“Discovering Immigrant Origins”

January 26, 2018

The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a lecture entitled “Discovering Immigrant Origins” on Sunday, January 28, 2018, starting at 2:00 PM at the Drake House Museum.   The lecture will be given by Melissa A. Johnson, CG, of Johnson Genealogy Services, LLC, from Middletown, New Jersey.


Ms. Johnson says: “Immigrants played an important role in American history and genealogy.  Early immigration brought English colonists to New England and years later, a wave of European immigration hit New York City.  Many of these immigrants eventually settled in New Jersey, and some remained for generations.”  Learn about records and strategies to help discover the origins of immigrants who came to the United States during various periods of time.  This lecture will cover immigration, naturalization, and alien records as well as other records sets and strategies for studying groups to identify immigrant origins.


Melissa A. Johnson, CG, is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical research, lecturing, writing, editing, and publishing.  She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the British Isles. Ms. Johnson has extensively researched the families of many of New Jersey’s first settlers, including those from Newark and Elizabeth(town).  She has worked in several projects for television shows, including Genealogy Roadshow, and Spoorloos, a popular Dutch television series focused on reuniting long-lost relatives. She has assisted many researchers with dual citizenship matters and lineage society memberships.  She is also proficient in using DNA test results to break through ancestral brick walls and assists adoptee and others with unknown parentage.


This history and education program, “Discovering Immigrant Origins,” is made possible in part by a 2017 HEART (History, Education, Arts, Reaching Thousands) Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.


This program is also made possible by the Historical Society of Plainfield/Drake House Museum.  Seating is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served.  Members: free and non-members: donations are always appreciated.




It was at the Drake House that George Washington consulted with his officers during and after the Battle of Short Hills fought over the entire Plainfield area on June 25-27, 1777. On permanent display at the Drake House Museum are three Colonial era rooms--the kitchen, the Queen Anne dining room, and the Washington bedroom. The parlor and the Harberger Library are interpreted as period Victorian rooms. 


The Drake House Museum also displays two large paintings by noted Civil War painter Julian Scott, a Plainfield resident and a Medal of Honor recipient.  A National and New Jersey Historic Site, the Drake House Museum is an exciting link to Plainfield’s Revolutionary War history.  


The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, New Jersey. Donations are always appreciated.  Onsite parking is available. For directions and more information about the Drake House and the Historical Society of Plainfield, visit www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org



Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of Department of State through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Recreation; a HEART Grant from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders; the City of Plainfield; the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission; McCutchen Foundation; Gannett Foundation; and the Plainfield Foundation.

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