Genealogy - Getting Started


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Vital Records | Death/Marriage Dates | Census | Church/Cemetery | Wills/Deeds
Military | Immigration | Yearbooks | Organizations


Sussex County was set off from Morris County in 1753 and from Warren County in 1824.

The following is a list of the most commonly used genealogy resources for local surnames. Search the Library Catalog for information about where to find specific books.

Some primary ways genealogists identify names, dates and places:

VITAL RECORDS (birth, marriage, death certificates) are NOT housed in public library collections.

Death certificates are issued by the municipality in which the person died. Lists of Municipal Registrars in New Jersey

Birth and Marriage certificates are often found at the County Clerk's Office.
Hall of Records 83 Spring St. Suite 304 Newton 973-579-0900 County Clerk’s Office statement about vital records

Use the following sources to locate vital records that are not housed in Sussex County:

New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services Vital Statistics
PO Box 370 Trenton, NJ 08625-0370 (609) 292-4087

The New Jersey State Archives accepts reference requests and houses microfilm.
 225 West State Street-Level 2 P.O. Box 307 Trenton, NJ 08625-0307  (609) 984-2396
Locate holdings of NJ county & municipal records.

The Centers for Disease Control website provides contact information for U.S. state and county vital records offices.

The International Vital Records Handbook  is found at Main Library: RH 929.1072 INT


  • Microfilm: New Jersey Herald (1849-present) & Sussex Register (1814-1943)
  • Find publication dates in Sussex County, NJ Marriage & Death Dates (1814-1903):  929.3479 SUS
  • Wantage Recorder on microfilm; there is no index but some dates are found within the Surname Index.

Obituary Requests must contain the person's full name, and at least the month and date of death.

Finding Death Dates:
The Sussex County Surrogate maintains local probate records and is often a good source for finding an accurate death date.
They maintain an online index and their phone number is 973-579-0920.

The Social Security Death Index is available through
"About 98% percent of the people in the SSDI died after 1962, but a few death dates go back as far as 1937." --

Lists of Municipal Registrars in New Jersey Death certificates are issued by the municipality in which the person died.

CENSUS RECORDS (Use: microfilm;;
Online Census Records Resources:
Calculating Birth Year Based on Census Information  Charts that convert ages in the federal censuses, 1790-1920, into birth years.
U. S. Bureau of the Census. Age Search Service  Instructions for obtaining information from closed census records (1930 to the present).
U. S. National Archives. Clues in Census Records, 1850-1930  Description of some of the clues that can be found in census records that will help you find other records about the same individual.
U. S. National Archives. How to Use NARA’s Census Microfilm Catalogs  Instructions for using National Archives catalogs of microfilmed census records and Soundex indexes.
U. S. National Archives. National Archives Microfilm Rental Program  Instructions for borrowing census microfilm directly or through a library.
U. S. National Archives. The Soundex Indexing System  Instructions for using the Soundex indexing system.
Soundex Code Generator  National Archives site that converts surnames to Soundex codes.

CHURCH & CEMETERY RECORDS (Contact: Churches; Libraries; Historical Societies)

MILITARY RECORDS (Search:; HeritageQuest; State & National Archives)

Search Library Catalog

  • Index to Military Men of New Jersey 1775 - 1815
  • Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War
  • Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War

WILLS & DEEDS (Contact: Surrogate's Office; Clerk's Office)

Sussex County Surrogate Online Index
If a will was probated in Sussex County, the Surrogate’s Office may have the record.
Sussex County Surrogate's Office  3 High Street, Suite 1 Newton  973-579-0920

Sussex County Land Records Online
Sussex County Clerk's Office  Hall of Records 83 Spring Street, Suite 304 Newton  973-579-0900

Search Library Catalog

  • Sussex County New Jersey Deed Abstracts
  • Early Deeds and Documents of the Minisink Region

IMMIGRATION RECORDS (Search:; Ellis Island; Castle Garden)

Search Library Catalog

  • Passenger and Immigration Lists Index
  • American Passenger Arrival Records

YEARBOOKS & DIRECTORIES (Contact: Libraries, Historical Societies)

Search Library Catalog

Use the catalog to determine which years are available.

  • Newton High School
  • Kittatinny Regional High School
  • Franklin High School
  • High Point High School
  • Sussex County VoTech
  • Hopatcong High School.
  • Newton City Directory
  • Ask a Reference Librarian about local phone books dating back to the 1970s.


Sussex County Historical Society
82 Main Street
P.O. Box 913
Newton, New Jersey 07860
Phone: 973-383-6010

New Jersey State Archives is helpful for sorting out which types of records can be found where:
225 West State Street
P.O. Box 307
Trenton, NJ 08625-0307
Phone: 609-292-1570

The Geneaological Society of New Jersey lists names of professional researchers and houses collections of genealogy records:
The Genealogical Society of NJ
PO Box 1476
Trenton, NJ 08607-1476

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does extensive genealogy research. Their Family History Centers are located for use by genealogists around the world. The closest Family History Center to Sussex County is in:
Ledgewood New Jersey
156 Mountain Rd
Ledgewood, NJ
Phone: 973-347-2856