RECORD GROUP: Municipalities
RECORD SERIES #: 8600.17
SERIES: Manalapan
DATES: 1873-1970
VOLUME: 10 cubic feet

Manalapan image

Historical records from Manalapan were placed on deposit in the Monmouth County Archives and Records Center on May 5, 2009, pursuant to a municipal resolution and a depository agreement which provide that Manalapan retains ownership of the records and that the Monmouth County Archives can provide access to them.
The following historical narrative about Manalapan is adapted from the essay prepared by Lydia Wikoff, Borough Historian, for the book, Town by Town: Impressions of Monmouth County (Freehold: Office of the Monmouth County Clerk, 2002):

Residents of the Western section of Freehold Township were informed by the New Jersey State Legislature in the winter of 1848 that they were to be separated and would become residents of a new independent township.  There is no documentation on how the decision was made to name it Manalapan.  However, the name Manalapan is derived from the Lenape Indian words “manel” meaning drinking and “paune” meaning bread; translating to “good land to settle upon.”

The new township included an area of 30.85 square miles and 19,744 acres.  According to the census of 1850, the population of the township was 1,910.  A point of interest is that the territory included the town Englishtown, which at the time was larger than the town of Monmouth Court House (now named Freehold), later to become the county seat of Monmouth.

The new township could aptly be described as a farming community.  Its products at that time were grains (wheat, rye, barley, corn and oats) and a variety of vegetables.  The Beers 1873 Atlas of Monmouth County lists 28 businesses. These include farmers, grain and saw mill owners, carpenters, fruit growers, horse and mule dealers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights and distillers of apple whiskey.  At that time, seven mills were operating; grist and sawmills, as well as two woolen mills. Sadly, only the building which housed the gristmill at Millhurst still exists.  The nearby shipping ports of Matawan and Keyport added to the importance of our mills.  They traveled by horse and wagon over toll roads before the roads became public.

It is recorded that a northern section of Freehold Township was also established and named Marlboro in 1848. Manalapan Township was officially formed on March 9, 1848, when leading citizens met in Phebe Perrine’s tavern in Englishtown.  The second meeting of the residents was held on March 24 at the same location as township officers were elected.  In addition to electing officers, the following actions were taken:

To raise the same amount of school money as the State appropriation
Five Hundred dollars to be raised for highways
Three Hundred dollars to be raised for the poor
Resolved that there should be five road districts,
Each district to elect its own overseer.

The offices of the Township were established in Englishtown and remained there until 1888.  At that time, Englishtown signaled its intention to become a separate borough and elect its own officials. When this occurred, the Township moved its offices to Tennent, a small community within the Township.

Manalapan was the site of the Battle of Monmouth, a Revolutionary War engagement held on June 28, 1778, involving 30,000 British and Continental troops.  On the two hundredth anniversary of the battle, in 1978, the State opened the 1,520 acre Monmouth Battlefield State Park.  Eight percent of the Park is in Manalapan Township.  A reenactment of the Battle is held annually on a weekend near June 28.

In the Battleground area, a Civil War training camp was established in 1862.  This site was located on the southerly side of the Freehold and Jamesburg Railroad, off Route 522 and is now part of Monmouth Battlefield State Park.  It was named Camp Vredenburgh in honor of a prominent local judge, Peter Vredenburgh, Sr., whose son, Major Peter Vredenburgh, was a casualty in 1864.

The population of the Township grew very slowly as farms tended to be handed down from father to son.  Great growth occurred between 1960 and the present day as developers have purchased farms and built houses.  Today, a mayor and four committee members administer the Township.  It has a paid administrative staff, as well as a police department located in the municipal complex on Route 522.

Scope and Content

These records of Manalapan are summarized as follows:

  • Minute Books, 1894-1970
  • Tax Duplicate Books, 1873-1954 (with gaps)
  • Resolutions and Ordinances, 1913-1970
  • Miscellaneous other books (7)

Smaller books and folders are stored in boxes and larger volumes are stored on shelves, as follows:

Box Number Title Dates
1 Tax Duplicate Books 1873
Overseer of the Poor Records of Receipts 1881-1903
Census, Township of Manalapan and Borough of Englishtown 1895-1897
Tax Warrant Register of Delinquent Tax 1895
Names/Addresses of Manalapan Taxpayers Circa 1940-1950
Official Oath of Office Book 1926-1943
2 Minute Books 1912-1931
3 1959-1968 (10 folders)
1969, Jan.- Sept.
1969, Oct.-Dec.
1970, Jan.-Sept.
1970, Oct. – Dec.
4 Resolutions 1969
Ordinances 1970
5 Resolutions and Ordinances 1913-1968
Resolutions 1962-1967(folder)
1968 (folder)
Ordinances 1968 (folder)
Unboxed Books
Minutes 1894-Feb.23-1912,
Jan. 16
Tax Duplicate Books (34 Volumes) 1909, 1911, 1922-1947, 1949-1954


Access Restrictions
These records are open to the public.
Researchers may view these records in the Archives.
Books entries are arranged chronologically.
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Dr
Manalapan NJ 07726
Acquisition Information
Manalapan Township officials placed 35 volumes of records with Archives on May 5, 2009.
Processing Information
This finding aid was created May 8, 2009, by Gary D. Saretzky, updated by George Joynson on March 22, 2019.