Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Old Gloucester County Formation and Divisions

By Frank H. Stewart

Old Gloucester County included the present counties of Gloucester, Camden and Atlantic. Atlantic County was created in 1837 and Camden County in 1844.

Prior to the formation of Atlantic County, Old Gloucester extended from the Delaware River to the Atlantic Ocean and at one time large quantities of bog iron was dug out of the swamps and was used to make cannon and cannon balls for the wars of the Revolution and 1812.

In 1694, eight years after the inhabitants of Gloucester County had formed the County, the following law was passed by the Province of West Jersey: "Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives in this Assembly met and assembled and by the authority of the same that the two distinctions or divisions heretofore called the third and fourth tenths be and is hereby laid into one county, named and from henceforth to be called the County of Gloucester, the limits whereof bounded with the aforesaid river called Crapwell on the North and the river Berkley (formerly called Old Mans Creek) on the South."

The same year (1694) the people of the Great Egg Harbour section were allotted to Gloucester County. The early plan of dividing West New Jersey into tenths met with considerable difficulty and was soon abandoned.

The third or Irish tenth got its name from the Irish Quakers who settled there. It extended from Pensauken to Timber Creeks. The fourth tenth extended from Timber to Oldmans Creeks and probably got their boundaries from the deeds given by the Indians. To the best of my knowledge the boundaries were established by common consent rather than by law, although an effort was made to divide the frontage on the Delaware River and each tenth was to extend back into the woods far enough to make it contain 64,000 acres.



New Jersey AHGP

Source: Old Gloucester County Its Formation and Its Divisions, New Jersey Society of Pennsylvania, Volume 1, Compiled by Frank H. Stewart, 1917.


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