Monday, January 23, 2012

Morristown and Morris Township Library

Last week I attended a tour of the Morristown and Morris Township Library’s North Jersey History and Genealogy Center, organized by the Morris Area Genealogical Society.  The collections include resources local to Morris County, such as microfilmed church records, as well as resources that cover all of New Jersey and some neighboring states.  Morris County newspapers are digitized and available on the library computers only.  Indexes of these newspapers were compiled over the years and are in book form.  (Palladium of Liberty 1808-1822 and Genius of Liberty 1798-1811 are online and searchable at with a subscription.)  Tens of thousands of photographs are being scanned and are appearing online gradually.

The church collection includes microfilmed records from the First Presbyterian Church of Dover.
Events of the church, such as christenings and marriages, are some of the records you can find.
If a cemetery was attached to the church, burial records may also be included.
Sample page contained in the microfilmed records of the First Presbyterian Church in Dover.
This is a page from the listing of marriages performed by Reverend Burtis C Megee from 1840-1876.
Church recordings of events may provide additional details not contained in an official government record.
In this 1872 marriage record of Andrew Erickson to Mary Halstrom, Rev. Burtis mentions the full names of all four parents and adds that the bride has been "only one month in this country, from Sweden."
Note that Andrew Erickson's last name is not his father's last name, but rather his father's first name followed by "son."
Over the years, authors and researchers sent their genealogical manuscripts to the Library.
You can search for books on a particular surname or family.
This find was not a book, but rather a series of newsletters about the Ayars family, with a catchy title, "Ayars Heirs."


  1. Out-of-area researchers can get 1 hour of free* research at this wonderful library by joining the Morris Area Genealogy Society:

    *membership is $15, the research is free

    1. Thank you, Ruth.
      I recommend joining a local genealogy society so you can connect and exchange ideas with other researchers, even if you do not have family lines in the geographic area.