Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 85, Chester Township, New Jersey Overseers of the Poor Records, 1799-1826, 0.02 linear feet / 2 volumes
Call Number: MG 85
Minutes and financial accounts of the Overseers of the Poor of Chester, Morris County, New Jersey.
Emigrants from Easthampton and Southhold, Long Island settled Chester, New Jersey in 1713. The Township of Chester, however, was established in 1799 and was bounded on the north by Roxbury and Randolph Townships, on the east by Mendham Township, on the west by Washington Township, and on the south by Somerset County. In the 1880s, Chester Township became one of the most important mining districts in New Jersey.
Overseers of the Poor were appointed by the town committee and usually met at the township committee meetings where they decided how they would assist the poor of the town through shelter and food.
The source of this collection is unknown.
This collection contains two volumes of minutes of the Overseers of the Poor of Chester Township, Morris County with sections relating to the Committee of the Township of Chester. The records date from 1799-1826 and are organized in chronological order. They document the dispersal of funds to individuals and families in need, and the collection of state, county, dog and poor taxes.
Beneath the minutes of the meetings are accounts that show disbursements for cash assistance, medical attention, housing, food and clothing for families, adults and children including a "Negro Cook." The accounts also record the "selling of the poor" for lodging and work assistance and claims for the loss of sheep killed by dogs. Overseers include Daniel Horton; Phineas Horton; William Woodhull, Jr.; and others.
For more information on New Jersey Overseers of the Poor see:
Processed by James Lewis, July 2001 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society