This is the official website for the New Jersey State Archives. They have free, online marriage, death, census, land, and military records. They also have links for how to pay for additional birth, marriage, death, naturalization, probate, and military research requests and what types of material will be searched.

 

 

Birth Marriage and Death records #OnGenealogy

 Birth, Marriage, & Death Records

 

General BMD Records info

To order birth, marriage, and death records from January 1921 to present, visit the Department of Health

 

 

Birth Records Requests requiring a fee

To request Birth records from May 1, 1848-December 31, 1920

Onsite records online – Records relating to Slaves and Children of Slaves – County clerks were required by law to record slave manumissions (freedom papers) beginning in 1786. The “Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” in 1804 required the recording of births of children of slave mothers. The State Archives’ holdings of slave-related filings vary depending on the county. Additional records may be available in county clerks’ offices.

Onsite records online – Adoption Records – The State Archives’ holdings of adoption records vary from county to county. Additional and/or more recent records are held by the county surrogates’ offices and Superior Court; consult the county records and judiciary pages for addresses and links. It should be noted that New Jersey’s 1940 adoption statute did not retroactively seal earlier adoption files. The records listed below, therefore, are open to the public without restriction.

 

 

 

Marriage Records

Colonial Marriages, 1666-1799 – This database indexes early marriage bonds held at the New Jersey State Archives. During this period prospective marital partners were required to file a bond with the governor. By signing the bond, the partners were swearing they had no preexisting marital contract or other impediment to hinder the marriage. These bonds obligated the groom and his fellow bondsman (often a relative of the bride) monetarily, should the terms of the bond not be fulfilled. In practice, only a minority of marriages were licensed by the colony in this fashion.

 

Marriages, 1848-1878 – This database indexes approximately 149,645 marriage records filed with the Secretary of State from 1 May 1848 through 31 May 1878. Complete records include the name, age, and residence of the bride and groom, the parents’ names, the date and place of marriage, the officiant, and the groom’s occupation. Not all records are complete.

 

 

 

Marriage Records Requests requiring a fee

To request Marriage records from May 1, 1848-December 31, 1930, except For marriages filed May 1848 – May 1878, please use the Marriages Records, May 1848 – May 1878 searchable database which indexes all marriage records available for this date range.

County Marriage Records

Municipal Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Divorces – holdings generally span the period 1743-1886. During this time, divorces were granted only by legislative act or decree of the Chancery Court. The best index for pre-twentieth-century laws is John Hood’s Index of Colonial and State Laws of New Jersey … (1905). Chancery Court page for pre-1886 divorce cases. For post-1886 divorces, contact the Superior Court Records Management Center, 171 Jersey St., P.O. Box 967, Trenton, NJ 08625-0967, tel. 609-777-0092.

 

 

 

Death Records

Death Records, May 1848 – May 1878 – This database indexes death records from May 1848 through May 1878. It includes over 301,128 records. The deceased’s name, exact or circa death date, and registration location are included in all entries. We are currently verifying the data from the original record books and will add the exact death date, age at death, gender, marital status, and race, if it is available. In cases where the index or the original books did not record these fields, a “U,” for unknown, has been entered.

Death Records, 1878-1900 – This database indexes death certificates filed with the New Jersey Department of Health from June 1878 through December 1900. It includes 628,584 records.

 

 

Death Records Requests requiring a fee

To request Death records from May 1, 1848-December 31, 1930, except For June 1878 – December 1900, please use the Death Records, June 1878 – December 1900 searchable database, which indexes all available death records in that date range.

County Birth and Burial Records

Municipal Birth, Marriage and Death Records

 

 

 

Wills & Probate Records requiring a fee

Probate Record Search Request, ca 1660-1952 $ – The State Archives maintains the Secretary of State Wills and Inventories from the late 1660s through 1900 and the Superior Court Wills from 1901 through 1952. For a $10.00 fee, we will search for a probate record within a single 5-year span. This fee includes copies up to 10 pages. Additional pages will be billed at $1.00 per page.

 

 

 

 

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Residence Records

Census Records

1885 State Census – Passaic County and Atlantic City – This database indexes 69,302 names from the 1885 New Jersey State Census, the fourth decennial census enumerated by the State and the earliest to have survived in full. Through volunteer efforts, two portions of the enumeration have been indexed. Specifically, Marie Hook indexed the schedule for Atlantic City and Nancyann Carkeek indexed Passaic County (completed by State Archives staff). New Jersey State Archives gratefully acknowledges the considerable time and effort dedicated to this work by these volunteers.

