Sussex County, New Jersey Genealogy

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Guide to Sussex County, New Jersey ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Newton
Organized: June 8, 1753
Parent County(s): Morris
Neighboring Counties
Monroe (PA)  • Morris  • Orange (NY)  • Passaic  • Pike (PA)  • Warren
See County Maps
Courthouse
New Jersey, Sussex County Courthouse.png
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Sussex County is located in the northern region of the state. It was created in 1753. Newton is the county seat. The county was named for the county of Sussex in England.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Sussex County Courthouse
43-47 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
Phone: 862-397-5700
Sussex County Courthouse

County clerk has deeds and mortgages from 1785, birth and manumissions of slaves, divisions, court records from 1760, officers oaths from 1753, freeholders minutes from 1753, road returns from 1764, naturalizations starting 1808 through 1987, marriages from 1795-1850, and corporations from 1822.
State Vital Statistics has birth marriage, divorce, land, estate, military, court and county records.[2]

Sussex County, New Jersey Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1901 1795 1901 1753 1766 1804 1830
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started 1 May 1848. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

Boroughs
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Townships


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • Named for Sussex County, England by the Royal Governor of New Jersey, Jonathan Belcher because it was the ancient seat of His Grace Thoams Pelham-Holles, the first Duke of Newcastle-upon-Trent and first Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne who at the time was the Secretary for the Northern Department, and later the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom. He was Governor Belcher's political supervisor. [8]
  • The area was originally inhabited by a subgroup of the Lenape tribe. European settlement started in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, with the arrival of Dutch and French Huguenot colonists moving southwest from the Hudson River area, who were later joined by Palatine Germans and British settlers. [9]
  • The area of current day Sussex County has historically belonged to:
  • 1694-1714 - Burlington County
  • 1714-1739 - Hunterdon County
  • 1739-1753 – Morris County
  • 1753 – present – Sussex County
  • At the time of its creation, Sussex County included current Sussex and Warren Counties, as well as part of New York State. A boundary dispute between New York and New Jersey after the French and Indian War settled the border between the two states (and, in the process, also the northern border of the county) in 1769. [10]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Sussex County, New Jersey online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See New Jersey Cemeteries for more information.

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing census records online, see: New Jersey Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 19,500
1800 22,534 15.6%
1810 25,549 13.4%
1820 32,752 28.2%
1830 20,346 −37.9%
1840 21,770 7.0%
1850 22,989 5.6%
1860 23,846 3.7%
1870 23,168 −2.8%
1880 23,539 1.6%
1890 22,259 −5.4%
1900 24,134 8.4%
1910 26,781 11.0%
1920 24,905 −7.0%
1930 27,830 11.7%
1940 29,632 6.5%
1950 34,423 16.2%
1960 49,255 43.1%
1970 77,528 57.4%
1980 116,119 49.8%
1990 130,943 12.8%
2000 144,166 10.1%
2010 149,265 3.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".


Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about denominations, view the New Jersey Church Records wiki page.

Specific Congregations:

  • 1741-1830 "Church Register of the Walpeck Congregation," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Baptisms 1741-1753: Vol. 40, No. 3 (Jul. 1909):193-205; Baptisms 1753-1772: Vol. 40, No. 4 (Oct. 1909):264-275; Baptisms 1772-1791: Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan. 1910):28-43; Baptisms 1791-1807: Vol. 41, No. 2 (Apr. 1910):83-98; Baptisms 1807-1816: Vol. 41, No. 3 (Jul. 1910):200-215; Baptisms 1817-1830, Marriages 1741-1769: Vol. 41, No. 4 (Oct. 1910):345-366. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 40-41. Internet Archive has digitized Vol. 40 and Vol. 41 - free.[11]
  • 1785-1819 Canfield, Amos. "The Clove Dutch Reformed Church of Clove Valley, Wantage, Sussex Co., N.J.," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Baptisms 1785-1801: Vol. 57, No. 4 (Oct. 1926):355-364; Baptisms 1801-1818, Marriages 1798-1812, Membership Lists 1793-1819, 1787 Petition, List of Elders and Deacons 1788-1806: Vol. 58, No. 1 (Jan. 1927):45-55. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 57-58.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

New Jersey State Archives hold Sussex County naturalization records for 1817-1952, and will perform searches with 5-year-time spans ($). Naturalization records from NJ federal district courts are located at the Northeast Branch of the National Archives, One Bowling Green, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10004.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

