How to add a posting below . . .

To add a new posting, send an email to me at with a comment, question, story, photo, observation, etc. It will be posted below, shortly after the email is received. To comment on an existing posting, click on the "comments" command below the posting and type your comment. Your comment will show up immediately.   Pete Stemmer

Monday, August 30, 2010

1871 Voter Registrations: L-W

The following L-W pages complete the reproduction of the Bass River 1871 Voter Registration Booklet. There were no X's, Y's or Z's. The M's and S's are not posted as they were previously posted for Beverly Mathis Robinson who requested the Mathis family pages (Click here to go to the ""M" pages.) and John Yates who is related to the Sears family (Click here to go to the "S" pages.).

I hope that Don Maxwell and others out in the Blog-O-Sphere were able to identify some relatives and were not surprised by their political party affiliation.

Pete S

1871 Voter Registrations: E-K

Following are the Bass River 1871 Voter Registrations, E-K for Don Maxwell.

Pete S

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ronald Lewis Mathis' New Gretna-Tuckerton Ancestors

I got an email from Anonymous requesting information linking Ronald Lewis Mathis, who died in Toms River, NJ in 2003, to the Mathis family in the New Gretna-Tuckerton area.

I found the following information in Jean and Murray Harris' book, "The Mathis Family of Little Egg Harbor". They trace Ronald Lewis Mathis, the son of Byron Everett Mathis, back to the Great John Mathis, the first permanent settler in Bass River. The four digit numbers in the Harris text are family reference numbers to help readers navigate through the book.

Pete S

2110. Byron Everett /Barney Mathis, son of Samuel L. (2071) and Ada (McCambridge) Mathis, born November 1913 in New Gretna, died January 3, 1956, married (a) Mary T.---, and married (b) March 9, 1937 Julia Harriet Margaret Linder, a widow and daughter of Frederick and Julia (Newman) Linder, born in Tuckerton in 1916. In 1937 Byron was a coast guardsman. Children:

i Harold
ii Ronald
iii Keith

2071. Samuel L. Mathis, son of Joseph K. (2033) and Loudella (Adams) Mathis, born January 19, 1890, died July 19, 1936, married Ada McCambridge, born May 4, 1889, died July 16, 1980. Samuel was an oyster watchman.They are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. Children:
i Wilbert Samuel, married H. Mildred Marshall
ii Byron /Barney E. (2110), married Julia M.---
2033. Joseph Kirkbride Mathis, son of Phineas K.(2016) and Mary Ann (Cramer) Mathis, born December 29, 1849, died February 15, 1928, married December 24, 1876 in Atlantic County (a) Sarah /Sallie Eliza Wilson, daughter of Asa and Sarah Wilson born June 4, 1853, died March 19, 1891 and (b) Loudella Adams, born 29 August 1873, died January 16, 1940, daughter of Hezekiah and Sarah A.(Berry) Adams, who later married Samuel F. Cramer. Joseph was an oyster planter. Sallie and Joseph are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. The first six children are Sallie's
i Harry Clinton, married Emily H. (Johnson) Reed
ii Winfield S., born July 25, 1880, died July July 19, 1882, buried Miller Cemetery
iii Curtis Wilson, married Elizabeth ---
iv Augusta/Gussie, born September 1883,worked in Absecon for John Cordery in 1900.
v Elizabeth
vi Richard, lived in Lewes, Delaware
vii Samuel L. (2071), married Ada McCambridge
viii Sarah, married --- Strickland
ix Joseph K. Jr. married Elizabeth Thomas
2016. Phineas Kirkbride Mathis, son of Aaron (2007) and Margery (Kirkbride) Mathis, born 1819, died February 9, 1885, married Mary Ann Cramer, daughter of Joseph B. and Mary Ann (Mathis) (2014) Cramer, born 1826, died 1866. They are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. Children:

i Caleb, born 1843, died 1847, buried Miller Cemetery
ii Samuel, born 1845, died 1848, buried Miller Cemetery
iii Joseph Kirkbride (2033), married Sarah Wilson
iv Sarah E., born 1851, died June 14, 1929 married Amasa E. Mathis
v Mary E., born 1853, married Charles Goldecker son of Charles and Catherine Goldecker and moved to the Oklahoma Territory
vi Georgianna, married Joseph LeMunyon
vii Enoch, born October 27, 1856
viii Lavinia, married Jarvis Gerew.
ix John O., married Ida E. Allen
x Elizabeth, married --- Gifford
xi George, married Mary Griffey
xii Ophelia

