The Genealogical Society of New Jersey—
A History of Genealogical Preservation

The Genealogical Society of New Jersey (GSNJ) was founded in 1921 by a group of genealogical scholars dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey family history. A common interest among GSNJ’s founders was the transcription of tombstone information. Styling themselves “tombstone hounds,” they began organizing “tombstone hunts” at burying grounds around the state.

In 1924, the Society was incorporated with a mission to discover, procure, preserve and publish information pertaining to families and individuals associated with New Jersey. GSNJ’s institutional history has depended extensively on contributions made by volunteers.


In 1925, the Society commenced publication of its journal, The Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. Respected today as a national leader among genealogical publications, it is recognized as the preeminent resource for transcribed primary source material from New Jersey.

Since its founding, GSNJ has collected manuscripts and research papers. The Society’s extensive collection is a key resource for New Jersey genealogy, augmenting the holdings of public and academic research institutions.

In 1960, GSNJ’s manuscript collections were placed on deposit at Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In 1976, GSNJ began publishing the GSNJ Newsletter as a forum for reviews of published works, queries, and other news. This publication has evolved, with new features to educate genealogists and promote scholarship. GSNJ continues to develop its website and is automating its indexes and finding aids.

Over time, GSNJ has published many reference works and sponsored countless educational programs. GSNJ regularly joins with other genealogical or historical organizations to promote New Jersey genealogy and history, broadening its audience and increasing its collections. The basic mission of the Society has remained constant, with the service, accuracy and scholarship remaining as ideals that drive all of GSNJ’s endeavors.


The Genealogical Society of New Jersey | P.O. Box 1476 | Trenton, NJ 08607 | www.gsnj.org

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The Genealogical Society of New Jersey receives an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.