Home Donations Newsletter Corporate Supporters Contact Us Search  Press Releases Directions

Library & Archives

Manuscript Collections  

Coll. 155
Monmouth County (N.J.) Collection

Processed by
Cynthia Fox
October 2009

Monmouth County Historical Association
Library & Archives
70 Court Street, Freehold, N.J. 07728


Historical Background of Monmouth County

Under the Proprietary Acts passed in March 1683, Monmouth County was established as one of the four original counties of New Jersey. The county is said to have been named at the request of the influential Survey General of the Province, Colonel Lewis Morris, to honor his native Great Britain county of Monmouthshire.

The original boundaries of the county were Middlesex County on the north and west, the ocean on the east, and the southern boundary from the ocean to the province line. Boundaries changed due to various acts of the Provincial Assembly from 1709 to 1714 and again in 1822 through a Supplemental Act of the state. Eventually the southern boundary was changed in 1850 when more than half of Monmouth County’s acreage was taken to form Ocean County.

Subdivisions of the county were made in 1693 by Governor Hamilton which established the three original Monmouth County townships of Middletown, Shrewsbury, and Freehold. At that time, Middletown encompassed Raritan, Holmdel, and Matawan. Shrewsbury extended south and southwest to include Howell, Wall, Eatontown, Neptune, Ocean Township, and what would later be annexed to establish Ocean County and Atlantic Township. Freehold extended as far north as the Middlesex County line and took in present day towns of Marlboro, Manalapan, Millstone, Upper Freehold and much of present day Ocean County. Monmouth County today serves as the northern most seacoast county in New Jersey.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a wide variety of materials from and about Monmouth County. Among them are items from the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Department of Economic Growth and Tourism, and the Monmouth County Court. Included are transcribed minutes from early meetings and photocopies of the original handwritten list of freeholders.

Also in the collection are selected voter lists, tax registries, the original and copies of records of an inquisition of 1778, and a preliminary report on the formation of a vocational school.

There are also various printed materials published by the Board of Chosen Freeholders such as souvenir county maps, a 19th century manual, Monmouth County Public Library newsletters, Monmouth County Parks’ ephemera, and county directories for the business and private sectors.

Part of the collection also includes informational and educational materials distributed within Monmouth County by religious, political, business and governmental organizations. There are materials from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and materials that reference the Monmouth County Public School system.

Also in the collection are a selection of term books and other documents from the Monmouth County courts as well as selected annual reports and promotional calendars from the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office. There are sample voting ballots from varied years and political flyers from the candidates of the Monmouth County Democratic and Republican Parties.  

Series Description

Series I
Consists of a sampling of surveys and reports published and presented by the Monmouth County Planning Board. Included are Traffic Safety studies (1958, 1959), Study & Plan – Water Supply and Sanitary Sewer Facilities Monmouth Coastal Region (1961), Monmouth County Junk Car Study (1965), Golf Courses in Monmouth County and Open Space Report (1965), Study of Population and Housing (1968), and Study of Population (1974).  

Also part of this series are the following reports: The Rail Commuter North Jersey Coast Line (1974), Monmouth County Planning Area I Land Use (1980), Growth Management Guide – Goals, Objectives, and Policies (1995), Monmouth County Profile (1999), Monmouth County Profile (2001), and New Residential Development Survey Monmouth County 2000-2001 (2002).

Also as part of this series are two Monmouth County Transit Guide Maps, (n.d.), a copy of the Directory of Municipal Environmental Commissions and Local Health Departments (1986), Monmouth Planner -  Newsletter (1985), and a map of county office locations (n.d.).

Series II
This consists of materials from the Monmouth County Court. Items include a courthouse directory (1955) and term books dating from 1869 – 1936 (not inclusive). There is also a list of jurors (1935), Judges and Justices of the Peace (1776 -1786), promotional calendars (2003, 2005) from the Monmouth County Sheriff, as well as annual reports (1933, 1934) from Sheriff Howard Height.

Series III
This consists of Monmouth County Clerk  account books of  Holmes W. Murphy, for (1858-1874) and his day book dated November 15, 1858- June 27, 1872  There are samples of Monmouth County clerk candidate Joseph McDermott’s election bid (1934). Also there is an informational pamphlet from County Clerk Jane G. Clayton (n.d.) which outlines the responsibilities of the county clerk and the office of the clerk. Photographic copy of first county clerk signature.

Series IV
Contained in this series are materials from the Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools and the Monmouth County Public School System. There are two single page public school directories (1895, 1897). Also included are public school directory booklets (1899- 1979 not inclusive), and documents which established public school libraries (1867). There are notices of the time and place of Board of Trustees meetings (1869 – 1876 not inclusive) and a course study catalogue for primary and grammar public schools (1896). There are commemorative programs from a Monmouth County Public Schools May Day Fete (1919, 1926), and a booklet describing Monmouth County quality education (1966).

