Surrogate Scans Records
Surrogate Nancy Fitzgibbons is responsible for all matters related to the probate of wills, including signing the judgments appointing executors and administrators of estates, testamentary trustees and guardians. The Surrogate manages the Surrogate's Intermingled Trust Fund with approximately 300 cases totaling $9,000.000.00 . These funds were awarded to minors by Court Order. All adoptions and contested probate matters are also processed through Surrogate Court.
As the "Keeper of Records", the Surrogate maintains a vault with records dating from 1804 through the present. The documents were found in various media including paper, microfiche and film. The Surrogate is upgrading to scanning documents and providing computer access. This upgrade is accomplished using funding from the PARIS grant program as coordinated by the County Records Manager. Currently, the entire index is scanned. All estate documents from 1974 through the present are scanned. Phase One will include all documents back to 1969.
At the computer terminal located in the vault, anyone can type in a name, and if an estate is on record, a split screen appears. The left side has basic estate information. The right side captures the entire estate file page by page for viewing. Copies may be made.
The Surrogate has also placed a computer terminal in the County Clerk's vault. This provides easy access when researching and comparing people and land records.
If you need information on an estate or you are searching your "roots", visit the Surrogate Court located in the Sussex County Historic Courthouse, 3 High Street, Suite 1, Newton, NJ. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parking is behind the building and handicapped access is available.