New Jersey

New Jersey Genealogy and Ancestry Research

This page will provide you with information that will help you in your genealogy and ancestry research for the state of New Jersey. It includes a timeline for the state, when the state began recording vital records, what US and State census records are available, a map of the counties in the state and link to page showing when counties were formed, and links to a variety of genealogy and ancestry resources for the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey State History Timeline

1524 – Verrazano explores the Jersey coast.

1609 – Hudson explores Newark Bay.

1638 – 1638 – A Swedish colony is established along the Delaware River (but it was taken over by the Dutch in 1655).

1660 – Bergen, now Jersey City, becomes the first permanent town in New Jersey.

1664 – The British take control of New Jersey from the Dutch.

1676 – New Jersey Colony is divided into east Jersey and West Jersey.

1702 – East and West Jersey combined into one colony.

1721 – William Trent started a village called “Trent’s Town,” which eventually became Trenton in 1790 and the state’s capital city.

1758 – The Old Barracks in Trenton is built.

1776 – N.J.’s first newspaper, the New Jersey Gazette, issues its first edition.

1776 – New Jersey adopts its first state constitution.

1783 – Princeton briefly serves as the nation’s capital.

1784 – Trenton briefly serves as the nation’s capital.

1787 – December 18, 1787, New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1790 – New Jersey is the first state to sign the Bill of Rights.

1824 – The first ferry service in the U.S. opens between Hoboken and Manhattan.

1927 – The Holland Tunnel opens.

1942 – German U-boats attack shipping off the New Jersey coast.

1951 – The New Jersey Turnpike opens.

New Jersey Vital Records

Among the Mid-Atlantic states, New Jersey has the longest continuing run of statewide registration of births, marriages, and deaths, which began in May 1848. The New Jersey State Archives has these records, with indexes, through 1923 for births and through 1940 for marriages and deaths.

For more details about vital records see New Jersey Vital Records originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. and has a variety of online collections that I’ve included in the links below.

New Jersey Census Records


Population Schedules

  • Indexed – 1800 (Cumberland County only [all other 1790’1820 schedules lost]), 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860,1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
  • Soundex – 1880, 1900, 1920

Agriculture and Industry Schedules

  • 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Mortality Schedules

  • 1850 (Indexed), 1860, 1870, 1880

Union Veterans Schedules

  • 1890 (Indexed)


State censuses were also taken in New Jersey every ten years from 1855 through 1915.

New Jersey Counties

New Jersey Counties Map
New Jersey Counties Map

At this The New Jersey County Resources link you will find information on each county, including date formed, parent county(ies), and dates deeds and Surrogates’ court began recording records.

New Jersey Genealogy and Ancestry Links

New Jersey State History Timeline Links