Incorporated in 1845, the area now known as Branchburg Township [†] was originally inhabited by the Raritan Indians a tribe of the Lenni-Lenape Indians. By 1686 most of the land was purchased by the Lords proprietors of East Jersey. These Proprietors sold the land in small parcels to numerous settlers, mostly of Dutch or English extraction. Branchburg at that time was located in a large area called East Jersey and encompassed parts of Essex and Middlesex Counties as well. County boundaries were a subject of controversy until 1741 when Somerset County acquired parts of Middlesex and Essex Counties, nearly doubling its size.
Due to the expansion of Somerset County, Branchburg finally lay entirely within the County where it is presently located. Today, Branchburg is a semi-rural area of approximately 20.2 square miles, is eleven miles long and approximately two miles across at its widest point.
There is a touch of small village flavor in the hamlets of North Branch and Neshanic Station.
Initially Branchburg was governed by a three-member Township Committee which met annually in the spring to consider the needs of the Township. The Township Committee began to meet monthly in 1876. In the 1971 General Election, Branchburg voters elected a five member Township Committee. This was mandated by State statute due to the increase in population beyond 4,000 as shown by the 1970 census.
† Welcome to Branchburg, branchburg.nj.us, accessed November 2021.