New Jersey Archives and Libraries

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Beginning Research
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These repositories preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in New Jersey.

Wiki Articles on Major Repositories for New Jersey[edit | edit source]

Camden County Historical Society · Gloucester County Historical Society Library · Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) · Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey · Morristown and Morris Township Library · National Archives at New York City (New York City, NY) · National Archives at Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) · New Jersey Historical Society Library · New Jersey State Archives · New Jersey State Library · New York Public Library (New York City, NY) · Newark Public Library · Office of Vital Statistics and Registry · Princeton University Firestone Library · Rowan University Campbell Library · Rutgers University Alexander Library · Seton Hall University Libraries

Online Records of New Jersey[edit | edit source]

Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

Statewide Repositories[edit | edit source]

New Jersey Historical Society Library[edit | edit source]

52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Telephone: 973-596-8500
Fax: 973-596-6957
Internet: New Jersey Historical Society Library
Internet: Genealogist's Guide

NJ books, censuses, maps, city directories, local histories, vital records, church records, family folders, and indexes to New Jersey family history sources.[1] Guides to the collections are available on the library website. Fees are charged to visit the library. The library staff will do a limited amount of research for a fee.

New Jersey State Archives[edit | edit source]

225 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0307
Telephone: 609-292-6260
Internet: State of New Jersey Department of State

Wills are one of the most important records for New Jersey research, and many of those wills 1670-1900 are housed here. The New Jersey State Archives is the official repository for all colonial and state government records. Its collections include manuscripts, births 1848-1923, marriages and deaths 1848-1940, deeds 1660s-1880s, military records of the Revolution, petitions, court records 1680-1850, NJ state censuses 1855-1915, election returns, taxes 1772-1882, railroad and turnpike records, and microfilms of pre-1900 county and town records.[2] The state archives also has several searchable databases online. See also:

New Jersey State Library[edit | edit source]

185 West State Street
(mailing address: P.O. Box 520)
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0520
Telephone: 609-278-2640
Fax: 609-278-2647
Internet: New Jersey State Library
Internet: Genealogy and Local History Collection

The state library collects published sources, including printed genealogies, guides, how-to books, indexes, maps and atlases, church records, local histories, city directories, legislative reports, legal digests, and periodicals.[2] It also has microfilm copies of federal censuses of the eastern states, New Jersey state censuses, and major New Jersey newspapers. The library staff will do limited checking of indexes and directories in response to telephone or written requests. They will make photocopies for a fee.

Office of Vital Statistics and Registry[edit | edit source]

New Jersey Department of Health
P.O. Box 370 (mailing address)
140 East Front Street (street address)
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
Telephone: 609-292-4087 or 866-649-8726 toll-free
E-mail: Online Requests
Internet: Order a Vital Record

Birth, marriage and death records since 1917. Proof of relationship is required. Vital records are also available from local vital records offices in the municipality where the event occurred. See the New Jersey State Archives for vital records from May 1848 – 1916.[3]

Rutgers University Alexander Library[edit | edit source]

Rutgers University Alexander Library in New Brunswick

169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1163
Telephone: 732-932-7006
Fax: 732-932-7012
E-mail: Ask a Librarian form
Internet: Special Collections and University Archives
Internet: Genealogical Resources

Consider this your best, first-stop for New Jersey research.[2]
The regular collection includes material from the Genealogical Society of New Jersey, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. It also holds biographies, histories, genealogies, family folders, Bibles, census, special indexes, cemetery transcripts, and professional genealogists' notes on New Jersey families.[2]
Special Collections include manuscripts, letters, rare books, New Jersey town records, diaries since 1746, historical maps, newspapers, and the University archives.[2] Diaries and journals are inventoried in:
  • Donald A. Sinclair, comp., A Guide to Manuscript Diaries and Journals in the Special Collections Department, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Library, 1980). WorldCat 7912561; Not available at the Family History Library.

Regional Repositories[edit | edit source]

Camden County Historical Society[edit | edit source]

1900 Park Boulevard
Camden, NJ 08103
Telephone: 856-964-3333
Internet: Archives
Internet: Camden County Historical Society

They have the single largest collection of Camden county historical records, including 20,000 books, cemetery records, pamphlets, maps, deeds, diaries and genealogical material, as well as maps, Camden County newspapers, and city directories for both Camden and Philadelphia. Their collection of South Jersey documents is growing.[4]

Gloucester County Historical Society Library[edit | edit source]

17 Hunter Street
Woodbury, New Jersey 08096-4605
Telephone: 856-845-4771
Internet: Gloucester County Historical Society Library

The library has an extensive collection of census records, vital records, cemetery sources, maps, church records, local histories, city directories, genealogical charts, and an index of slaves and servants in wills 1670-1817.[5] Many are digitized and available online.

Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey[edit | edit source]

222 Livingston Ave.
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Telephone: 732-249-4894
Internet: Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey

The archival collection includes organizational documents, historical records, photographs, oral histories, area Jewish newspapers, individual family files, and other research materials.[6]

Morristown and Morris Township Library[edit | edit source]

North Jersey History and Genealogy Center
1 Miller Rd.
Morristown, NJ 07960
Telephone: 973-538-3473
Fax: 973-267-4064
Internet: North Jersey History and Genealogy Center
Internet: Our Collections

New Jersey and early American histories, genealogies, maps, historical newspapers, historic preservation materials, manuscripts, city directories of New Jersey and New York City, Morris County surname files, and family papers.[7]
Newark Public Library Main Branch

Newark Public Library[edit | edit source]

5 Washington Street
P.O. Box 630
Newark, New Jersey 07101-0630
Telephone: 201-733-7784 or (New Jersey questions) 201-733-7775
Internet: Newark Public Library

The library has newspapers and city directories for Newark and microfilm copies of all existing New Jersey federal and state censuses. This library serves as a New Jersey State Documents Depository as well as a Regional Depository for U.S. Government Publications.[8] They also have African American and Hispanic collections. The staff will search and copy obituaries and other records for a fee.
Princeton U Firestone Library

Princeton University Firestone Library[edit | edit source]

One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
Telephone: 609-258-1470
E-mail: Contact Us form
Internet: Firestone Library

They have a huge manuscript collection, as well as histories, biographies, and a government documents depository.[2]

Rowan University Campbell Library[edit | edit source]

Rowan Univ Campbell Library in Glassboro

Archives and Special Collections
201 Mullica Hill Rd.
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Telephone: 856-256-4967
Fax: 856-256-4924
E-mail: Ask a Librarian form
Internet: Rowan University Campbell Library find, about us, services, places and spaces, help, ProfSearch, catalog, quick links, contact.
Internet: Archives and Special Collections collections list including the very large Stewart Collection  of pamphlets, photographs, genealogical materials, and books.
Internet: RU Campbell Library Catalog searchable by keyword, subject, author, and title, among others.

Their genealogical strength is in Delaware River Valley history, including nearly every Quaker line in New Jersey. This is a crucial resource if you have early Quaker ancestors in New Jersey.[2] Before 1992 it was known as the Glassboro State College Savitz Library.

Seton Hall University Libraries[edit | edit source]

Seton Hall Univ Walsh Library in South Orange

Archives and Special Collections Center
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, New Jersey 07079
Telephone: 973-761-9476
E-mail: archives@shu.ed
Internet: Special Collections and Seton Hall University Catholic New Jersey collection descriptions
Internet: Genealogy Resources

Special Collections includes Roman Catholic parish registers and cemetery records in the Archdiocese of Newark comprising Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties.[9] Please call ahead.
Many of their Roman Catholic church records are also available as Family History Library microfilms—see their FHL Microfilm Index, and contrast it with their list of Non-Microfilmed (Catholic) Church Records.[9]
They also offer a remote research request service via their Genealogy Research Requests form.[9]

Outside of New Jersey Repositories[edit | edit source]

Historical Society of Pennsylvania[edit | edit source]

Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699
Telephone: 215-732-6200
Fax: 215-732-2680

Has early Quakers, Germans, Scots-Irish, and other settlers in William Penn's colonies of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This is also an excellent place to learn about early settlers of New Jersey.[10] Records which have been published are normally well-indexed. This society also has 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century manuscripts (letters, diaries, account books, deeds, minutes, and scrapbooks), passenger arrival lists and indexes, [11] local and regional history, ethnic and immigrant studies materials, 600,000 books, 20 million manuscripts, over 300,000 graphics items, and 300 years of newspapers.[12]

National Archives at New York City[edit | edit source]

National Archives at New York City in the old Alexander Hamilton Customs House

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004
Telephone: Toll-free 866-840-1752 or 212-401-1620
Fax: 212-401-1638
Internet: National Archives at New York City

The National Archives at New York City has records created by federal agencies in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The archives has naturalization records, internal revenue service records, customs lists, and records of the U.S. District Court of Appeals. The archives also has microfilms of all available federal census records, many naturalization records, passenger arrival lists, military records, and other historical resources.
The National Archives has announced that in the fall of 2012 the records of this branch will be moved to the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in New York City.

