Difference between revisions of "New Jersey Church Records"

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<center>'''For greater success, use all the Wiki Articles in this series:'''</center>
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*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?|'''What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?''']]
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*[[Determining the Church Your Ancestor Attended|'''Determining the Church Your Ancestor Attended''']]
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*[[How to Find Church Records in the United States|'''How to Find Church Records in the United States''']]
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*[[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''Searching for Church Records by Denomination''' ]]
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*[[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by U.S. State|'''Searching for Church Records by U.S. State''']]
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------
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==Historical Background==
 
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The first churches established in [[New Jersey Genealogy|New Jersey]] were the [[Dutch Reformed Church in the United States|'''Dutch Reformed''']], [[Congregational Church in the United States|'''Congregational (Puritan)''']], [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|'''Society of Friends (Quaker)''']], and [[Lutheran Church in the United States|'''Lutheran''']]. Church membership waned in the early 1700s, but revivals rekindled interest around 1740. By 1775 the largest denominations in [[New Jersey Genealogy|New Jersey]] were the [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|Society of Friends]], [[Dutch Reformed Church in the United States|Dutch Reformed]], [[Baptist Church in the United States|Baptist]], and [[Anglican Church in the United States|Anglican (Episcopal)]] churches.
  
===Online Resources===
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In the mid-1800s, the [[Methodist Church in the United States|'''Methodist''']] church was the largest, followed by the [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|'''Presbyterian''']], [[Baptist Church in the United States|'''Baptist''']], [[Dutch Reformed Church in the United States|'''Reformed''']], [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|'''Friends''']], and [[Episcopal Church in the United States|'''Episcopal''']] churches. <br>
  
*{{RecordSearch|2106099|New Jersey, Church Records, 1675-1970}} — index and images
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The [[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|'''Roman Catholic''']] Church has been the predominant faith since the beginning of the twentieth century, followed by the [[Jewish Genealogy Research|'''Jewish''']], [[Methodist Church in the United States|'''Methodist''']], [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|'''Presbyterian''']], and [[Episcopal Church in the United States|'''Episcopal''']] faiths.<ref>Sydney E. Ahlstrom, ''A Religious History of the American People'' (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). {{FHL|282712|item|disp=FHL Book 973 K2ah}}.</ref>
*[https://archive.org/details/earlygermansofne00cham The early Germans of New Jersey&nbsp;: their history, churches, and genealogies], e-book
 
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48130 Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Vol. II: (New Jersey and Pennsylvania Monthly Meetings)]
 
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2451 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985], ($) index/images
 
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3315 New Jersey German Reformed Church Records, 1763-1802], index
 
*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1929560 New Jersey, Calvary United Methodist Church Records, 1821-2003], images/no index.
 
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=61176 New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970], index and images, ($)
 
 
===Introduction===
 
  
Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. Records may include names of other relatives who were witnesses or members of the congregation. The members of some churches were predominantly of one nationality or ethnic group.  
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Except for the Dutch Reformed and Lutheran churches in northern New Jersey, '''few of the earliest church records''' have survived.
  
The first churches established in [[New Jersey Genealogy|New Jersey]] were the [[Dutch Reformed Church in the United States|Dutch Reformed]], [[Congregational Church in the United States|Congregational (Puritan)]], [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|Society of Friends (Quaker)]], and [[Lutheran Church in the United States|Lutheran]]. Church membership waned in the early 1700s, but revivals rekindled interest around 1740. By 1775 the largest denominations in [[New Jersey Genealogy|New Jersey]] were the [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|Society of Friends]], [[Dutch Reformed Church in the United States|Dutch Reformed]], [[Baptist Church in the United States|Baptist]], and [[Anglican Church in the United States|Anglican (Episcopal)]] churches.
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==Information Found in the Records==
 +
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
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{|
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*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Baptisms or Christenings|Baptisms or Christenings]]
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*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Marriages|Marriages]]
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*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Funerals or Burials|Funerals or Burials]]
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*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Membership Lists|Membership Lists]]
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*[[What Can I Find in U.S. Church Records?#Minutes or Historical Narrative|Minutes or Historical Narrative]]
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|}
  
[http://dunhamwilcox.net/ Dunham-Wilcox-Trott-Kirk] indexes church, cemetery, probate and other early New England, New York and New Jersey records with links to abstracts of the records.
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==Finding the Records==
 +
===Look for online records.===
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'''Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local [https://familysearch.org/locations/ family history center] or the [https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Family_History_Library Family History Library] in Salt Lake City, Utah.
 +
<br>
  
