A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Research Tools

For those of us who enjoy doing research, the quest is always on to find just the right resources and keep them handy. Below you'll find my collection of favorite websites for online research, along with whatever comments I might have on their use. Research cannot be done completely online, so I am also including my favorite places to visit and conduct research on site.

Newspaper Archives
  • Matawan Journal (1869 - 1973) is made available by The Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library from the News and Newspapers section of its Electronic Resources page. The Journal can be retrieved by date, or you can use keywords and strings to dig through the issues using an advanced search feature. (Note: Some issues appear to be missing from the collection but are actually stacked chronologically within the earlier edition. The 30 July and 6 August 1926 editions, for example,  appear within the link for the 23 Jul 1926 edition of the paper, one after the other. Then again, the 5 Nov 1926 edition appears twice within the same link, while the 12 Nov 1926 edition is missing from the collection and indeed has been omitted.) This online collection of newspaper images was prepared based on the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library's microfilm collection rather than the original newspapers, so the visual quality, while mostly good, can be quite poor in some instances. Also, the optical character recognition (OCR) result is hit or miss, so don't expect to find all instances of a word or phrase. Copy/paste activities can be a challenge in many cases because the OCR reproduces a mixture of accurate text and gibberish. It doesn't always respect newspaper columns either, pulling text from adjoining sections of the newspaper. That said, the collection is rich with local history and culture best perused by timeframe. Images of old advertisements or other graphics of interest can be captured on a Windows computer by copying the image using Print Screen (Ctl PRTSC) and pasting/editing the screen shot using the Windows Paint accessory.
  • A multiple volume hardback collection of selected Matawan Journal articles sorted by topic and indexed is available in the Reference Section of the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library.
  • Bayshore Independent (1972 - 2000) This online collection of newspaper images was digitally scanned from the original newspapers with funding by the Matawan-Aberdeen, Middletown, and Monmouth County public libraries.
  • The Independent (10 Mar 2000 - ) This free online archive provided by Gannet Media has links to individual issues of its newspaper, sorted by year and in reverse chronological order. (I didn't discover a search tool, but maybe one exists at the website somewhere. Let me know if you find one and I'll provide a link here. Gannet, if there isn't one and you read this, maybe you could provide such a search gadget?)
  • Keyport newspapers are available in microfilm and hard copy, to varying extents, at the Keyport Free Public Library and the Monmouth County Historical Association. (The New Jersey Historical Society has a few years of Keyport Weekly from the 1930s.) New Jersey Standard (1855 - 1858); The Keyport Press (1863-1864); Weekly Star (1866 - ); Keyport Weekly (1871 - 1948); New Jersey Enterprise (1871 - 1888); W E Warn's Courier (1883 - ); The Keyport Enterprise (1888 - 1948); Jersey Justice (1889); Keyport Weekly and Keyport Enterprise (1948 - 1959). None are available online.
  • The New Brunswick Free Public Library has a New Brunswick Newspaper Archive, which allows searches of The New Brunswick Daily Times (1871 - 1916) and The New Brunswick Home News (1878 - 1907).
  • Red Bank Register/Daily Register (1878 - 1991) This online collection of newspaper images is available courtesy of the Middletown Public Library.
  • South Amboy Citizen (1910 - 2000) This online repository of newspaper images, consisting of one collection dated 1910-1943 and a second dated 1944-2000, is available courtesy of the Sadie Pope Dowdell Public Library in South Amboy. (Note: If you want to embed a hard link to a particular paper, use this URL format: "http://dowdell.org/citizen/YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD.pdf")
  • Newspaper Archive - Links and Searchable Database  
  • Wikipedia - List of Online Newspaper Archives
  • ICON - Newspaper digitization projects
History and Genealogy
  • Monmouth County NJ GenWeb Project Online collection of research resources related to Monmouth County. The site is geared to genealogists but can be used for local historical research as well. For example, you can research individual towns and old place names, cemetery records (includes several listings from Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan)
  • A multiple volume paperback collection of the index to births, marriages, and deaths recorded in The Matawan Journal can be found in the Reference Section of the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library.
  • A paperback copy of Rose Hill Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions and Index, produced by Carolyn Heuser, is available in the Reference Section of the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library.
  • Distant Cousin, Interment, and The Political Graveyard have collections of Monmouth County cemetery inscriptions. 
  • Monmouth County's Open Public Records System has a nice collection of historical resources, like the 1875 NJ State Census, Common Pleas (1810-1817), Civil War muster rolls and bounty pay, and an assortment of public land records, agendas and minutes of public meetings, etc.
  • The Monmouth County Archives website provides a useful summary of its functions plus links along the right side of the page to all sorts of detailed information about its various records. Most research will require a visit to the archives in Freehold; this site will save you some time by telling you which office holds which documents, as well as their hours, rules on availability of records, etc.
  • The New Jersey State Archives website includes a page that details its collection in Trenton. Their microfilm and books are available during business hours, but the Manuscript Reading Room has limited hours. They have a limited image collection online, so most research will have to be done in person.
  • Index to African-Americans living in Matawan in the 1940 Federal Census. The township included Enumeration District 13-97. Enumeration District 13-98. and Enumeration District 13-99 (no African-American population on its 4 pages). The borough included Enumeration District 13-95 and Enumeration District 13-96.
  • African-American Population of Matawan in the 1900 Federal Census. This page provides numbers by state. Some information on 1880 population, too.
  • The 27 Jun 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal is the paper's centennial edition. It contains a nice selection of history articles from its archives.
Historical Reference/Index
State Statutes & Municipal Ordinances
Aberdeen Township Budgets (See Finance page on Township website)

State, County and Local Governmental Resources
National Governmental Resources
Fact Checking & Public Accountability Sites
Environmental Resources