Name Change

I know it’s been a very long time since I posted on this blog.  But much has happened since then.  The biggest change is that I no longer live in Winslow Township.  I’m still very much interested in history, genealogy,  and everything that has to do with it.  But last year I moved out of the Township and no longer reside there.  Because of this the name of this blog has changed from Digging Around Winslow Township to Digging Into The Past.  I’m going to try to post interesting historical & genealogical info that I encounter.

Another change is that I decided to get back into researching my family history and have been focusing my efforts to my blog detailing my activities, frustrations, and breakthrough in regards to that effort.  I will still make a effort to post here as often as I can.

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Uncovering History

Welcome to Digging Around (formerly Digging Around Winslow Township).  This is an updated web sites in the family of web sites that I own and manage.

This blog was started as a means of documenting my travels around Winslow Township looking for different historical sites in the area.  It has evolved into a site that presents interesting historical items from around the region.  I also welcome others, with similar interests in the history of the region, to contribute their stories to this blog.  If you wish to be a contributor to this blog or have additional information about any of the topics posted here, please send me a message via the Contact Me page.

I have disabled the Registration process in order to keep the spammers off of this site.


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What Good Is DNA Testing?

I don’t understand this big obsession with DNA testing.  I watch the commercials on TV for the different DNA testing services and I wonder what the people that pay their hard-earned dollars hope to accomplish.  Now, as a family researcher/genealogist I am of the old school.  I believe that the only proper was to do family research is through diligent research and researching actual genealogical documents.  A paper trail of birth certificates and marriage licenses will do more to prove a family lineage between a specific person and their great-grandfather than a DNA test.

That being said, someone please enlighten me why people searching for their family history think that a DNA test will give them their answers.  I’m not a geneticist but my understanding is that the results would be difficult to validate between 2 individuals unless they are in close proximity within their family tree.  The farther away your family tree branches are away from each other the more “diluted” the results would be.    So, first cousins would be a closer DNA match than say cousins that are 5x removed.  I also understand that the further away the “common” ancestor is from the 2 people in the same family forest (meaning that the people are not on the same family branch with each other) the less meaningful the DNA results are.

Lastly, how do DNA tests determine the actual relationship between the 2 individuals?  I know that DNA tests are useful in paternity cases and helping adoptees locate their lost close relatives and birth parents.  The DNA results may show that you both have your family origins in the same region but does that prove you’re related?

I have more questions than answers when it comes to DNA testing.  And those questions don’t include the privacy and monetizing issues associated with handing over your most unique personal identifier.

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Founding Families of Winslow Township

Just who would we consider as the founding families of Winslow Township? Would the founding families be those that settled in the area and set down roots? Or would it be the families that were instrumental in establishing the Township of Winslow and served as its first elected officials in the new municipal government?

Who would you think would be considered the founding families? Could it be both the early settlers and those elected officials?

Early settler families:

1. William Norcross
2. Joshua Duble
3. John Kellum
4. Benjamin Thakara
5. Joshua Peacock
6. George Sloan
7. Brittain Bishop
8. Benjamin Watson
9. Robert Maddox
10. Oliver Beebe
11. Charles Camel
12. Joel Bodine
13. John Rogers
14. Samuel Scull
15. Philip White
16. Eli Nield
17. Jonathan Fowler
18. Moses Githens
19. Enos Sharp
20. Isaiah Whitcraft

Some of you may notice that certain names are missing from this list, namely, Ware and Jacob. These were important for the Sicklerville area of Winslow Township, but they didn’t settle in Winslow Township until many years after it was incorporated in 1845.

Now as for the early elected officials of the township, those were:

A. Clerks – William Johnson (also served as Assessor), Elijah Burdsall, Joshua & John Duble, Thomas Melony (also served as Assessor), George & Richard Mapes, Montgomery Reading (also served as Collector), John Little, Edward Baker, Levi Phifer, Robert McDougall, and M.R. Simmerman.
B. Assessors – Charles French, Edwin Woolf, John Carroll, John Wright, William Sickler, John Duble (also served as Collector), Edward & Michael Burdsall.
C. Collectors – James Dill, Peter Ross, Samuel Norcross, Jacob Sailer, Conkling Mayhew, Jacob Sickler.
D. Justices of the Peace – William Peacock, William Sickler, Joseph Garten, William Shreve, John Cain, William Myers, Henry Jewett, Charles French, Joel Murphy, Samuel Burdsall, W.G. Wilson, Joshua Duble, Isaac Peacock, Thomas Austin, Elijah Burdsall, William Bishop, Paul Sickler, John Marahatt, Sidney Woods, Abner Gurney, Christian Heventhal, George Blatherwick.

If you are interested in the specific years that the any of the above people held the office, refer to The History of Camden County, New Jersey by George Prowell.

Many of the descendents of the early settlers/elected officials are still residents of Winslow Township.  It would be an interesting project to compile a detailed family tree for each of these families.


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