In the mid-1800s, the [[Methodist Church in the United States|Methodist]] church was the largest, followed by the [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], [[Baptist Church in the United States|Baptist]], Reformed, [[Society of Friends (Quakers) in the United States|Friends]], and [[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopal]] churches. The [[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|Roman Catholic]] Church has been the predominant faith since the beginning of the twentieth century, followed by the [[Jewish Genealogy Research|Jewish]], [[Methodist Church in the United States|Methodist]], [[Presbyterian Church in the United States|Presbyterian]], and [[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopal]] faiths.<ref>Sydney E. Ahlstrom, ''A Religious History of the American People'' (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). {{FHL|282712|item|disp=FHL Book 973 K2ah}}.</ref>
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{|
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[[File:Caution sign.png|70px]]
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Online databases are <span style="color:Red">'''incomplete'''</span>. This can lead to two common errors:
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#'''Near matches:''' Researchers might <span style="color:Red">'''mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor'''</span>, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
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#'''Stopping research''': Researchers might <span style="color:Red">'''assume the database proves church records do not exist'''</span>.  Actually the record is still out there, just not in this <span style="color:Red">'''incomplete'''</span> collection of records.  Keep searching!
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|}
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===Online Resources===
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====FamilySearch Indexes====
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*{{RecordSearch|2106099|New Jersey, Church Records, 1675-1970}} — index and images
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/49117?availability=Family%20History%20Library An Index to some churches in New Jersey, arranged by denomination], index cards.
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*{{RecordSearch|1675383|New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980}} Index.
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*{{RecordSearch|1675446|New Jersey, Marriages, 1678-1985}} Index.  
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*{{RecordSearch|1675445|New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988}} Index
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====Ancestry.com Indexes====
 +
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2451 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985], ($) index/images
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2539 New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931] ($)
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2794 New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1683-1802] ($)
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=4480 New Jersey Marriages, 1684-1895] ($)
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2081 American Marriages Before 1699] ($)
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2540 New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971], ($), index <br><br>
 +
====Catholic====
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/2106099?availability=Online New Jersey, church records, 1675-1970], images.
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*[https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008885631 '''''American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia Records. Volumes 1-4, 8.'''] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Catholic Historical Society, 1886-1889, 1893. Marriages of some New Jersey Catholics from 1758 to 1800.
  
Except for the Dutch Reformed and Lutheran churches in northern New Jersey, few of the earliest church records have survived. The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] has some important collections of church records described below under the denominational headings.  
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====Dutch Reformed====
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*'''1639-1989''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6961/ U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989], index and images, incomplete.($)
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*'''1701-1995''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60766/ U.S., Selected States Dutch Reformed Church Membership Records, 1701-1995], index and images, incomplete.($)
 +
*'''1856-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60524/ U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, 1856-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
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*'''1856-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60767/ U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
 +
====Episcopal====
 +
*[https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61047/ New Jersey, Episcopal Diocese of Newark Church Records, 1809-1816, 1825-1970], index and images, ($).
  
For help in finding church records not at the [[Family History Library|Family History Library]], see:
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====German Reformed====
 +
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3315 New Jersey German Reformed Church Records, 1763-1802], index
  
*''New Jersey Historical Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the State'' (described in [[New Jersey Archives and Libraries|New Jersey Archives and Libraries]]). To locate a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/new-jersey-historical-manuscripts-a-guide-to-collections-in-the-state/oclc/15489310&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
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====Lutheran====
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/335750-redirection Lutheran Church in New York and New Jersey, 1722-1760 : Lutheran records in the ministerial archives of the Staatsarchiv, Hamburg, Germany], e-book.
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*'''1781-1969'''  - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/60722/ U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969], index and images, incomplete.($)
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/48277?availability=Family%20History%20Library Some early records of the Lutheran Church, New York, Holland Society of New York, 1903, p. 1-118]
  
Other helpful guides to church records include the following:  
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====Methodist====
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*[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1929560 New Jersey, Calvary United Methodist Church Records, 1821-2003], images/no index.
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=61176 New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970], index and images, ($)
  
*Nelson, William. "Church Records in New Jersey," ''Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society'', Vol.&nbsp;2, No. 4 (March 1904):173-188; Vol. 2, No. 5 (June 1904):251-266. Digital version at [http://books.google.com/books?id=JB7SAAAAMAAJ Google Books]. This is very helpful for determining all denominations that existed prior to 1800. {{FHL|337209|item}}. To locate&nbsp;a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/church-records-in-new-jersey-notices-of-the-character-extent-and-condition-of-the-original-records-of-about-one-hundred-and-fifty-of-the-older-churches-and-friends-meetings-with-other-data/oclc/1916242&referer=brief_results WorldCat].&nbsp;
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====Presbyterian====
*''Guide to Vital Statistics Records in New Jersey''. 2 vols. Newark, N.J.: New Jersey Historical Records Survey, 1941. Digital version at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=13873 Ancestry] ($). Volume 2 contains the names and addresses of churches located in New Jersey in 1940. {{FHL|259389|item}}. To locate a book copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/guide-to-vital-statistics-records-in-new-jersey/oclc/4874878&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
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*'''1701-1970''' - [https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61048/ U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970], index and images, incomplete.($)
*''Historical Records Survey. Directory of Churches in New Jersey''. 21 Volumes. Newark, N.J.: Historical Records Survey, 1940-1941.&nbsp;There is a volume for each county; the Family History Library has volumes for Atlantic through Hunterdon, and Monmouth counties. {{FHL|244983|item}}.
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/59212?availability=Family%20History%20Library Records of meetings, 1874-1952, Presbytery of Monmouth (New Jersey)]
  
The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] has nine volumes of church record inventories for the Baha'i, Baptist, Seventh-Day Baptist, Congregational Christian, Evangelical, Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, Salvation Army, and Unitarian churches. Each volume is cataloged separately but they have similar titles. Find these volumes in the FamilySearch Catalog Author/Title Search under the title Inventory of the Church Archives of New Jersey.  
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====Quaker (Society of Friends)====
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*[https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2189/ U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935], index and images, ($).
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48130 Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. Vol. II: (New Jersey and Pennsylvania Monthly Meetings)]
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/180394?availability=Family%20History%20Library Collection, New Jersey Friends monthly meeting records], images.
  
