Sheriff’s Office: Books, 1872-1961

RECORD GROUP:Other County Records
SERIES: Sheriff’s Office: Books
DATES: 1872-1961
VOLUME: 281 Volumes


Most of these books were accessioned (#1997-04) in August 1997 after they were found (among other materials) in a warehouse on Manalapan Avenue in Freehold. The books were sent for ozone treatment to decontaminate and deodorize them before they were brought into the Record Center. At the time of their acquisition, the Sheriff’s office was consulted and agreed to the transfer of custody.

Scope and Content

This series of 278 books is contained in 155 boxes, arranged chronologically. The records (1872-1961) consist of fifteen different types of Sheriff’s books and spans the terms of twenty-three sheriffs of Monmouth County.

Categories of Books:

Capias Record. 5800.03 (a.k.a. Record of Commitment 5800.06)
The Capias record is a list of the criminals who were jailed during the time covered by the book. The lists are chronologically arranged within groups by first letter of surname. There are sixteen volumes in the series, 1892-1932.

Sample from John H. Van Mater’s Capias Record, 1923-1926:

State vs. Anna Clark- Charge of Fornication- Term, May 1924

Cash Disbursement (a.k.a. Sheriff’s Ledger). 5800.08
The Cash Disbursement book is a chronological record of the allotments that each sheriff made. There are three volumes in the series, 1911-1947.

Sample from Morris J. Woodring’s cash disbursement in 1940:

Name- Asbury Park Press- Total Amount- $6,090- Check #-9- Advertising

Conditions of Sheriff’s Sales. 5800.15
These chronologically arranged two volumes (1882-1893) outline the contract agreed upon by one party to buy a commodity from the acting sheriff.

Sample from John I. Thompson’s Conditions of Sheriff’s Sales book, 1882-1884:

This is to Certify that I have this day bought, at Sheriff’s Sale, the property of William Young as sold by John I. Thompson, Sheriff of the County of Monmouth, for the sum of 4,600 dollars, and hereby agree in all things to comply with the above conditions of sale. Dated February 1, 1884.

Day Book. (a.k.a. Diary). 5800.12
The Day Book is the daily record of accounts conducted by the Sheriff’s office. There are ten volumes in the series, 1885-1941.

Sample from Howard Height’s Day Book, 1933-1934:

Attorney’s name- Richard Stout- Case- Dugan- Cash $434 – Attorney $434

Docket Book. 580.14
The Docket Book is a chronological record of the payment of fees to the Sheriff. Since the fees were not always paid promptly, the index includes the date for reception of payment. There are seventy-one volumes in the series, 1872-1958.

Sample from Theodore Aumack’s Docket book, 1887:

In the case of William Conover Jr. vs. William Foster, Levy damage- $260.03- cost $30.74.

Fines and Costs. 5800.07
These two volumes, chronologically arranged within groups by first letter of surname, record the fines and costs levied against defendants in court cases, 1911-1929.

Sample from W.A. Beecroft’s Fines and Costs book, 1911-1920:

State vs. Clarence Doyle- The defendant was fined the sum of $500.00 and costs $24.56-Total $524.56 Remanded till paid. Defendant in jail. Received in Sheriff’s office, January 2, 1913.

Receipts and Disbursements. 5800.04 (a.k.a. Statement of Receipts. 5800.16)
These five volumes (1911-1938) record the given Sheriff’s income and expenditures in chronological order.

Sample from Walter H. Gravatt’s Receipts and Disbursements, 1920-1923:

Conover vs. Trenville- Sheriff’s fees- Receipts $10.37

Record of Discharges. 5800.05
These three volumes list chronologically the dates of release of prisoners held in the Monmouth County jail, as well as why they were released and how long they stayed, 1928-1933.

Sample from William N. O’Brien’s record of discharges, 1928-1931:

Carmichael, Walter W. adultery court. Bail $1,000.  Bailed by clerk.

