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New Jersey Public Records

   
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How To Search Public and Vital Records - Vital records are records of life events important enough that some level of government acquires, organizes, and preserves them. While the term "vital records" is often applied to a wide variety of life events... Read more
 
New Jersey Vital Records
Among the Mid-Atlantic states, New Jersey has the longest continuing run of statewide registration of births, marriages, and deaths, which began in May 1848. The New Jersey State Archives has these records with indexes through 1923 for births and through 1940 for marriages and deaths. Marriages were also to be kept by the county clerks from 1795.
For birth records through 1923 and marriage and death records through 1940, write:
New Jersey State Archives, Division of Archives and Records Management, 185 West State Street, CN 307, Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

For more recent records, write:
New Jersey State Department of Health, Vital Statistics Registration, CN 370, Trenton, NJ 08625 0370

New Jersey Land Records
New Jersey is a state-land state. Lands were generally acquired from one or two proprietors or from other individuals. The earliest sales of land in New Jersey were by the proprietors of East and West Jersey, which still hold some land today and maintain their records, although those for West Jersey are also on film at the state archives. Until the Land Act of 1785 transferred the recording of deeds to the counties, land conveyances after the initial grants from the proprietors were recorded mostly in the East and West New Jersey capitals: Perth Amboy and Burlington. In 1795 these records were transferred to Trenton, where they became known as the Secretary of State's Deeds. These deeds, dated 1664 to the 1800s, are at the state archives and are indexed in Colonial Conveyances: Provinces of East & West New Jersey 1664–1794, 2 vols. (Summit, N.J.: Crestview Lawyers Service, 1974). It has been estimated that only a quarter of colonial land transfers were recorded. For more information about the proprietary period, see John Edwin Pomfret, The New Jersey Proprietors and Their Lands, 1664–1776 (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1964).
At the county level are found the usual deeds and mortgages, with corresponding indexes to each type of record. These records begin for most counties at two stages. Mortgages have been recorded with the county clerk from 1766 and deeds from 1785. Also with the county clerk are divisions or partitions of lands that include descriptions and often maps showing how the real property of a person who died intestate was divided among his or her heirs.

New Jersey Court Records
Court records include probate records, guardianship, naturalization, and a wide variety of other sources. All contain information about individuals within the area. It should be remembered that there are different levels of jurisdiction for courts in the United States, all of which should be considered for research under various circumstances. Court of Common Pleas, Orphan's Court, Probate Court, District Court, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and other titles are among those encountered. To study more about court records in general, see "Research in Court Records," by Arlene H. Eakle, in: Loretto DennisSzucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds., The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).

New Jersey Military Records
Pre-World War I material on New Jersey's military activities is mostly found at the New Jersey State Archives, with later records at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs. A typescript, "Military Lists from The Office of the Adjutant General, Trenton, New Jersey," copied by Albert F. and Sara Morton Koehler (n.p., 1962) is available at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. For the Revolutionary period there is the Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War, compiled by Adjutant General William S. Stryker (1872; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967). An index compiled by the WPA in 1941 was reprinted: Index of the Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War (Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 1989). This work has only about a third of all the names; other material should be sought at the state archive (where there are alphabetical card files to New Jersey "patriots" and the New Jersey Loyalist regiment). A list of eligible men aged eighteen to forty-five who did not serve in the Revolution or in the militia of another state is found in James S. Norton, New Jersey in 1793 (see "Census Records"). The state archives also has war damage claims filed by the British and Americans, 1776–82.
Records of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Wars 1791–1815, compiled by the Adjutant General's Office (1909; reprint; Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1970) mostly covers the War of 1812 period. Also of interest is Records of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the War with Mexico, 1846–1848 (Trenton, 1900) and Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861–1865, compiled by William S. Stryker, 2 vols. (Trenton, N.J.: John L. Murphy, 1876). The National Archives microfilm "Index to Compiled Service Record of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served...from New Jersey" is at the Northeast Region in New York City. The state archives also has indexes to the Spanish-American War and some other pre-World War I military service, as well as unindexed material on the War of 1812, Mexican War, Spanish-American War, the state militia (1789–1947), and the National Guard (to about 1910). Modern military records are with the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs. For further information, consult James C. Neagles's U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1994).

Additional Sources
McCormick, Richard P. New Jersey from Colony to State, 1609–1789. 1964. Rev. Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1981.
Lee, Francis Bazley, comp. and ed. Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey. 4 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1910.
Barker, Bette Marie, Daniel P. Jones, and Karl J. Niederer, comps. Guide to Family History Sources in the New Jersey State Archives. 2nd ed. Trenton: Division of Archives and Records Management, 1990.
Gordon, Thomas F. Gazetteer of the State of New Jersey. 1834. Reprint. Cottonport, La.: Polyanthos, 1977.


New Jersey Vital Records:

Event: Birth or death (State)

Cost of copy: $4.00

Address:
New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services
Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

Remarks: State office has had records since June 1878. Additional copies of same record ordered at same time are $2.00 each. If the exact date is unknown, the fee is an additional $1.00 per year searched.

Check or money order should be made payable to New Jersey State Department of Health. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (609) 292-4087. This will be a recorded message.

Search All New Jersey Records
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Event: Birth or death

Cost of copy: $4.00

Address:
New Jersey Department of State
Division of Archives and Records Management
P.O. Box 307
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

Remarks: For records from May 1848 to May 1878.

Check or money order should be made payable to New Jersey State Department of Health. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (609) 292-4087. This will be a recorded message.


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Event: Marriage (State)

Cost of copy: $4.00

Address:
New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services
Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

Remarks: If the exact date is unknown, the fee is an additional $1.00 per year searched.


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Event: Marriage

Cost of copy: $4.00

Address:
New Jersey Department of State
Division of Archives and Records Management
P.O. Box 307
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307

Remarks: For records from May 1848 to May 1878.


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Event: Divorce

Cost of copy: $10.00

Address:
Public Information Center
CN 967
Trenton, NJ 08625

Remarks: The fee is for a certified Blue Seal copy. Make check payable to Clerk of the Superior Court.

Search All New Jersey Records

 
     
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