Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ING

This family plot of stones caught my eye in Green Grove Cemetery in Keyport, Monmouth County, New Jersey.  The stones had the surname COLLINS, except one, which included a G in the spelling:  COLLINGS.  Some regional accents barely pronounce the G sound in ING, which can account for the spelling difference in this situation.

The surname on this tombstone includes a G.

One of the tails in my family tree is my great-great-great grandfather, William Cumming (1856 - 1882).  Records spell the name with or without a G as well as an S.

Be open to spelling variations.  Figure out the most frequent variations based on phonetics.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Old Dutch Farmhouse: Jacobus House of Cedar Grove

I toured the oldest house in my hometown of Cedar Grove, New Jersey.  The Jacobus House was built in the 1700s by Roeloff Jacobus.  The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  You will come across the surname Jacobus if you study local Cedar Grove history or people who lived in this area.  (You can see older pictures of the house here.)

The house was recently renovated and is for sale!  If you've been wanting to live in a house like your Dutch ancestors who settled in New Jersey and New York, this is your opportunity.

Jody at the Jacobus House
178 Grove Avenue, Cedar Grove, New Jersey
A living room, kitchen, and full bathroom comprise the first floor.  Notice the beams.  Remember my trip to Amsterdam and the pictures of the beams?  The Dutch built these homes to last.

Fireplace in the living room.
Electricity, heat, and air conditioning have been integrated over the years.

Hearth in the kitchen.

Modern area of the kitchen for the days you feel like cooking on the stove and not the hearth.

300 years of difference in the kitchen
Upstairs you will find three bedrooms and another full bath.

The basement walls:  21 inch thick sandstone blocks.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Withholding Information

The United States Social Security Administration makes available to the public some information for certain people who are deceased.  You can search this Death Master File for free at FamilySearch in their Social Security Death Index.  This is a great resource if you are looking for someone who would have applied for a number, which started in 1935.  Results should include the deceased person's name, date of birth, month and year of death (day of death in more recent years), and the place that the last benefit was sent.

If you find an entry of interest, for $27 you can request a copy of the original application for the Social Security account number.  The fee used to be $7.

The original application asked for address, date and place of birth, employment, and names of parents.  This is great information in the study of a family's history.

I ordered my mother's application and was surprised to see information blocked from the copy.

The enclosed letter explained, "We have deleted the names of the parents, however, as they may still be living."  Another paragraph explained that I can file an appeal if I can prove that the parents are dead.  A decision will then be made if the people whose deaths I can prove are the same people on the application.

I can indeed supply copies of the death certificates and will appeal this decision.

I don't know if names of parents are automatically blocked on the copy of the application, or if there is a year of birth to serve as a cut-off time frame.  Research is greatly hindered when information is purposely withheld on what is supposed to be a document available to anyone by request and payment of a fee.  Imagine someone's predicament if the names of parents were not known and this document was the only way of discovering these names.

If anyone has recently requested a copy of the application for a Social Security Number, please let us know your experience.