New Jersey, Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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New Jersey, Church Records, 1675-1970
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
New Jersey, 
United States
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Flag of New Jersey
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Location of New Jersey
Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1675-1970
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of church records from various denominations in New Jersey. The record content and time period varies by denomination and locality.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Jersey, Church Records, 1675-1970.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Names of parents, children, other family members, and witnesses
  • Event dates and places (birth, baptism, marriage, death or burial)
  • Ages
  • Residence
  • Previous residences

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The ancestor’s name
  • The religion or sect
  • The location of the congregation or parish
  • The approximate date of the event such as the christening or baptism

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select Film to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use christening records (baptisms) to identify a person’s birth date and place. These are an excellent substitute for civil birth records
  • Use confirmation records to identify a person’s birth date and place and his or her age
  • Use church records in general to identify other family members who may have served as witnesses to an event
  • Use the date of the event along with the locality or residence to find the family in census and land records
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby
  • An infant’s christening usually took place within a few days or few weeks of the birth, depending on the religion
  • Church records are considered a primary source. They are usually reliable because they are kept by the minister, or a clerk appointed by the minister, who usually recorded an event at or very near the time it occurred
  • Look at the officiator at your ancestor’s wedding or burial. They are often clergymen. Check with local congregations or a local historical society to see if they help you determine the sect from clergyman’s name
  • Many individuals attended the closest Christian church. This is especially true in small, rural communities where there may be only one church in the area. Search the records of that church
  • Immigrants usually kept the same religion after migrating and may have banded together to form their own congregation. This is especially true if they did not speak English. If the country of origin is known that may also be a clue as some countries had a state church
  • Check with local historical societies for indexes to church records. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names
  • Check the records of other congregations in the area or nearby communities
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of New Jersey.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.