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    The weather was also very nice.
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    I have been in the genealogy hobby for a fair amount of time. The one person I have struggled with, the so called "Brick Wall" has been Dennis TInsman Snr. This was the furthest back in that line I had been able to trace. While it was a distant relative, I always wanted to solve another step or two and be able to say who my German relative is and where he came from in the homeland. Today I feel confident about my decision in saying that Dennis Tinsman Snr, Sussex County NJ, dies in 1818. His father, Johann Peter Dunschmann, Sussex County Nj, dies in 1806 are father and son. Peter's other son is Christopher TInsman, dies in 1821. Within the next weeks I will also be able to put more descriptive insight into the family happening that occur pre 1830 in New Jersey and some in Pennsylvania. This family line has been a great challenge to me, but........ I AM DONE!
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    The research trip is going quite well, but has been superseded by the discovery of distant cousins, the finding of family farms, and the discussions and relationship building that follows. While I wont get to all of the records that I had hoped to, I will build a substantial network of friends and family in the area. Honestly, that seems more important. I am beat, and still 3 more days....
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    Things have been progressing nicely for the site and for our personal efforts in Genealogy and History. We believe we are on the right track and that over time we will have a wealth of information posted here that will help others. While it will be time that is the judge of that opinion, I am comfortable in continuing our efforts on our current path. We do have the basic constructs built for the US States and their respective counties. Efforts to create this infrastructure has provided over 3143 county pages, and each of those allows us to place more focused information in an easy to find format. All of these pages and their information is fully searchable on the site, and we are seeing more information posted each month. Yes, this will be a long term project. We have a few local volunteers that are helping us, so maybe some would say progress is slow, or slower than hoped. Sure, it is, but the one thing that volunteers need is a peaceful and pleasurable environment within which to be creative. There is no need in making a volunteers life be miserable, they wont stay long if that happens anyway. So, we will continue to build what we can and post it. In time we may uncover a few more volunteers and then a few others. Either way, the journey needs to stay pleasant, and for us it is. I hope everyone continues to view the pages in their own way, participate when you feel like it. This is merely a community, and one that will be represented by those that use it.
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    I am tired. So much information that I think it is best to wait until we return home and then sort it all out. I do think I finally have my answers about Peter, Christopher and Dennis Tinsman in pre-1800 New Jersey. I hope it still makes sense when I get home.
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    Our journey started with overcast skies and Baltimore traffic. Only one hour later we were traveling through the rocky, rolling hills of Pennsylvania. First meal out. We stopped at the Prospect Diner in Columbia, Pennsylvania. A local joint that had delicious breakfast. According to the GPS we will get to the Marx Center at 11 am. A bit behind schedule as we hoped to make it at 10 am when it opened. I get to claim credit for both the good food in Columbia and the lateness of our expected arrival in Easton. Entirely unrelated as the breakfast did not hold us up much, it was me showering at 6:15 am this morning. Oh, and I am supposed to mention that someone (he knows who he is) had to labor at packing the van by himself this morning. He does take good care of me. Sights along the way... Sign which read "Steam passenger line for Berks County", a white brick barn (seen stone many times but not brick), large stone houses and walls, dilapidated barns, and a sign directing us to turn here for the "Rich Maiden" which was open. I cannot tell you what the rich maiden was as we did not turn. We got to the Marx Center just before 11 am. The volunteer at the center gave us a tour She called it the five cent tour but it was probably worth more than that as she was very knowledgeable and quite thorough. Then she left us to dive into the stacks. Ron found a file on the Albrights. It looks to be a bunch of type-written letters of inquiries and answers about this family's lineage. So far nothing that looks definitively to be Ron's people. So we are out at lunch now and enjoying some excellent pizza with fungus and pepperoni before heading back for more research. We decided to hit the Northampton Historical and Genealogical Society (which houses the Sigal Museum and Jane S. Moyer Library) before we went back to the Marx Room. We had found a reference to two family stories, Lee and Tinsman, that we knew were there and we knew we would regret it if we didn't at least check it out. Turns out the Tinsman folder had one page of an obituary from mid-1800s and the Lee folder had many, many pages of 50th wedding anniversaries and obituaries from the 1990s plus a baking contest won by Elizabeth Lee (no historical information about her family). Go Elizabeth! However, I did find a really cool book on the Shoemaker family that had connections to many families in Luzerne County, including the Bennetts. We spent about an hour there, helped by the kindly staff which seems to be the theme so far, and went back to our waiting periodicals at the Marx Center. It is difficult to say for certain what we found after the four total hours at the Marx Center. Ron so appropriately called it "casting a net and seeing what you catch". It truly felt that way. I found a Hoy history that had nothing (to my knowledge) to do with my Hoy family. I found two histories on the Courtrights/Kortrights but have no idea if any of the information relates to the Margaret Courtwright that married Zebulon Lee. I found a Bennett folder that had a 24-page history on Bennetts that I did not recognize. However, one of the Bennetts in this history married a Catrina Tinsman who may be a distant Aunt of Ron's; interesting coincidence. I found some tax lists from 1621 and 1677 that had many Albrechts/Albrights; took pictures but still need to determine if they have any relation to Ron's family line. My final thoughts for the day... The two genealogical centers (Northampton Historical and Genealogical Society and the Public Library/Marx Center) in Easton should combine their resources and volunteers. I love the view of the lake directly behind our cabin! I'm sitting here writing (which I love), with a glass of wine to my left and my darling husband to my right. Life is good.
