Genealogy Research at the Cranbury History Center

Please print and complete the
research form. Upon completion, please mail, or deliver, the form with any attached documentation to the Cranbury History Center, 6 South Main Street, Cranbury, New Jersey 08512. You may call in advance of delivering the form at 609-860-1889. Please be advised that the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society owns all research materials and, therefore, all copyrights. Any materials owned by the Society intended for publication must first receive copyright release from the Society and be documented as a source in any publication. Please allow several weeks for a response to your request.

The genealogy files we have were collected and given to us by the families. In many cases help was provided by our volunteers. These files are at times expanded with additional documents and genealogical data supplied by those researching their Cranbury families.

When contacting the history center about your family it is helpful to have a first and last name, middle name or initial if known, any dates and if possible the name of spouse or at least one parent. Even the name of a sibling will give some clue. Telling us that your great-great-grandfather was an Applegate isn't enough. There were and are hundreds of Applegates and other older families around Cranbury.

We have 1
st and 2nd Presbyterian Church and Methodist Church records; 1840 and 1850 Census for South Brunswick, Monroe Township and Cranbury. There are books and Bibles with information about some of the families. Our House Files have deeds and information about the houses in town that have markers with the approximate dates built and names of owners. These were researched by the homeowners. We have mid 1800 maps showing farms with owners' names.

During the early years of the 1
st Presbyterian Church records were not well maintained by the first two ministers or itinerant ministers. Not all baptisms, marriages or burials were recorded. 1790 when the third minister arrived record keeping became more organized.

Congregants of the 1
st Presbyterian Church came from communities around Cranbury until the mid 1800s when most had built their own churches. Some people doing research believe that if their ancestors belonged to the Cranbury church, they lived in Cranbury. Or they heard stories passed down about Cranbury only to discover that their families lived in Dayton, Monroe, Perrineville and other communities. We have the church records but little about whom the people were or what they were like. This is what most researchers want, the juicy information.

Historical records for the 1
st Presbyterian Church are now available online.

We do have cemetery records from some of the other communities as well as the two existing Cranbury cemeteries and the small early Baptist Burial Ground that was long ago removed to Hightstown.

The Cranbury Public Library’s Historical Photo Collection is now available

We have very few church records of early Cranbury families who belonged to churches outside Cranbury.

We do not have birth certificates.

Many early Cranbury families migrated from Monmouth County and are connected to those in Monroe Township, Hightstown, Dayton, South Brunswick, Plainsboro, West Windsor and points between. We do have some Monmouth County research material. Monmouth County has the most excellent archive facilities.

Research Contacts outside Cranbury

1. NJ State Archives
225 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608-1001

2. Monmouth County Historical Assoc.
Mueum & Library
70 Court St.
Freehold, NJ 07728

3. Monroe Township Historic Preservation Commission
1 Municipal Plaza
Monroe Twp., NJ 08831 sub-menu Boards & Commissions

4. Hightstown - East Windsor Historical Society
164 N. Main St.
Hightstown, NJ 08520

5. Jamesburg Historical Assoc.
203 Buckelew Ave.
Jamesburg, NJ 08831

6. Plainsboro Historical Society
641 Plainsboro Rd.
Plainsboro, NJ 08536

7. South Brunswick

8. Historical Society of West Windsor

Cranbury Historical & Preservation Society, as most other historical groups, is an all volunteer nonprofit organization. We do ask payment for copies and postage for those to be mailed.

The history center thankfully welcomes new genealogy files from researchers to add to our archives.