New Jersey State Censuses, 1855–1915 (2017 Update)

New Jersey’s state censuses were conducted in the “five” years between the Federal enumerations and can be a rich resource for family researchers. Every ten years, from 1855 to 1915, the censuses were conducted and returns filed at the county level, and later, sent to Trenton. While there are some gaps in the records, the 1885 and 1895 censuses are nearly complete, and can be of particular value as a substitute for the 1890 Federal census—most of which was lost to fire.

2017 Update

FamilySearch.org* and Ancestry.com** has digitized microfilm of New Jersey’s state censuses and are, or have finished, name-indexing the schedules. In 2017, FamilySearch made their indexes and images available online for free.

How to Locate Older Town Names in Historic Censuses

When using historic censuses, keep in mind that the historical boundaries of many towns and counties were much different than today. To trace the history of the municipality and county boundaries, see The Story of New Jersey’s Civil Boundaries, 1606–1968, by John F. Snyder, available as a free PDF download from the State of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Library.


New Jersey State Censuses Online

Using the Online Collections

You can view the New Jersey State Censuses online at FamilySearch.org* (all extant schedules except 1875) and Ancestry.com** (1895 state census only). See the following section for a county-by-county list of extant schedules with live links through to available online collections (indexes and digitized images).

FamilySearch offers two ways to use the collection—searching by name and other variables or viewing and browsing the digitized microfilm.

To search the censuses, enter the key names and/or other variables into the search fields. Clicking the box to the right of the field will restrict results to exact matches only—the exact term and spelling provided in the search field. Use the additional fields to narrow down results.

To browse the digital microfilm, click on the “Browse through X,XXX images” link below the Search button. The first screen will allow you to select the county, and then the municipality. You can then browse the images as you would the microfilm. Enumerators usually visited houses in order, but if there are gaps make sure to check the end of the ledger for those households who were visited subsequently.


State Censuses at the New Jersey State Archives

State Censuses on Microfilm

All extant state census records (including all four surviving 1875 schedules) are available on microfilm in the Research Room at the New Jersey State Archives (NJSA), 225 State Street, 2nd Floor, Trenton, NJ. Per-page laser print fee. Free visitor parking is available at the State House garage.

Access to Original Censuses

The NJSA holds the majority of the original census schedules and, to best preserve the originals, access is limited. Researchers are instructed to use the online digital collections or microfilm for research.

The Hunterdon County Historical Society and Monmouth County Archives holds the originals of extant 1875 schedules. Microfilm of all four extant 1875 schedules are available at the New Jersey State Archives.

[*] FamilySearch.org is a free research website but user registration is required. Note that some resources may be accessible via FamilySearch only when using the site within the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, an affiliated center, or a local Family History Center. Find your local Family History Center. [**] Ancestry.com is a fee-based subscription website. Access is available at many libraries and archives.

New Jersey State Censuses, 1855–1915

Compiled by Michelle Tucker Chubenko, Jersey Roots Genealogy (www.jerseyrootsgenealogy.com).

Michelle Tucker Chubenko is a researcher with Legacy Tree Genealogists. She specializes in New Jersey and Eastern European research, and lectures at local, regional, and national genealogy conferences. Follow her blog at jerseyrootsgenealogy.wordpress.com for the latest news in New Jersey genealogy. An article authored by Chubenko about the New Jersey State Censuses, “The State of the Census: New Jersey, 1855–1915,” appears in the Fall 2016 issue of the GSNJ Newsletter (a GSNJ Member benefit). This article details the information recorded on the schedules and includes a copy of the following table.

New Jersey State Censuses—County-by-County Guide


Table Key—Population Schedules

P (HoH-N) = Population; mainly Head-of-Households named
P (EP-N) = Population; Every-Person format, Named
P (EP-N-D) = Population; Every-Person format, Named, with Details

Note: New Jersey State population censuses did not ask for relationships in a household.

Table Key—Special Schedules (1875 Only)

A = Agricultural
C = Commercial
Mf = Manufacturing
Mn = Mining
M (B/D) = Mortality, Birth/Death


Census Day

County 1 June 1855 1 June 1865 1 June 1875 15 May 1885 15 May 1895 1 June 1905 1 June 1915
Atlantic P (HoH-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
NJSA
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Bergen P (HoH-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Burlington P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Camden P (HoH-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Cape May P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Cumberland P (HoH-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Essex P (HoH-N)
[Only Newark
7th Ward]
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D);
A; C; Mf; Mn
Microfilm on-site at NJSA
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Gloucester  P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N-D)
FamilySearch
Hudson P (HoH-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
[Harrison Twp. only; copy of 1860 US Census]
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
P (EP-N)
FamilySearch
Ancestry