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First Families of Old Monmouth County

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What's New in 2017

We are now on Facebook! Come join us and bring your friends!

General Meeting

Sunday, July 9, 2017

So You Want to Write a Book:

Sharing Your Story and Passion

Inside the brain of every genealogist are untold stories bursting to get out. What family historian doesn’t dream of writing his or her own book, letting the world know about their brave, brilliant, or eccentric ancestor? Joe Grabas, long-time member of the MCGS, entrepreneur and successful author will tell us how it’s done.

Don’t miss his presentation on the process of writing a book and getting it published at the MCGS July 9, 2017 General Meeting. How do you get started? How long does it take? How much does it cost? How much can I profit? How do I find a Publisher? Joe will answer all these questions and more.

Since the publication of Joe’s book, "Owning New Jersey," he has been in demand as a speaker. He recently sold his Title Agency to devote his time to his burgeoning speaking career and his Grabas Institute for Continuing Education, which concentrates on enhancing the skills of real estate and insurance professionals.

In addition, Joe is finishing work on his Master’s Degree at Monmouth University. He has completed his Graduate classes and is now digging into his Master’s Thesis, whose working title is "Crossing the Divide from Being Property to Owning Property: African American Land Ownership in New Jersey During the Colonial and Antebellum Period." He hopes to transform his thesis into a book "that people will want to read. . . with a much shorter title," he said.

Joe tells us he had an opportunity last year to travel to Jamaica with the Monmouth University Dept. of History and Anthropology to excavate a Slave Plantation Hospital site. "It was particularly rewarding for me, " he said, "as they had two Plantation Journals from the early 19th century which I was tasked with interpreting. Many interesting discoveries, the most significant of which was that the plantation owners were actively engaged in human husbandry, paying female slaves to create more slave children, who were put to work in the fields once they attained the age of five. My findings were included in the final Archaeological Report which was furnished to the Jamaican government."

Joe’s speaking schedule recently included speaking at an African American History Workshop in May at Grounds for Sculpture, the South River Historical Society, the National Settlement Services Summit in San Antonio, and The NJ Land Title Association Convention in June.

Joe also recently spoke before the Moorestown Historical Society, Passaic County Genealogy Club, Tewksbury Historical Society, and the New Jersey Library Association Annual Convention in Atlantic City. He did a Webinar for the American Escrow Association and filmed an episode of Genealogy Quick Start with Shamele Jordon in Philadelphia which was scheduled to air on June 7th.

We are delighted he is able to find time for us right here in Monmouth County.

The next general meeting will be held at the Eatontown Community/Senior Center, 72 Broad Street, Eatontown. It will start at 2:00 preceded by refreshments at 1:30.  Guests are welcome.

Scots-Irish & Irish Special Interest Group

The Scot-Irish and Irish groups have now merged.

The next meeting is May 20th at 10AM at Susan O'Brien's home.

To add your name to the list of attendees, contact either: Susan O’Brien by phone at 732-747-0090 or email at  or Judy Bretzger at 732-542-0963 or

African-American Special Interest Group

We meet on a Saturday each month at 1 PM at the Calvary Baptist Church at Bridge Avenue and River Street in Red Bank.

For more information contact Charles Lawson at (732)530-1995 or .

German Special Interest Group

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th, 2017  at the Colts Neck Library 10AM-12PM.

At this time we don't have a group leader but if anyone is interested in taking over this position, it would be very welcome. 

If you aren't already on the email list, please contact  Debbie White at so that you can be added to the list and informed of any changes in meeting dates etc.

Monmouth Roots Group

The next Monmouth Roots Group will meet Saturday, June 3 at the Colts Neck Library, 1 Winthrop Drive, Colts Neck from 10AM to 12PM

For more information, please contact Lynn Wilson so that you can be added to the list and informed of any changes in meeting dates etc.

Memoirs Group

 May 10th will be the next meeting. Contact Lynn Wilson at for more information.

Fall Workshop

October 7th - The topic will be "Computers and the Internet"

Also available here:

Cornelius Walling complete will 9627M dated August 22, 1825 from Book B wills folio 461 from the Monmouth County Surrogates Office.

Cornelius Walling inventory 9627M dated January 25, 1826 from Book C inventories p. 144  from the Monmouth County Surrogates Office



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