Some denominations have their records in central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:  
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====Other Collections====
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*[https://www.theancestorhunt.com/blog/free-new-jersey-online-church-records '''The Ancestor Hunt: Free New Jersey Online Church Records''']
  
===Baptist===
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*[http://dunhamwilcox.net/ Dunham-Wilcox-Trott-Kirk] indexes church, cemetery, probate and other early New England, New York and New Jersey records with links to abstracts of the records.
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*[https://archive.org/details/earlygermansofne00cham The early Germans of New Jersey&nbsp;: their history, churches, and genealogies], e-book
  
[http://www.abhsarchives.org/ American Baptist Historical Society]<br>3001 Mercer University Dr.<br>Atlanta, Georgia 30341<br>Telephone: (678) 547-6680
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===Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog. ===
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[[File:Family History Library.jpg|right|thumb|<center>'''Family History Library'''<br>'''Salt Lake City, Utah'''</center>]]
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*The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
 +
*Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
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*If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see [https://beta.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/how-do-i-request-that-a-microfilm-be-digitized '''How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?''']
 +
*Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a [https://familysearch.org/locations/ '''Family History Center'''] near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. 
 +
*To find records:
 +
:::a. Click on the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results?count=20&placeId=346&query=%2Bplace%3A%22United%20States%2C%20New%20Jersey%22'''records of United States, New Jersey'''].
 +
:::b. Click on '''Places within United States, New Jersey''' and a list of counties will appear.
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:::c. Click on your county if it appears.
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:::d. Click on the '''"Church records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
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:::e. Click on '''Places within United States, New Jersey [COUNTY]''' and a list of towns will appear.
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:::f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village. 
 +
:::g. Click on the '''"Church records"''' topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
 +
:::h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. [[File:FHL icons.png|75px]].  The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
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-----
  
===The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)===
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===Consult available finding aids.===
{| style="float:right; "
 
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Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for&nbsp;New Jersey&nbsp;Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be located through the [http://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog FamilySearch Catalog]&nbsp; or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. (FHL book 979.2258 A3j; fiche 6031507). These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.
 
  
===Dutch Reformed===
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'''These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.'''
  
Commission on History, Reformed Church in America<br>New Brunswick Theological Seminary<br>[https://www.nbts.edu/sage-library/ Gardner A. Sage Library]<br>21 Seminary Place<br>New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901<br>Telephone: (732) 246-1779<br>
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* [https://books.google.com/books?id=JB7SAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false '''"Church Records in New Jersey," ''Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society'','''] Vol.&nbsp;2, No. 4 (March 1904):173-188; Vol. 2, No. 5 (June 1904):251-266. This is very helpful for determining all denominations that existed prior to 1800. {{FHL|337209|item}}.
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/384019-redirection '''''Guide to Vital Statistics Records in New Jersey, Vol. 2''''']. Newark, N.J.: New Jersey Historical Records Survey, 1941. . Volume 2 contains the names and addresses of churches located in New Jersey in 1940.
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/572989-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Congregational Christian churches'''], e-book
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/538463-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Evangelical Church'''], e-book
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/523914-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Protestant Episcopal, Diocese of New Jersey, Diocese of Newark'''], e-book
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/499946-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Unitarian Church'''], e-book
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/496519-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Baptist bodies'''], e-book
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/529469-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Baptist Bodies ; Seventh Day Baptist supplement'''], e-book
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/116112-redirection '''Inventory of the church archives of New Jersey : Presbyterians; Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., United Presbyterian Church of North America'''], e-book
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*Gasero, Russell L., ed. [http://images.rca.org/docs/archives/churchrecords.pdf '''''Guide to Local Church Records in the Archives of the Reformed Church in America and Other Repositories''.'''] New Brunswick, N.J.: Historical Society of the Reformed Church in America, 1979.
 +
*Flynn, Joseph Michael. '''''The Catholic Church in New Jersey''.''' Morristown, N.J.: n.p., 1904 is located in the {{FHL|244714|item}} and has short histories of individual parishes. Digital versions: [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=11572 Ancestry] ($); [http://www.archive.org/details/catholicchurchin00flyn Internet Archive]. To locate a copy of the book nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/catholic-church-in-new-jersey/oclc/365311&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
 +
*'''''New Jersey Historical Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the State'''''(described in [[New Jersey Archives and Libraries|New Jersey Archives and Libraries]]). To locate a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/new-jersey-historical-manuscripts-a-guide-to-collections-in-the-state/oclc/15489310&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
 +
----
  
The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] has microfilm copies of many of the Dutch Reformed church records&nbsp;from the above listed&nbsp;archive. The records are described in:
+
===Correspond with or visit the actual churches.===
 +
Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
 +
*'''Make an appointment''' to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
 +
*To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
 +
*Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname". 
 +
*A '''donation''' ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
 +
*If the church has a website, you may be able to '''e-mail a message'''.
 +
*See the [[Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy|'''Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy''']] for help with composing letters.
 +
*Each [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''denomination page''']] offers an [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''online address directory of local churches''']] for that denomination.
  
