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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Trenton State Archives

On Monday, April 29th, Barbara Solem and I went to the Trenton State Archives.  She was doing research on Batsto and I was doing family history.  Barbara is coordinating docents for tours of the Atsion Mansion and has written the tour script and trained the volunteers for the past two years.  She has been a tireless promoter of the history of the pines. 
She had better luck than I did and found many boxes of fascinating photographs of Batsto and environs.
I was still tracking the elusive William C. Garwood who married Rachel Ann Cheesman, the only surviviing daughter of the prominent Major Peter T. Cheesman (the major was from his service in the War of 1812).  The Cheesman family were big land holders at one time in the watershed of the Big Timber Creek, with at least 3 mills and numerous descendants farming the land all around the creek.  William C. Garwood came as a schoolteacher and boarded with the Cheesman family, married Rachel Ann, had two children, then she died.  Her daughter Sarah Garwood married Robert Jaggard.  The Jaggard family also had some prominence in the Blackwood area.  Joseph Franklin Garwood married Patience Ann Watson and their son, William C. Garwood was raised by his grandfather after his parents died in his early childhood. 
As with many another thing in life, the more you know, the more questions are raised.  Sometimes I feel like a dope when I go to the Archives, and that is the only place I feel dumb.  I have three college degrees and college always made me feel smart.  But I seem to be foggy when I get to the archives, although it may be that increased exposure gives you the experience you need to find out what you are looking for and how to get it.  I should make a serious set of questions before my next trip there.
One very adept and knowledgeable librarian there, named Betty, helped me find a half dozen pieces of good information which I have brought home and plan to work on before my next trip there. 
By the way, it is FREE and so is the parking.   Anyone else out there working on local family history? 
Jo Ann

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