Spelling Doesn’t Count–Mystery solved

October 12, 2016

Guess I shouldn’t have made that the title of the post, so you get that answer, before how I got there.

The problem, genealogical question, is Where is the 120 Acre Farm, owned by this Civil War Soldier?

Before I get there, what I learned is, not only have another set of eyes look at the problem and where you are, but another discipline set of eyes. What I learned is that a person at a Historical Society might approach a problem (or Genealogical Question) from a different angle.

I had been emailing two members of the Washington Township Historical Society and their approach was certainly different. One program that they offer, at least once a year, is a Historical House Tour. So, they might use Deeds far more than I would or have. They know where to look. Very helpful hints.

Today, I knew that some one was going to be at the Museum so I stopped by to see what else I might find. I had mentioned that the father of my soldier “rented the Dufford farm”, from a reference book they had in their collection.

I was presented with a 2” wide box for that surname, as there is a local family organization in the area, as the family has been around for a very long time.

While I was looking through that collection, another person went to look at maps. A similar map from want I had been looking at. Much clearer, but know knows the historic area better than I, but I heard “I found something”. There is was … all I can say …. “spelling doesn’t count”.


Who would have looked at Woertz, when I was looking for Ort, on the map. I had seen that on the map, but had not oriented by mind to where that was in reality.

Now, I had found my Civil War Soldier’s family with a street name, so I knew where the property was from the Census Record. The Map showed the same location.

I had done the Census, back a page or two, forward a page or two, so I knew the neighbors. The bad part of that is, the combination of names are very similar around the township.

The 1880 Census was my next stop (again).


Then I remembered, no “next page”. But, the answer is on the previous page


Across the street on the map, very nicely shows D. Dufford, as does the Census.

A different set of eyes, different way to research, AND “Spelling doesn’t count”, helped me identify the 120 Farm that was talked about in that Pension File.

Thanks to the Washington Township Historical Society for helping resolve this Genealogical Question.

More on the Post Office

October 11, 2016

Over the weekend, I listened to the Board of Certified Genealogists / Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Great job to the presenters and a Thank you to Legacy Family Tree Webinar for making these recording available.

Specifically to Judy G. Russell‘s BCG/Legacy Family Tree Webinar “When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records” you can now catch it for FREE for a limited time! http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=1310

The point that I picked up on, was that we can, at some point in time, put one of our time consuming, reasonably exhaustive research (or search) aside. That was important because I have been spending a lot of time trying to determine how this Post Office indication, in this 1870 Census record played a role in locating this farm. Was it an important “issue” to walk away from.

Not willing to just walk away from it, I took one more try. I went to another website, in this case FamilySearch.org to see what I could find there. Went to their Wiki and located their Census Records.

I wanted to look at the same data, but from a different angle. It was easy to locate the Township Census Records, found what I was looking for and went to the First Page for the township. Sure enough the same Post Office. Went to the last page, same Post Office. Because of the way this website presented the data, I thought about the notion of a page or two before you entry, and a page or two after your entry. Just did that for my township. What about the neighboring township? Sure enough, I finally found my “permission” to put this “issue aside. The next township also had the SAME Post Office on all of it’s pages.

But, did the township borders change? Earlier I had located a Google Book entry for the History of the County, so I located a hint about that:


No impact there. So, the Post Office issue, for the 1870 Census is off of my plate. Thanks Judy.

Before “this chapter” is closed, I am in the process of going page by page (image by image) through that 1870 Census, to locate all of the households for the family I am searching for. The earlier Map I share before clearly showed that at least two farms had the right names associated to the property. Now can I find them on the image. So far, using the usual search hasn’t found them, but if I browse the images, I may find what I am looking for.

My current thinking is that if the Civil War widow is asking for an increase in her Pension, specifically mentioned 120 acres of land, in 1907, I should be able to find that farm.

One more bit of information. I found another map that had the farm owners name AND the acreage and year of purchase of that property. Not, the farm wasn’t listed there either.

Back to the Historical Society, but with new questions.

Follow Up on the Post Office, Pension Challenge

October 10, 2016

As a follow up you my earlier post

1870 Census and Post Offices–A Challenge

I decided to put some data into a time line so see what that might show me.

Here is a time line of what I found about the Post Offices that appeared in the Pension file.


