Back to Library Homepage Your Library Card

Plainfield Reference
Publications, Records Indexes & 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
More Plainfield Reference Sources Below

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.


Children's Home Association

United Family & Children's Services

History of Plainfield and North Plainfield
by F. T. Smiley (index)

Courier News Obituary Files

Courier News Marriage License Announcements 1957 to 1967

By Husband's Last Name
By Publication Date

Plainfield Civil War Participants List

More Plainfield Reference Sources Below

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.



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





Children's Home Association / United Family & Children's Services
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.


Name of Organization



Citizens’ Organized Aid Association of Plainfield and North Plainfield

Began as Charity Organization Society of Plainfield in December 1893 and quickly changed name


Organized Aid Association

Dropped the word “Citizens’”


Charity Organization Society of Plainfield and North Plainfield

Merger of Organized Aid Society and Plainfield Relief Association


United Family and Children’s Society

Merger of Charity Organization Society with Children’s Home Association, United Catholic Aid Society, and United Hebrew Charity Organization

Volume 1 Transcript

Volume 1 Original

United Family & Children's Services

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

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

PR 362.8 UNI 1893-1907 – Organized Aid Association & Charity Organization Society
PR 362.8 UNI 1919-1930 – Charity Organization Society
PR 362.8 UNI 1931-1959 – Charity Organization Society & United Family and Children’s Society

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.

The complete index of Surnames A - Z are now 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, 1901-1919
    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. 

First Presbyterian Church
The First Presbyterian Church was organized on July 10, 1825, and was the fourth church to be established in Plainfield. The cornerstone of the first church building was laid later that year, and the building completed in 1827.  By 1855, the structure was too small, so it was divided and moved, and a new brick church was built. Photographs of the 1855 structure are very rare, and the Library does not have one in our collection.  In 1888, a new church was erected.  Years later, in 1952, the church sold the property and made plans to finance the building of a new structure, on East Front Street, on what was known as the Meade Estate.  It was completed in 1955. The Grant Avenue Presbyterian Church was originally the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, which organized Hope Chapel in 1888 in a small building on West Fourth Street.The records are held by the First Presbyterian Church.

Grant Avenue Presbyterian Church Records Ledger, 1890 to 1948 This ledger contains Pastors, Elders, Communicants, Marriages, Baptisms, and Deaths.

First Presbyterian Church Marriages, 1892 to 1908


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 usually 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. 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.

Local History staff are happy to assist patrons with requests. Please email or call us at 908-757-1111 ext. 136 for more information.

Please note that although the records are organized in groups of years, we often find records out of sequence. For example, we have found records from 1952 filed with records in the 1953 to 1958 grouping. We are able to interfile these records after we find them. If you are not able to locate a record, please contact the Local History Dept. for assistance. We are happy to help you.

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

Cumulative List of Records, A-Z (1926-1998)

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

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

Memorial Funeral Home, Box Files A-Z, 1953-1958 [1959]

Memorial Funeral Home, Box Files A-Z, 1959-1963

Memorial Funeral Home, Box Files A-Z, 1962-1970 [1971]

Memorial Funeral Home, Box Files A-Z, 1971-1977

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.



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.
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.
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
Plainfield Civil War Participants Listing
Plainfield Civil War Participants

Evergreen First Methodist Episcopal Cemetery Map
Names Index View Map

First Baptist Cemetery Map
Names Index

Plainfield Daily Press, November 14, 1913
Historical & Trade Supplement Index
See digital copy of this issue here.

Federal Census Records for Plainfield

1850 1900 1950 2000 (ext.)
1860 1910 1960 2010 (ext.)
1870 1920 1970  
1880 1930 1980  
1890 1940 1990 (ext.)  

Plainfield, New Jersey Illustrated, 1895

search index only

search and view book

Historic Tour of Plainfield (booklet)
Historic Tour of Plainfield (City Planning Dept) circa 1970s.



History of the Plainfield Fire Department, of Plainfield, N.J. History of the Plainfield Fire Department, of Plainfield, N.J.
Issued under the Auspices of the Fireman's Relief Association, Plainfield, N.J. Compiled by Eugene Peltier and G. B. Elmhurst, 1901

Vertical File: Fire Department History
Vertical File: Netherwood Fire House
Vertical File: City Annual Report, 1905 (Fire Chief Report)

Plainfield High School Yearbooks, Underclass Listings (includes first-, second-, and third-year sudents)

1924 - 1929 (sorted by last name) There is no underclass listing for the 1925 yearbook.

1930 to 1939 (sorted by last name) There is no underclass listing for the 1933 yearbook.

1941 to 1949 (sorted by last name) There is no 1940.


Human Relations Commission of Plainfield First Annual Report, 1964-1965.
Human Relations Commission of Plainfield First Annual

Jerusalem Lodge F.A.M. Plainfield, NJ 1917
Member List

Ladies Home of Plainfield
Resident Information Cards

See Also: Finding Aid for the Ladies Home Collection.

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


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

Plainfield High School Yearbooks, Underclass Listings (includes first-, second-, and third-year sudents)

1950 to 1959 (sorted by last name)

1960 to 1969 (sorted by last name)

1970 to 1979 (sorted by last name) This is currently being compiled. The 1974 and 1975 yearbooks do not list the underclasses, only Seniors.

Additional years will be added as they are indexed.

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


Northtown Survey on Human Relations
Northtown Survey on Human Relations, 1947

Plainfield's Honor Roll 1918 (Military Service)
From Plainfield Record, May 3, 1918
  The Revolutionary Camp Ground at Plainfield, New Jersey
The Revolutionary Camp Ground at Plainfield, New Jersey. An address delivered before Continental Chapter D.A.R. January 9, 1923, by Cornelius C. Vermeule


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


Plainfield 300 Years,1987
search index

Plainfield Bio Card File
Plainfield Bio Card File Index

Plainfield and Vicinity in Pictures, 1926
search index
view book

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

Prepared by Gail Hunton in 1985

Survey of Negro Life in N.J, Report XX Plainfield
Survey of Negro Life in N.J, Report XX Plainfield
, August 1932.

  Survey of Recreational Needs in the "West End" of Plainfield, New Jersey
Survey of Recreational Needs in the "West End" of Plainfield, New Jersey, May 1960.

Page Last Updated: May 25, 2022

Connect to Wifi Contact the Webmaster Ask us a Question Terms & Conditions Facebook Twitter
Facebook Twitter
Facebook Twitter
chat loading...