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Library & Archives

Manuscript Collections


Collection 38

Preston Family

Papers, 1714-1882 



Processed by Lois R. Densky

Edited by Gregory J. Plunges

Monmouth County Historical Association
70 Court Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

August 1981


The Preston Family Papers is a small record group which pertains to the Preston family who lived in Freehold, Manalapan, and Millstone Townships during the 18th and 19th centuries. Little is known about these Prestons, but the principle subjects of this collection are Joseph, William, and Jacob Preston. See the printed finding aid at the Library for a possible family tree for these Prestons.

Aside from farming, other Preston business activities which are reflected in the papers indicate that they administered estates, were surveyors, and owned and operated a woolen mill built prior to the Revolutionary War and which was located near Smithburg in Manalapan Township.



The Preston Family Papers contain legal and financial documents, surveys, and literary productions. These papers primarily document the business and legal transactions of family members. The bulk dates of the collection are from 1759 to 1865.

The collection will be useful for genealogical research of the Preston, Smith, Mount, Slack, Robbins, Van Dorn, and Johnston families. Some material documents the estates of Martha Forman, Jonathan Forman, and Elizabeth Gravat. The Smithburg Tavern and the Old Yellow Meeting House are subjects which are also represented in the papers. The deeds should prove useful for title searching properties in Freehold, Manalapan, and Millstone Townships.



1. Legal Documents, 1714 - 1882
Arranged chronologically

Series contains deeds, indentures, wills, a release, mortgages, articles of agreement, a letter of guardianship for Lydia Conover, and estate papers. These documents reflect Preston family legal transactions.


2. Financial Documents, 1798 - 1865
Arranged chronologically.

Series consists of business and personal financial transactions of Preston family members. It includes bonds, bills, receipts, accounts, and vendue lists.


3. Surveys, 1771 - 1839
Arranged chronologically

Series includes surveys and a survey practice book which belonged to William Preston. There is also a draft of a survey of his farm.


4. Literary Productions, 1851, n.d.

Series contains historical sketches on the Smithburg Tavern, the Old Yellow Meeting House, the Preston's woolen mill, and genealogical research notes on the Smith, Mount, Slack, Robbins, Van Dorn, and Johnston familites. The genealogical notes are photocopies of the original documents.


Provenance: Acquired in 1975, a gift from Mrs. Neil Heller (nee L. Miriam Smith) of Tinton Falls, NJ.

Restrictions: None.

Size of Collection: 0.5 Linear Foot



Box # / Folder # / Contents

1 / 1 / Legal Documents, 1714 - 1819

1 / 2 / Legal Documents, 1821 - 1882

1 / 3 / Financial Documents, 1798 - 1865

1 / 4 / Surveys, 1771 - 1839

1 / 5 / Literary Productions, 1851, n.d.



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This page last updated 14 July 2008.

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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.
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