In Their Words: New Jersey Research

Do you have New Jersey ancestors? If so, mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 8 at noon eastern, when registration opens for the first-ever week-long course on genealogical research in New Jersey. The course “Gateway to the Garden State: Sources and Strategies for New Jersey Research,” coordinated by Melissa A. Johnson, CG, will be held from July 17–21 this year at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.

Melissa says: “I’m excited to provide students with the opportunity to learn about researching in New Jersey during various periods throughout the state’s history. The course will focus heavily on sources (what records are available, the types of information they provide, how to access the records, and how to use relevant finding aids), and also on strategies for connecting generations together and approaching complex New Jersey research problems.

New Jersey is a difficult state to research in, with missing early census enumerations, vital records restrictions, closed record groups, and minimal online records. The course will include coverage of record substitutes, and will use case studies to illustrate how problems can be solved. The syllabus will include several resources not available elsewhere, including finding aids, directories, and guides to New Jersey records. Students will walk away with a better understanding of how to find records and how to use both direct and indirect evidence to overcome research obstacles.

GRIP tries to present state or region-specific courses. A previous student of a Pennsylvania course evaluates his participation in GRIP in this minute-long video which is applicable to other states.

Consider taking the New Jersey research course when making your selection for the July GRIP week, held at La Roche College in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Instructors Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL; Karen Mauer Jones, CG; and Michelle Chubenko, will join Melissa in teaching “all things New Jersey.” For a detailed description of the sessions being taught in the course, see:

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