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Condits and Cousins

Volume 1 History and Biography

Chapter 8, Who are Condits and Cousins?

What should be the rules or guidelines for determining who ought to be included in or excluded from a published genealogical record or family history?

From the practical standpoint, such rules may be established by the compilers of the record of any given "family" depending in part on the size of the expected readership; and in part on the expected expenses of publication and the anticipation of meeting those expenses through sales of the publication and through sponsorship and financial support from individuals and groups.

A great many records of this nature have been published, even if only in mimeograph form, in editions of a hundred copies or less, because they listed the descendants of a couple into the third or fourth generation and the compilers assumed that only the living descendants, and perhaps not all of them, would be interested in owning copies. Some are of excellent quality with carful documentation and interesting narratives, and often with pertinent photographs and other illustrative material. They serve their intended purpose for a brief period or for many years, after which few copies can be found in actual use because the content was limited in scope to begin with and may have become dated or obsolete. Few are re-issued subsequently in completely revised editions; more commonly a small branch or two of the original family will issue a few copies of a record concerning only the members of its own branch(es). The family becomes fragmented and loses sight of and contact with members of other branches because there is no single combined genealogical record with a comprehensive index.

Noted exceptions to this timid approach have been published about various families in the past and some still are being produced concerning groups of individuals who are not particularly outstanding but enjoy knowing about their ancestors and other relatives.

One of the exceptions is the Genealogical Record of the Condit Family which had its inception in 1880 as a hobby; "…a matter of personal interest and information." It embraced not only the entire known Condit family for the previous two centuries but their inter-relationships with several other families of northern New Jersey. "After considerable correspondence with members of the different families, frequent requests were made for the publication of the history thus gathered to which we reluctantly acceded…" Thus the initial edition was published in 1885, virtually free of arbitrary constraints on whom to include.

Subsequently the Condit Family Association was organized in New Jersey in 1905, "to include all the descendants of John Condit, the Ancestor," without regard to any individuals current surname or degree of removal from the Condit name. In 1913 the Association authorized a revision of the genealogical record which was undertaken and published in 1916. During this revision it was determined that the following two very important restrictions:

1. "No attempt has been made to revise the early (historical) records," and

2. the exclusion of those beyond the grandchildren of Condit daughters, "except in a few cases." The later restriction was imposed by the Revision Committee of the Association as a general guideline that was, indeed, often interpreted liberally.

Copies of the 1885 edition and its 1916 revision found their way into many personal and public libraries, where they have been used for reference by thousands of individuals either directly descended from John Condict, or having an interface with one of his descendants through a relationship so remote that the publishers could scarcely have anticipated that the record would be so useful and valuable to so many people after the passage of so many years.

The 1982 reprint of the 1916 edition was an attempt to make the Condit genealogy available to a wider Condit family scattered throughout the United States and the world. There was very little new data added to this reprint but it was much appreciated by many families.

This web based release of the Genealogical Record of the Condit Family will truly be more of a Condits and Cousins release than any previous printing of the family genealogy. Any and all ties to the Condit family submitted will be included in this web-based genealogy, the only restriction being a minimum level of documentation of all branches. Earlier efforts of the Condit family to update and collect family information included, in many cases, parents and grandparents of wives and husbands of Condit descendants. This information was rarely included in the printed genealogy, usually only a father's name was included. This release will include all information available on Condit descendants and cousins. The effort will also be made to tie in many of the genealogies of early Newark and Orange, New Jersey families. Excellent work has been done and completed on the Williams family, the Harrison family, the Dodd family and the Crane family. All of these families tie into the Condit family at various points in the eighteenth century and an effort will be made to tie these families together with the early Condit families.

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