GeoCarta Has Moved

Dec 21, 2005

Historic Maps Donated To New Jersey State Archives

Thousands of important documents, including rare maps and land surveys, some dating back to the 1600's and 1700's were donated to the New Jersey State Archives recently. The New Jersey Journal reported that the documents were donated to the state by The Council of West Jersey Proprietors, a 330-year-old group which had held them in vault.

Some of the papers bear rare signatures of William Penn, the Duke of York (later England's King James II) and Sir George Carteret. Among the items donated were a 1719 surveyor's map fixing the location of the common border of West Jersey, East Jersey, and New York at the Delaware River. The map depicts a Lenape Indian village on the banks of the river. West Jersey and East Jersey combined to become the state of New Jersey.

The huge collection also contains:
  • 11 large parchment documents from 1664 to 1763
  • 55 bound volumes of minutes, surveys, warrants and other records dating from 1676 to 1909 surveys from 1680 to the 1900s
  • 52 boxes of rolled maps and plans dating to the 1700s.
A spokesman for the Proprietors Council which made the gift said that the documents include the original papers for virtually every piece of property in West Jersey. Even today, the group is still contacted by attorneys, surveyors and real estate agents, seeking information to help settle property disputes.

The state archives plans to inspect and repairs the documents, then catalogue them and make them available to researchers.