The Matawan Historical Society initiated the Matawan Surname Project last year to assist in linking individuals, businesses, residences and events regarding past citizens who were instrumental in promoting governance, business and education in Matawan, Matawan Township (Aberdeen), Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach in the past. Categories for inclusion will expand in the future.

The data is stored on in the “tree” Matawan Surname Project. It is viewable by Ancestry subscribers and guests that MHS authorizes, but all information on living persons is hidden. The project attempts to identify the oldest living descendants for each family line; that is, if a great grandchild of the individual highlighted is living, we will not include that person’s living children.

By identifying these living descendants, it enables us to contact them for additional information, documents or artifacts that will assist individuals interested in Matawan history to expand their knowledge.

When examining the data for an individual included in the project, we can determine their birth, marriage and death information, where they lived when, their employment and children, if any. We capture obituaries and marriage articles, and if we stumble across other interesting news items, we save them in the “gallery” section on that individual’s profile. This is a Cliff Notes product for more in-depth research later.

My protocol is that after I identify an individual to include, I start with HIS parents and siblings and work down the tree. The Arrowsmith family alone consisted of hundreds of individuals. We most likely will add other family branches in the future – what is interesting is how the families inter-married and blended over the years, which is what you’d expect in a small community as old as Matawan.

As of this date, 4400 individuals are included in the project, with 23,000 records and photographs. We’ve only scratched the surface. The older families take weeks to document. All families in the list below are included in the tree, and the hyperlinked names include a family writeup – all will eventually have concise histories written on them. I’ve tried to include individuals that span a wide range of time and immigrant waves so far.

If you feel (or know) that you are included in one of the lines documented so far and want additional information (access to Ancestry if you are not a subscriber), use the contact form to get a hold of me.  You can find it at this link: Contact the Matawan Surname Project


Mark Chidichimo

MHS Genealogist

January 27, 2023


Matawan Surname Project: Families

The following families have been added to to date:

Antisell, Thomas Murphy (1838-1917)
Arrowsmith, Henry (?-1834)
Arrowsmith, Joel (1778-1844)
Barrett, George L (1865-1927)
Bedle, Joel (1778-1844)
Bell, George W (1814-1897)
Brown, Benjamin F (1856-1920) (in progress)
Bucco, Rocco Philip (1882-1958)
Cartan, Lawrence (1832-1903)
Conover, Peter Hendrickse (1778-1817)
Cook, George Franklin (1858-1947)
Devlin, Patrick (1834-1893)
Dominick, Jared Lane Moore (1850-1933)
Dunn, Ezra (1821-1898)
Eskesen, Bennet Knudsen Hallum (1834-1897)
Fountain, John (1760-1835)
Holmes, Joseph H (1824-1892)
Kahn, Harry Joseph  (1898-1983)
Kelly, James (1833-1914)
Lefferts, William C (1834-1901)
Lloyd, William H (1842-1928)
Maghan, James (1811-1893)
Mathiasen, Karl Wilhelm Martinus (1860-1920)
Munning, August (1841-1919)
Pitman, Aaron (1817-1894)
Rue, Isaac (1793-1841)
Schenck, John (1745-1834) (in progress)
Todd, Van Winkle (1892-1959)
Towler, Samuel (1872-1954)
VanBrackle, Stephen Himes (1784-1826)
Van Mater, Chrineyonce (1747-1803)
Van Schoick, Josiah (1822-1898)
Wason, Charles Eugene (1874-1950)