1497 – John and Sebastian Cabot sailed along the New Jersey coast and claimed the land for England.
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazano explored the New York Harbor and claimed the land for France.
1609 – Henry Hudson landed at Sandy Hook, traveled along the coast of New Jersey and up the Hudson River. He claimed the land for Holland. The Dutch later settled Paulus Hook (Jersey City), New Amsterdam (New York City), and Staten Island.
1664 – The English attacked the Dutch colonies. The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to Governor Richard Nichols.
1664 – Charles II, king of England, granted the land from the Dutch to his brother James, Duke of York. James deeded 500,000 acres of the tract to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley on June 23, 1664.
1664 – The Elizabethtown Associates (John Bayly, Daniel Denton, and Luke Watson – all from Long Island) were granted permission by Governor Nichols to settle the territory along the Newark Bay and Arthur Kill. They purchased 35,000 acres of land from the Lenape Indians on October 28, 1664. They allocated land grants to settlers.
1665 – Appointed governor of the grant by Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley, Sir Philip Carteret arrived at the mouth of the Elizabeth River in August 1665. No doubt he was surprised to find several dwellings and the Associates already there! Sir Philip named the community Elizabethtown, in honor of his brother George’s wife Elizabeth. He allocated land grants to settlers.
1666 – People from Connecticut settled the town of Newark.
1683 – Essex county formed, which included land that later became Union county.
1793 – Springfield created.
1794 – Westfield created.
1804 – Rahway created.
1808 – Union township created.
1809 – New Providence created.
1857 – Union county formed from Essex county.
1861 – Linden created.
1864 – Clark township created.
1869 – Summit created.
1871 – Cranford created.
1887 – Fanwood created.
1894 – Roselle created.
1895 – Mountainside created.
1899 – Berkeley Heights created.
1901 – Roselle Park created.
1903 – Garwood created.
1907 – Kenilworth created.
1913 – Hillside created.
1941 – Winfield created.