The Descendants of Founders of New Jersey was founded in November 1982, under the leadership of Organizing Governor General Harriet Stryker-Rodda.

Mrs. Stryker-Rodda was the author of numerous books, including: How to Climb Your Family Tree: Genealogy for BeginnersUnderstanding Colonial HandwritingSome early records of Morris County, New Jersey, 1740-1799; and Colonial Tavernkeepers Qualifying Ancestors of Flagon and Trencher Members (Volumes I & II). Her wide knowledge and active nature made Mrs. Stryker-Rodda well known within the genealogy community.


Membership in the society is open to any person 18 years of age or older who can prove direct descent from a founder of New Jersey prior to 17 April 1702 in any area which is now in the State of New Jersey, provided they subscribe to the objectives of this Society. The cost of a Life Membership is $125.

We believe that the people who encouraged and financed the individual and group ventures responsible for the settlement of New Jersey are historically and genealogically as important as the settlers themselves. Thus the name for our organization was chosen to honor both the people with vision and money to back the venturers and settlers who came to carve out a better future. 

On 17 April 1702 the Provinces of East Jersey and West Jersey were merged into New Jersey as a single entity. By that date basic settlement had been accomplished in the area that now comprises the State of New Jersey.


The Annual Meeting of the Society is typically held in New Jersey during the month of May. A second meeting is held in April in Washington, D.C. during the fortnight of meetings in conjunction with the Hereditary Society Community of the United States of America. A Founders Day meeting may be held in autumn. Exact details on times and places of events will be announced.