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Aberdeen Township, New Jersey
Township of Aberdeen
Mouth of Matawan Creek
Mouth of Matawan Creek
Map of Aberdeen Township in Monmouth County. Inset: Location of Monmouth County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Aberdeen Township in Monmouth County. Inset: Location of Monmouth County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Aberdeen Township, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Aberdeen Township, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Monmouth
Incorporated February 23, 1857, as Matavan Township
Renamed 1882 as Matawan Township
Renamed November 8, 1977, as Aberdeen Township
 • Type Faulkner Act (council–manager)
 • Body Township Council
 • Total 7.77 sq mi (20.13 km2)
 • Land 5.45 sq mi (14.10 km2)
 • Water 2.33 sq mi (6.03 km2)  29.95%
Area rank 234th of 565 in state
15th of 53 in county
13 ft (4 m)
 • Total 19,329
 • Rank 141st of 566 in state
11th of 53 in county
 • Density 3,343.0/sq mi (1,290.7/km2)
 • Density rank 197th of 566 in state
22nd of 53 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07747, 07721, 07735
Area codes 732
FIPS code 3402500070
GNIS feature ID 0882121

Aberdeen Township is a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The township is located within the Raritan Valley region and is a part of the New York Metropolitan Area. As of the 2020 United States Census, the township's population was 19,329, reflecting an increase of 1,119 (6.1%) from the 18,210 counted in the 2010 Census, which had an increase of 756 (+4.3%) from the 17,454 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 416 (+2.4%) from the 17,038 counted in the 1990 Census.

Aberdeen Township is part of the Bayshore Regional Strategic Plan, an effort by nine municipalities in northern Monmouth County to reinvigorate the area's economy by emphasizing the traditional downtowns, residential neighborhoods, maritime history, and natural environment of the Raritan Bay coastline.



Those who settled in this area developed into the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. About the year 1000, an agricultural society developed, and small villages dotted what was to become New Jersey. The Lenape began a westward retreat in the face of European settlement and disease beginning in the late seventeenth century, beginning in Monmouth County by the mid-eighteenth century. Although the Lenape presently live in Ontario and Oklahoma, their legacy survives in such names as Mohingson, Luppatatong and Matawan Creeks and Raritan Bay.

Cliffwood beach
Cliffwood Beach, located in Aberdeen Township, was a popular resort until Hurricane Donna destroyed its boardwalk.

The earliest known attempt at European settlement was in 1650 when the south side of Raritan Bay was purchased from the Lenni Lenape by the New Netherland Colony. The Dutch failed to make any permanent settlements of this area.

New Jersey

The earliest English land grant in Aberdeen was in 1677 when Sir George Carteret granted 36 acres (150,000 m2) to Jonathan Holmes. This is in present-day Oakshades on Mohingson Creek.

Aberdeen Township derived its name from "New Aberdeen," a name for a settlement established in Northwestern Monmouth County in the 1680s by Quakers and Presbyterians who fled Scotland to avoid religious persecution.

In 1684, Surveyor General Thomas Rudyard received a grant of 1,038 acres (4.20 km2) on Raritan Bay and Matawan Creek, the present location of Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach. Owing to Rudyard's high office, this was quite controversial, and in 1685, the Board of Proprietors issued an order regarding the laying out of land. Section 7 addressed questionable activity such as Rudyard's, and he sold his land to his son-in-law, Samuel Winder.

The 1680s saw an influx of Scottish immigrants fleeing religious persecution in response to a 1683 book by George Scott extolling the virtues of Scottish settlement in East Jersey. In 1701, a village site of 100 acres (0.40 km2) was granted by the Proprietors to 24 Scottish settlers of the area. These men and six others also purchased a landing site on Matawan Creek. The village site eventually came to be called Mount Pleasant, and the landing, as it became an important shipping point for the produce of Middletown Township, became Middletown Point. A third, very scattered settlement developed in the eighteenth century west of Matawan Creek, and was called Matawan or Matavan.

Middletown Township

In 1693, what was to become Aberdeen Township became part of Middletown Township which, at the time, consisted of what is now Aberdeen, Holmdel Township, Hazlet Township, Middletown (including Sandy Hook), Matawan Borough, Keyport, Union Beach, Keansburg, Atlantic Highlands, Highlands and a sliver of Colts Neck Township. A portion of the township that extended as far northwest as Cheesequake Creek, was ceded to Middlesex County in 1710.

