Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Once again, with my friend Barbara Solem, this time in the company of a friend of hers who is a photographer, we headed up to the Trenton State Archives.  A lady named Sherry, the librarian in charge of the room where I was working, was very helpful and again, I caught three good pieces of family information.  I'm beginning to get the hang of it.  I found Peter T. Cheesman's marriage record to Sarah Smallwood (with Sherry's help, it goes without saying) and I found records for William C. Garwood and Rachel Ann Cheesman and their marriage.  Smallwood is another of those old old names you run across regularly when you look into the history of this part of South Jersey (the Camden County/Gloucester Twp., Big Timber Creek/Newton Creek area).

Barbara and her photographer friend, Al, were taking pictures of old photographs and maps of Batsto and environs.  She has been taking meetings gathering background on Batsto recently and also met with Bud Wilson, archaeologist extraordinaire!  He is not only deeply knowledgeable, he is famously generous with help and information sharing.  He is beloved by many.

While organizing my scattered family history files, I ran across a piece of information I had found and lost on Cheesmanville.  You may think the only 'lost villages' are in the pines, but in fact that have sprung up and vanished all around in SJ.  I'd love to hear of any you might know about.

Take Old Upton for example.  That was a very old name and yet no one knows of it now.  The triangle of land from Cross Keys, to Sicklerville, to Turnersville, is the area once known as Cheesmanville.  One son ran a sawmille, one son ran a gristmill and five other sons farmed land in the vicinity.  The Smallwood family also held extensive farm land in the area.  This land was in the junction of the "Big and Little Lebanon" branches of the Big Timber Creek area. 

I have downloaded a watershed map of the Big Timber Creek but it is illegible.  I'll have to do more research on this as time goes by.  This information on Cheesmanville came from ancestry.com back in 2011.  If anyone out there is a Cheesman/Garwood relation and or has information on these families or would like to share what I have, you can reach me at wrightj45@yahoo.com.

There is an extensive amount of work done on the Cheesman family in a red book at the Gloucester County Historical Society Library, gathered by Albert Stirling Adams and published in the 1980's.  I don't know where I would have started without it.  An while I'm on the subject of gratitude, thanks to all the tireless and generous volunteers who put data from cards and books into the computer so that we can all share it!

One of my sisters is researching the Wright/Sandman/Young side of the family (English and German) while i research the Cheesman/Garwood side (English in origin and Quaker by religion).  I will later tackle, one more time, the McQuiston/Johnston branches (Scots Irish who came here via Londonderry).  Families are like watersheds in the way they branch out and I love the context of history that they illuminate and make personal.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative; I have passed this along to other Cheesman family members