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Newark Orphan Asylum Record Books (1868 - 1929)
RepositoryNewark Public Library, Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center
Collection IDMG Nwk Orphan
Size0.42 linear ft. (1 box)
Collection Description
The Newark Orphan Asylum, founded in Newark in 1847 by a group of Protestant women, was granted its charter in 1848. Elizabeth Stryker Ricord was among the Asylum�s founders and was Directress of the Board of Managers until her death in 1865. In 1857 a building, replete with gas lights, steam heat, hot and cold running water, and a fire extinguishing system was erected at 323 High Street; a south wing was added to the building in 1874. The Asylum could house 110 children. Most were between the ages of 2 and 10 when they entered, and they generally were released by the age of 12. The asylum also maintained a country home in Westfield, NJ where children lived and learned farming during the summer.

In the 1900 census, 84 orphans between the ages of 4 and 11 were living at the Asylum; they were supervised and cared for by Matron Susan Van Vleck, two caretakers, and a staff of seven who included a �kindergartener,� seamstress, nurse, cook, waitress, laundress, and janitor. By 1912, Mrs. F. S. Douglas was Directress of the Board of Managers; Mrs. N.A. Merritt was Secretary and Chair of the Admissions Committee; and Mrs. C. A. Woodhull was Treasurer.

In 1948 the Newark Orphan Asylum and the Protestant Foster Home merged to become the Newark Home for Foster Care.
Collection Contents
The collection contains ledger volumes and notebooks with census lists of children aided by the Asylum and other statistical information, and a small amount of correspondence. The contents of the collection are as follows:

Census Volume: with alphabetical lists of all the children in the Asylum as of October 1, 1868, and on January 1st of each year from 1870 to 1888

Census Volume: with a list of children in the Asylum as of January 1, 1869, including age, and last place of residence; and lists of children in the Asylum on January 1st of each year from 1883 to 1888 Following each annual census are chronological entries for the children who entered or left the asylum in that year. These entries include the child's name, age, and hometown before entering the asylum; or the name, relationship, and address of the person with whom the child left the asylum. A few children were sent to the City Home. Many of the children came from, or returned to Newark, but others were connected to cities and towns throughout New Jersey, and a few to New York State.

Census Volume: with alphabetical lists of children in the Asylum as of January 1st of each year from 1908 to 1911. Following each annual census are entries for the children who left the asylum that year, and the name, and relationship of the person who took responsibility for those discharged.

Ledger: with an index consisting of an alphabetical list of children admitted to the Asylum, the year admitted, and the page number of a more detailed entry for each child. Detailed entries include the children's ages when admitted; information about their families, which may include ethnicity, names, occupations, and addresses; reason for the child's admission; and details of child's departure from the Asylum, which range from the death of the child, to the return of the child to his or her family, adoption, or running away. (1885-1905)

Volume, entitled "Record of E. J. Ormandy": with entries for children who entered the Asylum, with some dates of admission or discharge, names of parents, addresses, reasons for admission, etc. (1905-1919)

Volume, entitled "Home Report": with statistics by year of permanent and temporary residents in the Asylum, children discharged, families represented, applications for admission, children by nationality, and children who had parents living; and medical and dental information. The notebook also contains lists of children's names and birth dates. (1924-1929)

7 notebooks contain brief entries on children who were discharged from the Newark Orphan Asylum. The entries, arranged alphabetically, may include dates of entry, and exit from the asylum; name, relationship, address, and occupation of family members or friends; the child's birth date; and information regarding the reasons for the child's admission to the asylum. These entries appear to be drafts for more detailed files. (1913-1919)

Also present is a folder of correspondence from Lydia Bausch Grimm of 390 Washington St. to Miss Sutphen of the Newark Orphan Asylum, regarding Mary A[ichele?] who had been placed with Grimm (1912-1913).

NOTE: See also the Association for Children of New Jersey Records (MG 1087), New Jersey Historical Society. Listings of "inmates" and staff at all orphans' homes in Newark in 1900 are available online at:
FormatTextual materials
SubjectPoverty / Philanthropy / Charities
Time Periods19th Century; 20th Century
Access policyOpen for research
Catalog URL