  • Agthe, Claire Keenan. Research in New Jersey. Special publications of the National Genealogical Society. Research in the States Series. No. 94. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2009.
  • Biographical and genealogical history of Morris and Sussex Counties, New Jersey. Vol. I. Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company. 1899. Image copy. Hathitrust. : 2016.  Vol. II. Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company. 1899. Image copy. Hathitrust. : 2016
  • Molé, Deborah L., David A. Ranzan, Janette Maria Pardo and Sarah J. Lambert. Sussex County (N.J) marriage and obituary dates : (1814-1903) : information for the years spanning 1814-1895. Apollo, Pennsylvania : Closson Press, 2006.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a specific location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See New Jersey Land and Property for information about New Jersey Proprietary land records. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse.

Online Land Indexes and Records

  • New Jersey State Archives can provide ($) Probate Record Search (wills and inventories ca. 1660-1952)
  • "Abstracts of divisions of Warren and Sussex County estates filed at Sussex County courthouse, Newton, New Jersey, from 1789-1918." Database. Ancestry.comhttp://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from Frederick R. Alleman, Abstracts of divisions of Warren and Sussex County estates filed at Sussex County courthouse, Newton, New Jersey, from 1789-1918.[unpublished] : photocopy (typescript). 1978.
  • "Maps of divisions of Warren and Sussex County estates filed at Newton, New Jersey between 1789-1918." Database. Ancestry.comhttp://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from Virginia Alleman Brown, Maps of divisions of Warren and Sussex County estates filed at Newton, New Jersey between 1789-1918.[manuscript] : [unpublished]. 1978.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Your relatives may be included in biographies, in church, school and government history, or in military events and lists. For more information, see New Jersey History and scroll to Local Histories.

  • Haines, Alanson A. Hardyston memorial: a history of the township and the North Presbyterian Church, Hardyston, Sussex County, New Jersey. Newton, N.J.: New Jersey Herald Print. 1888. Image copy. Internet Archive. : 2016
  • Kanouse, Peter. „A historical sermon designed as a memorial to the inhabitants of Wantage, Sussex County, N.J. : containing an account of the first emigrants, their pedigree, dangers, deliverance, habits, religion, means of instruction, increase, improvements, and the present state of society amoung their descendants.“ Database. Ancestry.com. : 2005. Extracted from: Kanouse, Peter. A historical sermon designed as a memorial to the inhabitants of Wantage, Sussex County, N.J. : containing an account of the first emigrants, their pedigree, dangers, deliverance, habits, religion, means of instruction, increase, improvements, and the present state of society amoung their descendants. Newton, N.J.: New Jersey Herald. 1878. ($)
  • Lanning, Nathan H. „ A history of the Yellow Frame Presbyterian Church, Fredon Township, Sussex County, New Jersey.“ Database. Ancestry.com .:  2004. Extracted from: Lanning, Nathan H. A history of the Yellow Frame Presbyterian Church, Fredon Township, Sussex County, New Jersey. [unknown]: [unknown]. [1984?]. ($)
  • Schaeffer, Casper, and William M. Johnson. Memoirs and reminiscences together with sketches of the early history of Sussex County, New Jersey. Hackensack, NJ: [self-published]. 1907. Image copy. Internet Archive. : 2016.
  • Snell, James P., and W. W. Clayton. History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey: with illustrations and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck. 1881. Image copy. Internet Archive. : 2016. See also:
    • „Index, Snell [sic] history of Sussex Co., N.J.“ Database. Ancestry.com: 2005. Extracted from Beatrice Mitten Adams, Index, Snell history of Sussex County, N.J..[unpublished] : photocopy (typescript). 1964.($)
  • „Sussex County sesqui-centennial, September 2, 1903 : including centennial address of Benjamin B. Edsall.“ Database. Ancestry.com. http:// www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from Sussex County sesqui-centennial, September 2, 1903 : including centennial address of Benjamin B. Edsall. [Newton, N.J.?]: The Sesqui-Centennial Committee. [1903?]. ($)
  • Webb, Edward A.„The historical directory of Sussex County, N.J. : containing a brief summary of events from its first settlement, with descriptive and historical notices of each town : also, the name and post office address of each freeholder.“ Database. Ancestry.com . http://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from Webb, Edward A. The historical directory of Sussex County, N.J. : containing a brief summary of events from its first settlement, with descriptive and historical notices of each town : also, the name and post office address of each freeholder. Andover, N.J.: [unknown]. 1872. ($)

