Census Records for New Jersey

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the New Jersey Family History Research series.
History of New Jersey
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Census Records for New Jersey
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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

• Soundex'1880, 1900, 1920

Agriculture and Industry Schedules

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Mortality Schedules

• 1850 (Indexed), 1860, 1870, 1880

Union Veterans Schedules

• 1890 (Indexed)

Census microfilms and indexes are widely available (see pages 2-4); however, there are problems with the AIS indexes for 1830 (shows Atlantic for Bergen County entries), 1850 (does not include Winslow Township, Camden County), and 1860 (excludes parts of Middlesex County). The New Jersey State Archives, the New Jersey Historical Society, Rutgers University, and the Newark Public Library all have copies. The state copies of the federal censuses for 1850 to 1870 and the original population schedules for 1880 are at the state archives, as are the county copy of the 1850 federal census for Essex County and the abbreviated copy of the 1880 federal census for Essex and Ocean counties. The abbreviated 1880 census for Monmouth County is in Monmouth County Archives. The originals and microfilms of the corresponding mortality, agricultural, industry/manufacturing, and the 1880 defective, dependent, and delinquent schedules are available at the state archives and on microfilm at the state library. New Jersey 1850 Mortality Schedule Index was compiled by Shirley J. George and Sandra E. Glenn (Columbus, N.J.: G. & G. Genealogical Book Co., 1982), and these records and those for 1860 are published in The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. Also in this journal, beginning in volume 52, page 71, are 1850 mortality schedules of other states, listing those persons whose birthplace was New Jersey. Among the few surviving schedules of the 1890 federal census are some for Jersey City, Hudson County.


State censuses were also taken in New Jersey every ten years from 1855 through 1915 and are available at the New Jersey State Archives, the New Jersey State Library, Rutgers University, The New Jersey Historical Society (1855'85), the Joint Free Public Library of Morristown and Morris Township, the Newark Public Library (the latter of which has a street guide to Newark's wards, as does the state archives and Rutgers), and The New York Public Library (1855'1905). Unfortunately, they are not complete for 1855, 1865, and 1875, and none are published except for Patricia B. Duncan's Hunterdon County, New Jersey, 1895 State Census, 2 parts (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1999). Phyllis B. D'Autrechy produced 1875 New Jersey Census'Hunterdon County Index (Flemington: Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 1992), a copy of which is available at the state archives. The information in these censuses is similar to that found in federal censuses, except that most of the 1855 and 1865 censuses list only the head of household. The original state censuses for Essex County 1855 to 1875 are in the state archives.

Censuses taken of Paterson residents from 1824 to 1832 by the Reverend Samuel Fisher were published by AISI (see pages 3-4). Two earlier 'censuses' have been published for New Jersey. Kenn Stryker-Rodda, Revolutionary Census of New Jersey (1972; reprint, Lambertville, N.J.: Hunterdon House, 1986) was constructed from tax records, and James S. Norton, New Jersey in 1793 (Salt Lake City: the author, 1973) was taken from militia rosters, with tax records substituting for those counties with missing militia lists (the originals of these rosters and tax lists are in the state archives).

External Links

  • New Jersey Census Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing New Jersey census records. Identifies federal, state, and colonial censuses, as well as substitute records (FamilySearch Research Wiki).