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Looking for genealogy and local history?

These resources from the Cape May County Library may help you get started.

Brief facts about Cape May County

Cape May County Census -- Cape May County Facts -- Cape May County History -- Cape May County Seal

Online Resources

The Cape May County Library has access to databases that can be helpful in searching for genealogy records and local history information. To access the databases from home with a Cape May County Library card go to our Online Databases and click on Genealogy.

If you are connecting to the databases from home, you will be required to login with your library barcode number and the last 4 digits of the telephone number that is on your library record.  Accessible Archives and Ancestry Library Edition are only available in the Library.

  • Access World News searches newspapers from across the United States from 1978-current.  This database also includes:
  • Accessible Archives (not available at home) has available full text books on the history of New Jersey counties. The book on Cape May County is The history of Cape May County, New Jersey : from the aboriginal times to the present day / by Lewis Townsend Stevens, 1897.
  • America's Genealogy Bank searches Historical Newspapers (1690-1977), Historical Documents (1789-1980), Historical Books (1801-1900), and the Social Security Death Index.
  • Ancestry Library Edition (not available at home) has the digitized images of the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 forward, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, and much more.
  • Heritage Quest also has the U.S. Federal census from 1790 – 1940; over 25,000 scanned books on family and local history; images of selected records from Revolutionary War pension and bounty-land-warrant application files; images of the registers of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company; and selected Congressional documents and reports from the American State Papers and U.S. Serial Set. Included among the scanned books are 17 books that are in the Cape May County Library's Closed Stack collection. 


Here is a list of newspapers the Cape May County Library, Main Branch, has on microfilm. The Main Branch also has some archived newspapers.

The local weekly newspapers do not have an index. The database, Access World News, searches the Press of Atlantic City from 1988-current. The Press of Atlantic City is a daily paper, the other papers are weekly. The microfilm of The Press of Atlantic City includes the following editions of the paper: Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem, and Ocean County.
Cape May County History Online is being developed by the CMC Library to preserve the county’s print history and make it available on the library’s website. County newspapers, pamphlets, and select books are scanned, digitized and presented online. The collection is then searchable by keyword. Cape May County History Online is still in its developmental stage.  Click here for more information.
The Obituary File is an index of obituaries from the microfilmed newspapers. The file includes the obituaries from:
  • Cape May County Gazette, 1/6/1982-2/10/1982, 8/11/1982-5/1/1985
  • Cape May County Herald, 2003-2005
  • The Press of Atlantic City, 1973-1987 (Cape May County Edition)

As time permits, obituaries will be added from other years and newspapers.


Search the Library catalog for books about genealogy and information about Cape May County and New Jersey. Hint: add "cape may county" or "new jersey" to the search to limit the books only in that topic

Most of these books will be found in the Jerseyana section on the second floor of the Main Library; the rest are in the Closed Stack area. To see any of the books in Closed Stacks ask a librarian at the Reference Desk.

Included in the library catalog are the holdings from the Historic Cold Spring Village, Naval Air Station Wildwood and County Historical Museum. These books cannot be borrowed through the library. Please contact the museums directly.

Also included in the Library Catalog is an index to the Cape May County New Jersey Magazine of History & Genealogy from 1931-1978. The Library has the magazine from 1931 to the current year.


The Cape May County Library has the Federal Census from 1830 through 1940 for Cape May County. We also have the New Jersey census from 1865 through 1915 for Cape May County.

The census microfilm cannot be borrowed from the Cape May County Library.  The Census records are available full text through two databases with which the library subscribes, Ancestry and Heritage Quest.

Federal Census

  • 1830 Gloucester, Cape May, Salem, Cumberland
  • 1840 Cape May, Cumberland
  • 1850 Cape May, Cumberland
  • 1860 Cape May, Cumberland
  • 1870 Cape May County only
  • 1880 Cape May, Cumberland
  • 1890 Veterans and widows of Union Vets, Civil War Vets
  • 1900 Cape May County
  • 1910 Bergen, Cape May
  • 1910 Enumeration Districts of PA 1-20
  • 1920 Camden, Cape May
  • 1930 Camden, Cape May
  • 1940 Cape May

New Jersey Census

  • 1865
  • 1885
  • 1895
  • 1905
  • 1915

Telephone books

The Cape May County Library has a limited number of donated Cape May County telephone books. We have the following years:

  • 1930
  • 1956
  • 1959-1988
  • 1990-1991
  • 1993-current

1989 and 1992 are missing

Starting in 1994 the Cape May County telephone book comes in 2 editions: Ocean City and Cape May/Wildwood. The only difference being the yellow pages.

High School Yearbooks

The Library has a variety of Cape May County High School Yearbooks which have been donated. 

Other Sources

Cape May County Clerk's Office
7 N Main St, DN 109
PO Box 5000
CMCH, NJ 08210
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There are 16 municipalities in Cape May County.
Avalon, Cape May City, Cape May Point, Dennis Township, Lower Township, Middle Township, North Wildwood, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Upper Township, West Cape May, West Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, Woodbine

New Jersey DARM – Division of Archives and Records Management
New Jersey Vital Records – Department of Health and Senior Services – 609-292-4087
Cape May County Registrar – List of Registrars for Cape May County

Local Historical Societies and Museums

Avalon History Center
215 39th Street
Avalon, NJ 08202-1648

Cape May County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society
504 Route 9 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Cape May Maritime Museum and Education Center
PO Box 399
Cape May, NJ 08204

Dennis Township Museum and History Center
681 Petersburg Rd
Dennisville, NJ 08214

The Greater Cape May Historical Society
PO Box 495
Cape May, NJ 08204

Historic Cold Spring Village
720 Rt. 9 South
Cape May, NJ 08204
609-898-2300 ext 10

Historical Preservation Society of Upper Township NJ Inc.
PO Box 658
Marmora, NJ 08223-0658

Naval Air Station Wildwood
500 Forrestal Rd
Cape May Airport, NJ 08242

Ocean City Historical Museum
1735 Simpson Ave
Ocean City, NJ 08226

Sea Isle City Historical Society Museum
4800 Central Ave
Sea Isle City, NJ 08243

9410 Second Ave
Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
Whitesboro Historical Foundation
2215 Route 9 South
Whitesboro, NJ 08252
5800 Ocean Avenue
Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260

Wildwood Historical Society, Inc.
3907 Pacific Ave
Wildwood, NJ 08260


The staff is unable to do genealogy research.  We will search local newspapers for obituaries or events and make copies of the articles if provided a time frame.

When submitting inquiries for information, we ask that you include as much information as possible (full names, dates, etc.)**. We will attempt to respond to your question within 72 hours, except holidays.

**If you do not have the date of an event, and there are no indexes for that time period, we will not search the newspaper for the obituary, event, etc. Requests for services beyond what we can provide will be returned, with referrals to places that might be able to help you.

The Library does not have birth, death, marriage, cemetery, church, naturalization or immigration records.

Complete an online Obituary Search Request Form.


The Cape May County Library requests a $5.00 donation to research obituaries/local history.

Contact Us

U.S. Mail:
Attn: Reference Department
Cape May County Library
4 Moore Rd, DN2030
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

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