Morris County Library > Reference > Vital records


NJ Vital Records

The NJ Bureau of Vital Statistics explains where various types of records are kept for different years and how to see them or obtain copies. It also describes limitations on viewing and using some types of records. The National Center for Health Statistics NJ web is also helpful in understanding these restrictions and the supporting documents you need to show in order to view these records. See New Jersey Administrative Code 8:2A-1 et seq for restrictions on obtaining information.

For documents at the New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics you may

For items at the New Jersey State Archives (Division of Archives and Records Management, NJ Dept of State)See also miscellaneous Morris County court, clerk and sheriff's records (1740-1906) in the State Archives.

Birth records
1914+ New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics.
1848-1913 New Jersey State Archives.
Or you can contact the local registrar in the town where the birth occurred.

Marriage records
New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics.
New Jersey State Archives.
pre-1848, NJ Secretary of State indexes Colonial marriages (1665-1799). Additional research and resources
You can also contact the local registrar in the town where the marriage occurred.

Divorce decrees
NJ State Archives
Post-1900, Superior Court Public Information Center
PO Box 967
171 Jersey Street Trenton, NJ 08625-0967
609.777.0092 or 0093

Naturalization records
NJ State Archives holds naturalization records. Their Morris records cover 1816-1906, in 29 rolls of microfilm. Post-1906, naturalization records will be found in US National Archives repositories. NJ records are in the National Archives Northeast Region office, in New York City.

Death certificates
1914+ New Jersey Bureau of Vital Statistics.
1848-1913 New Jersey State Archives.
Contact the local registrar for the municipality where the death occurred.
Note: effective January 1, 1994, under NJ Administrative Code 8:2A1 et seq not everyone has access to the cause of death information on a death certificate. Surviving spouses, caretaking partners, parents, executors or other authorized representatives may see the entire death certificate. Local registrars will need written authorization from survivors or their authorized representatives permitting the researcher to see this portion of the death certificate.
Additional information for deceased persons who had Social Security numbers may be found in the Social Security Death Index using (available at Morris County Library).

New Jersey wills are filed and probated in the county of residence of the deceased. Members of the public can view them and make copies at the
County Surrogate's Office. Searching Morris probate records will give you name of the executor and the date, book and page number of the will. Contact the Surrogate's Office to make an appointment for on-site examination of wills.
1670-1952 The New Jersey State Archives has copies of all of the wills and inventories filed in this time period. Copies can be ordered.
1953+ wills and inventories are found at the Clerk of the Superior Court, Probate Section.

Superior Court Public Information Center
P.O. Box 967
171 Jersey Street
Trenton NJ 08625-0967
Morris County Library owns
  1. Archives of New Jersey has abstracts of wills 1670-1817. Ask at the Reference Desk.
  2. Index of wills, inventories, etc in the Office of the Secretary of State prior to 1901. (NJ929.3749 New) Gives the number needed by the State Archives to locate the will.
  3. Index to New Jersey wills, 1689-1890 (NJ929.3749 Sme)

Adoption--see the NJ Adoption Registry, NJ Dept of Children and Families

Veterans Records
20th century records are held by the
National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St Louis. See also the National Archives(NARA) veterans web for overall information. For New Jersey:

Officers and Men of the Civil War from the New Jersey State Library
World War II dead and missing, Army and Air Force
World War II dead and missing, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard
Korean and Vietnam War casualty lists, state level lists by name and hometown
Cemeteries: is a partial register of cemeteries around the world. Each cemetery listing begins with a note on how many burials are included in that record. Particularly good for National Cemeteries. This library has some registries for Morris County, NJ burial grounds.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
Greystone (still functioning) was formerly the New Jersey State Hospital for the Insane. Hospital inmates and staff, who lived on site will be found in a facility enumeration in the 1900-1930 censuses. (In Hanover Twp, 1900-1920, in Morris Plains in 1930.) Patients were admitted in some cases for mental conditions arising from physical conditions (stroke, kidney disease). Folk singer Woody Guthrie was hospitalized at the facility in the 1950s, when suffering from Huntington's chorea. The hospital, during the Depression, seems to have served as an overflow charity ward for northern NJ cities.

The hospital does not provide death certificates, which should be requested from the NJ State Dept. of Health. Patients whose bodies were not claimed by family (the hospital had its own train stations and the deceased were sometimes shipped back to families) were buried in the county's "potter's field" which no longer exists.
You have to be declared an estate executor to access any patient information. For permissions/legal status required to obtain access contact
Medical Records Department
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
59 Koch Avenue
Greystone Park, NJ 07950

Greystone today.

Age Search is a service of the US Bureau of the Census. The confidential records in the Bureau's custody (covering 1900-1990) are searched and an official transcript of the results is provided, for a fee (currently, $40.00). Access to the census records is strictly controlled under the US Code, Title 13, sections 8 and 9.

Professional Genealogists
The Genealogical Society of NJ and The Association of Professional Genealogists ( membership contacts are online if you want to hire a professional researcher. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Family Search database and Family History Library Catalog are both accessible from your computer. Records may be ordered from your nearest LDS library. MCL can also order microfilm from LDS.

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© Morris County Library
Updated 14 July 2014
NJ 1848-1878, Archives
NJ 1879+ Registrar
Greystone Park
High school yearbooks
Wills/estate inventories
Social Security

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