(remember, spelling doesn’t count)

I have started a spreadsheet to help be catalog the 126 pages of pension files. For this pass, the only concern that I had was to capture dates and Post Office names. I have a few notes to go back to, but trying to see of the Date and Post Office would tell me anything.



From the Pension file, Schooleys Mountain was the Post Office in the file from 1870 until 1907. That would indicate that they were living “on the mountain”. As you can see, 1907 and 1908 the Post Office changed to German Valley (the post office in “the valley”). Then, in 1910 returned to Schooleys Mountain.

So, something happened in 1907, right? Well, the Civil War Soldier, died 21 Oct 1907, so it appears that the Widow relocated to “the valley” with family. Several of the documents in 1908 talked specifically about 120 Acres that she had.

The 1900 Census shows that my Civil War Soldier was on “the mountain” with his wife and 4 children. I know where that property is located. The youngest son, would purchase a farm “in the valley” in 1916 (our 100th anniversary farm). But, the widow, returned to “the mountain”.

Why did she go back up “the mountain”? Could it be that a grandson still owned the farm on “the mountain” after he purchased the farm “in the valley” ? There was still family about where I think the farm is located today in the 1940 Census. Could that be the 120 Acre Farm?

But, why the 1870 Census Post Office being 22 miles away, with other Post Offices still active at the time.

Back to the Historical Society, for another look at their information on the Post Office and to see if they have any other Maps. I have already reviews the Online Maps, but before the 1900’s. They may also have access to or  can point me to, Deeds for the Property that I know about, and to the size of that Farm.

1870 Census and Post Offices–A Challenge

October 10, 2016

I recently received a Civil War Pension file, indicating that the Soldier and his wife (after his death) owned 100+ acres of land. The letters in the file had the suspected post offices mentioned. I know, from census records, that the family had property as early at 1860 in Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey. It wasn’t really a question of the township, but where in the township. Later census records were very clear where the farms were, including the current farm, celebrating 100 years at the current location.

I can also go back to the next previous farm, also in the township. In this area, one my say “in the valley” and “on the mountain”.

A visit to a local Archive was in order. The Archivist very nicely pointed me to where some old County Maps were located, and found an 1868 Map, that had the Civil War soldier’s father and sibling mentioned on the map.

Overlaying that map with Google Maps, I knew where the farm would have been. I drove to where I thought it was, and in fact, it is still a farm. All of the bends in the road were as they should be, the stream was where it should be, present day and that 1868 map. BUT, where was my Civil War Soldier. Certainly a 100 acre map would have some indication on that map.


I went back to the Census Records, reread my citation, and noticed something really weird. The 1870 Census has a Post Office name listed.


The Post Office in Succasunna, NJ, and the Census says Township of Washington. Clearly, there is a problem here. Succasunna is NOT in Washington Township.

Back to the maps


Succasunna is in the next township. Also, that was also one of the post office names in the Pension File.

Next stop, the Washington Township Historical Society. As it turns out, the person I spoke with knew exactly what I was talking about. The 1870 Census. She ready knew my question, where did Succassunna come from for that census record.

She had some information on the Post Offices in the township over time. Someone had already done research on them showing that they opened and closed over the years as the township grew.

I went back to verify my Census Records (image above) to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I did my usual back a couple of pages in the Census, forward a couple of pages. Many familiar and sometimes family names were listed, as expected in Washington Township, not in Roxbury Township, where Succasunna is located.

Well, if Post Offices opened and closed, there has to be a history of that. In fact I had looked for this before, but for Post Masters, not Post Offices. The notion in my mind was that the Washington Township Post Offices had closed or that the family was closer to this post office then ones on the other side / end of the township.

I did find a listing for Post Offices in New Jersey, and had dates that they were in “business”. Well, the Succasunna Post Office, didn’t open until 1888. BUT, in looking at that map again, besides Succasunna there was also “Suckasunny” (1808-1888).  OK, my usual “spelling doesn’t count” clicked in.

So, I am confused, as well as the folk at the historical society, about the 1870 Census with a Post Office listed in the next township. and trying to see which of the 8 or 9 Post Offices that have existed in Washington Township might have been closed in 1870 to have the Census bureau use the neighboring township. Oh, and it’s not that close.

