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New Jersey Genealogy

Basic guide to Rutgers and other genealogical resources.

New Jersey Medical Records

Under current New Jersey law, doctors must keep medical records for seven years, and hospitals must retain medical records for 10 years following a patient’s discharge. Obviously some doctors and some hospitals retain patient records for much longer than that. In most instances, individuals are entitled to full access to their own medical records when such records exist; certain individuals (executor, administrator, or other person who has authority under applicable State or other law to act on behalf of the decedent or the decedent’s estate) may be granted access to records as well. These "personal representatives" may authorize certain uses and disclosures of, and access to, these records.

However, under the revised HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) other access to an individual's medical records, when those records are under the control of a "covered entity" (such an insurance company, a doctor, or a hospital), is prohibited until fifty years after their death. When those records are in the collection of a "non-covered entity" (such as an archival collection not associated with a "covered entity"), the fifty year rule does not apply.

Under New Jersey law (NJSA 30 :4-24.3) records pertaining to current or former residents of noncorrectional institutions receiving services for mental illness, tuberculosis, or developmental disabilities also remain confidential.

New Jersey Hospitals

If a hospital is still in existence, you can try calling and speaking to someone in the Medical Records department about what records they have available. The main hospital number is available in the New Jersey Hospital Directory.

Hospital Records: Repositories

Memorial Hospital of Burlington Records, 1880-1963
Includes patient registers: 1912-1913; 1914-1916; 1918-1928; 1929-1932. History of Medicine Collection, Rutgers Smith Library, Newark.
Newark Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary
Register of Patients, 1896-1897. New Jersey Historical Society Manuscript Collection. MG1113.

Manuscript Collections in the Rutgers Libraries

Medicine and New Jersey: Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health-Related Manuscripts in the Rutgers University Libraries
Albert C. King. March 1998.
Manuscript collections in Special Collections and University Archives in New Brunswick. Includes physician Daybooks.
Miscellaneous Medical Manuscripts
Manuscripts in the History of Medicine Collection in the Rutgers Smith Library in Newark. Includes physician Daybooks.

Obstetrical Registers

William Pierson. Obstetrical Register.
December 5, 1827-March 23, 1861.
Orange physician. Special Collections and University Archives, New Brunswick.
Irenee Dupont Young. Obstetric Register.
October 3, 1849-December 20, 1880.
Bordentown physician; records of approximately 2,500 obstetric cases. History of Medicine Collection, Smith Library, Newark.
Henry Crippen Neer. Obstetrical Register.
June 7, 1876-November 25, 1910.
Park Ridge physician; records of approximately 1,450 births. Special Collections and University Archives, New Brunswick.
Magdalene Kovacs. Record of Births Attended
1917-1920, 1922-1929.
Kovacs was a New Brunswick midwife, who primarily served the Hungarian community. Records of approximately 450 births. Special Collections and University Archives, New Brunswick.
Howard C. Voorhees. Record of Births, 1907-1943.
New Brunswick physician. Register of 880 births. New Jersey Historical Society (Newark) Manuscript Collection. MG1148.

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