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Orange CountyPike CountyWarren CountyMorris CountyPassaic CountyNJ SUSSEX.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


  • Webb, Edward A. "The historical directory of Sussex County, N.J. : containing a brief summary of events from its first settlement, with descriptive and historical notices of each town : also, the name and post office address of each freeholder." Ancestry.com  2005. Extracted from Webb, Edward A. The historical directory of Sussex County, N.J. : containing a brief summary of events from its first settlement, with descriptive and historical notices of each town : also, the name and post office address of each freeholder. Andover, N.J.: [unknown]. 1872. ($)
  • FamilySearch Places: Map of cities and towns in this county - How to Use FS Places
  • "Maps of divisions of Warren and Sussex County estates filed at Newton, New Jersey between 1789-1918.“ Database. Ancestry.comhttp://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from Virginia Alleman Brown, Maps of divisions of Warren and Sussex County estates filed at Newton, New Jersey between 1789-1918.

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

  • Sussex County residents who have died in the service of their country during wartime. Database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2004. Extracted from Jeffrey S. Muti. Sussex County residents who have died in the service of their country during wartime. [manuscript]: [unpublished], 1982. ($)
  • Rutgers University’s Alexander Library’s genealogy collection houses the Chester N. Jones Collection of 30,000 cards on New Jersey soldiers in the Revolution.
  • New Jersey State Archives offers the following searchable databases that contain military information (all are free to search, ($) for copies of records):

Searches for the following types of records can be requested from the New Jersey State Archives (all ($), payment by check or money order only):

  • Revolutionary War Record Search
  • World War I Record Search
  • Military Service Records Request Form (covers War of 1812, Spanish-American War, Punitive Expedition to Mexico in 1916, National Guard records 1869-1917, records from the New Jersey Home for Disabled Soldiers)

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  • Newspaper clippings from the Sussex Register. Database. Ancestry.comhttp://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from [Newspaper clippings from the Sussex register]. Newton, N.J.: The Register, 1897-1899.
  • One hundred years of the Sussex register and county of Sussex, 1813-1913 : record of historical, biographical, industrial and statistical events during a century.“ Database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2005. Extracted from: One hundred years of the Sussex register and county of Sussex, 1813-1913 : record of historical, biographical, industrial and statistical events during a century. Newton, N.J.: The Register. [1932?]. ($)
  • Back runs of Lake Hopatcong Breeze (Lake Hopatcong) for 1894-1924, Sussex Register (Newton) for 1814-1828 (complete run), and Wantage Recorder (Wantage) for 1894-1923 can be purchased in microform from the New Jersey State Library. ($)

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Photographs[edit | edit source]

New Jersey State Archives has a number of searchable photograph collections. Researchers can then order copies of images (($), check or money order only). The following collections are available:

  • World War I Deaths (3,427 names, 9,310 scanned images – includes descriptive cards, photographs and correspondence. This database includes an information card (and often a photograph) of 3,427 fallen soldiers from New Jersey. Each card includes the following: name; service number; race; residence; place and date of enlistment; place and date of birth; organizations served in and dates of assignment/transfer; date killed or otherwise died (if not killed in action, cause of death); wounds or injuries received; and the name and address of the person notified of the death. Many cards include a photograph.)
  • Department of Agriculture Photographs (7,111 photographs  - 4,036 scanned images (which can be ordered in digital format)); this series consists of over 14,000 prints and dating from about 1920 to1983, with a few images from as early as the 1880s. The photographs were originally taken to illustrate the publications of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.)
  • New Jersey National Guard Photographs (1,316 images, dating from the mid-19th century through the 1980s, with the majority (759 images) taken before 1945; also includes scrapbooks etc)
  • Federal Writers' Project Photographs (3,911 images of sites, people and activities collected in the 1930ies)

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas and may have earlier records. In 1852, most of those records were transferred to the Sussex County Probate Court. For more complete information and for online and other resources, see New Jersey Probate Records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Online School Indexes and Records