 

 

 

Maps

 

New Jersey Map with county seats, present boundaries, and dates of formation

map of NJ Counties and County Seats

 

COUNTY DATE FORMED COUNTY SEAT

HISTORICAL DATA

Atlantic

1837

Mays Landing

Formed from Gloucester County.

Bergen

1683

Hackensack

Original county in East Jersey; Passaic County set off, 1837; Hudson County set off, 1840.

Burlington

1681

Mount Holly

Original county in West Jersey–court established 1681; boundary set with Gloucester County, 1692; Hunterdon County set off, 1714; part of Mercer County formed from Burlington, 1838.

Camden

1844

Camden

Formed from Gloucester County.

Cape May

1685

Cape May
Court House

Original county in West Jersey–court established 1685; boundaries set 1692

Cumberland

1748

Bridgeton

Formed from Salem County.

Essex

1683

Newark

Original county in East Jersey; part of Passaic County formed from Essex, 1837; Union County set off, 1857.

Gloucester

1686

Woodbury

Original county in West Jersey–court established 1686; boundary set with Burlington County, 1692; Atlantic County set off, 1837; Camden County set off, 1844.

Hudson

1840

Jersey City

Formed from Bergen County.

Hunterdon

1714

Flemington

Formed from Burlington County; Morris County set off, 1739; part of Mercer County formed from Hunterdon, 1838.

Mercer

1838

Trenton

Formed from Burlington, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Somerset Counties.

Middlesex

1683

New Brunswick

Original county in East Jersey; Somerset County set off, 1688; part of Mercer County formed from Middlesex, 1838.

Monmouth

1683

Freehold

Original county in East Jersey; Ocean County set off, 1850.

Morris

1739

Morristown

Formed from Hunterdon County; Sussex County set off, 1753.

Ocean

1850

Toms River

Formed from Monmouth County.

Passaic

1837

Paterson

Formed from Bergen and Essex Counties.

Salem

1681

Salem

Original county in West Jersey–court established 1681; formed from Salem Tenth, 1694; Cumberland set off, 1748.

Somerset

1688

Somerville

Formed from Middlesex County.

Sussex

1753

Newton

Formed from Morris County; Warren County set off, 1824.

Union

1857

Elizabeth

Formed from Essex County.

Warren

1824

Belvidere

Formed from Sussex County.

 

 

 

 

Land Records

Early Land Records, 1650-1900s – This database currently indexes over 64,436 land records held by the New Jersey State Archives, containing over 284,450 name entries. It references many of New Jersey’s earliest extant deeds and surveys found in over 120 record books. This includes newly indexed East Jersey Survey Books L (1675-1688) and O (1670-1716), and Liber II (1670-1727; referred to as “Carteret’s Conveyances”).

 

 

Land Records Requests for a fee

Probate Record Search Request, 1660-1952

The State Archives maintains the Secretary of State Wills and Inventories from the late 1660s through 1900 and the Superior Court Wills from 1901 through 1952.

For a $10.00 fee, we will search for a probate record within a single 5-year span. This fee includes copies up to 10 pages. Additional pages will be billed at $1.00 per page.

 

 

Naturalization Records Requests for a fee

County Naturalization Records

The State Archives maintains naturalization records for the following counties and time periods:
Burlington, 1795-1956 Mercer, 1838-1930
Camden, 1844-1932 Ocean, 1857-1951
Essex, 1792-1931 Sussex, 1817-1952
Hudson, 1840-1948 Union, 1857-1906

 

 

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Daily Life Records

 

 

African American

Onsite records online – Records relating to Slaves and Children of Slaves – County clerks were required by law to record slave manumissions (freedom papers) beginning in 1786. The “Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” in 1804 required the recording of births of children of slave mothers. The State Archives’ holdings of slave-related filings vary depending on the county. Additional records may be available in county clerks’ offices.

 

 

Court Records

Supreme Court Case Files, 1704-1844 – This database currently indexes 55,084 Supreme Court case files held by the New Jersey State Archives. It includes 211,983 name entries. The Supreme Court case files vary in content, from a single writ or summons, to complex documentation containing multiple writs, depositions, court costs, jury summons, and papers filed in lower courts.

Legal Name Changes, 1847-1947 – This database indexes approximatly 12,254 legal name change documents, and 46,010 original and new legal names (the spouse and/or children are often included in the name change). The majority of the documents belong to the Archives’ record series, Department of State / Division of Commercial Recording / Name-Change Judgments, 1876-1947. The database also references earlier name changes done by legislative act, as well as a number of name-change judgments found among the Secretary of State’s Miscellaneous Fillings (Series II).

 

 

Photographs

Department of Agriculture Photographs – This database indexes 7,160 photographs from the Department of Agriculture Photograph collection held at the New Jersey State Archives.  Currently, just over 4,000 photographs have scanned images available.  To view the collection guide, click here [pdf].

