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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in wright (16)


* Summer Vacation: Vintage Jersey Shore Pictures

A love of the beach must run in the family! I've found many vintage pictures of my family playing on the beaches of the Jersey shore. The pictures range from early 1920's-1938. With each picture you get a snapshot of typical clothing, photography, and technology of the time period. I love the clothes! I wonder what they would think about what we wear to the beach?

A few historical events during this time period:

Prohibition began in 1920 and ended in 1933, The Wall Street Crash of 1929- resulting in a 12 year Great Depression, 1931 Inventor Thomas Edison dies, 1934  Fuji Photo Film founded,  1935 Kodachrome color reversal film is developed by Eastman Kodak, 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is released, and in 1938 Fuji is making cameras and lenses in addition to film.

Also keep in mind that many of these young men and women would soon find themselves in the midst of WWII. My grandfather and his 4 brothers all served their country, and my grandmother worked as a volunteer for the red cross. Their lives changed so much in just a few years from these happy summer days down the Jersey shore.

Ocean Grove, NJ 1923-ish

The little girl 3rd from the left is my Grandmother and she was born in 1917. I think she looks about 6 years old here, so I'm estimating this picture to be from about 1923.

Ocean Grove, NJ about 1923 - left to right- unknown, unknown, My Grandmother Marjorie Middleton, My Great Grandfather Wentworth Middleton

Ocean Grove, NJ about 1923 left to right- unknown, Marjorie Middleton, Wentworth Middleton, unknown

Atlantic City, NJ 1929

My Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Nolen













Atlantic City, NJ 1933

My Grandfather Joseph K Wright, Atlantic City NJ, 1933

Atlantic City, NJ 1936

My Great Uncle John "Jack" Wright, The Brighton Hotel- Atlantic City NJ, 1936

Atlantic City, NJ 1937

Atlantic City, NJ 1937 left to right: unknown, My Great Uncles Vincent Wright and Jerome Wright

Toms River, NJ 1938

Jack Wright, Marjorie Middleton Wright, Joseph K Wright, Jo?, Toms River NJ, 1938

Atlantic City, NJ 1938

My Grandparents Joseph and Marjorie Wright, Atlantic City, 1938




Marjorie, Atlantic City NJ, 1938


* Touring the streets of my Philadelphia Roots : Stamper Street & South Front Street

Lately, a big chunk of my genealogy research time has been dedicated to tracking down past residences of my ancestors. I've been mapping and researching census and vital records to learn more. Did they own their house? Did they live in a luxury apartment on the Upper East Side? Were they farmers working on their own farm? Is the house still there?? So much to be learned. I took to the streets of Philadelphia to find my Grimm and Nolen Roots...

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* start your genealogy pursuit with a picture: draw your family tree!

If you're wondering how to get started with your genealogy research- DRAW out your tree!! Having a visual sketch of your family tree will help you absorb and organize new information. As you will see from my examples, I am an avid family tree sketcher. There are so many ways to draw your family tree, each perspective is unique and can help identify new clues and relationships. You don't need any fancy tools...I use wrapping paper!

It must run in the family.  These are 2 handwritten family trees found in the "box of old family stuff". These trees have given me so many amazing leads! ONE TIP: get credit for your hard work, leave your name and date somewhere on the tree! I don't know who wrote either of these trees, but I have passed them around to some family members for handwriting comparisons :) Someone in my family tree was interested in this great pursuit!




 My Genealogy Charts- get inspired!


 First Drafts

The first thing I do when I'm looking at a new family is sketch out their tree. This chart will be so much help for you while you're researching records. Expect to make mistakes, cross out information, and sometimes get confused...don't worry that's why you are drawing it out. A visual will give you some orientation. At first don't worry too much about making it pretty, you want it to be useful.



 Refresh and redo

Once your first draft gets a little too busy, you might want to consider drawing a fresh copy. When I did this I created a coding system with different colored markers and symbols. This way I could fit more information and keep it looking organized. To get an idea of what I used for encoding vital information, click here








Connect or Eliminate Leads

My grandfather, his grandfather, and his great grandfather all shared the name Joseph Kirkbride Wright. In an attempt to knock past a brick wall, my gggg grandfather Joel Wright born 1782, I tried to find a connection through this namesake. There was a well documented Joseph Kirkbride also from Burlington County, NJ with connections to Wright lines. I made this chart as I navigated through his family lines looking for a lead. For the most part this is a resource I can reference while I research new leads to see if I have already ruled out their connection to my line.

I made the chart below after researching a friends great grandfather. The witness on his naturalization shared the same last name, address, and was also a barber. After looking into this witness I found another male barber with the same surname living next door to the witness in the 1910 census record, another potential relative?  I needed to work through the information to see all the connections. Work in progress.

Step outside the box! Look at your family from different perspectives, get creative, and start drawing out your family tree. *don't fold them like I did, roll up the paper to maintain your work!*


The Drive-In Movie Theater: a summer classic! 

The Drive-in Movie has to be one of the best ideas ever. Did you know the first Drive-In Movie Theater opened June 6, 1933? I grew up not too far from the Malta Drive-In and for as long as I can remember it was a quintessential part of my summer. You'd call up your friends and neighbors, windex the car windshield, get your lawn chairs and blankets, and head down route 9 for a summer night under the stars. Looking back, I probably thought everyone had a drive-in theater. It was such a normal thing. But was it?? You tell me! Did you have a drive in movie theater? Do you know when and where the first Drive in Movie Theater opened?

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