*Gasero, Russell L., ed. ''Guide to Local Church Records in the Archives of the Reformed Church in America and to Genealogical Resources in the Gardner Sage Library, New Brunswick Theological Seminary''. New Brunswick, N.J.: Historical Society of the Reformed Church in America, 1979. Digital version at [http://images.rca.org/docs/archives/churchrecords.pdf Reformed Church in America];&nbsp;{{FHL|508181|item}}&nbsp;(does not circulate to Family History Centers). To locate a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/guide-to-local-church-records-in-the-archives-of-the-reformed-church-in-america-and-to-genealogical-resources-in-the-gardner-sage-library-new-brunswick-theological-seminary/oclc/6836089&referer=brief_results WorldCat.]
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===Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.===
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Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to '''digitized, online records''' offered by the archives. Some archives provide '''research services''' for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.<br>
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<br>
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<span style="color:DarkViolet">'''Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational  archives, go to  [[United States Church Records#Searching for Church Records by Denomination|'''Searching for Church Records by Denomination.''']]</span>
  
<br>[http://www.hollandsociety.com/library.html '''The Holland Society of New York Library''']<br>20 West 44th Street, 5th Floor<br>New York, NY 10036<br>Telephone: (212) 758-1675
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-----
  
''Year Book of The Holland Society of New York, 1912''. New York, New York: The Society, 1912, available in the {{FHL|110300|item}} lists the transcripts of New Jersey Dutch Reformed and Lutheran records at the Holland Society Library. It also lists those that were published as of 1912. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of many of these transcripts. To locate a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/year-book-of-the-holland-society-of-new-york-1912/oclc/49875651&referer=brief_results WorldCat.]
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====Dutch Reformed====
  
===Episcopal===
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'''Commission on History, Reformed Church in America<br>[https://www.nbts.edu/sage-library/ Gardner A. Sage Library]'''<br>New Brunswick Theological Seminary<br>21 Seminary Place<br>New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901<br>Telephone: (732) 246-1779<br>
 +
*'''Sage Library is also home to the official Archives of the Reformed Church in America (RCA). If you are looking for archival records from an RCA church, genealogical information, or documentation about RCA policies and actions, please directly contact the RCA archivist, Matthew Gasero at mgasero@rca.org.'''
 +
*[https://www.nbts.edu/sage-library/ '''Online Catalog''']
 +
*The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] has microfilm copies of many of the Dutch Reformed church records&nbsp;from the above listed&nbsp;archive. The records are described in:
 +
**Gasero, Russell L., ed. [http://images.rca.org/docs/archives/churchrecords.pdf '''''Guide to Local Church Records in the Archives of the Reformed Church in America and Other Repositories''.'''] New Brunswick, N.J.: Historical Society of the Reformed Church in America, 1979.
 +
<br>[http://www.hollandsociety.org/library/ '''The Holland Society of New York Library''']<br>20 West 44th Street, 5th Floor<br>New York, NY 10036<br>Telephone: (212) 758-1675
  
[http://www.newjersey.anglican.org/ECUSA/index.html Diocesan House of the Episcopal Church]<br>808 W. State Street<br>Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5326<br>Telephone: (609) 394-5281<br>
+
''Year Book of The Holland Society of New York, 1912''. New York, New York: The Society, 1912, available in the {{FHL|110300|item}} lists the transcripts of New Jersey Dutch Reformed and Lutheran records at the Holland Society Library. It also lists those that were published as of 1912. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of many of these transcripts. To locate a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/year-book-of-the-holland-society-of-new-york-1912/oclc/49875651&referer=brief_results WorldCat.]
 +
----
  
===Jewish===
+
====Episcopal====
  
Most synagogue records have not been centralized, so you must write to the local congregation. Addresses are listed in:  
+
[https://dioceseofnj.org/ '''Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey''']<br>808 W. State Street<br>Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5326<br>Telephone: (609) 394-5281<br>
 +
*The Rev. Cn. Richard C. Wrede Archivist<br> Phone:(609) 394-5281 ext. 15<br> E-mail:rwrede@dioceseofnj.org
 +
*The archives house records of closed churches. For records requests from open churches, contact [https://dioceseofnj.org/map-of-the-diocese-list-of-churches/ '''the local church.''']
 +
----
 +
[https://dioceseofnewark.org/ '''Episcopal Diocese of Newark''']<br>Episcopal House<br>31 Mulberry Street<br>Newark, NJ 07102-5202<br>Phone: 973-430-9900 <br>Fax: 973-622-3503
 +
*The archives house records of closed churches. For records requests from open churches, contact [https://dioceseofnewark.org/churches '''the local church.''']
 +
*'''Questions about church records:''' Use this form to ask questions concerning to the historical records of a closed church (including genealogical inquiries). Questions will be answered as soon as possible: [https://dioceseofnewark.org/form/ask-question '''Ask a Question Form''']
 +
----
  
*Lightman, Sidney, ed. ''The Jewish Travel Guide 1990.'' London, England Jewish Chronicle Publications, 1990. {{FHL|131226|item|disp=FHL book 910.202 J556}} To locate a copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/jewish-travel-guide-1990/oclc/49005630&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
+
====Methodist====
  
