October 21st, 2011

Tracking the Elusive Hamlin: a minor genealogical update

My maternal grandmother was the offspring of first cousins. Their doubled-up grandparent, Nathaniel Hamlin, was an early settler of Audubon County, Iowa. _His_ paternal grandfather, John D. Hamlin, served in the Revolutionary War as a substitute for his father John, and also on his own behalf as a young man, before moving a few times and ultimately filing for the pension I mentioned in an earlier blog post. In that pension, John D. said he was born and lived in Huntington, Sussex, New Jersey, which I was _wildly_ skeptical about, but which my friend H. tracked down in Pohatcong, Warren, New Jersey.

Now that I have the physical location nailed down, I can attempt to track down deeds associated with earlier Hamlins in the area: the theory is that if John D. was there long enough to become a teenager, dad probably owned land and the record of that ownership and possibly the transfer upon his death can be assumed to have been documented and may yet exist. However, the split of Warren County from Sussex was not the first change in county in the area. I'm trying to recruit some of R.'s relatives who live in the area to go look at the microfilm or possibly bound volumes for me, however, I have an uneasy suspicion that this might involve a visit to Hunterdon county's Hall of Records. In Flemington.

If anyone can figure out where I can get hold of control number CHNCL009 referred to on this page (and elsewhere) http://www.nj.gov/state/darm/links/webcat/queries/chnclerk.html, without me or some other warm body going to Flemington, I'd love to hear it. I'm willing to contemplate that microfilm loan thing the Mormons will do to local family history centers at this point, but it looks like they only have part of the early deeds available through that (1716-1730, and then starting again in 1766 -- I might get lucky, but my guy was born in 1759 and his papa probably bought the farm between 1730 and then, with my luck).


Aha! State archives has copies of everything the counties do.


"State Archives has microfilm copies of all county deeds up to 1900 (original records still owned by each county)
Most deeds date from about 1785, a few counties have deeds recorded before that date
All deeds (except Bergen County) have indexes on microfilm, many indexes continue past 1900"

Altho Trenton is even further away from the in-laws than Flemington. I wonder if I know anyone else I could rope into helping me out with this . . .

ETA: Maps are My Friends!

Pohatcong, NJ is _damn_ close to Greenwich Township, Warren, NJ.



"The earliest families of our community came from different and remote areas of the world. They had ethnic backgrounds such as English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, German, Dutch and Welsh. Family names of these early settlers were Maxwell, Stewart, Kennedy, Ramsey, McCullough, Kell, Smith, Creveling, Bidleman, Fines, Hulshizer, Carpenter, Cline, Hances, Young, Boyer, Hagawout, Beaver, Sharpensteins, Pursell, Hunt, Hixon, Davis, Hamlin, Carter, Green, Barber, Bulman, Hughes and Hyndshaw."

Hamlin! Yes!

And predictably, the wikipedia entry does a good job of explaining how the land didn't change, but which part was called what certainly did.


"Greenwich Township has a long history passing through as part of most of Northwestern New Jersey's counties." Details follow.

And these are definitely the right Hamlins, because the Capt. Giles Hamlin genealogy describes Thomas and his probable brother John (father of the John I am looking for) in Bloomsbury Mountain and then Greenwich Township. Which I _knew_, but couldn't figure out a way to connect it up to the Huntington story. Go figure.

This does not, alas, find me a father. *sigh*

Scott Turow on the subject of Amazon as a publisher


"When I went to law school, I thought that kind of vertical integration, where the book seller also becomes the book publisher, I thought that was supposed to be against the law, but you know, it’s supposed to be an anti-trust violation, but I guess the anti-trust laws have evolved in a way that I haven’t thought of."

That's a _really_ simplistic view of vertical integration. The kind of vertical integration that was successfully attacked in the courts was _NOT_ simple. At all. (And rarely purely vertical, for that matter.)

"There are rumors that Amazon will offer books exclusively through Amazon.com, and given the disparities in capital between Amazon and the book publishers, this is an enormous threat because it’s the best-selling authors that keep the publishers afloat.

If Amazon goes out and makes an offer to Stephen King or John Grisham that they can’t refuse — they won’t completely sink their publishing houses, but they’ll put a hole in the hull. And the other problem with Amazon is that you worry that they will behave as a monopolist. They play the game so that they always win."

First, attacking someone because of a rumor is always a little silly. Second, attacking a corporation because they play "so that they always win" feels naive. But one of the major arguments authors contemplating making a deal with Amazon as a publisher rally is that they wouldn't be sold through Barnes & Noble NOT because Amazon as publisher wouldn't let them but because Barnes & Noble would refuse to carry them. Given the recent graphic novels kerfuffle, this would appear to be a probable outcome.

Recently, a friend pointed me at a blogger who attacked Amazon for creating distribution centers and winding down their relationship with Ingram. I had to point out that Amazon did this _after_ B&N bought Ingram. It does not make sense to remain dependent on a company owned by one of your major competitors.

But I get it. Both the blogger and Turow are feeling more pressure from Amazon than they are from national book retailer chains. Er, chain. Yeah, that. Moving on.

"But I do think we’ll pretty quickly get to the point that, when you read a scholarly work, you’ll be able to jump to every source that it’s citing, and I think that’s great. And I think books and maps and pictures and probably film clips are going to be regularly embedded."

Yes, a man with legal training said that. Two things here. (1) The best you could do would be to jump to an expanded citation which might be a hyperlink to a place where you could purchase access to the scholarly work. Because that shit ain't cheap. And that URL would change at unpredictable intervals so I'm not sure why you'd even bother. (2) Publishers who find it too much trouble to hyperlink the number in the text to the end note are not likely to bother hyperlinking to an external source.

Did he really think that books would have other books embedded inside them? I must have misunderstood that.

Turow speaking in his capacity as President of the Author's Guild regularly says things that, um, are someone's idea of representing the interests of authors. I get that. It's hard to know what the interests of authors are in more stable times. Right now it's probably impossible. Does introducing arbitrary nonsense improve the situation?

Books a Million to buy 40 Borders stores


"The nation’s third-largest book retailer plans to open 40 stores, mostly in former Borders, including nine in Pennsylvania."

I've been waiting to see something like this. BAMM sells a lot of discounted books and picture heavy books so their business might be preserved longer in transition from p->e.

Further coverage:


Other uses for an old Borders store: PetSmart


That required a zoning amendment.

Popup Halloween shops are occupying some Borders as well:


Other popup uses mentioned in the article: a music festival, a photography festival.



New uses include buybuyBaby, Stein Mart, another BAMM, another Pet Smart, and ULTA (cosmetics retailer).