2007. Aaron Mathis, son of Daniel (2002) and Phoebe (Smith) Mathis, born 1790, died June 28, 1851, married May 19, 1814 Margery Kirkbride, daughter of Phineas and Martha (Rogers) Kirkbride, born 1790, died January 28, 1851. They are buried in Miller Cemetery, New Gretna. Children:
i Daniel M., married Rachel W.Gifford
ii Phineas Kirkbride (2016), married Mary Ann Cramer
iii Enoch, born October 3, 1826, died November 5 1895, unmarried, buried Miller Cemetery.
iv Phoebe, married (a) Thomas Cartright and (b) John P.Leek
v John O., married Elizabeth O.Sears
vi George W., married Abigail Mathis (1008)
vii Aaron Jr., married (a) Zelphy Anderson and (b) Esther A.Rake
viii Marjorie, married Lemuel R.Adams
ix Martha Kirkbride, born December 15, 1815, died December 29, 1872, married Jauary 18, 1840 Samuel Oliphant Shinn, born January 27, 1804
x Leah
xi Esther married Joseph Church, no children
xii Elizabeth married Jerry Church

2002. Daniel Mathis, son of Job (2001) and Phoebe (Leek) Mathis, born July 21, 1761, died March 10, 1836, married 1786, Phoebe Smith, daughter of Micajah and Sara (Owen) Smith of Port Republic, born June 30, 1764, died September 1, 1836. They are buried in the Methodist Cemetery, Tuckerton. Children:
i Owen Mary, married Jonas Miller
iii Sarah, married James Downs
iv Aaron (2007), married Margery Kirkbride
v Leah
vi Micajah Smith, married Nancy (Gamage) Mathis
vii Daniel Jr., married Elizabeth White
viii Phoebe S., married Captain William French
ix Anna Maria, married Francis French

2001. Job Mathis, son of John and Alice (Andrews) Mathis, born May 13, 1719, died 1771, married May 15, 1760 Phoebe Leek, daughter of John and Phoebe (Deviney) Leek. He is buried at the Tuckerton Friends Meeting House with no stone. Children:
i Daniel (2002), married Phoebe Smith
ii Enoch, married Nancy Gamage
iii Phoebe, married John Forman
iv Mary

1000 John Mathis, or Mathews, is said to have emigrated from Wales to Oyster Bay, Long Island around 1700. According to one family tradition his birthplace in Wales was Merthyr Tydfil. There are early colonial deeds to show that he accumulated property near the village of New Gretna. By 1714 he had moved to an island along the Bass River. In 1716 John married Alice (Andrews) Higbee, the daughter of Mordecai and Mary Andrews, and the widow of John Higbee. Some sources list Edward Andrews as her father, but reference to the will of Mordecai Andrews shows that she was, in fact, the daughter of Edward's elder brother Mordecai. John Mathis died October 23, 1779 and is buried beside the Friends Meeting at Tuckerton. John and Alice had seven children, as follows:
i Micajah, married Mercy Shreve
ii Job (2001), married Phoebe Leek
iii Sarah, married (a) Marmaduke Coate (b)John Leeds
iv Daniel, married Sophia Gauntt
v Jeremiah, married Hannah Andrews
vi Nehemiah, married Elizabeth Cramer
vii Eli, married Phoebe Devinney

Ronald Lewis Mathis Obituary

I got the following email requesting information on Ronald Lewis Mathis' amcestors and how they might tie in with the New Gretna-Tuckerton Mathises.

Byron Mathis is my dad's father. Can you please track the family history for me. My Dad Ronald Lewis Mathis cut off his family, and I don't know any of the Mathis Family from Tuckerton, Atlantic City and New Gretna


I don't know off hand the New Gretna-Tuckerton connection to Ronald Lewis Mathis but will do a little research. Meanwhile, perhaps someone out in the Blog-O-Sphere can help out.

Following is the 2003 obituary of Ronald L. Mathis from Toms River. I suspect the Anonymous above may be either Mark or Jeanne who were mentioned as Ronald Lewis Mathis' children in the obituary.

Pete S

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1871 Voter Registrations: A-D

I got the following email from Don Maxwell requesting that I post the remainder of the 1871 Bass River Registered Voters List. I'll do so over the next few days.


Please continue with the 1871 voting list from Bass River Township. It is most interesting. I noted my great grandfather, Edward Allen, registered as a democrat, and I always understood him to be Republican. In fact, nearly if not all the Allen's in New Gretna in my day there were hard core Republicans. Well, I guess anyone can change over time.

Don Maxwell

I have already posted one page of the "A'" pages showing the Allens, the "S's" pages showing the Sears, and the "M" pages for Beverly Mathis Robinson, so I won't duplicate them. Today's postings are the "A's" through the "D's". Hope you enjoy them, Donald!

Pete S

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mathis 1871 Bass River Voter Registrations

Beverly Mathis Robinson had requested that I post the 1871 Bass River Voter Registration pages that listed members of the Mathis family. Below are the "M" pages from the Voter Registration Booklet.

Pete S

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bass River 1871 Registered Voters List

I came across a list of 1871 Bass River Registered Voters while going through a box of old deeds and surveys. It was compiled by the local Democratic Committee. I found it interesting, in that it listed the political party of each voter - Republican, Democrat, or Doubt. I guess "Doubt" means not sure. Perhaps that would correspond to our Independent, today.

The names are listed alphabetically by last name. There is usually one page for each letter in the alphabet; however, in some cases there are 2 or 3 pages, especially when the Cramers or Mathises were involved.

Below, I posted the two "S" pages as a sample, as my history buddy, John Yates, is related to the Sears family. Sunday and or holiday dinners in the Sears family must have had some interesting political discussions, as the family was pretty well split between Republicans, Democrats, and Doubt.

I also posted the "A" page that listed the Allens for Elaine Allen, one of my favorite Blog readers who is now living in Alabama with her son, Mike, and daughter-in-law, Helen. John Allen, up in New Hampshire, should also find it interesting as would his mom, Sally Allen, and her daughter, Noreen Clark, in Port Republic.

Sorry to report to Jim McAnney and Rickie "White Shoes" Steele, two friends and avid Blog readers, that the McAnneys and Steeles were not listed in the booklet. I don't believe the McAnney and Steele families were in New Gretna at that time. Bummer! However, both Jim and Rickie's maternal side of the family, the Cramer family, are well represented in the Voter Registration Booklet. Jim's mother, Margaret, and Rickie's mother, Almira, were both daughters of Doughty and Alberta Cramer who lived on Allentown Road, now North Maple Avenue.

I can't reproduce the entire booklet here at the Blog due to space restrictions; however I would be happy to post the page or pages related to your family if they were a Bass River registered voter in 1871. Want to see the political affiliation of your ancestors? Just drop me a request in the comments section below or in an email.

Pete S

PS- Note that there are only men listed. Women didn't get the right to vote until the 19th amendment to the Constitution was passed in August, 1920.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A New Descendant with New Gretna Roots

I got the following email from Cindy Gray Dickey. It has some good genealogy information on the Gray and Mathis lines which I thought worthwhile to pass along, in addition to a cute photo of Cindy's grandchild.

Pete S

Hi Pete!

As you probably have noticed I am new to this website and am thrilled to have found it !!! I have attached a newborn picture of my first grandchild, Austin Henderson, born August 18, 2010.

The linage from the Gray side:

John & Mary Gray had a son William-(b 1897-d 1954)-the younger of the two Gray brothers.William married Virginia (Darby) Gray (Sears)-(b 1906?-d 1967) they had a son William (Bill, my father b-9/2/1931). Bill married Jean (Atkinson) Gray (my mother b-1/18/1934)-they had me, Cindy (b-7/9/1955) & my two brothers. Cindy (Gray) married Michael Dickey. We have a daughter Brandolyn (b-8/10/1978) and a son Ivan (b-10/12/1980). Brandolyn married Scott Henderson. They had Austin Henderson today! (b 8/18/2010)

The linage from the Mathis side:

John (b 1831? d 10/19/1912-81 years old) and Chatharina (b 4/2/1838-d6/25/1894) Bowers had a daughter Mary Bowers. Mary (Bowers) Thomas (b 1869-d 1902 dates approximate) had a daughter Elizabeth Thomas. Elizabeth 'Lizzie' (Thomas) Mathis (b 11/3/1894-d 5/4/1985) married Joseph K. Mathis (b 12/14/1892-d 10/101975) -they had five children-the oldest, Margaret Mathis (b 5/5/1913-d2001).Margaret (Peg) married Carl Atkinson-they had three children whom were raised by three different relatives. The youngest is Jean (Atkinson) Gray. (raised by her maternal grandparents Joseph K. and Lizzie Mathis). Jean (Atkinson) Gray (my mother) b-1/18/1934 married William (Bill) Gray b 9/2/1931 -they had me, Cindy b-7/9/1955 & my two brothers. Cindy (Gray) married Michael Dickey. We have a daughter Brandolyn (b-8/10/1978) and a son Ivan (b-10/12/1980). Brandolyn married Scott Henderson. They had Austin Henderson today! (b 8/18/2010). William 'Bill' Gray and Jean (Atkinson) Gray is where my linage meets.

