Thursday, November 11, 2010

Researching in Millburn, New Jersey

Mary Drake was last seen in the 1920 census in Millburn, Essex County, New Jersey.  Her husband, John, was a widower in the 1930 census in Millburn.  I sought to find out when Mary and John died and where they were buried.

I visited the Millburn Library and went through the city directories.  The more recent directories sometimes list gems such as a date of death or a new husband.  Such was the case with John Drake.  The Price & Lee Millburn city directory for 1946 gives a listing for John Drake- his death on 2 November 1945.  With this date, I then went to the microfilm rolls for the local paper, The Item.  I located his obituary, which provided me with his place of burial, Saint Stephen's Cemetery, also in Millburn.  I visited the church office and was provided with a listing of the other burials in this plot: John's wife, Mary; and their two children and their spouses.  Sometimes, when you can't trace one family member, turn to a parent or sibling.  They might be buried together, providing you with dates of death for many people.

The Millburn & Short Hills Item
8 November 1845
page 12
In the meantime, The Millburn and Short Hills Item has been published online for certain years.  You may view the issues through the library's website.

After visiting the church, I headed to the cemetery for pictures of the gravestones.  On a confusing note, Edith Drake married John Wesley Bryant.  John Wesley Drake married Edith Knoller.  The use of the same first and middle names could indicate a further relation that must be further investigated.

John Wesley Drake, son of John Drake and Mary Duryea

Edith, wife of John Wesley Drake

Edith, daughter of John Drake and Mary Duryea

John Wesley Bryant, husband of Edith Drake

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