A new Historical Records Collection at FamilySearch
An announcement in the June 26, 2016 edition of Nu? What’s New? The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy from Avotaynu (Volume 17, Number 25), alerted researchers that there were newly digitized naturalization records for U.S. District Courts in Newark and N.Y.C. Today, we’ll be looking at how to access these new online images.
Late in 2015, Reclaim the Records, a not-for-profit group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and open government advocates, worked with the New Jersey State Archives to acquire the microfilm to the birth, marriage and death annual indexes for 1901, 1902, and 1903. While speaking with the Archives, she was also able to submit a request for the Bride’s Indexes for 1904-09 and 1910-14. You can read more about the project’s Records Request #5: New Jersey Birth, Marriage, and Death Indices, 1901-1903 and 1901-1914 on their website.
Researchers with roots in South Jersey, particularly those in Burlington and Camden counties, should pay special attention to a collection from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) in Philadelphia. Officially titled — Pennsylvania and New Jersey Church and Town Records (1708-1985) — this collection was indexed, digitized and made available through Ancestry in January 2012. The bulk of the church records within the collection comes from Protestant and Methodist church congregations. However, additional material available includes cemeteries, funeral home records, historical societies, and newspapers.
Armchair research for New Jersey probate or estate files?
Yup!! In August 2012, a new digital resource became available for New Jersey researchers at FamilySearch.org — New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980. The initial digital image uploads for this Historical Record Collection were comprised of *two* different records groups. The first part (state-level) was the Pre-1901 Secretary of State Estate File packets and the second part (county-level) was respective County Surrogate’s Court records.
Unfortunately, due to the licensing agreement with the New Jersey State Archives (NJSA), FamilySearch did remove the Pre-1901 Secretary of State Estate File images in November. However, the Surrogate’s Court records for the counties have remained online. At this time, only the County of Morris Surrogate’s Court is not represented. This is due to the fact that they have not allowed FamilySearch to microfilm their records.
It is important for researchers to remember that the estate packets differ from the County Surrogate’s in a major way. The state-level Pre-1901 Secretary of State Estate File packets contain the original documents filed – wills, public notices, inventories, etc. Whereas the County Surrogate’s Court is charged with maintaining “copies” aka transcriptions of the filed papers , so you are not as likely to find the copies of the public notices or other miscellaneous filings.