Synagogue and cemetery records for some congregations in Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties are at:
+
'''[https://www.gnjumc.org/our-history-and-values/archives-history/ United Methodist Church]<br>Commission on Archives and History'''<br>Greater New Jersey Conference<br>1001 Wickapecko Drive<br>Ocean, New Jersey 07712<br>Phone: (732) 359-1000&nbsp; Toll free: (877) 677-2594
 
+
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=61176 New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970], index and images, ($)
[http://www.jewishgen.org/jhscj/index.html Jewish Historical Society of Central Jersey]<br>1050 George St, Box 1-L<br>New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901<br>Telephone: (732) 249-4894&nbsp;<br>
+
**Archives and History has entered into an agreement with Ancestry.com to digitize our closed local church vital records. The records were sent to Ancestry last fall and should be completed in early spring of this year. The digital records will appear on Ancestry’s website while an archival copy of the images will reside in our repository. One of the perks to this partnership is a free multiyear license to access Ancestry’s entire website which will include our GNJ records. You may access the Ancestry site on a computer at the United Methodist Church Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University. The center is open 9 am to 5 pm during the week and 9 am to 9 pm on Tuesday. While you are visiting be sure to make use of our conference’s archival collections located in the vaults underneath the main floor of the building.
 
+
----
===Methodist===
 
 
 
[http://www.gnjumc.org/pages/detail/293 United Methodist Church]<br>Commission on Archives and History<br>Greater New Jersey Conference<br>1001 Wickapecko Drive<br>Ocean, New Jersey 07712<br>Phone: (732) 359-1000&nbsp; Toll free: (877) 677-2594  
 
 
 
===Presbyterian===
 
 
 
[http://www.history.pcusa.org/ Presbyterian Historical Society and Department of History]<br>United Presbyterian Church in the USA<br>425 Lombard Street<br>Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147<br>Telephone: (215) 627-1852
 
 
 
The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] has microfilm copies of most of the records&nbsp;from&nbsp;the above listed&nbsp;archive.  
 
 
 
===Roman Catholic===
 
  
 +
====Roman Catholic====
 +
*Dirnberger, Janet Drumm. '''''New Jersey Catholic Baptismal Records from 1759-1781'''''.&nbsp; Seabrook, Texas: Brambles, 1981. This book is available in the {{FHL|108507|item}}. However, it does not circulate to Family History Centers.
 +
----
 +
[http://www.rcan.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=108 '''Archdiocese of Newark''']<br>171 Clifton Avenue<br>Newark, New Jersey 07104-0500
 +
*[https://www.rcan.org/offices-and-ministries/history-archives/sacramental-records '''Sacramental Records''']
 +
**Existing Parishes:
 +
***All sacramental records for the Archdiocese of Newark are kept at the parish where that particular sacrament was celebrated, assuming the parish is still in existence.
 +
***If you know the name of the parish and that it still exists or if you don't know the name of the parish but have a general idea of the geographical area, please click for the [https://www.rcan.org/parishes-map '''Parishes web page,'''] where you can locate parish addresses by name, town, or county.
 +
***To request sacramental records, please contact the parish in writing using the following form:
 +
****Click for [https://www.rcan.org/sites/default/files/files/SacramentalRecordRequestForm.pdf '''Sacramental Record Request Form (PDF File)''']
 +
:*Closed Parishes: If the parish is not listed on the Parishes web page, it may be merged with another parish. To check for merged parishes, see [https://www.rcan.org/sites/default/files/files/ADN%20Closed%20Parishes%20August%202019.pdf '''Closed Parishes Records Location''']
 +
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: [[Bergen County, New Jersey Genealogy|Bergen]], [[Essex County, New Jersey Genealogy|Essex]], [[Hudson County, New Jersey Genealogy|Hudson]] and [[Union County, New Jersey Genealogy|Union]].<ref name="rc" />
 +
----
 +
*Records of the Archdiocese of Newark are kept by:<br>'''[http://www.shu.edu/academics/libraries/archives/newark-archdiocese.cfm University Archives]'''<br>Seton Hall University<br>South Orange Avenue<br>South Orange, New Jersey 07079<br>Phone: (201) 762-7052&nbsp;<br>
 +
**All sacramental registers, 1832 through 1914 are available on microfilm at the University.
 +
----
 +
'''FamilySearch digitized records:''' All sacramental registers for the Archdiocese of Newark, 1832 through 1914, and cemetery records in the archdiocese have been are available in digitized form through the [[New Jersey Church Records#Look for digital copies of church records listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.|'''FamilySearch Catalog.''']] Some are restricted and can only be studied at a [[Family History Centers|'''Family History Center''']] near you.
 +
*Christenings through 1885 and marriages through 1895 for most of these parishes are indexed in the {{RecordSearch|1675446|'''International Genealogical Index.'''}}
 +
----
 
[http://www.camdendiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Camden''']<br>631 Market Street<br>Camden, New Jersey 08102<br>Phone: (856) 756-7900.  
 
[http://www.camdendiocese.org/ '''Diocese of Camden''']<br>631 Market Street<br>Camden, New Jersey 08102<br>Phone: (856) 756-7900.  
 
