New Jersey Birth, Marriage, Divorce as well as Death records, known as vital records, produce specifics about crucial events in your ancestors life. Vital records, usually held by a civic authority, gives you a far more comprehensive picture of your respective ancestor, help you differentiate between two people using the identical name, and enable you to find links to a completely new generation. They might consist of information like the occasion date and place, parents’ names, occupation and residence. The cause of death is also included in the majority of New Jersey death records.
New Jersey vital records are a basis of New Jersey genealogy and family history research simply because they were usually recorded at or near the time of the event, making the document more likely to be accurate. This page contains links, information and facts that can help you obtain copies from New Jersey state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the key events of our lives and are the basis of genealogy research.
New Jersey Division of Vital Records, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in New Jersey. To verify current fees and information the telephone number is (603) 271-4654. Vital Records are also available from Local Vital Records Offices in the municipality where the event occurred.
- Ordering New Jersey Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates: The State Division of Vital Records has records from 1901 to present. The fee for a birth certified copy is $25, additional copies ordered at the same time are $2 each. For older records, please see information for the State Archives Below. The fee for the copy varies.
- Ordering New Jersey Divorce Certificates: The State Division of Vital Records does not have divorce records. Copies of divorce decrees are available through the Superior Court of New Jersey Records Center. call the Records Center at: 609-421-6100.The fee for a marriage certified copy is $10.
How to Order New Jersey Vital Records
- Physical Address: New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services, State Registrar Search Unit, PO Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625-0370; (609) 292-4087 . All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Treasurer, State of New Jersey. Do not send cash.
- Website Address: www.state.nj.us/health/vital/index.shtml
- Ordering Vital Records Online – get the certificates within 2-5 days with a credit or debit card from USAVital.com or VitalChek.com
- Ordering Vital Records by Mail: You can download an application online for New Jersey Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications. Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail.
The New Jersey State Archives
The New Jersey State Archives holds original birth, marriage, and death records from the period May 1, 1848 to December 31, 1900. The New Jersey State Archives also holds microfilm copies of: birth records 1878-1929; marriage records 1878-1940; and death records 1878-1940. These materials are available for in-person use only.
- Physical Address: New Jersey State Archives, 225 West State Street, P.O. Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
- Website Address: http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/index.html
Background of New Jersey Vital Records
Genealogically, New Jersey is one of the better early states, as far as vital records go. It has kept continuous records of deaths, births, and marriages since May, 1848. Those records can be found at the New Jersey State Archives. The deaths and marriages are indexed through 1940, while the births are indexed through 1923. Researchers looking for transcribed records from May of 1848 to May of 1878 must request them in writing. Several consolidated indexes of events for that 30-year span exist, but some of them are more detailed than others.
Consolidated marriage and birth record indexes for 1878 to 1903 are extant. Groom only indexes for 1901 to 1903 are as well. Death indexes are arranged by registration period, which ran from July to June. An alphabetical index for 1901 to 1903 is available. Marriage records from 1904 onward are filed by year and alphabetically according to groom name. The state health department has a bridal index for 1901 onward.
From around 1670 onward, there was a colonial law in New Jersey that required births, deaths, and marriages to be recorded. There was also a law created much later, in 1799. However, neither of those laws were universally followed. In fact, only records from Piscataway and Woodbridge from that time period are extant. Rev. Joseph W. Dally published the Woodbridge records in 1750. A later reprint called them Vital Records of Woodbridge, New Jersey. Some of those records go back to the 1660s. The Piscataway records were published beginning in volume 2 (18960; 73 of Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, 3d series. However, the original records are no longer available.
The New Jersey State Archives has early marriage bonds from 1711 to 1795 on file. Some of that information was published with some other marriage and church records in volume 22 of Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New Jersey, 1st Series, 42 vols. That collection is commonly called “New Jersey Archives.” It was later reprinted as William Nelson, New Jersey Marriage Records, 1665-1800. Charles Carroll Gardner also published a collection of bonds from 1727 to 1751. That collection is called The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey (vols. 14 through 23). Many of those original records can be found at the New Jersey State Archives. The originals are generally more detailed than the published versions. Original records may include parent names if minors were involved. Bondsmen names may also be included.
From 1795 onward, county clerks were charged with keeping marriage records. Most of those records have been published or placed on microfilm at the New Jersey State Archives. Original marriage books or returns can also be found there for the following counties: Burlington, Cumberland, Essex, Mercer, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union.
The Rutgers University Alexander Library archives is home to a Department of Special Collections, which holds the original Middlesex County records. The following counties have individually published record books: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Salem, Sussex.
The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey has also published some county records, including the earliest records available for the counties of Morris, Essex, and Monmouth. Somerset County records can be found in the Somerset County Historical Quarterly. Some slave birth records, mainly from the early 1800s, can be found at the New Jersey State Archives. Two counties have also had their records published. Those records can be found in Book of black birth [sic] in Bergen County, N.J. between 1804 and 1844 as recorded in the Bergen County Clerk’s Office at Hackensack, as well as in Black Birth Book of Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1804-1848. The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey 54 (1979): 83-94 contains Warren and Sussex County slave births. Researchers can also refer to the Guide to Vital Statistics Records In New Jersey for more information on available records.
From 1743 to 1850, the chancery court was primarily responsible for granting New Jersey divorces. However, some were also granted by the legislature. Those records can be found at the New Jersey State Archives. A collection called “Index of Colonial and State Laws of New Jersey Between the Years 1663-1903 Inclusive” can also be found at multiple libraries, including the New Jersey State Library. The records are also available in “New Jersey Legislative Divorces, 1778-1844,” The American Genealogist 34 (1958): 107-12. The original 1830 laws have been microfilmed. They can be found at the New Jersey State Library and at the New Jersey State Archives. The Chancery Court records for divorces up to 1850 are also housed at the archives. Indexes are available on microfilm up until 1900. Later records of divorce can be obtained from the Clerk of the Superior Court, Matrimonial Section, Hughes Justice Complex.
Searchable New Jersey Databases and other Helpful Links
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
- USGenweb Archives New Jersey Marriage Project (usgwarchives.net)
- Guide to vital statistics records in New Jersey (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931 (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980 (familysearch.org)
- New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895 (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey Marriages, Colonial Era, 1665-1800 (search.ancestry.com)
- Dr. Robert Finleys [sic] marriages from June 1795 to 1817 (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1683-1802 (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956 (familysearch.org)
- South Jersey marriages : supplementing the Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem County marriage records (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey, Marriages, 1678-1985 (familysearch.org)
- New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971 (search.ancestry.com)
- New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988 (familysearch.org)