Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Research Trip aka Repository Heaven

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit several repositories. Since beginning my blog, I have reviewed many of my family files and have made new discoveries. A recent trip to Pennsylvania allowed me to visit family and friends and to do research in these great repositories.

My first stop was the New Jersey State Archives, just across the Delaware River in Trenton. With several family lines in the Trenton area, there are wonderful resources available at this facility. The hours passed too quickly but I did make some great discoveries which I will share in future blogs. My focus at the archives was on birth, marriage and death records for extended family.

An afternoon at the David Library of the American Revolution was enjoyable but yielded little in the way of answers about one of my American Revolution patriots. The librarian was helpful but there does not appear to be a clear record of service to back up the family story. While this does not make the story untrue, it does mean that a different approach to this research question must be taken.

Some of the research for this patriot continued at the Lancaster Historical Society. With deep roots in Lancaster County, there was plenty to research. I must admit that organization was lacking as I wanted to familiarize myself with the holdings and to glance at possible resources for my many Lancaster lines. Inventories, church and cemetery records, and family files are just a few of the items I was able to review while at this amazing repository.

Additionally, I have always dreamed of holding the actual documents that my ancestors carried with them on their journey to this new land. Holding documents dating from 1724 that belonged to John Leonard Ellmaker, my 7x great grandfather, was a thrill and the highlight of my trip!

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