1820 Cranberry, New Jersey Census Substitute

There are no extant United States Federal census population schedules for the state of New Jersey prior to 1830.1 Therefore, any surviving list of inhabitants before that time will be a welcome addition to the scholarship for genealogists and historians researching in the Garden State who are trying to pinpoint residents of a particular community. I recently discovered one such list for Middlesex County.

While reviewing early newspapers for any mention of my New Jersey Carson family, I ran across an entry for one General Charles Carson of Cranberry, New Jersey, nominated as a Representative to the 17th U.S. Congress.2 Despite the fact that my ancestor shares a name with this man, I am unaware of any relationship to him at this time. It is possible my ancestor was simply named for this officer in the War of 1812.3 The mention piqued my curiosity nonetheless because of the sheer number of names included in the article. It appears to be a comprehensive listing of adult male residents of the town of Cranberry, Middlesex County, New Jersey and can stand in as a census substitute.

Responding to an article dated 19 Sep 1820 in which Carson’s character had been allegedly impugned, sixty male petitioners of the town affixed their name to a letter sent to Messrs. Tuttle & Co., presumably the editors or printers of the newspaper. I have transcribed the complete article below.

From The Centinel of Freedom, published in Newark, New Jersey, dated 25 Sep 1820, p. 1, col. 4. Courtesy New Jersey State Archives.

Messrs. Tuttle &. Co.

   A publication has appeared in your paper of the 19th inst., wrote no doubt with an intent to injure me in public estimation. In justice to the feeling of my friends, my family and myself [illegible] following a place in your paper.


  We the undersigned, inhabitants of the village of Cranberry, in the county of Middlesex, state of New Jersey, understanding that a publication has appeared in the Newark Centinel derogatory to the character of Gen. Charles Carson of this place, wherein the writer makes the following remark — “I trust his standing at home will be inquired into by the gentlemen who compose the Convention.” In justice to the individual whose character is thus publicly assailed, we have no hesitation in saying that we believe him to be a man of the strictest veracity, in whose honesty and integrity we have the fullest confidence.

Cranberry, 25th Sept. 1820.

  Nathaniel Hunt, Samuel Disbrow, George Barclay, Amos Shaw, Cajah Voorhies, John W. Perrine, William Jordan, Aaron Disbrow, John N. Lewis, Aaron D. Shaw, James Clarke, Elias Bayles, Joshua Edwards, Rescarrick Ayres, William H. Mershon, Cornelius Voorhies, Timothy Horner, Reuben Vanderbeak, Clement Hooper, Peter Sutphin, John Voorhies, Joseph M’Chesney, Charles R. Brindly, Andrew G. Vankirk, Henry Silcox, Daniel Ervin, Joseph Conover, Aaron Dewitt, jr., William Newton, jr., Lewis Carman, John Jordon, Ralph P. Lott, John Van Dyke, Matthew Gilland, William Logan, James Debow, William Newton, Aaron Lane, John Clark, Jacob Brown, Ezekiel Ervin, Joseph M’Chesney, jr., James Vanhart, Randolph Hunt, John Vankirk, Horatia Sansbury, Syrennes C. Henry, Aaron Dewitt, David Conover, Peter Conover, Joseph Mount, John Voorhies, jr., Amos Coriell, Geo. Naphey, Okey H. Vankirk, Anthony Appleget, George Shaw, Henry Perrine, James Stephenson, George Davis.

   We do hereby certify, that Gen. Charles Carson, was born in the village of Cranberry, and has resided therein ever since, and that his recommendation is signed by all the free white male inhabitants of said place above the age of twenty one, with the exception of one young man who is from home at the time.  [Emphasis mine.]



1 Alice Eicholz, ed., Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd. ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1992): 448.

2 “A List,” Centinel of Freedom (Newark, New Jersey), 19 Sep 1820, p. [2?], col. 4.

3 Although called a General in this article, he was a Captain of the 15th U.S. Infantry in the War of 1812, a rank he held from March 1812-April 1813. It is unclear when or whether he may have attained the rank of General. See Francis B. Heitman, Historical Record and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789-1903 (Washington, D.C. : Government Printing Office, 1903), 1: 286; digital image, HathiTrust Digital Library (http://www.hathitrust.org/ : accessed 25 Nov 2017).

New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project

In this installment of Web Sightings, we take a look at the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project, one of the latest states to be brought into the fold of the larger National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

There are no New Jersey digital newspapers included in the Chronicling America portal for the Library of Congress. That situation is about to change with the recent announcement.

I am excited to learn and share with you that New Jersey has been included in the latest round of National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant winners as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).1 New Jersey is one of the states that I spend much of my time researching online, and the Chronicling America project of the Library of Congress is a topic that I have lectured on and written about in the past, on this blog and elsewhere, so this is a welcome announcement indeed.

According to the Rutgers University blog the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is a joint collaboration with Rutgers University and the New Jersey State Library, along with the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton, three big holders of historical collections in the Garden State.


The $186,204 grant will allow for the inclusion of at least 100,000 digitized pages from New Jersey’s historic newspapers published between 1836-1922.2 The advisory board is already hard at work determining which of the 450 available microfilmed newspaper titles meet the criteria for inclusion.3 That list has now apparently been winnowed down to 29 titles.4 I sure hope the early Trenton newspapers make the cut, and that the Hightstown Gazette is among the selections as well.

Students, educators, historians and genealogists alike will benefit from their efforts. When complete, free access to the New Jersey content will be through the Chronicling America website, which will augment the 11.5 million plus pages already available online.