Series V
In this series are many materials attributed to the Board of Chosen Freeholders. These include the typed transcriptions of the original meeting minutes (1788-1829), the Historical Road Survey (1830 - 1940), and a red bound (spine broken) Manual of the Board of Chosen Freeholders (1894-1895). Other documents are the Book of Mortgages of Monmouth County (1786-1787), Howell and Wall Township tax record (1815), Holmdel Township poll books (1857-1874) and one in poor condition (1876) and the Ocean Township tax duplicates (1888). There are also original and photocopied records of an Inquisition (1778). Voter registries from Freehold Borough (1926) and Long Branch (1939) are inclluded. There are also originals of 14 bounty bonds from the Monmouth County Volunteers (1873-1874).

Some of the other Board of Chosen Freeholders materials include the Monmouth County Heritage Committee Bicentennial Bulletin (1976 – 1979 not inclusive), Monmouth County Manpower Department Working Newsletter of the Monmouth County Manpower Department (1975), Monmouth County Police Academy The Blotter Newsletter of the Monmouth County Police Academy (1976), Official publications of the Association of Chosen Freeholders of New Jersey New Jersey Counties Magazine (1946), Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States District Six – Monmouth County Flyer for Loyalty Day Celebration (2003), Monmouth County Youth Government Day agenda and over view of the expectations of the Board of Chosen Freeholders for the students who will participate. (1978), Department of Public Information Monmouth County in the Centennial Era – A Pictorial Review commemorative booklet for the bicentennial. (1976).

Also part of this series are materials from the Monmouth County Library which include  Monmouth County Area Library Coordinating Council Newsletters – (1979, 1980), Monmouth County Library Adult Calendar (2008, 2009), Monmouth County Library Municipal Government newsletter (1986), American Revolution book list compiled by Janet van Patten of the Monmouth County Library (n.d.), and an invitation to dedication ceremonies for a new building of the Eastern Branch.

Series VI
The Department of Economic Growth and Tourism published numerous brochures, booklets, guides and directories highlighting the attractions, lifestyles, and businesses of Monmouth County. Found in this series are Monmouth County Line Magazine (county fair edition 1954), Monmouth County - A Special kind of Living (n.d.), Around the Calendar – Eden of the Garden State (n.d.), Community Guide (1997, 2006), and Summer Events (1999, 2006), Monmouth County Comprehensive Tourism Guide and Map (2005, 2007), Monmouth Voice (2006), Monmouth County “Key Facts” (1990), and  newsletters Monmouth Squires (1986) and Monmouth in Focus (2007, 2008).  

Included in this series are Monmouth County Directories (1915-2008 not inclusive), which provide detailed city and town information. Other directories found here are Monmouth County interoffice phone directories, (1977, 1988, 1990, 1991), Monmouth County Industrial Directory (1964, 1965, 1974), Major Industrial Parks Directory (1991), and a Middletown Township Directory (1954).These guides are geared to promoting business growth, creating awareness about the local governing bodies as well as to encourage tourist and recreational activities. Also here is the County Of Monmouth Employee Guide Prohibiting Workplace Discrimination and Harassment (2003)  

Series VII
There are numerous Monmouth County Organizations with a limited selection of materials contained in this series. Included are a booklet entitled Monmouth County During the provincial Era by Hon. Joel Parker, Governor of N.J. Read before the Society May 16, 1872. Also, Pleasant Valley Adult Day Center calendar with historical pictures of Monmouth County (1988), AT&T Information Systems Laboratories Child Care in Monmouth County Directory (1983-84), Department of Human Services Monmouth County Advisory Commission on the Status of Women, Directory of Women’s Organizations in Monmouth County (1993-1994), FOCUS, a newsletter produced by Family and Children’s Service Inc. of Monmouth County (1971), Family Guide For Parents and Kids, Monmouth county shore region (1988-89, 1989-90), Activities guide with events and relocation information, The Food Bank Of Monmouth And Ocean Counties Food For Thought newsletter (2009), Monmouth County Genealogy Society, Monmouth County Genealogy Society The First Twenty Years (1988-2008), Jewish Community Center of Greater Monmouth County Monmouth County Blue Book phone directory (1979, 1980, 1981), The Junior League Of Monmouth County Calendar depicting Victorian scenes at the shore (1976), League Of Women Voters Of Monmouth County A Voter’s Handbook Monmouth County (1963, 1986), and directories explaining the political structure of Monmouth County, departments and expenditures.

