Census Records, 1850-1915

RECORD GROUP: County Clerk
RECORD SERIES #: 1600
SERIES: Census Records
DATES: 1850-1915
VOLUME: 12 cubic feet

 

L
1865 Census of Holmdel, William W. Ackerson, Assessor

ABSTRACT
This series includes US Federal Census returns for 1850, 1860, 1870, and NJ State Census returns for 1855, 1865, 1875, (not 1885), 1895, 1905, and 1915. It also includes additional Schedules for 1855 and 1865 which were used by Monmouth County for each town, but not used by other New Jersey counties. The 1885 NJ State Census is available online at Family Search. The 1875 NJ Census return for Monmouth County is available at Archives. See the 1875 NJ Census Finding Aid for more information. Archives also holds the only copy of the 1865 NJ State Census return for Manalapan, New Jersey.

HISTORY
New Jersey county clerks were responsible through local enumerators for the compilation of both state and federal censuses.

In 1790, the Federal government ordered the first census of every citizen in the United States. Thereafter, a census was to be compiled every ten years. It was not until 1855 that the New Jersey General Assembly decided to establish a separate State Census through “An Act in relation to the census or enumeration of the inhabitants of the state,” approved March 24, 1855. The 1855 Act also stated a State Census was to be compiled every tenth year, hereafter. According to the Act, County Clerks were to distribute blank census forms to the assessor in each town or township. Completed forms and a duplicate copy, prepared by each Assessor for his town, were then returned to the County Clerk’s office. It was the responsibility of the County Clerk to deliver each duplicate to the Secretary of State and to file the originals in the Clerk’s office.

Both the US Federal Censuses for 1850-1870 and other State Censuses 1855-1865 employed Schedule I, a list of the inhabitants by each dwelling visited by the census taker, with basic data about each individual. Federal censuses also included additional schedules with information concerning births, deaths, slaves and slave owners, agricultural production, industry, mining, commerce, and social statistics for the census year. Over the years, new schedules were added while others were eliminated.

In 1855 and 1865, additional schedules were not included with NJ State censuses. In 1875, Monmouth County employed four additional schedules for each town’s census returns. According to records in the State Archives, Monmouth was the only county to use these supplemental schedules.

SCOPE & CONTENT
Both Federal and State censuses include list of inhabitants at each dwelling visited by the census taker, with basic statistics about each individual. Federal censuses included additional information concerning births, deaths, slaves and slaveholders, agricultural production, commerce, and other categories.

The Census Record series covers the period 1850 to 1915. Both the US Federal census returns for the years 1850, 1860, and 1870, and NJ State census returns for the years 1855, 1865, 1875, 1895, 1905 and 1915, are included in the series. The NJ State returns in 1895, 1905 and 1915, which were purchased from the New Jersey State Archives, are available on microfilm only.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS
This series is open to researchers.

USE
The entire series is available on microfilm in the reading room at Archives. The NJ State Census returns for 1895, 1905 and 1915 returns are available on microfilm only. A finding aid and indexes are in the reading room at Archives. Computer indexes, by name, are also available for the 1875 State Census and the 1880 Enumeration. The following list provides a guide to each census, indicating the town returns available at the Monmouth County Archives, and towns not available for research due to the poor condition of the records.

1850 US Federal Census
Howell, Marlborough, Middletown, Millstone, Ocean, Raritan, and Upper Freehold. Not available: Freehold.
1855 NJ State Census
Atlantic, Freehold, Howell, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown, Millstone, Ocean, Raritan, Shrewsbury, Wall, and Upper Freehold Township.

1860 US Federal Census
Atlantic, Freehold, Holmdel, Shrewsbury, and Wall Township. Not available: Howell, Manalapan, Marlboro, Matawan, Middletown, Millstone, Ocean, and Upper Freehold.

1865 NJ State Census
Holmdel, Manalapan, Millstone, Raritan, and Shrewsbury Township. Not available: Middletown, and Ocean Township.

1870 US Federal Census
Freehold, Keyport-Raritan, Middletown, Upper Freehold, and Wall Township. Not available: Manalapan, Ocean, and Shrewsbury.

1875 NJ State Census
1875 NJ Census for Monmouth County
Atlantic, Freehold, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Middletown, Ocean, Shrewsbury, Upper Freehold, and Wall Township. Not available: Manalapan, Matawan, Millstone, and Raritan.
1875 NJ Census for Monmouth County – digital scans online at OPRS

1895 NJ State Census
Complete, Atlantic Township to Wall Township.

1905 NJ State Census
Complete, Allenhurst to Wall Township.

1915 NJ State Census
Complete, Allenhurst to West Long Branch.

The Monmouth County portion of the 1875 State census is one of the few from New Jersey counties to have survived. For many years, the entire state-wide 1875 census, with the exception of three other incomplete counties, had been considered lost forever. However, in the mid-1990s, the Monmouth County Archives uncovered the long lost County Clerk’s copy which included nine of the fourteen townships. While all the pages for Shrewsbury Township have survived, the pages were in extremely poor condition. In 2002, the Monmouth County Genealogical Society offered to fund the extensive restoration of the Shrewsbury pages. Only through the restoration process were we able to abstract many of the individuals listed on the pages. Unfortunately, most of the damage occurred on the top portion of every page so, in most cases, the first five names were lost. Every effort was made to abstract as much information as possible.

Abstracting the names and information was also very difficult throughout the Ocean Township census due to the poor handwriting and spelling of the names by the then Township Assessor. Mr. William H. Bennett had little problem with the old Monmouth County family names but had great difficulty with most, if not all, of the new immigrant families who were coming to Monmouth County.

USE
The Federal and State census returns are available on microfilm in the reading room at the Archives. An Access database of the 1875 NJ Census for Monmouth County was created February 24, 2000, and is available in the Archives, containing the name, town, age, race, notes and page #. An Access database of the 1880 US Federal Census for Monmouth County was created June 23, 2015, and contains 55, 210 records of names, age, race, book and page. In June 2008, the Monmouth County Open Public Records System created a searchable, online version of the 1875 NJ Census return for Monmouth County for the convenience of researchers, however, Manalapan, Matawan, Millstone & Raritan Townships are missing.

ARRANGEMENT
US Federal Census and NJ State Census returns are arranged chronologically by year and alphabetically by town within years.

REPOSITORY
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan NJ 07726
Tel. (732) 308-3771

ACQUISITION INFORMATION
The 1850-1870 US Federal Census returns were transferred to the repository by Monmouth County Clerk Jane G. Clayton before 1999.

PROCESSING INFORMATION
A finding aid was revised August 1998; revised March 2, 2001; revised June 2016 by George Joynson.

RELATED MATERIAL
US Federal Census returns 1800-1940 are available at the National Archives. NJ State Census returns 1855-1915 are available on microfilm at the New Jersey State Archives. Online Census returns are also at Ancestry, also Family Search, and others.