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Records Index & Transcription Projects

The transcription of Plainfield records is an important part of the preservation of the city's history. Many of the items are part of the Local History Collection. Others are on loan to us for this special project. The First Park Baptist Church was first to lend its late-19th century membership lists and deceased parishioner files. Mount Olive Baptist Church has loaned two minute books with entries of deceased members dating from 1916, and Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church has loaned an 1844 leather-bound volume of church records. Click here to read a recent article about the project. The transcriptions will be made publicly available as they are completed. Many of the indexes were completed by our dedicated volunteers. Please contact the Local History Dept. at 908-757-1111 ext. 136 for more information about the projects or becoming a volunteer.
Contents Available
History of Plainfield and North Plainfield
by F. T. Smiley (index)
Plainfield Civil War Participants List

You will need to download a free Adobe Reader to view and search the indexes.
Once a file is open, click CTRL+F to search.

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Chamber of Commerce Magazine
The Plainfield Chamber of Commerce published this magazine during the 1920s. Library copies run from March 1922 to October 1924.

Chamber of Commerce Magazine Index, 1922 to 1924

 

Charity Aid Organization
Currently United Family & Children's Services

Case Records Volume 1, January 1897 - February 1901 (Index)

Case Records Volume 2, January 1900 - March 1905 (Index)

 

Children's Home Association
United Family and Children's Society was established in 1877 as The Children's Home Association - the first private, organized efforts to help needy people in the Plainfield area.

Volume 1 Transcript

Volume 1 Original

 

City Directory Death Index
Plainfield deaths, as listed in the 1930 city directory.  Additional deaths were noted in some other directories, which are being processed, but no other volume covered as many deaths as the 1930 directory.

1930 City DIrectory Deaths

 


Courier News Obituary Files
Donated to Plainfield Public Library in 2009, this index is an alphabetical collection by surname of obituaries and biographical articles published in the Courier News during the mid-1920s to the mid-1980s. Areas included are predominantly Plainfield and its surrounding communities, eastern Somerset County, and northern Hunterdon County.

Surnames A - R are currently available


Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church

imageThe Plainfield Presbyterian Church Records 1844 is the earliest record of the church now known as the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Entries date from 1844 to 1899.

Membership Ledger Part 1

Membership Ledger Part 2

 

Membership Ledger - Marriages

Membership Ledger - Baptisms

Church Yearbook, 1894

 

Dime Savings Institution
This bank was incorporated in April 1868 and later became the Plainfield Savings Bank in 1883. It was the second bank established in Plainfield, and was located at 14 East Front Street.

Signature Book, 1904-1906


Early Manuscripts Collection


imageIn February 2011, the library re-discovered a treasure trove of historical documents from Plainfield's past. The 17 items date back to 1749 and include correspondence, land indentures, legal records, published materials, and more.

Transcription work is pending.



Family Bibles
The Bible Records Project scans and digitizes family bible records from families with connections to Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties. Current holdings date back to 1734.

Go to collection


First Methodist Episcopal Church
The first Methodist service was said to have happened at a prayer meeting held in the Guion residence around 1823.  In 1826, an unsuccessful attempt was made to erect a church on Barn Street (later known as Second Street), while services were held at John Briant’s carriage shop. The First M. E. Church was eventually erected in 1832 – a plain, unpainted wooden structure.  In 1847, a new brick building was constructed on the site.  The church was burned in an 1869 fire, but immediately rebuilt and enlarged.  In 1894, the parsonage was sold.  In 1954, the second fire badly damaged the church.  A new one was built on the Rosenbaum property at 621-641 East Front Street, and the new First Methodist Church was dedicated on November 3, 1963.

Directory of the members and officers of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Plainfield, New Jersey, 1903

 

First Park Baptist Church
The Church began in 1822 and was all-white and quite exclusive. The first records that we have are in the Membership Book. It then split up between two groups and two churches - losing some of its original members to Shiloh and Hope. Finally, two other churches joined together as First Park Baptist in another building losing most of the original members. image

  • Church Register, 1818-1900
    This church register contains member records arranged chronologically by date received. Entries include when and how a member was received by the Church, from which church they came, when and how they were dismissed, and to which church, and other remarks.

  • Deceased Files, 1762-2000
    The deceased files contain member records arranged alphabetically by family surname. Entries may include full name and address of parishioner, birth and death dates, baptism and marriage dates together with children’s names. This list is not a complete list of the families of the parish

  • Dismissed Files, 1877-1988
    The dismissed files contain the information found on index cards in the church's archive. Entries are sorted alphabetically by surname, and include full name; maiden name; address; dates of birth, baptism. voting, right hand, marriage, and inactivity; parents names; spouse names; children; member type; transfer churches; church remarks; and indexer notes.
  • Evergreen Cemetery Records, 1900-1915
    Chronological or Alphabetical
    The cemetery records include information from the two receipt books kept for each burial in the First Park Baptist section of the cemetery.  These records include name and age, day and place of death, day and location of burial, cause of death, and cost of plot.
  • Membership Records, 1826-1891
    The membership records were taken from chronological listing and include the full names of the original parishioners with their birth and death dates. 