National Archives at Philadelphia[edit | edit source]

Sign in front of the National Archives at Philadelphia entrance

14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154-1096
Telephone: 215-305-2044
Fax: 215-305-2052
Internet: National Archives at Philadelphia

Has federal agency and court records for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. All U.S. federal censuses 1790-1940, and indexes. Also have passenger arrivals in Philadelphia 1800-1945 and Baltimore, pension and bounty land warrant applications, naturalizations 1790-1990, early federal history, diplomacy, military history, Chinese-Americans, World War II homefront, National Park Service, merchant marine, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, federal tax evasion and smuggling cases.[13] Using these archives helps New Jersey research because of close ties to Pennsylvania in earlier years.

New York Public Library[edit | edit source]

New York Public Library in Manhattan

U.S. History, Local History & Genealogy Division
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, Room 315S
New York, NY 10018-2788
Telephone: 212-930-0829
E-mail: Ask a librarian

This is one of the largest research libraries in the world including excellent genealogical resources for New Jersey. The library has city and telephone directories, vital records indexes, local histories, genealogies, federal and state censuses, passenger lists, genealogical collections (including DAR transcripts), and church records.[14] For maps, write to the Map Division at the same address.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Morristown New Jersey Family History Center

Some of the above collections are partially duplicated at the Family History Library and its branch Family History Centers around the world. Most centers can help you by:

  • Giving you limited, personal, one-on-one research suggestions (but they do not do research for you)
  • Providing access to genealogical records through the Internet FHC Portal.
  • Offering free how-to classes (varies by location).
  • Fostering contact between genealogical enthusiasts

There are several centers located in New Jersey, for example:

Morristown New Jersey Family History Center
283 James St.
Morris Township, NJ
Telephone: 973-539-5362.
Each center is staffed by volunteers and has varying hours and services. Telephone in advance to verify their hours.

To locate one of these centers in your own neighborhood, see Find a Family History Center.

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

  • Edith, Hoelle. Genealogical Resources in Southern New Jersey, 3rd ed (Woodbury, New Jersey: Gloucester County Historical Society, 1989). This book is a guide to libraries and collections in the seven southern counties of New Jersey. WorldCat 20770158; FHL book 974.9 D23h 1989.
  • Mary R. Murrin, comp., New Jersey Historical Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the State (Trenton, New Jersey: New Jersey Historical Commission, 1987). This book contains addresses and collection descriptions of 263 public libraries, historical societies, archives, and museums. WorldCat 15489310; FHL book 974.9 A3m.
  • Mary Alice Quigley, Judith A. Fullerton, and Diane E. Kauffman, comp., Historical Organizations in New Jersey: A Directory, revised edition, (Trenton, New Jersey: New Jersey Historical Commission, 1983). This book contains the addresses to over 450 historical societies, county historians, museums, and lineage societies. WorldCat 9622571; FHL book 974.9 H24q.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The New Jersey Historical Society Library in New Jersey Historical Society (accessed 15 September 2015).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 77. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  3. Vital Statistics in New Jersey Department of Health (accessed 20 April 2017).
  4. Archives in Camden County Historical Society (accessed 15 September 2015).
  5. Library in Gloucester County Historical Society (accessed 15 September 2015).
  6. Collectons in Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey (accessed 15 September 2015).
  7. Our Collections in North Jersey History and Genealogy Center (accessed 16 September 2015).
  8. Selected Materials in the New Jersey Information Center Relative to New Jersey Genealogical Research in The Newark Public Library (accessed 16 September 2015).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Genealogy Resources in Seton Hall University Libraries (accessed 16 September 2015).
  10. Dollarhide and Bremer, 55.
  11. Dollarhide and Bremer, 95.
  12. About Our Collections in Historical Society of Pennsylvania (accessed 27 December 2013).
  13. Dollarhide and Bremer, 126-27.
  14. Dollarhide and Bremer, 81.