Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy
Cape May County, New Jersey ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Guide to genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.
|Cape May County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
Location of New Jersey in the U.S.
|County Seat||Cape May Court House|
|Address|| Cape May County Court House|
4 Moore Road
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 465-1010
Cape May County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 Description
- 3 Cape May County, New Jersey Historical Facts
- 4 Parent County
- 5 Boundary Changes
- 6 Record Loss
- 7 Resources
- 7.1 Bible
- 7.2 Cemeteries
- 7.3 Census
- 7.4 Church Records
- 7.5 Court Records
- 7.6 Emigration and Immigration
- 7.7 Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- 7.8 Gazetteers
- 7.9 Genealogy
- 7.10 History
- 7.11 Land and Property
- 7.12 Maps
- 7.13 Migration
- 7.14 Military
- 7.15 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 7.16 Newspapers
- 7.17 Occupations
- 7.18 Periodicals
- 7.19 Poorhouse, Alsmhouse
- 7.20 Probate Records
- 7.21 Repositories
- 7.22 Schools
- 7.23 Taxation
- 7.24 Vital Records
- 8 Cape May County, New Jersey Websites
- 9 Cape May County, New Jersey Neighboring Counties
- 10 Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy References
Cape May County is located in the southern tip of the state. It was created in 1685. Cape May Court House, Middle Township is the county seat. The county was named for Cornelis Jacobsen Mey a Dutch explorer, captain and fur trader.
Cape May County, New Jersey Record Dates
Cape May County, New Jersey Historical Facts
- 1685, court set up
- 1692, county given boundaries in West Jersey
- 1694, boundaries changed to transfer Great Egg Harbor area to Gloucester County
- 1710, boundary changed
- 1822, boundary with Cumberland County clarified
- 1844, part of Cumberland County added
- 1845, the 1844 part of Cumberland County returned
- 1846, coastal boundary established
- 1878, part of Maurice River twp., Cumberland County, added to Upper twp.
- 1891, part of Maurice River twp., Cumberland County, added to Dennis twp.
- 1906, coastal boundary established.
For animated maps illustrating New Jersey county boundary changes, visit "Rotating Formation New Jersey County Boundary Maps" (1683-1928) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See New Jersey Cemeteries for more information.|
- 1855 New Jersey, State Census, 1855 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1865 New Jersey, State Census, 1865 at FamilySearch — images
- 1895 New Jersey, State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1915 New Jersey State Census, 1915 at FamilySearch — index and images
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.
- 1675-1970 - New Jersey, Church Records, 1675-1970 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1708-1985 - Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 at Historical Society of Pennsylvania – $, free to members of the society; Also available at Ancestry.com – $; 7,542,774 entries. This database is incomplete for all counties.
- Contains the church records of:
- Ocean View: Calvary Baptist Church
- Contains the church records of:
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
Local histories are available for New Jersey counties. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section New Jersey Local Histories.
Land and Property
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular 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 and where records are currently housed.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Probate records created after 1852 are held by the Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy Probate Court. From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas. Most counties transferred all records to the Probate Court, but in some circumstances, Court of Common Pleas records should be searched for records prior to 1852. Most records are housed at the Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy Courthouse. Some records are on microfilm at the Ohio Genealogical Society and the Family History Library. For more complete information about the location of county probate records see:
See the wiki page New Jersey Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.
Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (1867-1908 only).
Obtaining Copies of County Probate Records
Copies of recorded probate records and the estate files can be obtained from the surrogate's offices for a fee. Addresses of surrogate's offices are found in:
- Eichholz, Alice, Editor. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. Revised Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1992. (Family History Library book 973 D27rb 1992.) Explains state-by-state history, vital records, census, background sources, periodicals, archives, libraries, societies, maps, land, probate, court, tax, cemetery, church, and military records. Includes county boundary map and table which shows when each county was created and the parent counties.
In addition, copies of the original wills, administrations, inventories, and guardianships sent to Trenton since 1901 can be ordered from:
Clerk of the Superior Court
Records Information Center
P.O. Box 967
Trenton, NJ 08625-0967
Phone: (609) 292-4978
Fax: (609) 777-0094
Online Probate Records
- 1656 - 1999 New Jersey Wills and Probate Records 1656-1999 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1670 – 1760 Calendar of New Jersey Wills 1670-1760 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1670 – 1817 New Jersey Abstract of Wills 1670-1817 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1678 - 1980 New Jersey Probate Records 1678-1980 at FamilySearch — images
Cape May County Courthouse
4 Moore Road
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 465-1010
County Clerk has military records 1795-1878, land records from 1692, Court Records 1793-1948, Military are cords from 1919 and naturalization records 1900-1960. County Surrogate has probate records from 1783. 
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
Greater Cape May Historic Society
653 Washington Street
Cape May, NJ 08204
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 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.
- 1901-1903, New Jersey, Reclaim the Records, New Jersey Birth Index, 1901-1903 at FamilySearch — index
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
1606-1981 - New Jersey, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
Cape May County, New Jersey Websites
- The Cape May County NJGenWeb Project, a member of The NJGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- Cape May County, New Jersey History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Familytree101)
- Cape May County NJ Genealogy
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Cape May County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Cape May County. (Backup site)
- FamilySearch.org FamilySearch Catalog for Cape May County.
Cape May County, New Jersey Neighboring Counties
Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy References
- Wikipedia contributors, "Cape May County, New Jersey" in Wikipedia : the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape May_County,_New_Jersey accessed 29 August 2018.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cape May County, New Jersey page 464, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.