Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy
Gloucester 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.
|Gloucester County, New Jersey|
Location in the state of New Jersey
Location of New Jersey in the U.S.
|Address|| Gloucester County Courthouse|
1 N Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096-4611
- 1 County Information
- 2 Gloucester County, New Jersey Historical Facts
- 3 Parent County
- 4 Boundary Changes
- 5 Record Loss
- 6 Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy Resources
- 6.1 Bible
- 6.2 Cemeteries
- 6.3 Census
- 6.4 Church Records
- 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 Records
- 6.21 Repositories
- 6.22 Schools
- 6.23 Taxation
- 6.24 Vital Records
- 6.25 Marriage
- 7 Gloucester County, New Jersey Websites
- 8 Gloucester County, New Jersey Neighboring Counties
- 9 Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy References
Gloucester County, New Jersey Record Dates
Gloucester County, New Jersey Historical Facts
1642-1643: The New Sweden Colony expanded from present-day Wilmington, Delaware east to New Jersey at New Stockholm, now Bridgeport, Gloucester, New Jersey, and Sveaborg, now Swedesboro, Gloucester, New Jersey.
1654-1655: In 1654 New Sweden captured Fort Casimir (now New Castle, Delaware) from the Dutch without a fight and renamed Fort Trinty (Trefaldighets). In 1655 New Netherland returned with a large army and all of New Sweden in presend-day New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware submitted to Dutch rule.
1673-1674: A new war broke out and the Dutch sent a large armada to retake New Netherland for a few months. But as the war ended the colony was ceeded to England for the last time.
Created 28 May 1686 from the Colonial Lands. 
- 1686, courts separated from Burlington County
- 1692, boundary set with Burlington county and repealed in 1693
- 1694, formed in West Jersey with Egg Harbor from Cape May County
- 1710, boundaries redefined
- 1837, part forms Atlantic County
- 1844, part made into Camden County
- 1871, Monroe twp. and bulk of Washington twp. from Camden County
- 1892, part of Landis twps., Cumberland County taken and returned in 1897
- 1926, part of Washington twp. to Camden County with some more going in 1931
- 1938, boundary clarified with Atlantic County
- 1950, some to Camden County.
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.
1786 The courthouse was destroyed by fire. For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in the Tennessee Genealogy Blog.
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle.
Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy Resources
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|NJGenWeb Archives||WorldCat||Billion Graves|
|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.
- 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:
- Gloucester: Church of the Ascension; First Presbyterian Church
- Monroe: Methodist Church
- Woodbury: United Methodist Church
- Woolwich: Trinity Episcopal Church
- 1787-1815 - Stevenson, J.R. "Records of St. Mary's Church, Colestown, (Old Gloucester Co.) New Jersey," Publications of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jun. 1908):237-240. For free online access, see WeRelate; the Family History Library also has this series in its collection: FHL Book 974.8 B2p. Baptisms 1787-1815, marriages 1795-1796, burials 1794-1795.
Raccoon Parish was the first Swedish Church built in New Jersey (1703).
1754 and 1786 membership lists of Raccoon Parish are preserved in Archivum Americanum at the Consistory Court of the Archbishop of Upsal in Sweden. A copy of the 1754 list is held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Emigration and Immigration
- Clement, John. "Swedish Settlers in Gloucester County, New Jersey, Previous to 1684," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 17 (1893):83-87. For free online access, see WeRelate.
Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups
Gloucester County Series, Slave Documents. prepared by Gloucester County Historical Project; edited and published by the New Jersey Historical Records Survey Project, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Projects Administration; sponsored by New Jersey State Planning Board. - Newark, N.J. : Historical Records Survey, 1940.- xii, 66 leaves, 9transcriptions of early county records of New Jersey) F142.G5 H5 1940
- United States Geographic Survey Place Names - GNIS for Gloucester County
(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.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Probate records created after 1852 are held by the Gloucester 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 Gloucester 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
Gloucester County Courthouse
1 N Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096-4611
Phone: (856) 853-3237
County Clerk has court and land records from 1787. Surrogate Court has probate records. Clerk Superior Court has divorce records. Early records preserved at Surveyor General’s Office, Burlington Sec. of State Office, Trenton. 
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.
Gloucester County Historical Society
17 Hunter Street
PO Box 409
Woodbury, NJ 08096-0409
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.
Online Marriage Indexes and Records
1606-1981 - New Jersey, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
Gloucester County, New Jersey Websites
- FamilySearch.org FamilySearch Catalog for Gloucester County
- Gloucester County, New Jersey History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Familytree101)
- The Gloucester County NJGenWeb Project, an member of The NJGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- Gloucester County, New Jersey History & Genealogy (an independent site)
- Gloucester County NJ Genealogy
Gloucester County, New Jersey Neighboring Counties
- New Castle, Delaware
- Delaware, Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy References
- "New Sweden" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Sweden (accessed 7 November 2008).
- Swedes and Finns settled on the New Jersey side of the Delaware river as early as 1642 at Raccoon Creek. The first Swedish Lutheran minister to arrive in 1643, John Campanius, apparently described the luxurious growth of tobacco by Swedes between Raccoon Creek and Mantua Creek (Bridgeport) as mentioned in "Early History" in Gloucester County History and Genealogy [Internet site] at http://www.nj.searchroots.com/Gloucesterco/gchistory.htm (accessed 10 November 2008).
- Trinity Episcopal 'Old Swedes' Church 1703-2007 [Internet site] at http://trinityswedesboro.org/History/History1.htm (accessed 10 November 2008)."Three years later , Peter Hollander Ridder, the second governor of New Sweden, as the settlement in the Delaware Valley was called, purchased form the Indians the entire eastern side of the Delaware River from Raccoon Creek to Cape May. The first settlement by the Swedes was here on the banks of the Raccoon Creek in 1642, originally named Raccoon and later Swedesboro."
- "New Sweden" in Wikipedia.
- "New Sweden" in Wikipedia.
- "New Netherland" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_netherland (accessed 13 December 2008).
- "New Netherland" in Wikipedia.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
- "A Brief History of the Early Swedes in New Jersey," Gloucester County, New Jersey History Genealogy, http://www.nj.searchroots.com/Gloucesterco/swedesboro.htm, accessed 14 May 2012.
- Charles J. Stillé, "Archivum Americanum in the Consistory Court of the Archbishop of Upsal," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 15 (1891):482, 484-485. For free online access, see WeRelate.
- 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.