Research Tips for the Sussex Co. Hall of Records

Located on the Square in Newton, NJ

The Hall of Records is located on the Square created by Routes 94
and 206 in the center of Newton, NJ.  It's the older, courthouse-
looking building with the stone pillars out front.  The new courthouse
is across the street from the old.

Address: Hall of Records
         4 Park Place
         Newton, NJ 07860

Telephone: (973) 579-0900

Hours: The Searching Vault is open Monday - Friday 
       from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (except holidays).

Parking: There is metered parking in the area for $0.25 per hour,
   two-hour limit.  There is limited parking on side streets but get
   there early (before 10:00) for those spots.  There is also free and
   metered parking behind the stores on Spring St - about a three block
   walk uphill to the Hall of Records.

County Clerk's Office - located on the first floor, first door on
the right as you enter.  Sign in at the desk to enter the vault.
Bring pencils as no pens are allowed - sharpeners and stray pencils
are provided.  Bring quarters as the copy machine here is coin-
operated, $0.25 per copy.  Certified copies are currently (June 1998)
$1.50 per page plus $3.00 for certification.

The computer terminals contain deed and mortgages indices from 1964
to present.  These are tricky and involve holding down the "control"
key and pressing "enter/return" at the same time to start the search.
Read the directions at the terminal carefully.  

There are index books located on the other side of the fiche readers
in the center section of the main floor.  Books are arranged as follows:
  Books Numbered 2-14 index the grantor/mortgagor (seller of property)
        Numbered 21-24 for grantee/mortgagee (buyer of property)
        Number 19 for liens under defendant's name

The older deed books (the good stuff) are located in the lower vault.
A good copy of the old books can be made on the copy machine downstairs
using paper size 8" x 14" and reduce to 78%.  There are usually a number
of clerks who can help or go back upstairs to the office with questions.

Holdings: Deeds and Mortgages from 1795; Births and Manumissions
of Slaves; Divisions; Court Records from 1760 (Not Indexed); Officers
Oaths from 1753; Various Maps; Freeholders Minutes from 1753; Road 
Returns from 1764; Naturalizations starting 1808 through 1987; Marriages
from 1795 through mid-1850's; Corporations (Churches, Schools & Libraries)
from 1822; The Hopkins Map of 1860.

County Surrogate's Office - located upstairs from the Clerk's Office in the Hall of Records. Pencils only, no pens. The copier is $0.25 per page, pay the clerk on your way out. There are several index books to check to find the right items. These are on the left side as you enter the vault. First, pull the Surname Index books looking for your surname of interest. You then take note of the "proceedings" number in this format: Proceedings Book Number - Page Number - Block Number The proceedings books are next to the surname books - pull the one corresponding to book number you found, turning to the page and looking down the page for the right block (ten per page). Inside the block will be the deceased person's name, date of death, township, file number followed by a list of proceedings. Here are some of the abbreviations used for court document books: LA - Letters of Administration In - Inventory Mn - Minute Books Rc - Receipts PR - Petitions & Renunciations WB - Will Book Lu - Lunacy Hearings Ac - Account Books AB - Administrative Bond GB - Guardian Bond Copy down the proceedings number in this format: Docket Abbreviation - Volume Letter/Number - Page Number You can then pull the corresponding book or obtain the correct microfiche and make copies. Microfiche is in the cabinet by the door referenced by the file number (at top of proceedings index block). Check the fiche even if no will was left - I found a death certificate included with the papers I checked. Always check the PR - Petitions and Renunciations book as these contain some names not found in other proceedings. Happy Hunting!

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1998 Catherine Di Pietro