In addition to New Jersey, other new states added to the mix in 2016 are Alaska, Colorado and Maine, bringing the total number of project partners to 44.

States not yet represented are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The long-term goal is for all states and U.S. territories to be represented, in roughly 30 million total page views.5

1 “2016 NDNP Awards Announced – Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New Jersey Join the Program,” Program News, posted 17 Aug 2016, National Digital Newspaper Program (http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/news/ : accessed 28 Dec 2016).
2 “Rutgers University Libraries Receives Grant to Digitize Important Historical New Jersey Newspapers,” Press Release posted 18 Aug 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (https://blogs.libraries.rutgers.edu/njdnp/2016/08/18/njdnp-press-release/ : accessed 28 Dec 2016).
3 “Advisory Board and Newspaper Selection,” posted 21 Sep 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (https://blogs.libraries.rutgers.edu/njdnp/2016/09/21/advisory-board-and-newspaper-selection/ : accessed 08 Jan 2017).
4 “Project Update: December 1, 2016,” posted 1 Dec 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (https://blogs.libraries.rutgers.edu/njdnp/2016/12/01/project-update-december-1-2016/: accessed 08 Jan 2017).
5 Barbara Quint, “Chronicling America Service Offers Comprehensive Directory of U.S. Newspapers,” posted 26 Mar 2007, Information Today (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/Chronicling-America-Service-Offers-Comprehensive-Directory-of-US-Newspapers-35756.asp : accessed 08 Jan 2017).

Father and Son: Pioneers of Two States

Josephus Bingaman and his father, Henry Bingaman, were early pioneers in Kansas and Indiana, respectively

John Tecumseh “Tauy” Jones House on Tauy Creek in Franklin County, Kansas. Stonemason Josephus Bingaman helped build this historic home which was completed by 1870.

I have been occupied the better part of two months by combing through digital copies of 19th and early 20th century newspapers online. Newspapers from this time period offer genealogists a wonderful lens into the lives of our ancestors, often covering major life events as well as snippets of their comings and goings.

Sometimes more than just a sentence or two was published in the local newspaper. The article below recounts how two of my Bingaman ancestors were acquainted with a locally well-known Native American man named John Tecumseh (“Tauy”) Jones in Indiana, and later, Kansas.

This article is chock-full of clues to pursue about Henry Bingaman, the father of my great-great-grandfather Josephus Bingaman. I present a transcription of the article in its entirety below.


Evening Herald Masthead

When Tauy Jones Came to Wabash
The Evening Herald (Ottawa, Kansas), 19 Nov 1913


Father and Son, Pioneers in Two of the States–Ottawan Worked as Stonemason on Chief’s House on Tauy Creek.

  When Henry Bingaman, father of Joseph Bingaman of this city, was a pioneer in the Wabash River country of Indiana almost 100 years ago, John Tecumseh Jones (Tauy Jones) came down on the Wabash from the Great Lakes country. He was an emissary of the government to the Miami Indians in Indiana, asking them to take up lands in the West.

  Almost half a century later Joseph Bingaman met Tauy Jones in Franklin county and the venerable old Indian recalled the family name of Bingaman. The two talked together many times and Mr. Bingaman still recalls many interesting events about Jones.

  The Bingaman family has sent out pioneers to new countries for over 100 years. An uncle of Henry Bingaman was a pioneer in Kentucky. A party of Indians attempted an attack upon the home and Mr. Bingaman killed seven of them. Theodore Roosevelt mentions this event in one of his books.

  Henry Bingaman as a boy was a soldier under General Harrison and was at Tippecanoe. It was there that he became charmed with the Indiana country. He went back to Ohio and three families emigrated to Indiana. They were the Neffs, the McCombs and the Bingamans. These three sturdy families settled on the Wabash twelve miles west of Logansport. General Tipton had a trading post there then and it was the first post above Vincennes.

  Joseph Bingaman, a son of Henry, came to Kansas in 1869 after serving two enlistments in the war. He was an apprentice stonemason working under Mack and Damon Higby, known to many of the old settlers around Le Loup. The Higbys were building the Tauy Jones home which is now the big stone residence on the estate of the late Captain William H. Woodlief.

  Mr. Bingaman assisted in completing the house and he became acquainted with Jones who remembered the Bingamans of the Wabash country back in the ‘20s.

  Joseph Bingaman is one of the pioneers of this country. He helped build the Forest Park mill and several other stone buildings here. He was a workman on the old L. L. & G. the first railroad in Ottawa. Mr. Bingaman and an uncle also rode for eighteen miles on the first engine traveling between Cincinnati and Chicago.

  “We gave the engineer fifty cents to let us ride,” said Mr. Bingaman today.1


Reverend Jones, also known as “Ottawa Jones”, was an interpreter for the Ottawa Indians who were removed from Ohio to eastern Kansas in territorial days. He and his wife were instrumental in the founding of Ottawa University, a Baptist college.2 His image can be seen on the Kansas Memory website, along with additional images of his home.

Sources and credits
Image credit: “John Tecumseh “Tauy” Jones House on Tauy Creek” by user: Bhall87 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0. Original image located here. Edited by Dawn Bingaman.

1 “When Tauy Jones Came to Wabash,” The Evening Herald (Ottawa, Kansas), 19 Nov 1913, p. 6, col. 3; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 27 Nov 2015).

2 “Ottawa U. Born Out of Pioneer Sacrifice,” Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas), 11 Jun 1922, p. 6B, col. 2; digital image, Newspapers.com (http://www.newspapers.com : accessed 27 Nov 2015).