Street has statewide information. Their material is generally on microfilm and time on the readers is limited, but the staff is helpful.