Raritan Township

Middletown was considered too large and unwieldy, and legislation was passed in February 1848 that took the western half of Middletown Township to create a new municipality, Raritan Township (now Hazlet Township).

Matawan Township

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Beers passed the State General Assembly and Senate, was signed by Governor of New Jersey William A. Newell, and on February 23, 1857, Matavan Township was incorporated from portions of what was then Raritan Township. This included the village of Middletown Point, Mt. Pleasant, and Matavan. The Township was named for the creek as well as the village of Matavan. The spelling of "Matawan" or "Matavan" had been interchangeable, however, when the act was published "Matavan" had been used, which may derive from a Lenape word meaning "where two rivers come together". It may also originate from the Southern Unami Matawonge, "bad riverbank" or "bad hill", a possible reference to bluffs along Raritan Bay which were subject to erosion and collapse prior to the construction of a seawall in the 1970s. Another possible source is Matawan, Northern Unami for "bad fog", which may have referred to fog generated on Raritan Bay.

In 1865, due to postal confusion with Middletown, the Middletown Point post office was renamed "Matawan", to reflect the name of the Township. This section is the present downtown area of Matawan Borough. In 1882, the spelling of the Township was officially changed to "Matawan".

A small railroad station was erected along the New York and Long Branch Railroad tracks at a point called Hutchler's Crossing in 1875. Soon known as the Cliffwood Station, it operated on Cliffwood Avenue until the station closed in 1932.

In 1885, the Cliffwood post office was established and the name of the old Matavan settlement passed into obsolescence. Matawan was formed as a borough on June 28, 1895, from portions of Matawan Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. Matawan expanded with portions of Matawan Township in 1931 and 1933.

In response to demand, a post office was established at Mount Pleasant in 1889. As that name was in use elsewhere, a new name was needed. "Freneau" was chosen, in honor of Philip Morin Freneau, the "Poet of Revolution," and a former Mount Pleasant resident who is buried in the area. This post office has since been closed.

Cliffwood Beach, formed in the 1920s, was originally a resort community until after World War II when year-round homes were the norm. River Gardens developed in the late 1940s. Strathmore was developed in the 1960s, adding suburban development to the community and doubling the Township's population.

Aberdeen Township

On November 8, 1977, the residents of Matawan Township voted to change the name of the Township to create a community identity separate from that of Matawan Borough. The residents voted to call their community Aberdeen Township. Officials believed the new name would draw attention to the Township, as it is listed first alphabetically among New Jersey's municipalities.

Today, Aberdeen is a suburban township of 5.4 square miles (14 km2) containing a mix of residential, light industry and shopping centers. Sections of the township include Cliffwood, Cliffwood Beach, Freneau, Oakshades, River Gardens, Strathmore, Santa Fe Junction and Woodfield. The population is approximately 17,000. Three postal ZIP codes serve the township: 07721, 07735, and 07747.

The Township is served by two volunteer fire companies, the Aberdeen Township Hose and Chemical Co. No. 1, organized in 1918, and the Cliffwood Volunteer Fire Co., organized in 1927. Two volunteer First Aid Squads response to the community's emergency medical needs; the Aberdeen Township First Aid and Rescue Squad, organized in 1954, and the South Aberdeen Emergency Medical Service, organized in 1970. A full-time Police Department was established in 1935.

The Henry Hudson Trail is a 9-mile (14 km) paved trail built on a former Central Railroad of New Jersey right-of-way and extending from Aberdeen Township east to Atlantic Highlands.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 7.774 square miles (20.136 km2), including 5.447 square miles (14.108 km2) of land and 2.327 square miles (6.028 km2) of water (29.94%).

The township is broken into two non-contiguous sections, with a small wedge-shaped exclave on the township's southwest corner separated from the rest of the township by a portion of Matawan on the opposite side of Route 79.

Cliffwood Beach (2010 Census population of 3,194) and Strathmore (2010 population of 7,258) are unincorporated communities and census-designated places (CDPs) located within Aberdeen Township. Other unincorporated communities within Aberdeen Township include Cliffwood and Henningers Mills.