Also part of this series is a menu from an inn (1757), New Jersey Natural Gas Company Modern Living with Natural Gas newsletter (1965), The Northern Monmouth County Branch American Association of University Women A Visit to Old Monmouth County, a history coloring book (1976), Monmouth County Welfare Boar, FACTS pamphlet describing the agency and how it functions (1972), Monmouth County organization for Social Service, Inc. A Decade of Service (1930-1940), Social Service News (1937, 1938, 1939, n.d.), The Vietnam Era Educational Center (n.d.), The Welfare Council of Monmouth County, Inc. Clubs for senior citizens in Monmouth County, alphabetical by town (n.d.), Directory of Services for the Alcoholic in Monmouth County (1964), sample voting ballots (1968, 1985 -1992, 2002-2007), Union Ticket Ballot printed with the Flag of 1861, Howell Township Voting ticket (n.d.), and Monmouth County Democrat and Republican candidate flyers sent to private residents. There is also a small sign which reads “No Loitering or Electioneering” possibly used at a polling center.


Container List

Series I - Monmouth County Planning Board

Box 1

Folder 1 - Map of the Monmouth County Offices, Reports and Map fees

Folder 2 - The Monmouth Planner newsletter, 1985

Folder 3 - Monmouth County Transit Guide

Folder 4 - Reports and Surveys, varied departments, 1958 – 2002 (not inclusive)
Series II - Monmouth County Court

Box 2

Folder 1 - List of Causes Monmouth County Courts, December Term 1869 through December 1936 (not inclusive)

Folder 2 - Court souvenir items; dinner menu;  Rededication program

Folder 3 - List of Officers, 1776-1786

Folder 4 - List of Jurors, April Term 1935

Box 6

Folder 14 - Promotional calendars 2003, 2005; flyer, June 2001; 1st Annual Report, 1933; 2nd Annual Report, 1934

Series III – Monmouth County Clerk

Box 3

Folders 1, 2 - Election materials and promotional items of county clerks

Volumes 3, 4 - Account Books and Day Books for County Clerk Holmes W. Murphy 

Series IV – Monmouth County Superintendent of Schools and Monmouth County Public School System

Box 2

Folder 5 - Public Schools Directories, November 1895 through 1979 (not inclusive)

Folder 6 - Correspondence from the Monmouth County and the State Superintendent to the trustees of the district schools budgets, 1878-1879; Instruction book, 1896; Souvenir programs and promotional booklet.
Series V – Board of Chosen Freeholders

Box 4     

Folder 1 - Inquisition, 1778

Folder 2 - Photocopy, Freeholder list, 1790

Folder 3 - Photocopy, meeting minutes, 1788-1829;  manual, 1894; road survey, 1830-1940

Folder 4 - Vocational school report, 1948

Folder 5 - Freeholder Footnotes Newsletter

Folder 6 - Promotional book, Sketch of Monmouth County, 1683-1929

Box 5

Folders 1 - 11

Board Of Chosen Freeholders promotional materials, including but not limited to, maps, calendars, newsletters from various departments and offices.

Box 10

Folder 1 - Bounty bonds

Box 3

Folder 1 - Freehold Borough voter registry, 1926

Folder 2 - Long Branch voter registry, 1936-1939

Box 10 

Folder 1 - Howell and Wall Township tax duplicate, 1815 (original)

Folder 2 - Freehold Borough 1st -5th district voter registry, 1926

Folder 3 - Freehold 4th district voter list

Folder 4 - Howell and Wall Township tax duplicate, 1815

Folder 5 - Holmdel poll book, 1857 -1874

Volume - Ocean Township Tax Duplicate, 1888; Mortgage Book, 1786 -1787  

Series VI – Department of Economic Growth

Box 8  

Monmouth County Directories, 1915 – 1977 (not inclusive)

Box 9           

Monmouth County Directories, 1979 -2008 (not inclusive)

Box 8

Interoffice Phone Directories, 1977 – 1991 (not inclusive);  assorted industrial directories

Box 7    

Various promotional Monmouth County magazines and pamphlets, 1954 - 2008 (not inclusive)

Series VII – Monmouth County Organizations

Box 5   

Folders 12 - 22  Limited selection of materials, newsletters, directories, and calendars from various Monmouth county organizations

Box 6  

Folders 1 – 9  Continued selection of miscellaneous items from a variety of Monmouth County organizations 

Folders 10, 11  Voting ballots;sample ballots

Folder 12 - Monmouth County Democratic Party

Folder 13 - Monmouth County Republican Party    

Copyright © 2017 Monmouth County Historical Association. All rights reserved. The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only and may not be reproduced in any form without the permission of Monmouth County Historical Association.

This website was funded by the Marion Huber Trust

Museum & Library, 70 Court Street Freehold, NJ 07728
Monmouth County Historical Association received a general operating grant from the the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
free stats
Tresware Content Management System Copyright © 2017 Tresware
Website Designed and Hosted   Tresware