Saturday, October 15, 2011

Monmouth County Archives Day 2011

Today I attended Archives and History Day at the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan, New Jersey.  Table after table was filled with helpful people and information from various municipalities in Monmouth County.  I was treated to a tour of the Archives, located in the bottom of the library, which is a wonderland for someone who loves to research old records.

I previously touted the digitization and free online availability of the Red Bank Register Newspaper.  In this spirit, the Archives are busily digitizing the myriad of records in these boxes.  Some are already done and are available online for you to search and view for free.  I was told that if a record is not viewable online yet, you may request a paper copy.  I recommend doing your research online first and then making an appointment to visit the archives to retrieve copies and search for yourself all of the paper copies that are not yet digitized.
If you search in the Coroner Inquests for last name "Wall," you come up with listings such as this:

The Archives holds the Coroner Inquest papers regarding the death of Maud Walling.  Death by murder could provide more details about your family than other modes of death, so it's definitely worth checking out.  (Do not overlook the people in your tree who did not marry or have children.  They also left a paper trail that might be more discoverable than the breadcrumbs left by your direct ancestors.)  The actual papers are not available online yet, but you can request them.  This goes beyond merely reading the articles concerning the death in the Red Bank Register.

Maud's abrupt ending provides us with some great family information.
She was the daughter of Wyckoff Walling; her cousin was Clinton H Walling, son of John H Walling;
John's wife was married previously and had a daughter named Bessie Blauvelt.
You can also research Maud's death and what became of Clinton Walling in the Archives.
If you have branches of your tree that lived or worked in Monmouth County, New Jersey, you have a lot more records to find.

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