“My Negro Wench Lydia” Not long ago, I learned an ugly truth about slavery in New Jersey and how it persisted so much longer than I ever knew. Unable to change the past, I volunteered to help in the present. I wrote about New Jersey’s slow road to abolition in “The Ugly Truth” — a June 2018 article … More Tracing the Dunham Slaves, Lydia–An Update to The Ugly Truth: Slavery in Hunterdon County, New Jersey
What is a “Negro Wench?” Nehemiah Dunham used that phraseology in a legal document–his 1801 will–to refer to one of his slaves. That made me curious. What exactly did he mean when he used the phrase? The “Negro wench” phraseology appears to have been common in the 18th and 19th centuries, including in New Jersey … More “Negro Wench” Appendix
For a descendant of post-Civil-War immigrants from Germany, finding slavery in your family tree is pretty shocking. Granted, this discovery came on my husband’s side of the family, but that makes it no less difficult to learn. Most of his relations were from the North, and the few relations from Virginia moved to the North … More The Ugly Truth: Examining Slavery in Hunterdon County, New Jersey
In 1765, a man named Adam Hope arrived in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Not much is known today about Adam Hope’s history or why he came to Hunterdon County. In fact, his parents remain a mystery. Slightly bit more is known about from where he came. A small grain of evidence suggests he may have come by way … More The Life of Revolutionary War Patriot, Captain Adam Hope
Not enough has been written about the Hope family of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. I know. I have looked. For my children, the Hopes (though Sarah Dunham Hope wife of Adam Hope) provide a gateway family to Mayflower ancestry. With the 400th year of the Mayflower’s arrival in Massachusetts rapidly approaching, my goal is to have fully documented ancestry … More Hopes of Hunterdon County, New Jersey
My kids often like to know how they are related to famous people. Luckily for them, and no thanks to me, there are a lot of kings, queens, Mayflower types, and other interesting folks to make this task possible. Today, I decided to map out their relationship to our 44th president. I knew that Barack … More Oh those distant relations . . . Barack Obama
Scott’s parents will be married for 50 years this July. What a feat! They fell in love during the 1960s. Each came from separate parts of the country to attend a small liberal arts college in Iowa called Coe. They had never met, nor heard each other’s names. Neither knew what to expect from this … More Scott’s Parents Were Total Strangers When They Met or Were They?
Fines for selling liquor without a license these days can run into the thousands and the offense is chargeable (at least in my state) as a gross misdemeanor. Well it turns out, that in 1814, alcohol sales were not that much different. If you wanted to sell spirits, you needed a license or you could be charged. One … More Selling liquor without a license is illegal, and that hasn’t changed much for the last 200 years
Jeannette Hope Sayen was an artist. Fashion was her inspiration. Remarkably, as a young woman in the early 1900s she also made it her career. Working from both Paris and Philadelphia, artist Jeannette Hope began covering fashion at an early age–eventually becoming the eyes and ears of fashion for women throughout the United States. While her now-much-more-famous husband’s legacy is widely known, Jeannette’s own … More Fashion pioneer Jeannette Hope connects American women to Paris
As Hillary Clinton represents her party as the first major-party female presidential nominee, it seems fitting to pay tribute to one of the Marks family ancestors who was well ahead of her time. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted American women the right to vote, was not ratified until August 18, 1920. Just seven … More Who’s that woman running for office?