Observers of Hunterdon history on Facebook have called our attention to the anniversary of the fire that destroyed the Hunterdon County Courthouse on February 13, 1828. This inspired me to look at the Hunterdon Gazette for 1828 to see how people reacted to this disaster.
Except for articles relating to early West New Jersey, nearly all my posts concern the people who lived in Hunterdon County, which was created in March 1714.
Last Sunday, I gave a talk to the Lambertville Historical Society about how to research one’s property in Hunterdon County, with a special focus on Lambertville. It was a great group of people, and I got a chance to appreciate how awesome old photos look when projected on an enormous screen. It was also nice to show many more pictures than I can reasonably do on this blog.
After November’s big snowstorm, when so many people trying to drive home found themselves in crashes or stuck in a ditch, I began to wonder what sort of trouble people got into back in the last half of the 19th century. Luckily for me, I had Bill Hartman’s abstract of the Hunterdon Republican, 1856-1900, to turn to. With his abstracts collected into one pdf file, it was easy to search on a word like “accidents.” I found quite a few of them.
This is a continuation of the history of the farm once owned by Richard Reading, then later by John Woolverton and wife Rachel Quinby. After John Wolverton’s death, it came to his son Samuel. Continue reading »
The old house on Worman Road has been something of a mystery house for many years. Who built the house and when? These are the classic questions asked when starting work on a house history. In this case, finding the answer took some digging.
Not long ago, Dennis Bertland inquired about an old house that might have been located on the William Rittenhouse tract that I recently wrote about (“The Rittenhouse Tavern.” Dennis’ inquiry can be found in the comments section.) It is located in a blank space on the Hammond Map between the Wickecheoke Creek and Shoppons Run. Who did that space belong to?
In a previous article, I told the story of Martin Kaffitz and his wife Hattie W. Fritts. Kaffitz was employed for many years by William Crater who ran the blacksmith shop in Glen Gardner, Hunterdon County. I learned about the life of Martin Kaffitz from the many entries about him in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper. That paper was equally informative about William Crater, although Crater led a very different sort of life.
or The Misuse of Genealogy
On May 29th, my son, Carl Zimmer, published a book titled She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity. This is a book that all genealogists and geneticists will love. (I’m not biased at all!) And there is a special reason for New Jersey genealogists to love it.
In his chapter concerning Mendelian eugenics, Carl wrote about Henry Goddard of the Vineland Training School in south Jersey, and his study of one particular family that proved to him that feeble-mindedness and “moral degeneracy” were inherited. A member of that family was institutionalized at the school, which was established to care for “mentally-defective” children.
We are getting some warmer days this weekend, and they are welcome after the very cold weather we’ve had lately. But cold as it was, it was nothing compared to the Blizzard of 1888, apparently the most intense weather ever experienced in Hunterdon County history. There are many stories and photographs depicting it, including this letter by Egbert T. Bush describing how he tried to defy it.