  • "Catalogue of the officers and students of Newton Collegiate Institute, Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, for the year 1874 : with the course of study.“ Database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2004. Extracted from Catalogue of the officers and students of Newton Collegiate Institute, Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, for the year 1874 : with the course of study. [Newton, N.J.?]: "Sussex Register“ Job Office. 1874. ($)
  • Smith, Minnie D. "Sussex County school sojourn in the 1890's.“ Database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com :  2005. Extracted from: Smith, Minnie D.. Sussex County school sojourn in the 1890's. Belvidere, N.J.: Poyer Press. 1964. ($)

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

New Jersey tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information see the wiki page New Jersey Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the New Jersey Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. Original marriage records are usually held at the county Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

New Jersey Historical Records Survey. „Inventory of the county archives of New Jersey. No. 19 : Sussex County (Newton).„ Database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com : 2004. Extracted from New Jersey Historical Records Survey Inventory of the county archives of New Jersey. No. 19 : Sussex County (Newton). Newark, N.J.: The Historical Records Survey, 1941. ($)

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Rutgers University’s Alexander Library is an invaluable repository for any New Jersey researchers, as it houses collections deposited by the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Family Bible records and extensive notes and collected compilations by professional genealogists make up the most unique part of this collection. The genealogical collections are open to the public during the regular opening hours, and a university affiliation or special membership is not necessary to use them.

Website

Of particular interest to Sussex County researchers:

  • Warren P. Coon Collection, comprised of 20,000 cards on (primarily 19th century) families of Sussex and Warren Counties. (Filed alphabetically by surname.)
  • Helen P. Alleman / Patricia A. Weibezahl Collection - materials (in both notebooks and folders) on families in northwestern New Jersey.

Sussex County Public Library' (both main library and the branches) have amassed unique genealogy and local history collections, and the library has created a surname index which allows researchers to pinpoint specific resources.  (Please note that some materials are only accessible by appointment, so contact the library ahead of time.)Website

Highlights of the collection of the Main Library:

  • Perlee Collection – Files and notes by noted local genealogist Alfred Perlee. (This collection is in closed stacks – please identify the surnames of interest, and library staff will pull the necessary files.)
  • Crawn Collection – Files and notes by Sussex County genealogist Francis S. Crawn. (Records are on microfilm, arranged alphabetically by family name.)
  • Decker Scrapbooks – 14 scrapbooks of clippings collected by members of the Decker family. Topics include history of New Jersey and Sussex County in particular. (Consult reference librarian on duty for the index.)
  • Cemetery & Church Vertical File – transcripts and lists.
  • Genealogy Vertical File – miscellaneous notes and files on local families, donated by researchers.
  • Local History Vertical Files – various materials on local history, institutions organizations, schools, etc. List of vertical file subjects can be found here.

Sussex-Wantage Branch
Sussex-Wantage Branch Library has its own genealogy and local history vertical files, as well as family Charts and materials on Wantage Township Cemeteries prepared and donated by local researcher Muriel Robertson.

Dorothy Henry Branch
Dorothy Henry Branch Library also has its own genealogy and local history vertical files’ collection (see the list of subjects), as well as articles, clippings and interview transcripts collected by local historian Dr. Roswell S. Coles (the Roswell Coles Scrapbooks).

Franklin Branch
Franklin Branch Library has many materials on the history of Franklin High School, including yearbooks and other Franklin HS material, as well as a unique collection of materials related to early mining in Sussex County, collected by the late Mr. Frederic J. Stephens (The Stephens Collection) - maps, books, pictures, letters and articles. (Viewing by appointment only – contact the library to schedule.)

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Sussex County Historical Society
82 Main Street, Box 913
Newton, NJ 07860
Phone:973-383-6010
E-mail:sussexcountyhs@gmail.com
Website

Wallpack Historical Society
PO Box 212
Layton, N.J. 07851
Phone: 973-948-6671
Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Sussex County, New Jersey" in Wikipedia : the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sussex_County,_New_Jersey accessed 23 September 2018.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 11th ed. (Logan, Utah: Everton Pub., 2006), Sussex County, New Jersey, page 515. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2006
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Sussex County, New Jersey . Page 464-465 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 460.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002).At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Sussex County, New Jersey," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sussex_County,_New_Jersey#Communities, accessed 20 March 2020.
  8. Wikipedia.org
  9. Wikipedia.org
  10. Wikipedia.org
  11. WeRelate contributors, "Source:New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (New York Genealogical and Biographical Society)," in WeRelate, http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:New_York_Genealogical_and_Biographical_Record_%28New_York_Genealogical_and_Biographical_Society%29, accessed 9 February 2011.