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    West Jersey Proprietary Records. The records for West Jersey have not been published, but the originals at Rutgers University have been microfilmed. These include: Minutes, 1688 to 1951 (FHL Collection films 888812-14) Warrants, 1717 to 1754 (FHL Collection film 888815) Surveys, 1681 to 1952 (FHL Collection films 888803-11) Land records, 1700's-1800's, (FHL Collection film 888723) Secretary of State's Deeds From 1664 to 1785, land sales between individuals were recorded as deeds in either the East Jersey capital of Perth Amboy or in the West Jersey capital of Burlington. In 1795 deeds were transferred to Trenton, where they became known as the secretary of state's deeds. It has been estimated that less than half of all land transactions were ever recorded as deeds. The secretary of state's deed books also contain some proprietary deeds, warrants, surveys, powers of attorney, mortgage releases, and other miscellaneous documents. West Jersey. The New Jersey State Archives has the original West Jersey deeds. They are also on microfilm at the Family History Library: Deeds and surveys, 1677 to 1854 (FHL Collection films 460045-71) Grantor and grantee indexes (FHL Collection films 460043- 44) Salem deeds and surveys, 1672 to 1703 (FHL Collection films 460074-75) Gloucester deeds and surveys, 1682 to 1779 (FHL Collection films 460077-78) Indexes to Proprietary Records and Secretary of State's Deeds There are four major printed indexes to early provincial and state land records of New Jersey: Nelson, William, Editor. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Calendar of Records in the Office of the Secretary of State, 1664-1703. [Archives of the State of New Jersey, First Series, Volume 21]. 1899. Reprinted as Patents and Deeds and Other Early Records of New Jersey, 1664-1703. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982. (FHL Collection book 974.9 B49a, Ser. 1 v. 21 (1898); FHL Collection film 844843; FHL Collection fiche 6051369). This book indexes and abstracts most of the earliest deeds and surveys of East and West Jersey through 1703. All the original records abstracted by this book are at the New Jersey State Archives and on microfilm at the Family History Library. Use this index cautiously as some entire pages in the original records were not transcribed, and some entries that were transcribed were not indexed. A substantial number of pre-1704 records, primarily for West Jersey, were omitted from the book. Index to Powers of Attorney, Surveyor's Reports, Commissions, etc., Referring to Deeds. This card index is at the New Jersey State Archives and on film at the Family History Library (FHL Collection films 542530-31), filmed in 1972. In addition to secretary of state deeds and West Jersey surveys, it references such diverse types of records as civil and military commissions, naturalizations, oaths of allegiance, marriages, pardons, licenses, and cattle earmarks. It is listed in the FamilySearch Catalog as Index of Names to Various Records in Various New Jersey Counties, 1600-1800s (Film Collection films 946856 - 946861). Colonial Conveyances: Provinces of East and West New Jersey, 1664-1794. Two Volumes. Summit, New Jersey: Crestview Lawyers Service, 1974. (Not at the Family History Library). This is the principal index to use to locate pre-1785 secretary of state's deeds. Index to Deeds, Grantee and Grantor. A card index at the New Jersey State Archives (FHL Collection films 539948-49, 540239-40, and 540603-605) This indexes secretary of state deeds for East Jersey, 1667 to 1784 and for West Jersey, 1677 to 1854. County Land Records The Land Act of 1785 gave county clerks the responsibility of recording deeds, but many deeds were never registered. Those that exist are at the offices of the county clerks. County Land Records. The Family History Libraryand the state archives have more than 5,000 microfilms of New Jersey county land records. These include: Deeds to about 1901 for all counties except Union County. Grantee and grantor indexes to about 1920 for all counties except Bergen County. The deed books for most counties record sales pre-date 1785. It is common in New Jersey to find deeds recorded many years, sometimes generations, after the original transaction took place. Some county clerks have deeds that were actually recorded before 1785. These deeds are usually not included in the grantee and grantor indexes that start in 1785. These deed books may also contain powers of attorney, slave manumissions, wills, leases, agreements, maps, settlements of boundary disputes, and cattle earmarks. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of pre-1785 deeds for Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties. Some counties also have separate volumes of "ancient deeds." These were unrecorded deeds from earlier times that were finally recorded beginning in the 1870s. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of ancient deeds for Burlington, Morris, and Passaic counties. Mortgages. The earliest mortgages date from 1724. The mortgages often include a schedule of payments, the names of the assignees (persons to whom property is legally transferred), and the name of the mortgagor. New Jersey mortgages were seldom recorded until the date the mortgage was discharged. A card index to county loan office mortgages is at the New Jersey State Archives. (FHL Collection film 913175). This indexes many mortgages of Burlington, Hunterdon, Gloucester, and Somerset Counties. County clerks began recording mortgages in 1766. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of: