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

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, 2010

May you and your family
have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.

Pete S

Does anyone else think that the fella with the ax
looks like Jim McAnney?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Mathis Family and DNA Testing

I got the following email from Marjorie Mathis Ewell who is working on the Jeremiah branch of the Great John Mathis family and am hoping that one of our Blog readers may be able to provide some information that would help her. She is looking for descendants from Herbert and Daniel, Jr Mathis from the Galloway Township area who might be willing to have a DNA test.

Pete S

Hi Pete,

I am still looking for male descendants of John Mathis via son, Jeremiah. My grandfather was Charles Morrell Mathis, #5054 in the Mathis Family of Little Egg Harbor, NJ. My father was Morrell Foster Mathis, #5080.

Charles M. Mathis had a brother, Daniel who according to the above mentioned book, lived in Galloway Twp in 1900 and had two sons, Herbert b. 1878 and Daniel, Jr., b. father Morrell was born in 1896 in Atlantic City.

I am hoping to find a descendant from one of the two brothers who would be willing to have a DNA test done. I have no living male relatives who I could ask.

I would think that any descendant from Jeremiah down would suffice, however, if I can find the closest relative I would think it would be better.

Since I know from reading your blog that you know many Mathis' from Southern New Jersey, I hope you can help me in my search. I live in Cape Coral Florida and won't be back up in Absecon until next June. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

Marjorie A. Mathis Ewell

Interested in geneological DNA testing?

Here are some web sites you may want to visit:

Following is a video on geneological DNA testing:

Following is a video on taking a Family Tree DNA test:

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Kauflin-Mathis Wedding and Vanishing New Gretna Surnames

One thing that I have noticed in my 35 years of living in New Gretna is the change in the family makeup of the town. When Jackie and I moved here in the mid 1970's most of the families in town had connections to the old, founding families in the area - the Mathis, Cramer, Allen, Adams, Loveland, Lamson, French, Maxwell, and Sears families. The school population reflected this fact, as the students surnames echoed those of the old New Gretna families.

Today is another matter. You would be hard pressed to list a significant number of families with old New Gretna ties or find many old New Gretna surnames on our present elementary school roster. Seems that the old names are fast disappearing as today's mobile society has encouraged a migration of those with old families ties out of New Gretna. Also, the "Atlantic City phenomena" has caused an influx of new families in town as New Gretna has morphed from a small close knit community with local businesses and vibrant churches into a more impersonal bedroom community. Ah, the price of progress!

Another reason for the present dearth of old New Gretna surnames is the marrying of the old family girls into families with no New Gretna ties. The roots are still here, but the tree has a different name. The following illustrates this point.

On July 21, 1938 there was a wedding between Milton Kauflin and Mildred Mathis. Mildred's New Gretna pedigree ran deep, she being a direct descendant to the Great John Mathis, the first permanent settler in Bass River. Milton, a second generation New Gretna-ite, was the son of Charles and Eva Kauflin of South Maple Avenue who ran a local saw mill for many years which had a significant impact on the local community in his providing lumber for local ship builders and for many New Gretna's houses.

Charles Kauflin, the groom's father, ran a saw mill on South Maple Avenue for many years. (Photo courtesy of Ron and Carol Kauflin Nicklow.)
The wedding took place in the South Maple Avenue home built for the newlyweds with lumber sawn in the Kauflin sawmill. Milton was 23 years old and Mildred was 17.

Milton and Mildred Mathis Kauflin's house on South Maple Avenue where the 1938 wedding took place. (March 6, 2007 photo by Pete Stemmer.)

Elizabeth "Lib" Schutte and her husband, George. Lib was the matron of honer at the Kauflin-Mathis wedding. (Photo courtesy of Betty Schutte Kalm, Elizabeth's daughter.)

Carlton Maxwell and Helen Mathis. Carlton was the best man at the Kauflin-Mathis Wedding. (Photo courtesy of Marian C. Broome.)

There are no known wedding photos of the happy couple. Following is a photo taken some years after the wedding.

Milton and Mildred Mathis Kauflin
(Photo courtesy of Ron and Carol Kauflin Nicklow.)

Mildred and Milton were blessed with a daughter, Carol, in 1947.

Carol Kauflin, age 4 months.
(Photo courtesy of Ron and Carol Kauflin Nicklow.)

Carol went on to marry Ronald Nicklow. They lived out of the area for many years but have since returned to Carol's New Gretna roots and currently live in the remodeled Kauflin home where the 1938 wedding took place. Remnants of the old Kauflin saw mill still stand in their back yard.

Ron and Carol Kauflin Nicklow at the New Gretna Presbyterian Church pulpit. (May 19, 2002 photo by Pete Stemmer.)

So, here we have a case of someone with old New Gretna family ties, Carol Kauflin Nicklow, a descendant of the Great John Mathis, with a "foreign" surname. Again, the roots are still here, but the tree has a different name. It is the genealogist's great dilemma!

I'm sure that there are other examples of New Gretna residents with old New Gretna family roots still living in the community but with a name that has no New Gretna connection. Can anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere give me another example?

Pete S

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blog on 3 Week Respite

I will be going into Pennsylvania Presbyterian Hospital for surgery tomorrow. I will probably not be posting to the Blog for the next three weeks. Check back near the end of November.


Pete S