Record of Executions. 5800.11
These chronologically arranged three volumes (1891-1958) contain signed statements by the sheriff that verifies that he carried out the order of the court at the end of cases, with his costs.

Sample from Rulief P. Smock’s Record of Executions, 1891:

Rulief P. Smock, Sheriff of said County, being duly sworn, on his oath, says: He verily believes that the above is a true statement specifying the amount, and the time when collected by him, and the balance due thereon, and also the items of his bill and cost or execution fees. Sworn and subscribed to this Seventh day of January A.D. 1891 before me, H. Fields. Rulief P. Smock (signed).

Register of Cases. 5800.13
This is the most frequent type of Sheriff’s book found in the series. There are 149 Registers of Cases, which comprises over half the series. The Register of Cases is an appointment book for the sheriff and lists chronologically when the cases are to appear and who is involved (including if it received personal attention from the sheriff) as well as the sheriff’s fee. Toward the later editions of the series, the Registers become rather extensive, and often contain only two months of cases. There are registers of cases in the series from 1881-1961.

Sample from Ira E. Wolcott’s Register of Cases, 1961:

Jerry’s Enterprises, Inc., a body corporate, plaintiff vs. People’s Auction Market, Inc. and Edward H. Boyles, Defendant. Rec’d Feb 9, 1961. Ret’d to court Feb 16, 1961.

Fees $10.91. Duly served the within summons (and annexed complaint and demand) on People’s Auction Market Inc. February 10, 1961 by personally handing a true copy to Alfred Hennessey Jr. reg. Agent, upon whom process may be served, at his place of business, 903 Union Ave. Union Beach, NJ. Returned unserved to Edward H. Boyles (moved to Ocean County). Ira E. Wolcott sheriff (signed)

Register of Jurors. 5800.02
The register of Jurors lists alphabetically all eligible county residents who could serve jury duty, sorted by town. There are eight volumes in the series, 1886-1911.

Sample from C. Asa Francis’ Register of Jurors, 1906:

Freehold- Nate Brown-exemptions- (n/a)

Sales of Real Estate and Sheriff’s Sales. 5800.10
The two Sales of Real Estate volumes (1891-1903) provide chronological lists of the transfer of property. The five Sheriff’s Sales volumes (1882-1939) are detailed inventories of the sale of personal property.

Sample from Rulief P. Smock’s Sales of Real Estate, 1891-1893:

Jan 1891- Marcus Davidson vs. Charles Reid-sold premises for $55.00, Sheriff’s fees paid.
Sample from John I. Thompson’s Sheriff’s sales, 1882-1884:

Sale of the Personal Property of Susan R. Conover and Richard Conover made
July 15. A.D. 1882- 1 Farm Wagon (old) to Charles Allen- $6.00

Sheriff’s Vouchers. 5800.09
The two volumes of vouchers provide a chronological account of the payments received by those in the Sheriff’s office, including the Sheriff.

Sample from George H. Roberts’ Sheriff’s Voucher, 1935-1938:

May 15, 1937- George H. Roberts- Vouchers approved- $312.50- Office salary- $312.50

Sheriffs and # of books

Theodore Aumack, 5
Cornelius Barkalow, 11
Wilbert A. Beecroft, 12
O.C. Bogardus, 6
O.E. Davis, 7
Houston Fields, 9
Theodore Fields, 4
C. Asa Francis, 6
Elmer H. Geran, 10
Walter H. Gravatt, 10
Howard Height, 17
S.T. Hendrickson, 2
C.E.F. Hetrick, 3
Harry N. Johnson, 9
John T. Lawley, 13
William N. O’Brien, 14
George H. Roberts, 21
Rulief P. Smock, 11
John I. Thompson, 4
John H. Van Mater, 12
Ira E. Wolcott, 74
Ira E. Woodring, 31
Matthias Woolley, 4


The series is indexed chronologically; indexes by date, type of book and box number are available.

Jonathan Kobrinski
July 5, 2000