RECORD GROUP: COUN3200
SUBGROUP: County Clerk's Office
SERIES: Partitions of Land
DATES: 1762-1960 (bulk, 1835-1890)
VOLUME: 1.5 cubic feet and 1 volume
In New Jersey, a partition of land (also called a division), among heirs and for other purposes, was a long and confusing process during the Colonial era. In 1789 an act was passed by the state legislature which simplified the procedure and called for the appointment of three impartial commissioners, either by the Supreme Court or county Inferior Court of Common Pleas. The commissioners in turn appointed surveyors who made maps of proposed boundary lines to make an equitable division of the property among the parties involved, or in rare cases, sold the land and distributed the monies instead. Records of the common pleas justices were subsequently turned over to the county clerk who recorded them in the Division of Real Estate Book.
Division of Real Estate Book (1835-1903), with index, recording partitions and land sales, orders to nominate commissioners to insert notices of land partitions in local newspapers, including detailed descriptions of each lot and maps of dividing lines; together with loose papers, chiefly records of partitions of estates of deceased persons, but also containing other land transactions, including application notices, maps, commissioners' reports, clippings of newspaper notices, and list of costs.
Transferred to the repository by Jane G. Clayton, Monmouth County Clerk. Finding aid and index in repository.
||Public records --New Jersey--Monmouth County|
|Real Property--New Jersey--Monmouth County
|Decedents' Estates--New Jersey--Monmouth County|
|Surveying--New Jersey--Monmouth County|
|Surveyors--New Jersey--Monmouth County|
|New Jersey--Court of Common Pleas--Monmouth County|
|New Jersey--Supreme Court|
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SCOPE AND CONTENT
I. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
A partition of land, among heirs and for other purposes, was an involved and confusing process in the Colonial era. To remedy this situation, on November 17, 1789, the New Jersey Legislature passed "An Act for the more easy partition of lands held by coparceners, joint tenants and tenants in common." The Act may be summarized as follows.
The partition process (also called a division) began when one of the heirs for the land petitioned either a Supreme Court justice or three justices of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in the county where the land was located. (Since most of the records in the Monmouth County Archives result from the latter, subsequent references will be to the county-level procedure.) The Common Pleas justices then placed a notice in the newspaper that they intended to appoint three impartial Commissioners in six weeks. After notices in a local newspaper such as the Monmouth Democrat, the Commissioners were appointed if there were no objections. The Commissioners then appointed surveyors, who under their supervision made a map of the land showing where a dividing line or lines should be made to make an equitable division among the parties. The lots were divided according to value, not size, as the Commissioners had to take into account such features as improvements, utility for farming, woods, and buildings. The Commissioners then advertised in the newspaper that they would allocate the lots by ballot in three weeks. At the allotment, the Commissioners set up two ballot boxes. In one were the names of the parties; in the other, the lot numbers. An individual would pick from one box, then the other until the all the lots were assigned. The Common Pleas justices turned over the records pertaining to the partition to the County Clerk, who recorded them in the Division of Real Estate book.
Although the above procedure was usually followed, rarely, instead of partitioning the land, the Commissioners were authorized to sell the land because they could not divide it up equitably. The land was sold and the money was distributed instead. Records of such sales were made and recorded with the partition records.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, some of the proceedings were conducted by Circuit Court, rather than Common Pleas, justices.
II. SCOPE AND CONTENT
The records derive from the office of the County Clerk and consist of:
Division of Real Estate book, 1835-1903 with index (disbound).
Partitions and sales are recorded chronologically. Includes transcripts of various documents, including, but not limited to, application; orders to nominate Commissioners and to insert notice in newspapers for six consecutive weeks; sworn statement from newspaper editor that notice was made; appointment and oaths of Commissioners; oaths of surveyors; report of surveyors ('Field Book'), including detailed descriptions of each lot and map(s) showing dividing lines; report of Commissioners; judges' confirmation that they have inspected the report; and order concerning assignment of costs.
Loose Papers, 1762 to 1960.
The Loose Papers consist primarily of records of partitions of estates of deceased persons, but also containing a few other transactions concerning land, especially annexations by towns. The number of loose documents per case varies, but in no instance extends beyond one folder. Folders concerning partitions are arranged alphabetically by the deceased party whose land was to be divided or, that name not being present, by other family name. Annexations are interfiled alphabetically by town.
Types of loose documents include, but are not limited to, notice of application; appointment of commissioners and signed oaths of same; map; field book (notes); Commissioners Report (of partition or sale); clippings of newspaper notices; and list of costs. Some folders contain incomplete records, such as only a map. There is also one folder containing a family tree, ca. 1930, for the Farr family. Many of the cases are recorded in both the book and in the loose papers.
The Partitions of Land series is arranged alphabetically by name of deceased; applicant (if not involving an estate); or town (in the case of annexations). The record group also is available on microfilm.
A computer index is available at the Archives and provides the following information:
||Name of deceased, applicant or town|
||In most cases, the heirs applied to the court for a partition. The index includes the names of each heir (applicant) with a cross reference to the name of the deceased (estate of). In the case of annexations of town, the towns involved in the procedure are cross referenced.|
|LOCATION OF PROPERTY
||Town or township where property is located|
||In some cases, the land partition was recorded in the Division of Real Estate book. The index indicates the volume and page number.|
||Indicates the microfilm number for the case file|
For partitions of real estate among minors of a deceased landowner, contact the Monmouth County Surrogate, Hall of Records, Freehold, NJ 07728, regarding Orphan's Court records dating back to 1785. Microfilm copies of pre-1900 Surrogate records are also available from the Genealogical Society of Utah, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150.
Page Last Updated: 12/14/2011 9:14:00 AM