FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon recently found a treasure trove of Monmouth County history when she came upon books documenting thousands of applications for naturalization that date back to the 1800s.
“The books hold a tremendous amount of history, documenting the naturalization of citizens; people who immigrated to the United States and came through Monmouth County,” said Hanlon. “These books are very special in that they provide us with insight as to the immigrant experience in Monmouth County during different periods of our history including World War I and World War II. The books contain photographs, family information, military service information and much more. We want to transfer these books to our Archives Division so that they can be properly preserved.”
From 1800 to 1991, the recording and filing of records from naturalized citizens were the responsibility of the County Clerk. In May 1991, all responsibilities relating to declarations of intent, naturalizations and the granting of citizenship were transferred to the sole jurisdiction of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
County Clerk Christine Hanlon and Monmouth County Archivist Gary Saretzky will oversee the transfer of the remaining books to the Archives facility, located in the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan.
“Moving the books to Archives will protect the records of 34,677 people who applied for naturalization from light, dust and unnecessary handling,” said Saretzky. “All of these measures will help increase the longevity of the books.”
Preserving Monmouth County’s historical documents is one of the most important functions of the County Clerk’s Office. To view a video about the preservation of these special books, go to www.visitmonmouth.com.
The County Clerk’s office oversees the recording and filing of property deeds and other official documents, preparing the election ballots, processing vote-by-mail applications, tabulating election totals and certifying election results to the Secretary of State, passport processing and the Monmouth County Archives.
For more information about Monmouth County Archives, or to make an appointment, go to www.visitmonmouth.com or call 732-308-3771.