+
*Request information from sacramental records from [https://www.camdendiocese.org/directory/ '''the local parish.''']
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Atlantic County, New Jersey Genealogy|Atlantic]], [[Camden County, New Jersey Genealogy|Camden]], [[Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy|Cape May]], [[Cumberland County, New Jersey Genealogy|Cumberland]], [[Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy|Gloucester]] and [[Salem County, New Jersey Genealogy|Salem]].<ref name="rc" />  
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Atlantic County, New Jersey Genealogy|Atlantic]], [[Camden County, New Jersey Genealogy|Camden]], [[Cape May County, New Jersey Genealogy|Cape May]], [[Cumberland County, New Jersey Genealogy|Cumberland]], [[Gloucester County, New Jersey Genealogy|Gloucester]] and [[Salem County, New Jersey Genealogy|Salem]].<ref name="rc" />  
 
+
----
 
[http://www.diometuchen.org/ '''Diocese of Metuchen''']'''<br>'''P.O. Box 191<br>Metuchen, NJ 08840-0191<br>Phone: (732) 562-1990<br>Office Location<br>146 Metlars Lane<br>Piscataway, New Jersey 08854  
 
[http://www.diometuchen.org/ '''Diocese of Metuchen''']'''<br>'''P.O. Box 191<br>Metuchen, NJ 08840-0191<br>Phone: (732) 562-1990<br>Office Location<br>146 Metlars Lane<br>Piscataway, New Jersey 08854  
 
+
*Request information from sacramental records from [https://diometuchen.org/parishfinder '''the local parish.''']
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Hunterdon County, New Jersey Genealogy|Hunterdon]], [[Middlesex County, New Jersey Genealogy|Middlesex]], [[Somerset County, New Jersey Genealogy|Somerset]] and [[Warren County, New Jersey Genealogy|Warren]].<ref name="rc">[http://www.cdeducation.org/oym/connections/dioceseusmap.htm Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America], Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.</ref>  
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Hunterdon County, New Jersey Genealogy|Hunterdon]], [[Middlesex County, New Jersey Genealogy|Middlesex]], [[Somerset County, New Jersey Genealogy|Somerset]] and [[Warren County, New Jersey Genealogy|Warren]].<ref name="rc">[http://www.cdeducation.org/oym/connections/dioceseusmap.htm Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America], Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.</ref>  
 
+
----
[http://www.rcan.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=108 '''Archdiocese of Newark''']<br>171 Clifton Avenue<br>Newark, New Jersey 07104-0500
 
 
 
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: [[Bergen County, New Jersey Genealogy|Bergen]], [[Essex County, New Jersey Genealogy|Essex]], [[Hudson County, New Jersey Genealogy|Hudson]] and [[Union County, New Jersey Genealogy|Union]].<ref name="rc" />
 
 
 
*Records of the Archdiocese of Newark are kept by:<br>'''[http://www.shu.edu/academics/libraries/archives/newark-archdiocese.cfm University Archives]'''<br>Seton Hall University<br>South Orange Avenue<br>South Orange, New Jersey 07079<br>Phone: (201) 762-7052&nbsp;<br>All sacramental registers, 1832 through 1914, and cemetery records in the archdiocese have been microfilmed. They are available at the Family History Library and at the university archives. A small fee is charged for mail inquiries, and records can be searched by appointment. Christenings through 1885 and marriages through 1895 for most of these parishes are indexed in the International Genealogical Index.
 
  
 
[http://www.patersondiocese.org/index.cfm '''The Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson''']<br>777 Valley Road<br>Paterson, New Jersey 07013<br>Phone: (973) 777-8818  
 
[http://www.patersondiocese.org/index.cfm '''The Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson''']<br>777 Valley Road<br>Paterson, New Jersey 07013<br>Phone: (973) 777-8818  
 
+
*Request information from sacramental records from [https://rcdop.org/parishfinder '''the local parish.''']
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Morris County, New Jersey Genealogy|Morris]], [[Passaic County, New Jersey Genealogy|Passaic]] and [[Sussex County, New Jersey Genealogy|Sussex]].<ref name="rc" />  
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Morris County, New Jersey Genealogy|Morris]], [[Passaic County, New Jersey Genealogy|Passaic]] and [[Sussex County, New Jersey Genealogy|Sussex]].<ref name="rc" />  
 
+
----
'''[http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org Diocese of Trenton]'''<br>701 Lawrenceville Road<br>Trenton, New Jersey 08648<br>Phone: (609) 406-7400  
+
[http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org '''Diocese of Trenton''']<br>701 Lawrenceville Road<br>Trenton, New Jersey 08648<br>Phone: (609) 406-7400  
 
+
*Request information from sacramental records from [https://dioceseoftrenton.org/parishfinder '''the local parish.''']
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Burlington County, New Jersey Genealogy|Burlington]], [[Mercer County, New Jersey Genealogy|Mercer]], [[Monmouth County, New Jersey Genealogy|Monmouth]] and [[Ocean County, New Jersey Genealogy|Ocean]].<ref name="rc" />  
 
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Burlington County, New Jersey Genealogy|Burlington]], [[Mercer County, New Jersey Genealogy|Mercer]], [[Monmouth County, New Jersey Genealogy|Monmouth]] and [[Ocean County, New Jersey Genealogy|Ocean]].<ref name="rc" />  
 +
----
  
The marriages of some New Jersey Catholics from 1758 to 1800 were published in:
+
===Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.===
 
+
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
*''American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia Records. ''Volumes 1-4, 8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: American Catholic Historical Society, 1886-1889, 1893. (Not at the Family History Library.) To locate a book copy nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/records-of-the-american-catholic-historical-society-of-philadelphia/oclc/1479632&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
+
*[http://www.daddezio.com/society/hill/SH-NJ-NDX.html '''Society Hill List of New Jersey Societies''']<br>
 
 
Additional records for this time period are in:
 
 
 
*Dirnberger, Janet Drumm. ''New Jersey Catholic Baptismal Records from 1759-1781''.&nbsp; Seabrook, Texas: Brambles, 1981. This book is available in the {{FHL|108507|item}}. However, it does not circulate to Family History Centers.
 
