Happy 350th New Jersey! New State Research Guide for the Garden State

Posted by Juliana Szucs on October 24, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site

HessianThis year marks 350 years since New Jersey’s birth as an English colony. To celebrate, our gift to you is the latest in our series of state research guides on the Garden State. Here are five things you might not know about New Jersey.

1. Between 1674 and 1702, New Jersey was divided politically between East Jersey and West Jersey, although proprietors of East and West Jersey continued to control first sales of land beyond 1702. They were reunited in 1702 and shared a governor with New York until 1738 when they parted ways and New Jersey got its own governor.

2. New Jersey played a central role in the American Revolution, with nearly 300 significant engagements fought within the state, including battles at Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth. New Jersey was divided in loyalty and many loyalists fled the state for Canada and England.

3. The state constitution of New Jersey initially granted suffrage to all residents, including unmarried and widowed women, but legislation in 1807 restricted it to free white males.

4. A series of canals and railroads built in New Jersey in the 1820s and 1830s helped facilitate the transportation of coal from Pennsylvania mines to the burgeoning industrial centers in New Jersey and New York City.

5. In 1916, a munitions depot on Black Tom Island exploded after a series of fires were set. The explosion destroyed ammunition bound for Britain and France, shattered windows in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and caused $100,000 damage to the Statue of Liberty. Fortunately it killed fewer than ten people.  Years later, it was determined that German agents were behind the explosion.

Want to learn more about the fascinating history of the Garden State and the records that will help you discover your family’s ties to that history? Check out our New Jersey State Research Guide.

We now have guides available for 39 states and Puerto Rico. See the entire list here.


Past Articles

What We Are Reading: October 24th Edition

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on October 24, 2014 in In The Community

Genealogy happy dances can be brought on by breaking through a brick wall. They can also happen when we find a little nugget of information – an insight, a story – that we weren’t expecting. Many of the things we’ve been reading this week have been around those little stories, whether they were tales of… Read more

Between The Leaves: Interviewing Family Members

Posted by Jessica Murray on October 24, 2014 in Between the Leaves, Family History Month

Most of our family history research starts with oral history, the stories passed down from generation to generation. It’s important to capture these moments – whether by recording them or writing them down, to piece together your family history puzzle. On this week’s “Between the Leaves” we asked our professional genealogists Amy Johnson Crow, Anne… Read more

Titanic Captain among those listed as more than one million historic Liverpool crew lists are digitised by Ancestry

Posted by Brian Gallagher on October 24, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Content, United Kingdom

We are all familiar with the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. On the night of the 14th of April 1912, 1,500 people lost their lives after the liner hit an iceberg and sank to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The captain on that tragic voyage was Edward Smith. Smith joined the White Star… Read more

Creative Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Family History Month – Part Three

Posted by Jessica Murray on October 23, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Family History Month

Want to get the little ones in your family interested in genealogy? We’re introducing part three of our weekly series for the month of October in honor of Family History Month with creative ideas to engage the little ones in your family about family history. 1. Family Journalist  If you have a future journalist on your hands or an older… Read more