The township borders Hazlet Township, Holmdel Township, Keansburg, Keyport, Marlboro Township and Matawan in Monmouth County; and Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County. The borough has a maritime border with Staten Island in New York City.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,072
1870 2,839 37.0%
1880 2,699 −4.9%
1890 1,092 −59.5%
1900 1,310 20.0%
1910 1,472 12.4%
1920 1,856 26.1%
1930 2,496 34.5%
1940 2,633 5.5%
1950 3,888 47.7%
1960 7,359 89.3%
1970 17,680 140.3%
1980 17,235 −2.5%
1990 17,038 −1.1%
2000 17,454 2.4%
2010 18,210 4.3%
2020 19,329 6.1%
Population sources:
1860-1920 1860-1870
1870 1880-1890
1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 18,210 people, 6,876 households, and 4,923 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,343.0 per square mile (1,290.7/km2). There were 7,102 housing units at an average density of 1,303.8 per square mile (503.4/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 76.63% (13,954) White, 11.87% (2,161) Black or African American, 0.23% (41) Native American, 6.43% (1,171) Asian, 0.04% (8) Pacific Islander, 2.77% (504) from other races, and 2.04% (371) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.43% (1,900) of the population.

There were 6,876 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the township, the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.0 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 92.0 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $89,365 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,048) and the median family income was $101,174 (+/- $5,850). Males had a median income of $65,488 (+/- $5,575) versus $52,615 (+/- $3,635) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,830 (+/- $3,017). About 2.6% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 17,454 people, 6,421 households, and 4,770 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,152.2 people per square mile (1,216.4/km2). There were 6,558 housing units at an average density of 1,184.4 per square mile (457.1/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 78.82% White, 12.02% African American, 0.14% Native American, 5.51% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, and 1.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.02% of the population.

There were 6,421 households, out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the township the population was spread out, with 24.5% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 35.0% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $68,125, and the median income for a family was $76,648. Males had a median income of $51,649 versus $35,707 for females. The per capita income for the township was $28,984. About 3.8% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.


Roads and highways

2021-05-27 17 46 18 View south along New Jersey State Route 444 (Garden State Parkway) from the overpass for Monmouth County Route 516 (Main Street) in Aberdeen Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey
The Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 65.76 miles (105.83 km) of roadways, of which 55.74 miles (89.70 km) were maintained by the municipality, 5.35 miles (8.61 km) by Monmouth County, 2.69 miles (4.33 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 1.98 miles (3.19 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The Garden State Parkway is the largest highway in Aberdeen, with exit 118 in the township. Route 34 passes through in the southern area of the township, while Route 35 runs through the northern area.

Public transportation

NJ Transit provides bus transportation between the township and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 133 route and service on the 817 route.

The Aberdeen-Matawan station, located in Aberdeen, is a rail station on the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line, with service north to New York Penn Station and south to Bay Head.


Aberdeen Township is part of the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District, together with the neighboring community of Matawan. The district is a comprehensive system comprising seven schools, which includes one preschool, three elementary schools grades K-3, one 4-5 school, one middle school grades 6–8, one high school grades 9–12. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of seven schools, had an enrollment of 3,827 students and 324.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Cambridge Park Developmental Learning Center (12 students; Preschool), Cliffwood Elementary School (320; K-3), Ravine Drive Elementary School (326; K-3), Strathmore Elementary School (397; K-3), Lloyd Road Elementary School (614; 4–5), Matawan Aberdeen Middle School (888; 6–8) and Matawan Regional High School (1,112; 9–12). The MARSD Central Offices are located at 1 Crest Way, in Aberdeen. Seats on the district's nine-member board of education are allocated based on the population of the constituent municipalities, with six assigned to Aberdeen Township.

The township is home to the Yeshiva Gedolah of Cliffwood.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Aberdeen Township, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Aberdeen Township include:

  • Jay Bellamy (born 1972), safety who played in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.
  • Andrew Bowne (c. 1638 - c. 1708), colonial politician and jurist.
  • Anthony Brown American football quarterback for the Oregon Ducks.
  • Philip N. Gumbs (1923-2005), who served on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
  • Erison Hurtault (born 1984), sprinter who has represented Dominica in international events.
  • Jodi Lyn O'Keefe (born 1978), actress and model, who at age 17 portrayed Cassidy Bridges on Nash Bridges.
  • Thomas J. Powers, politician who served on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and as Mayor of Aberdeen Township.
  • Charlie Rogers (born 1976), former NFL running back and wide receiver who played for the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
  • David L. Smith, creator of the Melissa computer virus first identified in March 1999. Smith was sentenced in 2002 to serve 20 months in a federal prison.
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