Frequently Asked Questions about Morris County
This FAQ has been compiled to attempt to answer some of the most common questions presented by researchers about Morris County. It is not intended to be the definitive answer to all questions.
- How do I ... ?
- Obtain Vital Records of people from Morris County
- NJ State Archives
- Cite Sources
- How to ... (all off-site links)
- Read a Graveyard
- Search Deeds
- Morris County -
County Clerk for records of deeds
- Read Probate Records
- Get Started taking an oral history
- Make a Timeline
- Read 18th Century writing
- Cite Internet Sources
- Where can I find ... ?
- Census records for Morris County
- Other information about Morris County
- Libraries that contain information about Morris Co. but are not in Morris Co.
- Libraries in Morris County
- What is ... ?
- The earliest records for Morris County
- The earliest newspapers that are available
- A Certified Genealogist
Assuming that you've already done the basics, and you are now at the point where you know your ancestor was in Morris County, here are some suggestions.
- Check out Libraries in the area of where your ancestor was from. Depending on the library they may have local history and/or genealogy about the local people.
- Check the Census Records to help determine what part of Morris County they may have lived in. Census records can help identify location and possibly other members of the family. In some instances, depending on the time frame, Census records can give you clues as to when they were born.
- Check Cemeteries in the area where you ancestors lived. Most of our ancestors were generally buried within a five mile radius of their homes.
- Check out local churches for baptismal, marriage or membership.
- Check newspapers of the area and time frame to see if there is any mention of your ancestor.
- Check the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) if you know you ancestor died after 1960. Although Social Security was started in the 1930's the Death Index does not appear to contain very many people who died before 1960.
- Check to see if a local history was written about the area. Sometimes important clues can be found there.
- Check the Surrogates office to see if a will was filed, or with the County Clerk for records of deeds.
Obtain Vital Records of people from Morris County?
Vital Records of people from Morris County can be obtained either from the State or from the local town.
- Wills can be found at the State level prior to 1805 and at the county level from 1805 to present.
Here is a link that lists the municipality and the date that their records go back to.
Every municipality is required to submit their Vital Records to the State, I believe beginning in 1878. So if the municipality does not have the year that you are looking for I would try for the State records.
If you are requesting a record from the State remember that NJ requires that you submit identification.
The steps that I take for vital records is:
- Check with the municipality. Dates vary.
Municipalities charge can vary from $2.00 on up. Check with the municipality.
- Check with the State Register. Covers post-1878
- Check with the State Archives. Covers dates 1848-1878
The State Archives charges $10.00
If you are looking for records that are prior to 1848 I would check for church affiliations and baptism/church records.
New Jersey State Archives
The Archives has original state vital records for the period May 1 1848 to May 31 1878 that you can request a search of these records by mail for a fee of $10.00 per record searched (Check with the Archives to verify the fee before mailing in your request.). These records are also accessible to the public on microfilm in the Archives Search Room.
The Archives has microfilm copies of death & marriage records for June 1 1878 to 1940 and birth records for June 1 1878 to 1923. These records are accessible to the public on microfilm in the Archives Search Room. The Archives staff does not search these records in response to mail or telephone requests, these must be searched in person.
New Jersey State Archives
Division of Archives & Records Management
225 W. State Street - Level 2
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-6260 (general information)
Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm (No weekend hours)
For New Jersey Births prior to 1848
Since State birth records begin in 1848, what can you do to confirm a birth date prior to that year? There are three sources that are generally used: Family Bible; Church Baptismal Records and Printed Genealogies.
Check out the information from the Morris County Library's web page:
The State Library also maintains a
web site to assist in answering some common questions about its holding.
Citing Sources is extremely important, not only to the person doing the actual research, but for people who may one day view your work. Listing that a person was born on such-n-such date at a certain place, is necessary, but where did you find that information?
Census records for Morris County?
Census records for Morris County can be found at the Morris County Library and at the Joint Free Public Library of Morristown and Morris Township. The Roxbury Township Library has some census records for Roxbury Township. Most major libraries with Local History and Genealogies Areas would probably also have copies of the the Census microfilms. If you are attempting to research from a distance you might want to check out your regional office of the National Archives.
The Morris County NJGenWeb site has posted indexes for some of the census records.
Other information about Morris County
The Morris County Heritage Commission appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, encourages a broad awareness and understanding of Morris County's diverse history.
- ensures the preservation and accessibility of Morris County's archives for the benefit of genealogists, historians, and students
- serves as a clearinghouse for historic and preservation groups in Morris County
- promotes Heritage Commission initiatives through appropriate communication vehicles (such as brochures, symposiums, seminars, books, and videos)
- preserves historical sites through its extensive marker program
- recognizes Morris County's cultural diversity by organizing exhibits and presentations relating to ethnic arts and history.
To request further information from the Morris County Heritage Commission, call (973) 829-8117 or 829-8114. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Libraries that contain Morris County information but are not in Morris County?
The following are some genealogy research libraries that you might want to check out. (Please call first to verify hours of operation & location.)
|New Jersey Historical Society Library|
52 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102
Hours: Thur., Fri & 1st & 3rd Sat.
10am - 4:45pm
201 Varick Street, NY, NY 10014-4811
Hours: Mon through Fri. 8am-4:30pm
3rd Sat/month microfilm research only.
|New Jersey State Archives|
185 W. State St. CN 307,
Trenton, NJ 08625
Hours: Tues. through Fri. 8:30am-4:30pm
|NY Genealogical & Biographical Society|
122 E. 58t St. New York, NY
Hours: Tues. through Sat. 9:30am-5pm
|New Jersey State Library|
N.J. Reference Section
185 W. State St. CN 520,
Trenton, NJ 08625
Hours: Mon. through Fri. 8:30am-5pm
|New York Public Library |
42nd & 5th Avenue, New York, NY
Hours: Tuesday 11am - 7:30pm
Wednesday 11am - 6pm
Thurs.-Sat. 10am - 6pm
|Rutgers, The State Univ. of NJ|
Special Collections & Archives, Alexander Library
New Brunswick, NJ 08908
Hours: Mon through Fri. 9am-5pm
Sat. 1pm-5pm (when school is in session)
Libraries Morris County?
The earliest records for Morris County?
Some of the earliest records for Morris County can be found at the Joint Free Public Library of Morristown and Morris Township. These include:
Early town records and minute books, including the Morris Town Book, 1740-1834; Transactions of the Morris Township Committee, 1798-1855; Minutes of the Morristown Council, 1865-1975; and The Pequannock Town Records, 1741-1836.
Selected Morris County deeds copied or abstracted by various persons, 1740-1924. On microfilm: Registers of deeds of the County of Morris, 1784-1802 and Morris County index of marriages and marriage records, 1795-1919.
The earliest newspapers that are available?