The George F. Kent Collection of New Jersey
The George F. Kent Collection comprises 122 volumes of materials plus a 28-drawer card file. The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey is the backbone of this collection, with a multi-volume index added by SGS. The card file contains thousands of cards indexing cemeteries, church records, deed abstracts, marriage records, military records and family information.
George F. Kent, SGS benefactor, was an easterner with a great interest in New Jersey and the Manhattan-Brooklyn area of New York. Coming to Seattle late in life, he became interested in SGS and through Monte Spear, then President of the organization, made arrangements for his fine genealogical collection to be given to the Society's library. This collection of books, manuscript materials, and file cards makes up one of the largest single gifts SGS has ever received.
There are many fine volumes for New Jersey and New York, plus some works that have a general value. Of primary importance is the Index to Revolutionary War Pensions. Any genealogist with colonial ancestors must become familiar with this work. The 122 books in this collection are listed in the SGS Library catalog.
It is unlikely that The Kent Collection contains any books which are not available in some other American library, but his compilation of data on phonetically-arranged large file cards is a different matter. Some of the records in Kent's files are for cemeteries no longer in existence. Also, a number of church records may no longer be available or locatable. In addition to cemetery and church records, there are abstracts of deeds, marriage records, military records, and family information, making this collection one of the more valuable sections of the SGS Library.
Mr. Kent was an accomplished genealogist, and all family historians interested in his area of expertise will thank him for his scholarly work as well as his thoughtfulness in providing a home for it in his adopted state. The Kent Collection is currently housed, in its entirety, near the front desk of the SGS Library.