 
 
Most Catholic records have not been gathered into central repositories. You must determine the town where your ancestors lived and the parish they most likely attended and then write to that parish. Addresses of parishes and diocesan chancery offices are listed in:
 
 
 
*''The Official Catholic Directory''. Chicago, Illinois: Hoffman Bros., annual. A copy is located in the {{FHL|966906|item}}.To locate a copy nearest your location check at [http://www.worldcat.org/title/official-catholic-directory-anno-domini-2009/oclc/429905633&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
 
 
 
When a parish closes, the records are sent to the diocesan archives or a nearby parish. If the diocese does not have an archive, the chancellor usually knows where the records are currently located.
 
 
 
*Flynn, Joseph Michael. ''The Catholic Church in New Jersey''. Morristown, N.J.: n.p., 1904 is located in the {{FHL|244714|item}} and has short histories of individual parishes. Digital versions: [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=11572 Ancestry] ($); [http://www.archive.org/details/catholicchurchin00flyn Internet Archive]. To locate a copy of the book nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/catholic-church-in-new-jersey/oclc/365311&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
 
 
 
===Society of Friends (Quakers)===
 
 
 
[http://www.swarthmore.edu/fhl.xml '''The Friends Historical Library''']<br>Swarthmore College<br>500 College Avenue<br>Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19801<br>Telephone: (610) 328-8496 <br>This library collects microfilm copies of all records of New Jersey meetings.
 
 
 
[http://www.haverford.edu/library/special/index.php '''The Quaker Collection''']<br>Haverford College Library<br>370 Lancaster Avenue<br>Haverford, Pennsylvania 19041<br>Telephone: (610) 896-1161<br>This library collects West Jersey Orthodox records.
 
 
 
'''Haviland Records Room'''<br>15 Rutherford Place<br>New York, New York 10003<br>Telephone: (212) 673-6866&nbsp;<br>This library collects records of East Jersey meetings that have been part of the New York Yearly Meeting. [http://www.westburyquakers.org/qt/archive/files/GENE1.htm Learn more].
 
 
 
The records formerly at the Friends Records Department in Philadelphia are now at Haverford College. These records are on microfilm at the [[Family History Library|Family History Library]], as are most of the records&nbsp;from the Haviland Records Room.&nbsp;There&nbsp;is a large collection of the records at Swarthmore College.
 
 
 
The Family History Library also has microfilm copies of the John Pickens Dornan and Gilbert Cope collections&nbsp;and abstracts from most New Jersey monthly meetings, compiled by William Wade Hinshaw, John Cox, and John P. Dornan.
 
 
 
Published abstracts:
 
  
*Hinshaw, William Wade. ''Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. 6 Vols''. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Edwards Brothers, 1936-1950. Volume II covers New Jersey Monthly Meetings. {{FHL|192159|item}}; digital version at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48130 Ancestry] ($). To locate copies nearest you, use [http://www.worldcat.org/title/encyclopedia-of-american-quaker-genealogy-vol-i-vi/oclc/255684770&referer=brief_results WorldCat].
+
==Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination. ==
 +
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.
 +
{{Template:US-church-sidebar}}
 +
<br>
  
For a history of New Jersey Quakers, see:
+
==Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor==
 +
You will possibly find many different people with the '''same name as your ancestor,''' especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the '''grandparents or aunts and uncles'''. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor '''as possible''':
 +
*'''name''', including '''middle name and maiden name'''
 +
*names of all '''spouses''', including middle and maiden name
 +
*exact or closely estimated '''dates of birth, marriage, and death'''
 +
*names and approximate birthdates of '''children'''
 +
*all known places of '''residence'''
 +
*'''occupations'''
 +
*'''military''' service details
 +
<br>
  
*Bowden, James. ''The History of the Society of Friends in America''. 2 vols. London: W. &amp; F.G. Cash, 1850-1854. Digital version of Vol. 1&nbsp;at [http://books.google.com/books?id=n1lCAAAAIAAJ Google Books]. {{FHL|207376|item|disp=973 F2bj v. 1}}
+
[[File:Dark_thin_font_green_pin_Version_4.png|50px]]'''Carefully evaluate''' the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a '''"near match"'''. If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, [[Evaluate the Evidence|'''Evaluate the Evidence'''.]]
  
 
===References===
 
===References===

Latest revision as of 20:48, 26 July 2020

New Jersey Wiki Topics
New_Jersey_flag.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
New Jersey Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources



Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Old Swedes Church NJ

The first churches established in New Jersey were the Dutch Reformed, Congregational (Puritan), Society of Friends (Quaker), and Lutheran. Church membership waned in the early 1700s, but revivals rekindled interest around 1740. By 1775 the largest denominations in New Jersey were the Presbyterian, Society of Friends, Dutch Reformed, Baptist, and Anglican (Episcopal) churches.

