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Genealogy: Home

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


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!  

To see a listing of upcoming free NJSL Presents Webinars (including Genealogy classes!) please visit:  Recordings of past Genealogy webinars can be found here.

Looking for what you can do from home?  See the Genealogy from Home document.  Do you have suggestions to add?  I'm looking for digital online collections and indexes, upcoming free classes online, or at-home volunteer opportunities.  Please contact me!  No commercial advertisements or general link sites, please.

Useful Print Resources at NJ State Library

Basic Advice

  • 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

Primary Document Example


Deed dated May 12, 1681 from Ameras and others to Cornelius Corson and others.  Liber 1 Part B p.147 (192)-148 (191)

Digital Image from the New Jersey State Archives Early Land Record Database

Secondary Resource Example

Genealogy at NJSL

Genealogy Librarian

Profile Photo
Regina Fitzpatrick
New Jersey State Library
185 W. State Street
P.O. Box 520
Trenton, NJ 08625-0520
609-278-2640 x162
Subjects: Genealogy

Electronic Resources for In-House Use

HeritageQuest has Digitized Revolutionary War Pension Files and Digitized Town and Family Histories

Ancestry Library Edition   Digitized primary documents and secondary resources from all over the world.  Useful resources:  U.S. Censuses 1790-1950, U.S. City Directories 1822-1922, Digitized NJ Vital Records May 1848-May 1878, NJ Censuses 1855-1915, NJ Vital Records indexes 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, U.S. Social Security Death Index

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