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Calendar of New Jersey Wills, 1670-1760
Abstracts of wills from New Jersey, covering the years 1670-1760.
Wills and inventories show the increase or decrease in wealth of the family. This database covers the time period when English law governed the American colonies. From about 1680 it was the general practice to deposit wills with the Provincial Secretaries, together with inventories of estates, accounts of executors and administrators, and other papers pertaining to such matters. These records were brought together in 1790 or shortly thereafter, in the office of the Secretary of State at Trenton, where they are now carefully arranged and preserved. As the earlier wills were recorded in many different volumes, it was thought best to arrange the wills in the alphabetical order of testators' or intestates' names. This database has records for the years 1670-1760. Researchers may find information about the deceased, including occupation, residence, relatives, and property owned. The data will be helpful for anyone with ancestors living in colonial New Jersey.
In preparing this work the abstracts of wills were made from the originals, and where they are recorded a reference to the book of record is given. The manuscript for a second volume of these abstracts of wills (1731-1750) was destroyed by fire in February 1902. A copy for the third volume (1751-1760) was saved from the fire.
An out-dated dating system was used in recording these wills. In the old calendar, the first month is March, not January. The following key may be used to determine the month a will was recorded: