Somerset County


Place Record Title
Somerset County
Place Type
County or Parish
Somerset County is located in the central part of New Jersey. It was one of the earliest counties formed during the colonial era in 1688. It later increased in size by annexing a section of Essex County in 1741. In 1838, Somerset County's southern section around the area of Princeton was taken to form a part of the new Mercer County when that county was first created. Additionally, a section of the City of New Brunswick (west of Albany Street) used to be in Somerset County until 1850. Due to this history, Somerset County slavery records include documents related to New Brunswick (which is now fully in Middlesex County) and Princeton (which is now in Mercer County).

County demographics from the 1800 U.S. census, when slavery in New Jersey reached its peak:

In 1800, Somerset had 2,038 Black residents and was second only to Bergen County in key categories related to Black people and enslavement: second highest percentage of Black residents (15.9%), second largest number of enslaved persons (1,863), second highest enslaved population percentage (14.5% of the total population), and second highest rate of enslavement for Black residents (91.4% of Black residents living in slavery). Somerset had 175 free Black residents (8.6% of the Black population or 1.4% of the total population of the county). The total population of the county was 12,815, ranking 10th among New Jersey's 13 counties by population.
County (Modern)
Somerset County
State or Province
New Jersey
United States of America
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker

Linked resources

Items with "Location Created: Somerset County"
Title Class
Somerset County Certificates of Births of Black Children and Slaves, 1818-1840 Bibliographic Resource
Somerset County Register of Black Children, Book A Bibliographic Resource
Items with "Places Located Here: Somerset County"
Title Class
New Jersey Location
Items with "Location of Event: Somerset County"
Title Class
1804-07-26 Birth: Harry Event
1805-01-20 Birth: Abigail Event
1807 Sale: John Annin Event
1817-04-27 Freedom seeking: Lewis, Thomas Event
1838-12-16 Sale: Mark Harris Jr. Event
Items with "County (Modern): Somerset County"
Title Class
Abraham Staats House, South Bound Brook Location
Bedminster Location
Bernards (formerly Bernardston) Location
Bound Brook Location
Bridgewater Location
Franklin (Somerset County) Location
General John Frelinghuysen House, Raritan Location
Griggstown Location
Harlingen Location
Hillsborough Location
Middlebrook Location
Millstone (Somerset County) Location
Mine Brook Location
Montgomery Location
North Branch Location
Old Dutch Parsonage, Somerville Location
Pluckemin Location