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From the Presidents Desk - November 2022

This is part 6 of the story I began in my June 2022 presidentís letter.

To reiterate the research question for those following this series:
Who was my motherís paternal grandmother?

When I ended my Octoberís presidentís letter I was heading to Pennsylvania and New Jersey to do research on my family history and hopefully find the positive proof to answer my research question.

Did I find the proof I was looking for? Wait a minute, not so fast. My travels took me to Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania which is where my motherís people go back for several centuries. The Easton Public Library has a wonderful special genealogy room called the MARX Room. The librarian who works there has been there for about 20 years and is very helpful. She recognized me immediately and called me by name when I walked in the door even though I hadnít been there since 2019 BC -before COVID). Their collections include transcribed church records for births, marriages, and deaths for all the area churches. They have cemetery records, historic newspapers, city directories, and many other resources that are a genealogistís dream come true. I highly recommend this library for anyone with ancestors in Northampton County, Pennsylvania or Phillipsburg, Warren County, New Jersey which is just across the Delaware River.

I also traveled to Reading to see our good FHSA friend Janet McNaughton and together we went to Harrisburg to visit the Pennsylvania State Library and the Pennsylvania State Archives. Unfortunately, the PA State Library is under renovation, so they are in a temporary location which is much smaller and therefore, their entire holdings were not available. We did know this and had conversations with the head librarian before our visit to be sure the sources we wanted to study were available. Some were and some were not. Was I successful in finding what I was looking for, not really? The full extent of the library holdings will not be available until 2023 so I will try again with a request for records I know they have in their collections. I did find a few records that I did not have, but I did NOT find the records to answer this research question. Wait for next monthís letter to read more about this quest for the answer.

I was disappointed of course but I did have a huge success in another area of my research. During my trip, I also visited a friend who lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. My motherís early ancestors also have ties to that area of New Jersey around Trenton, NJ. And what did I find? My 7x great grandfather was a founding father of the town of Burlington, NJ AND the house where he married my 7X great grandmother in 1694! I was so excited!!!!! I also discovered that he was a Quaker. This is my first ancestor that I have discovered was a Quaker. WOW! I now have a whole new line of research to pursue. But more about that some other time.

I will end this letter for now, but my story is far from over to solve my research question about my motherís paternal grandmother. Stay tuned as I continue this story next monthÖ

Katie Gertz
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