RECORD GROUP: County Clerk
RECORD SERIES #: 1600
SERIES: Census Records
VOLUME: 12 cubic feet
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.
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.
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.
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Manalapan NJ 07726
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