Essex County, New Jersey Genealogy
Essex 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.
|Essex County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
Location of New Jersey in the U.S.
|Founded||March 7, 1683|
|Address|| Essex County Courthouse|
465 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 621-4920
Essex County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 Essex County, New Jersey Historical Facts
- 3 Parent County
- 4 Boundary Changes
- 5 Record Loss
- 6 Resources
- 6.1 Bible
- 6.2 Cemeteries
- 6.3 Census
- 6.4 Church
- 6.5 Court Records
- 6.6 Emigration and Immigration
- 6.7 Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- 6.8 Gazetteers
- 6.9 Genealogy
- 6.10 History
- 6.11 Land and Property
- 6.12 Maps
- 6.13 Migration
- 6.14 Military
- 6.15 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 6.16 Newspapers
- 6.17 Occupations
- 6.18 Periodicals
- 6.19 Poorhouse, Almshouse
- 6.20 Probate
- 6.21 Repositories
- 6.22 Schools
- 6.23 Taxation
- 6.24 Vital Records
- 7 Essex County, New Jersey Websites
- 8 Essex County, New Jersey Neighboring Counties
- 9 Essex County, New Jersey References
Essex County, New Jersey Record Dates
Essex County, New Jersey Historical Facts
- 1675, part of East Jersey
- History of Essex County as stated on official Essex County, New Jersey government site
Created 1 March 1683 from the Colonial Lands. 
- 1710, New Barbadoes twp. to Bergen County
- 1741, part to Somerset County.
- 1822, water boundry defined
- 1837, part to Passaic County.
- 1857, part to Union County.
- 1871, Union County boundary clarified
- 1876, some changes with Union boundary
- 1882, Union County boundary further clarified
- 1891, Part of Millburn twp. to to Union County's Springfield twp
- 1892, more minor changes with Union boundary
- 1907, parts of Acquackanonk & Little Falls twps. of Passaic County to Montclair
- 1958, some of Springfield twp., Union County to here.
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.|
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.
- 1694 - Zabriskie, George Olin. "Resident of North-Eastern New Jersey in 1694," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 108, No. 3 (Jul. 1977):157-158. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 108. List of residents in Dutch Reformed congregation of Acquackanonk Township and New Barbados.
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- East Orange
Emigration and Immigration
- 1906-1942 - New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942 at FamilySearch — index and images
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
- United States Geographic Survey Place Names - GNIS for Essex County (over 1180 entries)
(may not always be present in alphabetic order on first try.)
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.
Regiments. Service men in Essex County, New Jersey Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Essex County, New Jersey Genealogy:
- - 70th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K
- - 71st Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, D and E
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Essex County, New Jersey Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Probate records created after 1852 are held by the Essex 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 Essex 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
Using Family Search On-line Records to Find Probate Information
You can browse the "New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980" and find filmed copies of many probate files. It is a multi-step process but many records are filmed and available.
Step 1: Go to the "Surrogate's docket index 1700-1972" under "New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980" selecting the volume that includes the start of the family name you are looking for. Inside each of these index volumes is a alphabetized by last name beginning letters and year. For example, all names beginning with Ca come before any names beginning with Ce. You must browse the index to find the right surname.
Step 2: Once you find the right page the first names are listed in sections on the page. When you find a surname and first name that you would like to see the probate file, look to the last column for the "Docket Number."
Step 3: Once you have the docket number go to the "Estates 1783-1900" listing under "New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980" and look for the docket number. Once you are in the right film you will need to browse to find the docket number. Most files are anywhere from four to twenty pages. Once you find the estate file you can print or save it.
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
Essex County Courthouse
465 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Newark, NJ 07102
County Clerk has marriage records 1795-1879, divorce and court records from 1948 and naturalization records 1779-1929. City Clerks have birth and death records. County Surrogate has probate records. Register of Deeds has land records
"The Record Room is the repository for copies of all legal documents which have been recorded within the County since its creation in 1637. The public has access rights to these documents and are permitted to make searches.
The records are available for public inspection between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. By law, staff cannot conduct a title search, although upon request, the staff will familiarize the public with the indexing method and demonstrate how to use the books."
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.
Essex County Hall of Records
465 Martin Luther King Blvd, Rm #405
Newark, NJ 07102
Millburn-short Hills Historical Society
PO Box 243
Short Hills 07078
Nutley Historical Society
65 Church Street
Nutley NJ 07110
Roseland Historical Society
126 Eagle Rock Avenue
Verona Historical Society
PO Box 191
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.
Vital Records Office (revised as of 21 July 2005) (giving locations for birth certificates and phone numbers)
Essex County, New Jersey Websites
- FamilySearch.org FamilySearch Catalog for Essex County
- The Essex County NJGenWeb Project, an member of The NJGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- Essex County NJ Genealogy
Essex County, New Jersey Neighboring Counties
Essex County, New Jersey References
- 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), Cumberland County, New Jersey page 464, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.