In the mid-1800s, the Methodist church was the largest, followed by the Presbyterian, Baptist, Reformed, Friends, and Episcopal churches.

The Roman Catholic Church has been the predominant faith since the beginning of the twentieth century, followed by the Jewish, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal faiths.[1]

Except for the Dutch Reformed and Lutheran churches in northern New Jersey, few of the earliest church records have survived.

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Caution sign.png

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Indexes[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com Indexes[edit | edit source]

Catholic[edit | edit source]

Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]

Episcopal[edit | edit source]

German Reformed[edit | edit source]

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Quaker (Society of Friends)[edit | edit source]

Other Collections[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of United States, New Jersey.
b. Click on Places within United States, New Jersey and a list of counties will appear.
c. Click on your county if it appears.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Click on Places within United States, New Jersey [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.


Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
  • Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.


Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]

Commission on History, Reformed Church in America
Gardner A. Sage Library

New Brunswick Theological Seminary
21 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Telephone: (732) 246-1779


The Holland Society of New York Library
20 West 44th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Telephone: (212) 758-1675

Year Book of The Holland Society of New York, 1912. New York, New York: The Society, 1912, available in the FHL Collection lists the transcripts of New Jersey Dutch Reformed and Lutheran records at the Holland Society Library. It also lists those that were published as of 1912. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of many of these transcripts. To locate a copy nearest you, use WorldCat.


Episcopal[edit | edit source]

Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey
808 W. State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5326
Telephone: (609) 394-5281

  • The Rev. Cn. Richard C. Wrede Archivist
    Phone:(609) 394-5281 ext. 15
    E-mail:rwrede@dioceseofnj.org
  • The archives house records of closed churches. For records requests from open churches, contact the local church.

Episcopal Diocese of Newark
Episcopal House
31 Mulberry Street
Newark, NJ 07102-5202
Phone: 973-430-9900
Fax: 973-622-3503

  • The archives house records of closed churches. For records requests from open churches, contact the local church.
  • Questions about church records: Use this form to ask questions concerning to the historical records of a closed church (including genealogical inquiries). Questions will be answered as soon as possible: Ask a Question Form

Methodist[edit | edit source]

United Methodist Church
Commission on Archives and History

Greater New Jersey Conference
1001 Wickapecko Drive
Ocean, New Jersey 07712
Phone: (732) 359-1000  Toll free: (877) 677-2594

  • New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970, index and images, ($)
    • Archives and History has entered into an agreement with Ancestry.com to digitize our closed local church vital records. The records were sent to Ancestry last fall and should be completed in early spring of this year. The digital records will appear on Ancestry’s website while an archival copy of the images will reside in our repository. One of the perks to this partnership is a free multiyear license to access Ancestry’s entire website which will include our GNJ records. You may access the Ancestry site on a computer at the United Methodist Church Archives and History Center on the campus of Drew University. The center is open 9 am to 5 pm during the week and 9 am to 9 pm on Tuesday. While you are visiting be sure to make use of our conference’s archival collections located in the vaults underneath the main floor of the building.

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

  • Dirnberger, Janet Drumm. New Jersey Catholic Baptismal Records from 1759-1781.  Seabrook, Texas: Brambles, 1981. This book is available in the FHL Collection. However, it does not circulate to Family History Centers.

Archdiocese of Newark
171 Clifton Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07104-0500

  • Sacramental Records
    • Existing Parishes:
      • All sacramental records for the Archdiocese of Newark are kept at the parish where that particular sacrament was celebrated, assuming the parish is still in existence.
      • If you know the name of the parish and that it still exists or if you don't know the name of the parish but have a general idea of the geographical area, please click for the Parishes web page, where you can locate parish addresses by name, town, or county.
      • To request sacramental records, please contact the parish in writing using the following form:
  • Closed Parishes: If the parish is not listed on the Parishes web page, it may be merged with another parish. To check for merged parishes, see Closed Parishes Records Location

The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union.[2]


  • Records of the Archdiocese of Newark are kept by:
    University Archives
    Seton Hall University
    South Orange Avenue
    South Orange, New Jersey 07079
    Phone: (201) 762-7052 
    • All sacramental registers, 1832 through 1914 are available on microfilm at the University.

FamilySearch digitized records: All sacramental registers for the Archdiocese of Newark, 1832 through 1914, and cemetery records in the archdiocese have been are available in digitized form through the FamilySearch Catalog. Some are restricted and can only be studied at a Family History Center near you.


Diocese of Camden
631 Market Street
Camden, New Jersey 08102
Phone: (856) 756-7900.

The diocese includes the counties of: Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem.[2]


Diocese of Metuchen
P.O. Box 191
Metuchen, NJ 08840-0191
Phone: (732) 562-1990
Office Location
146 Metlars Lane
Piscataway, New Jersey 08854

The diocese includes the counties of: Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Warren.[2]


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson
777 Valley Road
Paterson, New Jersey 07013
Phone: (973) 777-8818

The diocese includes the counties of: Morris, Passaic and Sussex.[2]


Diocese of Trenton
701 Lawrenceville Road
Trenton, New Jersey 08648
Phone: (609) 406-7400

The diocese includes the counties of: Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean.[2]


Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:

Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations



Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). FHL Book 973 K2ah.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.