New Jersey National Guard Photos – This database indexes 1,039 photographs collected by the New Jersey National Guard. The photographs range in date from the mid-19th century through the 1980s, with the majority (759 images) taken before 1945. The database also includes the full contents of Warren G. Holmes’s Scrapbook (274 images), created by him while serving with the Essex Troop before and during the Mexican Border War, ca. 1915-1916.

New Jersey Writer’s Project Photograph Collection, ca. 1935-1942, This database indexes and displays nearly 4,000 images produced or collected by the Writer’s Project/Program for use as illustrations in their publications. They include original photography depicting New Jersey sites, people, and activities in the 1930s-40s as well as copy work. Subjects include historic buildings, local industry (e.g., factory workers in Paterson; shipbuilding in Camden), recreation, famous New Jerseyans, etc. Some localities are more extensively documented than others, depending upon the stories and articles published.

World War I Deaths, Descriptive Cards, Photographs, and Correspondence – More than 3,400 New Jersey men were killed in action or otherwise died while in United States service during World War I, 1917-1918. In late 1919, the U.S. War Department issued, to the adjutant generals of each state, sample cards for the recording of service information for deceased soldiers and sailors. This database includes 3,427 name entries, linked to an information card or photograph, or frequently both. The information cards provide the following data: 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. The photographs included in the series measure 3.5″x5.5″, and contain (usually) an oval-shaped, reproduced image (frequently from a military portrait). Unfortunately, these copied photographs are low-resolution.

 

Slaves and Slavery

Onsite records online – Records relating to Slaves and Children of Slaves – County clerks were required by law to record slave manumissions (freedom papers) beginning in 1786. The “Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” in 1804 required the recording of births of children of slave mothers. The State Archives’ holdings of slave-related filings vary depending on the county. Additional records may be available in county clerks’ offices.

 

 

 

 

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Military Records

 

Revolutionary War Damages, 1776-1782 – This database indexes 7,435 names recorded on 2,662 damage claims filed by New Jersey citizens. The claims describe losses incurred during the Revolutionary War at the hands of British forces, the Continental Army, New Jersey militia, and the militias of neighboring states.

Civil War Service Records, 1861-1865, This database indexes 82,467 names of New Jersey men who served during the United States Civil War. Entries link to an electronic version of Adjutant General William S. Stryker’s two-volume Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865, which was originally published by the State of New Jersey in 1876. The electronic version is hosted on the website of the New Jersey State Library. The New Jersey State Archives gratefully acknowledges the State Library for presenting this valuable resource to the public, and for permitting the Archives to link our database to their web pages.

Civil War Payment Vouchers, 1861-1865 – This database indexes 15,770 payment vouchers for military expenditures and wartime purchases made by the State of New Jersey from 1861 through 1866. Over 114,212 personal and corporate name entries are included.

World War I Deaths, Descriptive Cards, Photographs, and Correspondence – More than 3,400 New Jersey men were killed in action or otherwise died while in United States service during World War I, 1917-1918. In late 1919, the U.S. War Department issued, to the adjutant generals of each state, sample cards for the recording of service information for deceased soldiers and sailors. This database includes 3,427 name entries, linked to an information card or photograph, or frequently both. The information cards provide the following data: 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. The photographs included in the series measure 3.5″x5.5″, and contain (usually) an oval-shaped, reproduced image (frequently from a military portrait). Unfortunately, these copied photographs are low-resolution.

New Jersey National Guard Photos – This database indexes 1,039 photographs collected by the New Jersey National Guard. The photographs range in date from the mid-19th century through the 1980s, with the majority (759 images) taken before 1945. The database also includes the full contents of Warren G. Holmes’s Scrapbook (274 images), created by him while serving with the Essex Troop before and during the Mexican Border War, ca. 1915-1916.

 

Military Records Requests for a Fee

Revolutionary War Record Search – The State Archives maintains certain military service records from the Revolutionary War. For a $10.00 fee we will search and provide copies of one or more of the following:

  • Compiled service card (summary of known service)
  • Up to three service slips (abstracts of manuscript service references)
  • Manuscripts sources

 

World War I Record Search  – For a $5.00 fee, we will search for a service record and provide a copy from the microfilm. This fee includes copies up to 10 pages, although typical records are no more than 2 pages. Additional pages will be billed at $1.00 per page.

 

Military Service Records Request Form [pdf] –  Printable order form. Payment by check or money order only.

  • Spanish-American War, 1898
  • Punitive Expedition to Mexico, 1916
  • National Guard, 1869-1917
  • New Jersey Home for Disabled Soldiers

 

 

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