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Welcome! My name is Regina, I'm the Genealogy Librarian at the New Jersey State Library. Researching your family history can be a lot of fun, but it can also be hard work and overwhelming, especially when you're just starting out. My goal is to make you feel comfortable and confident in understanding the resources available to you here at the Library, and also at the State Archives and other New Jersey Repositories!
Ancestry Library Edition can now be remotely accessed by State Employees and Thomas Edison State University Staff and Students. Members of the public should contact their local public library for remote access. This is a temporary measure to help with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking for what you can do from home? See the Genealogy in Quarantine document. Do you have suggestions to add? I'm looking for digital online collections and indexes, upcoming free classes online, or outdoor or at-home volunteer opportunities. Please contact me! No commercial advertisements or general link sites, please.
Useful Print Resources at NJ State Library
- Your main focus should be to locate a birth, marriage, and death record for each family member
- Always start with yourself and work backwards (death-birth) for each previous generation
- If you can't find a vital record, use other primary documents (official or private records produced during a person's lifetime) such as census records to help you narrow down a time period. Records repositories are most likely to have these types of documents.
- Secondary resources, such as family or town histories, may also be used to help you in your search. The New Jersey State Library has a limited collection of primary documents, and a large collection of secondary resources.
- Staying organized saves you time and preserves your research for your family. Document your work with these downloadable charts and forms from the National Archives.
WikiTree Guide to New Jersey Records
Great guide to where you can locate New Jersey Genealogy Resources, with breakdown by county.
Primary Document Example
Quit Claim by Benne [Cowaken] to Benjamin Hull June 16, 1701 New Jersey State Archives Early Land Records volume AAA p.29
The document names Benne's father as Joshua and mentions a prior land transaction between the father and Benjamin Hull in 1680.
Secondary Resource Example
Electronic Resources for In-House Use
HeritageQuest has Digitized Revolutionary War Pension Files and Digitized Town and Family Histories
Ancestry.com Especially useful for digital copies of U.S. Federal Population Censuses prior to 1950, but also has digitized primary documents and secondary resources from all over the world.
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