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Genealogy: NJ County Offices Resources

Interested in learning more about Genealogy? Come in for basic how-to information and a look at New Jersey resources!

Information

 

New Jersey County Clerks and Surrogate’s Records

The New Jersey County Clerks and Surrogates are Constitutional 5 year term elected offices whose record holdings (in most cases) date back to the incorporation of their county. 

The County Clerk oversees elections, and retains the related records as well as land and property records, county marriages, registered businesses, and county level naturalizations.

The County Surrogate is a Clerk of New Jersey Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part and Judge of the Surrogate’s Court, who acts in place of the Governor for each county, overseeing the administration of estates and adoptions. The Surrogate retains the records related to these functions, including: administrations, wills, divisions of land, probate, orphan’s court, and adoption records.

Note that the individual County Clerks' and Surrogates' Offices are their own unique entities, not part of the New Jersey State Library. For questions about collections, services, or copy fees, please contact the appropriate individual offices.

The New Jersey State Archives has microfilmed copies of Clerk’s and Surrogate’s records for in-person public use for most counties until about 1900.   The county offices generally retain ownership in of the original records, and should be contacted if copies are needed for any official purpose. 

Familysearch.org has begun digitizing County Marriage Records.  Genealogical researchers may use this site to obtain copies for unofficial use.  If copies are needed for any other reason, the owning office should be contacted. (Note: to access some images you must login with a free account or be a member of the Mormon church.)

 

Searchable Indexes and Website Links

Some county offices have searchable online databases for property, wills, naturalizations, or businesses.  If the county does not offer a searchable index, links are provided to the main website.

County

Clerk Searchable Index

Surrogate Searchable Index

Notes

Atlantic

Searchable online index

No

Index is Full Text Public Records (including deeds/mortgages) 1972-2000

Bergen

Searchable online index

No

Index to County Land Records

Burlington

PRESS (public records)

Tax Records

Estate Index

Tax Records search is state wide

Camden

Coming Soon

Index

 

Cape May

Index 

Historic Records via Cape May County Clerk’s Archive (includes Surrogate’s Records)

No

Use Internet Explorer when searching index on Clerk's site

Cumberland

Cumberland Records Search

No

Also has election results online 2011-2016

Essex

Coming Soon

No

For business trade names

Gloucester

No

No

Historical Clerk’s records available at Gloucester County Historical Society

Hudson

No

No

Hudson County clerk does not maintain land records Register’s Office does

Hunterdon

No

No

Genealogical Records

Mercer

No

No

Info on Estate Indexes

Middlesex

Middlesex Land Records

Estate Search

 

Monmouth

Public Records

Probate Index (1991-present)

 

Morris

Online Public Records

Tax Records

Executor Search

 Online Public Records index requires software download

Ocean

Ocean County Official Public Records Search (requires software download)

Docket Index Search

Passaic

No

No

 

Salem

Land Records Search

No

 

Somerset

Land Records Search (enrollment required)

No

 

Sussex

No

Surrogate Index

 

Union

No

No

 

Warren

Search Land Records

No

 

County Records at NJSA

Popular County Records Owned by the New Jersey State Archives

County Marriages:  Atlantic, Burlington, Cumberland, Essex, Mercer, Somerset, Sussex, Union

County Naturalizations:  Burlington (1790-1956), Camden (1844-1932), Essex (1792-1934), Hudson (1840-1948), Mercer (1838-1940), Ocean (1850-1966), Sussex (1817-1948), and Union (1857-1931)

The State Archives does own additional County Clerk’s and Surrogate’s records. For more information on their holdings, please check the searchable catalog.

NJ County Map

 

County Information

New Jersey Counties, Seats, and Founding Dates

County Seat Year
Atlantic Mays Landing 1837
Bergen Hackensack 1683
Burlington Mount Holly 1694
Camden Camden 1844
Cape May Cape May Courthouse 1692
Cumberland Bridgeton 1748
Essex Newark 1683
Gloucester Woodbury 1686
Hudson Jersey City 1840
Hunterdon Flemington 1714
Mercer Trenton 1838
Middlesex New Brunswick 1683
Monmouth Freehold 1683
Morris Morristown 1739
Ocean Toms River 1850
Passaic Paterson 1837
Salem Salem 1694
Somerset Somerville 1688
Sussex Newton 1753
Union Elizabeth 1857
Warren Belvidere 1824

 

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