Awards recognize those dedicated to preserving Monmouth County’s history

MANALAPAN, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is seeking nominations for the Monmouth County Jane G. Clayton Award and for the M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation. If you know a person or an organization that has gone above and beyond to preserve the history of Monmouth County, submit a nomination by Monday, July 15.

“The Jane G. Clayton and M. Claire French Awards will be presented at our 24th Annual Archives and History Day on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan,” said Clerk Hanlon. “These awards will acknowledge exceptional individuals or groups whose involvement has preserved and deepened our understanding of Monmouth County’s history.”

Created in 1997, the Jane G. Clayton Award honors individuals who, over many years, have made outstanding contributions to the awareness, understanding or preservation of Monmouth County’s history. The award is named after former Monmouth County Clerk Jane G. Clayton, who was responsible for the formation of the Monmouth County Archives.

Prior Clayton Award winners include Kevin Coyne, John Belding, Margaret W. Dellinger, Joseph W. Hammond, Angel and Jack Jeandron, Cheryl A. Cook, Wayne T. Bell, Joseph G. Bilby, Edward J. Raser, Garry Wheeler Stone, Lydia Wikoff, Karen L. Schnitzspahn, Gerald Ceres, Flora T. Higgins, Lee Ellen Griffith, Michael S. Adelberg, Gail L. Hunton, Douglas F. Foulks, Wesley Banse, J. Louise Jost, Mary Lou Strong and George H. Moss.

Clerk Hanlon established the M. Claire French Award for Leadership in Historic Preservation in 2015 to recognize an elected official, government employee, public servant or civic organization’s outstanding achievements to support historic preservation in Monmouth County through education, development, planning, rehabilitation, advocacy, community leadership or other means.

The M. Claire French Award is named after Clerk Hanlon’s predecessor, who assumed the position of Monmouth County Clerk in 1997 and served until her retirement in 2015. During her 18-year tenure, French oversaw the modernization of the Clerk’s Office, which included the digital collection of County records and the electronic reporting of election results in addition to the expansion of the Office’s services, most notably with the Monmouth County Connection satellite office in Neptune.

Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, Fred Carl, then Middletown Mayor and current Freeholder Gerry P. Scharfenberger, Ph.D. and the Preservation Alliance of Spring Lake are previous French Award recipients.

Archives and History Day will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters, located at 125 Symmes Drive in Manalapan.

Clerk Hanlon and the Monmouth County Archives Division of the County Clerk’s Office host the annual event, which started in 1996. This year’s exhibit relates to the theme “Women in Monmouth County” and will highlight trailblazing women whose contributions helped shape the County’s history. The event is expected to host more than 60 exhibitors, who will present topics concerning New Jersey history and their organizations’ work.

Nomination forms for the Clayton and French Awards can be found online at

For more information or to request a nomination form by phone or email, please call 732-308-3771 ext. 3776 or email

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Click here for the downloadable PDF version of this press release.

PHONE: 732-431-7324, ext. 8735

Photos: (First: Former Monmouth County Clerk Jane G. Clayton, Second: Former Monmouth County Clerk M. Claire French)