Delran Historical Society

Collecting, Preserving and Educating

Category: Genealogy

Juneteenth 2017

Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North
A film by Katrina Browne

The Riverfront Historical Society and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church continue their collaboration with their eighth annual commemoration of Juneteenth. This year’s program will include a film screening of the Sundance Film Festival and Emmy-nominated, PBS documentary film Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, followed by an audience discussion moderated by Elizabeth Sturges Llerena and The Reverend Jayne J. Oasin. The program, scheduled for Saturday, June 17th, from 1-3 PM at St. Stephen’s Church, 158 Warren Street,  Beverly, is free and open to the public.

“Traces of the Trade documents how filmmaker Katrina Browne made a troubling discovery—her New England ancestors, The DeWolfs, were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. The DeWolfs conducted the trade over three generations, beginning in 1769, and well after it had been banned in the United States in 1808. The DeWolf family brought over 10,000 African slaves to the Americas. Up to half a million of these Africans’ descendants are alive today. Katrina Browne and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade: from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana to sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also stumbling through the minefield of contemporary race relations. Traces of the Trade offers powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide….The issues the DeWolf descendants are confronted with dramatize questions that apply to the nation as a whole: What, concretely, is the legacy of slavery—for diverse whites, for diverse blacks, for diverse others? Who owes whom what for the sins of the fathers of this country? What history do we inherit as individuals and as citizens? How does Northern complicity change the equation? What would repair -spiritual and material – look like and what would it take?”

Preserving our Past

Delran Historical Society Member Dee Wells is searching for photographs of Delran Mayors since our beginnings in 1880.  There are still 10 mayors we have not yet located a photograph, including Abram Conrow who served as our mayor from 1890 to 1893.  We have documented Abram Conrow  to preserve his memory before it is erased much like his grave marker located in Westfield Friends Cemetery in Cinnaminson.

Oral History – June 2016 Meeting

aliceJoin us at our June monthly meeting when our featured speaker will be Alice Smith.  Alice Smith will highlight the guidelines outlined in Donald A. Ritchie’s book Doing Oral History. This book is considered the premier guidebook to oral history used by historians, archivists, and genealogists as a core text throughout the history community. Alice will be discussing setting up oral history projects and conducting interviews. She will also be sharing some of the information gathered from an oral history project conducted about ten years ago while interviewing persons who worked the Russ farm in Delano.  Genealogy involves researching historical documents, oral history and now DNA.  Alice M. Smith has been involved with the Riverside Historical Society since 1999. She is a resident of Delran and is also an active member of the Delran Historical Society.

Join us at 7pm on Tuesday June 21 at the Delran Township Municipal Building.  Light refreshments to follow.

February 16, 2016 Meeting

Delran Historical Society will be meeting on February 16, 2016 at the Delran Municipal Building starting at 7pm.  Debra Hammond, our communication and membership coordinator will presenting Arm Chair Genealogy (a take on television program – Who Do You Think You Are without the production crew, white gloves and travel.   Genealogy is the study of family history using oral histories, historical documents and records and now DNA.  Ms. Hammond presentation will focus on historical records and documents available on line.  She has being doing genealogy for over 20 years and will show what’s available online, what type of information you can get from various historical documents and keys to locating more information.  Society members were invited to provide names of family members they didn’t know much about and the information located will be shared.  It’s not too late to add a name to the list. Hoping for some big reveals. Light refreshments will follow.

Doing Oral History

Our next meeting will be January 19, 2016.  At our January meeting Alice Smith will highlight the guidelines outlined in Donald A. Ritchie’s book Doing Oral History. This book is considered the premier guidebook to oral history used by historians, archivists, and genealogists as a core text throughout the history community. Alice will be discussing setting up oral history projects and conducting interviews. She will also be sharing some of the information gathered from an oral history project conducted about ten years ago while interviewing persons who worked the Russ farm in Delanco.  Alice M. Smith has been involved with the Riverside Historical Society since 1999.  She is a resident of Delran and is also an active member of the Delran Historical Society.