The other problem here, is that Enumeration Districts had not been established, from what I can tell for the 1870 Census.

I know that I am missing something here, but am not sure what that is. With a 100 acre farm, I should be able to find it on one of these historic maps. I have seen the 1868 map and a 1878 map and have located the father Jacob but not my Civil War soldier.


Am heading back to read the Civil War Pension file to see if there is a hint that I missed. I’ll pay closer attention to the Date and Post Office mentioned in the 125+ pages in that file, to see where this farm is.

The 27th Regiment, New Jersey Infantry

July 4, 2016

A couple of days ago, I posted Soon to be Expert ( ??? ) on a project I was starting on. Being the 4th of July, I was drawn to take a look at the Civil War record of William H Ort, the Great Great grandfather of my daughter’s boss.

The Soldier and Sailors website has information on the Regiments in the Civil War so I wanted to look a little more into this regiment to see if there were any battles what other Civil War units that I have looked at before.

So, why am I posting this today. Well, I missed an anniversary, by two days. On 02 July 1863, the 27th Regiment was mustered out back in New Jersey. Guess I spent too my time in Cemeteries over the past couple of days.

Here is a quick map that I created to show the 27th Regiment during the Civil War (03 September 1862 – 02 July 1863)


A Timeline Report is here if you care to look at it.




Russ Worthington photograph; privately held by Russ Worthington, Hackettstown, New Jersey 07840, 2016.  Headstone Photograph for William H Ort in the Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Churchyard, Pleasant Grove, Morris County, New Jersey.

Soon to be Expert ( ??? )

June 27, 2016

You know, a Drip under Pressure. That’s me, right now.


You may see this image a couple of more times over the next couple of months.

It appears that the Century mark (100 years) has finally set in for me. First, both of my parents were born in 1916, as was the FIRST Ort Farm in Long Valley, New Jersey.

This past Saturday, Ort Farms had a “Friends and Family” Picnic and a Birthday party. As daughter Jenn has been working for the farm for about 10 years, we were invited.

Here is a few photos from the picnic: Ort Farm 100th year Family & Friends Picnic (06/25/16)

At the party, there were at least 4 generations of Ort’s and related family there. As expected, a small table with some pictures, new and old. A couple of family photos, a picture book and one “in progress”.

Here is a photo of 3 generations:


One of the photos was of all of the Grandchildren who work on the farm, even today.

I can see “been there, done that”, in that I do remember the farm gatherings, both Family and Friends as well as other Picnic of other Farmers, Orchard growers mostly, where we would go to a farm and have picnic, like this, EXCEPT not on a Farm that has been in “the valley” for 100 years.

When I got home from the picnic, what did I have to do, but see if I can find “Sr” in a Census Record. That story will be told elsewhere, but One search on Ancestry.com gave me enough information to get back to the “first” Ort in Long Valley. The real bonus, HE was a Civil War Soldier.

The icing on the cake (couldn’t resist that) was that 5 years ago, I took a photograph of his Headstone AND the Civil War marker. I found a photo of “Sr’s” Father on the Find A Grave website, with a cow. Hmm, a cow on a Produce Farm? Well yeah, there were actually 2 farms. the first being a dairy farm, from what I can tell.

Do you see some research that needs to be done ???

Oh, and there IS a Civil War Pension file. DE / NARA here I come.

So, I gave my findings to Jenn, that is the history of the 27th Infantry Regiment New Jersey and the two cemetery pictures to see if the family would like me to do some research.




So, the pressure comes in a matter of time. In the fall, is the official, public celebration of the 100th year of Ort Farms in Long Valley. There will be photos, with a little genealogy research thrown in. I suspect that the Washington Township Historical Society will have a couple of visits from me very soon. I guess it’s a good thing I gave a presentation to them a couple of years ago. Hopefully, they’ll let me do a little research on the family. I am sure that have a “ton of stuff”.

There is a P.S. here. Like the Ort family farms, the Worthington’s also had two farms. A Dairy Farm and an Orchard. The Ort Civil War soldier has only a middle initial (so far) of H. Jenn said that it was either Henry or Harvey. My dairy farming uncle was a HARVEY, and my Dad (100 years old this year) and his father were both HENRY.