Grace Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church in Plainfield was established in 1852, and the first service was held on January 11th in the village schoolhouse.  Two years later, the cornerstone of the first Church building was laid on East Front Street.  In July 1876, the structure was moved to East Sixth Street and Cleveland Avenue.  Finally, on May 6, 1891, the cornerstone of the present building was laid, and on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1892, the first service was held in the new edifice. In 1877, parish leaders founded Muhlenberg Hospital, which was named for the Reverend William Augustus Muhlenberg, an Episcopal priest and social activist.  In 1903, the Grace Church mission was organized; it is now St. Mark’s Church.

Grace Church Year Books, 1899 to 1909 Index

 

Memorial Funeral Home Records
The Memorial Funeral Home records date from 1906 to 1996 and include files from the A. M. Runyon Funeral Home. Records were maintained by hand in ledgers and file folders, later files are typed. File data varies, but will always contains funeral and burial information, cause of death, next of kin, and often other family details. The files are currently being processed and are not open to the public. Local History staff are happy to assist patrons with requests. Private personal information, such as Social Security Numbers, will not be released under any circumstances. Indexes will be posted to the website as they are created.

A. M. Runyon / Memorial Funeral Home, Card Index 1903 to 1987

Memorial Funeral Home, Pre-Arrangements A-Z, 1927-1955

Memorial Funeral Home, Box Files A-Z, 1946-1952

Memorial Funeral Home, Register Ledgers:

 

Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church
St. Stephen’s parish was the outcome of a Union chapel that was instituted at Netherwood in 1880. In 1886, chapel trustees offered the building for use by Grace Church, which they did until 1888. In December 1888, a choir and sanctuary were built and an altar was erected. In September 1894, the St. Stephen’s parish was officially formed and approved by the bishop and Diocese of New Jersey.

Year book of the Saint Stephen's Church, 1913

 

Tax Receipt Books for the City of Plainfield
The tax ledgers are part of a larger collection of Plainfield Police Logs, which were donated to the Local History Department in 2008. There are over 300 different logs in the entire collection. Eighteen volumes are Treasury Department Tax Receipt Books and two are Delinquent Tax Receipts. The Tax Receipt Books are leather-bound ledgers with handwritten entries; each one covers several years. Volunteers are currently indexing this series of ledgers; the indexes will be posted online as they are completed.

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Index Years
Tax Receipt Book 1883-1897

Tax Receipt Book 1884-1897
Tax Receipt Book 1886-1898
Tax Receipt Book
Taxes were paid: Poll, State, County, State School, Library, City, Poor, School & Bonds, Cost and Interest. Notations made by Vincent Nash, Justice of the Peace and Collection Agent and John Johnson, City Collector of Taxes.
1887-1900
Tax Receipt Book 1888-1896
Tax Receipt Book 1889-1899
Tax Receipt Book 1890-1901
Tax Receipt Book 1891-1901
Tax Receipt Book 1892-1901
Tax Receipt Book 1893-1901
Tax Receipt Book 1894-1902
Tax Receipt Book
Taxes were paid: Poll, Dog, County, State School, Fire Department, Library, City, Poor, School & Bonds, Cost and Interest. Robert L. Lee, City Collector of Taxes.
1895-1903
Tax Receipt Book 1896-1902
Tax Receipt Book 1897-1903
Tax Receipt Book 1898-1903
Tax Receipt Book 1900-1903
Tax Receipt Book 1901-1905
Tax Receipt Book 1902-1905
Delinquent Tax Receipts 1888-1889
Delinquent Tax Receipts 1899-1901
 

 

Roger & Marjorie Vail Collection
Index to Store Ledger, 1820-1822
Click here to see a folio from the ledger, Click here to view the finding aid for the Vail Collection.

This ledger may be a record of transactions involving leather and associated products.  Its creator may have recorded both commercial customers and suppliers within a geographic area including multiple states.

In a very few cases notations have been made to places where a person may have been located, such as East Goshen, Pennsylvania and Tuckerton, New Jersey.

Superficial research into the 1820 census and some early city directories seems to show that at least some of the names were associated with Philadelphia and the wider area. 

Dates are written in the Quaker style and run from 1820 to 1824. The ledger has no known connection to Plainfield.

 

Other Plainfield Reference Sources

Board of Education Annual Reports
1916
1917
Plainfield Civil War Participants Listing
Plainfield Civil War Participants
Evergreen First Methodist Episcopal Cemetery Map
Names Index
Plainfield Daily Press, November 14, 1913
Historical & Trade Supplement Index
See digital copy of this issue here.
Jerusalem Lodge F.A.M. Plainfield, NJ 1917
Member List
PR 366.1 THO

Plainfield Schools, Graduates, 1870-1947 (with gaps)
Includes Plainfield High School, Emerson andEvergreen schools.

Ladies Home of Plainfield
Resident Information Cards

See Also: Finding Aid for the Ladies Home Collection.

Plainfield's Honor Roll 1918 (Military Service)
From Plainfield Record, May 3, 1918

Mathewson Newsclipping Files Index, 1931-1993
Biographical articles about Plainfielders
Includes some subjects (non-biographical)

The Suburbanite monthly magazine
The Suburbanite Index, 1904-1912
Table of Contents, 1904-1912

Monday Afternoon Club Year Books
Names Index, 1892 to 1945 (with gaps)

Survey of Historic Building Resources
City of Plainfield - Survey of Historic Building Resources

Prepared by Gail Hunton in 1985
Plainfield Bio Card File
Plainfield Bio Card File Index

 

Page Last Updated: December 22, 2014

 

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