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May 11, 2021

FInd Ancestors in New Jersey

My Peer family came from New Jersey to Upper Canada (now Ontario) in 1796. It has been the second most challenging genealogy search in existing records. For anyone interested, finding genealogy records in Ireland is my number one research challenge! 

In light of the challenges of early New Jersey research I have put together some links to online databases for other genealogists to use. 

The Olive Tree logo denotes those are free records on

On Site List Selected Baptisms of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Ramapo, Bergen Co., New Jersey 1750-1817 NEW September 2010
On Site List Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey Membership Lists Hackensack 1695-1769
On Site List Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey Membership Lists Schraalenburgh 1797-1801
On Site List Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey Marriages Hackensack 1696 - 1801
On Site List Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey Baptisms Hackensack 1696-1783
On Site List Records of the Reformed Dutch Churches of Hackensack and Schraalenburgh, New Jersey Consistory Records Hackensack 1701 - 1780
On Site List Baptisms Old Dutch Church, Totowa, NJ: 1756-1774 | 1775-1777 | 1778-1779 | 1780-1781 | 1782-1784 | 1785-1787 | 1788-1789 | 1790-1791 | 1792-1793 | 1794 | 1795 | 1796 | 1797 | 1798 | 1799 | 1800 | 1801-1802 | 1803-1804 | 1805-1806 | 1807-1822
On Site List Marriages Elizabethtown, (was Essex Co.)
On Site List Marriages in Hackensack pre 1700
On Site List Early Settlers in Hackensack
On Site List  First Reformed Dutch Church at Montville, Morris Co., Baptisms 1786-1828
On Site List First Reformed Dutch Church at Montville, Morris Co., Marriages 1826-1873

New Jersey Naturalization Records on

Calendar of New Jersey Wills, 1670-1760 on Ancestry

 New Jersey, U.S., Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817 on Ancestry

New Jersey, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1739-1991 on Ancestry

See more links and records at Olive Tree Genealogy New Jersey page

May 8, 2021

FInding a Loyalist Ancestor

Have you discovered you have a Loyalist ancestor? A Loyalist is any person who is loyal to their allegiance (especially in times of revolt). During the American Revolution in what was to become the United States of America, a Loyalist (also called UEL - United Empire Loyalist) was anyone who remained loyal to the King of England. They were called Tories in their own country but Loyalists elsewhere. Most fled to Canada and helped settle that country, particularly Ontario and Nova Scotia

Guide to Finding a Loyalist Ancestor in Upper Canada (Ontario) is available in paperback or as an e-book on and on

Here are some Loyalist resources to help you in your hunt: 

More resources can be found at

May 5, 2021

Find Ancestors in Almshouse & Poorhouse Records

Discharge Ledger 1923-1926

Almshouses (also known as  poorhouses, or hospital) are charitable housing provided to impoverished people in a community.

Almshouses were originally formed as extensions of the church system and were later adapted by local officials and authorities.

 Below are links to online Almshouse records - some free and some pay-to-view. You will also find more links at

United States Almshouse Records

New York Almshouse Records 1782-1813. Records contain name of ancestor, date admitted, age, where from or born, complaint [illness], discharged, died, remarks. 

New York Almshouse Registers

Almshouse Records New York 1819-1840

Almshouse Records New York City 1855-1858

Society for Relief of Half-Orphans & Destitute Children 1900, Manhattan New York

Milwaukee County Almshouse & Poor Farm Cemeteries Wisconsin List of Burials 1872-1892; 194-1974 available at

Child Apprentices (Orphans & Impoverished Children) in America from Christ's Hospital, London 1617-1778: Child Apprentice

Chester County, Pennsylvania, U.S., Poor House Admissions Index, 1800-1910   
Chester County, Pennsylvania, U.S., Poor School Children, 1810-1841   
Canada Almshouse Records

Poor Law Union Immigrants England to Canada 1836-1871

Ireland Almshouse Records

Return of Destitute Poor Removed from England to Ireland, from the 1st day of December 1860 till the 1st day of December 1862

Poor Law Union Removals From England to Ireland, 1859-1860

Ireland, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1839-1920

Ireland, Sustainability Loan Fund, 1812-1868   

Ireland, Poor Law Union Removals From England, 1859-1860   

UK Almshouse Records

London, England, Poor Law Hospital Admissions and Discharges, 1842-1918
London, England, Poor Law School District Registers, 1852-1918

Leeds Moral & Industrial Training School, Yorkshire, England 1881

Bedfordshire, England, Workhouse and Poor Law Records, 1835-1914

Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, Poorhouse Records, 1888-1912

North Lanarkshire, Scotland, Poor Law Applications and Registers, 1849-1917 

Swansea and Surrounding Area, Wales, Poor Law Union Records, 1836-1916    

Dorset, England, Poor Law Settlement and Removal Records, 1682-1862   
Dorset, England, Poor Law Apprenticeship Records, 1623-1898   
Medway, Kent, England, Poor Law Union Records, 1836-1937   
West Yorkshire, England, Select Removal and Settlement Records, 1689-1866   
West Yorkshire, England, Select Poor Law and Township Records, 1663-1914   
London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930   
England, Norfolk Poor Law Union Records, 1796-1900   
London, England, Selected Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, 1698-1930   
Warwickshire, England, Parish Poor Law, 1546-1904   
Dorset, England, Poor Law and Church of England Parish Records, 1511-1997   
London, England, Poor Law and Board of Guardian Records, 1738-1926

May 3, 2021

20 Traits of a Good Genealogist

Most of us want to be good genealogists. We want to do our best to find our ancestors. We want to find the facts,and know that what we found is accurate.

It's never fun to spend time searching an individual's ancestors and adding them to our family tree only to find out it was the wrong person.

That means we need to be thorough and methodical and cautious. We should not accept an ancestor without verifying and double-checking every clue and document we find.

Here's my list of what I believe are the 10 most important characteristics of a good genealogist.

A good genealogist

1. Finds every document possible on an ancestor. He/she does not stop at census and vital registrations but looks beyond to records such as land records, court records, military records, church records,immigration records, education records, newspaper articles, tax and assessment records, etc. A good genealogist looks for more obscure records such as coffin plates, funeral cards, and other miscellaneous records pertaining to the time and location of his/her search.

2. Learns what records have survived for the location and time period for each ancestor's life. Then learns where those records can be found - online and off.

3. Copies documents exactly as found, not as he/she thinks it should be.

4. Cites sources for all facts found. Citing your sources means others can look up what you have written, and verify for themselves. Sources means you've got proof of some kind to support your fact.

5. Never relies blindly on family stories or online family trees, but searches out a source for each. Verify, verify, verify!

6. Makes an accurate copy of all records found. Carefully notes spelling of names while copying and does not make changes.

7. Keeps a research log of all sources checked, and notes if the search was successful or not.

8. Analyzes each record and document carefully in order to spot clues that may lead to other areas of research and to accurately understand what the record is  and is not.

9. Searches siblings of a challenging ancestor in order to find more documents that may hold clues pertaining to his/her ancestor.

10. Leaves no stone (record) unturned. Extends his/her search to records not found online such as in local courthouses or archives.

A good genealogist also tends to have the following personality traits:

1. Attention to detail
2. Perseverance
3. Loves a challenge
4. Passionate about family history
5. Methodical
6. Organized
7. Thinks outside the box
8. Good analytical skills
9. Thinks of themselves as a detective
10. Is patient. Building a family tree isn't a quick fix

What would you add to the list?