A serendipitous reader inquiry leads to evidence of a legion of ancestors and a historic photo

George Bishop, a St. Cloud, FL reader, left the following comment on April 27 that led to finding evidence of his ancestor’s role as constable in late 19th century Riverton.

Hello and thank you for all the wonderful photographs and information about Riverton. So interesting. I was born in 1952 at 518 Main Street in Riverton and lived there until 1958 when relocated to Long Beach Island. I’ve always found myself digging through the internet trying to find out about my family & the house (photos, etc) My greatest interest in information about my great-grandfather George W Bishop who built 518 Main St house. According to the census he was a Constable. Any help locating photos or information about him or the house?

I searched our resources and replied the next day with what I had found.

Hi, George
Here’s what I could find on Bishop. Just this info on the home and two news clips at the end are relevant to your question, but I included others in case they are related. These old newspaper files are on our website, (https://rivertonhistory.com/historical-local-newspapers/) …

Found this bit about 518 Main but no old photo of the home.

518 Main National Register app 1999

Copied from Riverton’s 1999 National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. You can view the entire PDF document here – https://rivertonhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Historic-Riverton-District-app-1999.pdf

Apparently, Kull lived in it in 1999. No mention of the original owner. That involves searching the title in Mount Holly.

The New Era, Feb 7, 1935, pg2

518 Main mentioned in the New Era, Feb 7, 1935, p2.  So the house was not continuously in the Bishop family from the start?

Zillow has a later build date…  https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/518-Main-St-Riverton-NJ-08077/38160700_zpid/

Realtor.com – same 1885 date https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/518-Main-St_Riverton_NJ_08077_M59336-00796       Am I at the right address? See photo.

518 Main, realtor.com

Are you related to a Harold Bishop or Billy Bishop? Clara, Sam, Ernie, or Charles Bishop? There are hundreds of hits on searching the name Bishop in our old newspaper files.

Searching our old newspaper files I found…

Many 1912-1920s ads for plumber William H. Bishop at 302 7th St.   Any relation?

1944 Riverton Honor Roll from The New Era

1944 Riverton Honor Roll of persons serving in the military. These and other names are listed on the War Memorial on Main St.

In the 1890s, I found many ads for JOSEPH BISHOP, CONTRACTOR and BUILDER in Palmyra, but no mention of George W. Bishop.

These last two mention Constable Bishop

Riverton Journal, Mar 15, 1882, p2

Riverton Journal, Mar 15, 1882, p2















Riverton Journal, June 15, 1882, p2Riverton Journal, June 15, 1882, p2

Finally, this from Gaslight News of May 1983:

030_GN May 1983

John McCormick

Mr. Bishop wrote back to acknowledge that I indeed had found evidence of some of his ancestors in our archives.

Thank you SO much for the information! All of the mentioned Bishops are my uncles, grandfather, Great-Grandfather finally! and my father, George W Bishop on the honor roll… So wonderful to hear about all the family, especially George W Bishop in the 1890’s… Well, thank you so much again. Great reply and I wish you the best.    Sincerely, George Bishop (St. Cloud. Fl, formally Riverton NJ 1952-1958 and Ship Bottom NJ)

But the big bonus for us in this email exchange across the miles is that Mr. Bishop also sent a scan of a photo of 518 Main from waaaay back in the day with Constable Bishop and family out front. Is that snow?

THEN                                                   NOW
Constable Bishop at 518 Main
518 Main 6-13-2018







Just a thought… who else out there has a story, photo, document, or artifact that would be great to have as part of our historical record before it is lost? -JMc

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

Leave a Reply