Bonnie Delaney, writing in the Asbury Park Press, has an important article, Preserving history through registry restoration, that covers well, saving/preserving registries. There is who knows how much history sitting around city halls and county courthouses, that are in danger of being lost forever. The information found in various historical registers is staggering, when looked at from a genealogist’s point of view.
Excerpts from the article:
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the residents of Tuckerton were dying from dropsy, fever, whooping cough, typhoid fever, brain fever, diabetes, consumption, fits and in the case of some residents “pneumonia,” “ammonia,” and “namonia.”
The three spellings of pneumonia were among the fascinating tidbits that stood out when Borough Clerk Grace DiElmo, who is spearheading a campaign to preserve the town’s old records, studied the old registry books.
The causes of deaths are handwritten in the yellowing book which has frayed pages. The registry chronicles births, deaths and marriages from 1849 to 1880, said DiElmo.
The first book, restored by Brown’s River Records Preservation Services in Vermont, will be presented to the Borough Council and the public at the council meeting on Monday (March 6), said DiElmo, as she recently looked through the restored book which is attractively bound and has its pages encased in Mylar.
..Also listed are deaths of Tuckerton residents who served in the Civil War and “died in a rebel prison” due to starvation or were killed in battles at Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, all in Virginia.
Some of these maybe the only records that some people were listed in, especially if they died young, or happened to miss a census or two or three. Heck, if you could pull together more and more of these types of books and get them restored and hopefully digitized, we might be able to recreate the 1890 census in the US 🙂