Cindy Gray Dickey
Austin Henderson, born August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Great Enchephelis Scare of 1959

Two comments were recently posted on the Blog regarding the encephalitis scare of 1959. They are reprinted below.
Didn't the encephalitis outbreak occur in 1959? My grandmother Estella Harris Adams Mathis died in the fall of 1959 and my grandfather "Boot" Mathis told my mother not to bring my sisters to NG because the outbreak was affecting both the very young and the very old. Mosquito spray was being distributed to everyone, too.

Beverly Mathis Robinson

1959 sounds right. I was four years old at that time living on Marine St in Tuckerton. The little boy across the street died from it. I remember my parents not allowing us to go outside to play and wrapping us in blankets to carry us to and from the car when we went to New Gretna to visit 'Memom', 'Pepop', 'Mom mom '& 'Francy' (AKA Lizzie Mathis, Joseph Mathis, Virginia Gray Sears & Francis Sears)

As young children my brothers and I used to like the smell of the mosquito spray from the trucks that dispersed it around town.

Cindy Gray Dickey

Seems that Beverly and Cindy are pretty much on target. The great Encephalitis Scare did occur in 1959. The following newspaper article deals with the scare. Unfortunately I don't know what newspaper it came from (It would either be the Tuckerton Beacon or the Atlantic City Press.) Nor do I have the exact date, except that it definately was in 1959.

In order to fit the entire article in the narrow format of the Blog, I had to divided it into multiple sections, so that it is readable. Sorry about that, but that's the function of the Blog program.

Renard "Jack" Wiseman spraying for mosquitoes during the Great Enchephelis Scare of 1959.

How many of our Blog readers can remember the Great Encephalitis Scare of 1959? I know Rickie "White Shoes" Steele and Mike Allen should have some recollections, as their mothers, Mrs. Clarence Steele and Elaine Allen (Mrs. Benjamin Allen), were interviewed in the news article. Let's hear from anyone who has memories of the incident.

Pete S

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Gretna Class of 1956

Elaine Mathis has been on a quest to identify each of the students in the 1956 graduation photo from the New Gretna Grade School and believes she has finally succeeded.

New Gretna Graduating Class of 1956
(Photo courtesy of David Altscher)

Elaine sent me the following email identifying each of the students.

I believe that with the help of several people (Bob Mathis, Patty Wilson Groff, Robert Bergh and Dan Tozer. Also spoke with BettyJean Mathis over the phone) we now have the identity of the Class of 1956 Graduation.

The results:

Front Row L/R..(1) Bobby Smith, (2) Carole Sorocco, (3) Betty Wiseman, (4) Patty Wilson Groff, (5) Betty Jean Mathis, (6) Patty Cramer, (7) Patty L. Wilson, (8) Jean Cramer, (9) Shirley McNeil, (10) Diane Cunningham, (11) George White, (12) Robert Bergh.

Back Row L/R (1) George Cramer, (2) George Starsmere, (3) Jimmy Falkenburg, (4) John Longo, (5) Russell Seville, (6) Danny DeCamp, (7) Jim Belk, (8) Jack Mathis, (9) Woody Allen, (10) Billy Houck, (11) Gary Allen, (12) John Malloy, (13) Mike Allen, (14) Danny Bush.

Elaine Weber Mathis

Any one out in the Blog-O-Sphere who is in the photo or knew someone in the photo? Let's hear from you!

Pete S

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome to New Gretna- Mike Allen

Got the following email from Mike Allen down in Alabama about a sign that I hadn't heard of. I'm hoping that a New Gretna-ite somewhere out in the Blog-O-Sphere can shed some light on the situation.

Pete S


Here's one for the history buffs. In the fifties, I remember a sign on RT-9 as you were coming into New Gretna from AC that stated "WELCOME TO NEW GRETNA" and had the population on it. Numbers were slotted and could be changed out according to births and deaths in town, but the number as I remember always stayed around "401". Does anyone remember who maintained and up-dated it or what ever happen to it?


The "Welcome to Bass River" Sign as it appears today.
(September 17, 2007 photo by Steve Eichinger.)