“It seems that we had a witch in the family”

October 24, 2013

I have been reviewing some data in my genealogy database management program of late, because I found a “new cousin”. This new cousin had a blog called The Barefoot Genealogist. She also can be found on her YouTube Channel. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person.

In one of her online events, I saw a place name and several surnames that I am very familiar with. I did a blog post on that not too long ago.  Re-Read what you have That really talks about what I am doing with my database.

I am re-looking at about 100 Family Group Sheets that I was given by a cousin who has been doing family research for years. In fact my Grandfather’s brother’s family all have been part of this work. About 15 years ago, we even gathered “to tell stories”. My notes reflect that I worked with these Family Group Sheets 13 years ago. Documented everything AND cited my sources.

My major task was to move the source information into the appropriate Evidence Explained format. But because of who the Barefoot Genealogists is, I thought I better get my act together. In doing so, I looked at every Family Group Sheet that I have, but focusing on this specific “line” to make sure I captured everything. I didn’t miss much the first time. In fact, I hadn’t done too bad of a job. But my genealogy database management program has added many features, I wanted to make sure I had the data entered to take advantage of those features.

Note where notes belong, research notes where they belong, remove timelines as my software can do that more accurately, and really identify the source material that made up the research for these Family Group Sheets.

But then, I came across a NOTE that I must not have read, as it’s not in my file, but its on one of the pages with the Family Group Sheets. The note said: 1

“It seems that we had a witch in the family”


In an article (not documented yet) is has terms like “Widow Burt”, “old goody Burt”, “awld wich” in it. It talks about a complaint against her “for witchcraft”. Hmmm. There was no indication that there were any actions taken against her.

But wait, this is in Lynn, Massachusetts and I am working on a line in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Same person, same family ??? What’s going on here?

What are Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony doing in Fenwick’s Colony?

Looking around a little more in my New Jersey folks are mentions of several other families from Long Island, also within a generation moving “south”. So, what is going on? Witches, Quakers, mid-1600’s ??

For grins and giggles my daughter did a Google Search for “Quakers In Mass”. The hint may be here.

I knew of the Puritans in Massachusetts, and that there were Quakers there as well. In fact I have “The Naked Quaker” by Diane Rapaport (Commonwealth Editions –  Carlisle, Massachusetts, 2007) sitting on my bookshelf, in my Must Read section of my library. But it’s what I didn’t know that the Google Search helped me understand.

They didn’t like one another, I guess.

Here are a couple of links:

  1. Quaker and Puritan Interactions in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

    Aug 14, 2013 – Looking specifically at the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the relationship between the Puritans and Quakers is intriguing

  2. Quakers fight for religious freedom in Puritan Massachusetts, 1656

    Massachusetts Bay Colony. Location Description: Boston and surrounding locations. View Location on Map. Goals: The Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)

  3. Boston martyrs – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Boston martyrs is the name given in Quaker tradition to the three English Mary Dyer was an English Puritan living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony at


  4. Mary Dyer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1611 — June 1, 1660) was an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony (now in present-day Massachusetts), for

  5. First Quaker colonists land at Boston — History.com This Day in

    Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two Englishwomen, become the first Quakers to immigrate the ship carrying them lands at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

To name a few.

Since Salem and Lynn are on or near the water, I guess that some of the Quakers got on boats, traveled south, dropped some off in Rhode Island, maybe picked some passengers up along the way, like on Long Island. Perhaps they heard of Fenwick, in West Jersey and headed in his direction (gotta read more on this).

Something must have taken them to what is Tuckerton, New Jersey. Egg Harbor, Little Egg Harbor and found some of Fenwick’s folks in the area. I am finding the connection with Fenwick and this south Jersey area with the West Jersey Quakers. Sounds like what WAS Burlington County, West Jersey was “Quaker Friendly” as compared to Lynn, Mass.

I should mention that I made a comment on the New England Geneablogger Facebook Group about this finding, and within about 1/2 hour, I had 2 new cousins, both of whom I have met. Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy and I are 10th cousin’s according to our records.

Heather said “Just in time for Halloween!”

All of this because I “Re-Read What” I have.

1 Fayette Loomis Worthington, Worthington Family Group Sheet Collection; Fayette L Worthington, Tacoma, WA  98498, 1999.  Family Group No. 01248; dated Aug 1987. Record for Roger Bassett.

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