Gerald "Jerry" Smith, CG is a professional genealogist who has lectured at national, regional, state and local conferences and institutes. He is a faculty member at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Jerry has expertise in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Many settlers of southwest Ohio were from those states. The seminar will include research methods for those states and more! See lecture descriptions below.
Records of the New Jersey Proprietors
New Jersey Proprietor records are a key resource for researching colonial New Jersey families. After a review of the history of the East Jersey and West Jersey Proprietors and the East-West Jersey boundary, discussion will delve into the land and other records of the New Jersey Proprietors. The session will include the use and leverage of the records that are on-line and those available on-site at the New Jersey Archives. Different resources (hence different research plans) are needed for the East and West Proprietorship research. The archives is expanding its on-line resources for this important record set.
Early Pennsylvania Research from Afar
Learn about resources and tools for Pennsylvania research from afar with an emphasis on records from the 1700s and 1800s. Historical background and a good number of readily available, but little-known and often misunderstood resources can unlock Pennsylvania secrets. Topics include an overview of Pennsylvania warrants and patents, civil vital records (as early as 1803!), early courts, major religious denominations, legal resources, impacts of history and boundary disputes on the records, and navigating the Pennsylvania courthouse. Certain federal records (such as the 1795 Direct Tax) exist for Pennsylvania but few other jurisdictions. Deciphering early tax lists is an important tool for early research. For those who can travel, there is discussion of lesser-known repositories that should not be missed; for those who can’t learn tips on how to engage Pennsylvania researcher for economy and productivity.
Obituaries – From Humor to Horror
An introduction to obituary and death notice research. Topics include finding obituaries in papers, on microfilm, and on-line; information found in an obituary; evidence analysis for obituaries; pointers to other records; compiling a list of early newspapers for a locality; locating newspapers; finding aids (for obituaries, newspapers, and death dates); and gotchas (such as unusual headlines). Humorous and horrid samples interspersed.
Finding Land-Less Ancestors
Some ancestors died poor and without land, depriving genealogists of two commonly used record sets: deeds and probate. Learn techniques & resources for researching your land-less ancestor in both rural and urban environments. This lecture includes case studies.