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Bernards Township Origins

Bernards Township has been a charted township going all the way back to 1760. With the early Dutch and Scottish settlers, the origin of the area belongs to the famed Lenni-Lenape Native American tribe.But what about the other cultures in the area. We’re on a mission to find out and would love to engage the community.

Demographic Highlights

Researching Diversity

We are honoring those in our neighborhood who have identified themselves as Asian according to the census. Statistics have shown that the Asian American community (including India and Chinese) has seen double digit growth in Bernards Township over the past two decades. Our goal; locate some of the originating Asian American families who pioneered by moving to Bernards Township.

According to the US Census, Asian American’s includes people who indicate their race(s) on the census as “Asian” or reported entries such as “Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Other Asian“. In 2017, Asian Americans comprised 5.6% of the U.S. population; including multiracial Asian Americans, that percentage increases to 6.9%.

Bernards Township Census

We are looking for information from anyone who knows a family that moved to the area that might be able to assist locating some of the original Asian American families who moved to Bernards Township. Indo-American and Chinese Americans make up a majority of the mix.

  • 2018: 19% (27,114)
  • 2010: 13.8% (26,652)
  • 2000: 7.8% ( 1,931 of 24,575)
    • 1992 AT&T moved its headquarters to Basking Ridge, N.J.
    • The ethnic composition of the Township has continued the trend seen between  1990 and 2000 as the Asian population has increased dramatically.
  • 1990: 3.1% ( 525 of 17,199) 2010 master plan
  • 1980: 0.5% (81 of 12,928)
  • 1970: (13,305)
  • 1960: (9,019)
Source: Bernards Township 2018
Source:2010 Bernards Township Master Plan
Bernards Township Home Sales. Source: Bernards Township 2018

About Bernards Township

Historic and projected growth for Bernards Township – Source: Bernards Township 2018

Bernards Township was originally formed by royal charter on May 24, 1760, as Bernardston Township from remaining portions of Northern precinct. It was incorporated as Bernards Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey’s initial group of 104 townships. Portions of the township were taken to form Warren Township (March 5, 1806), Far Hills (April 7, 1921) and Bernardsville (March 6, 1924). Bernards Township celebrated its 250th charter anniversary on May 24, 2010. The township was named for Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, who served as governor of the Province of New Jersey in 1760.

Iselin, New Jersey

As I’ve traveled to India many times, it was always fun to hear when I told them “I’m from a New Jersey town just outside New York City, and to my surprise they always asked if I was near Iselin. For a guy that grew up in New Jersey, it was a weird comment….until I learned. According to the 2017 American Community Survey, 42.6% of Iselin residents identified themselves as being Indian American, the highest percentage for any census-designated place in the United States. It is rumored that the first two consultants from India worked for Goldman Sachs and chose Iselin as their base location. The rest as they say is history!

Additional Information – Researchers Needed

If you’d like to work on our historic demographics project, please drop us a note and we’ll be in touch.

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1 thought on “Bernards Township Origins”

  1. Here’s some info from a local FB page:

    Posted in You Know Your’re from Basking Ridge FB Group…. 1/19/2020

    Jayna Rydzinski I honestly can’t recall any Asian-Indians, Chinese or any other Asian folks living in Basking Ridge in the 1960’s – early 1970s. However, I believe there might have been a few Native American families living in BR at that time.

    Gregg Ammon Harris In the 70′ Dr. Henry Kim, his wife and son, Johnny, moved in. Both mother and father were pediatricians, father also was an emergency physician at Morristown Memorial and Johnny was a varsity soccer player at RHS (class of ’76, I believe)

    The Matsuoka family also lived in Basking Ridge in the 70s. Bryce was RHS class of ’79. He played soccer and the cello. They were Korean.

    Steven K. Peer Also that Chinese girl, Hope Chen, don’t remember how long she was in BR. Class of 1979

    Pam Robertson Yes – also the Shiba family Randy (now deceased) and Dave. Class of 1975

    Robert King Benny Hsoia class of 67. Pronounced Shaw. Played in the band The Checkmates.

    Robert King Kashmiry family brother and sister late 60’s.

    Bill Lytle Hassan Dyam (spelling) and his older brother – they lived across from the Crawford farm. They both played football.

    John M Babyak I was good friends with Ernie Chen and Dave Shiba, both RHS classmates ‘77. The Chen Family lived at 55 Juniper Way, and the Shiba’s lived at 32 Culberson Road. I believe Ernie and Dave are now living in the Chicago area.

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