How to Address a Freeholder

How to Address a Freeholder?

Could you please provide me with the proper way to address a Freeholder?
freeholderfreeholder– Cynthia Davis

Dear Ms. Davis:
In the U.S., officials elected in a general election is entitled to be addressed as ‘the Honorable (Full Name). However at the county level – some counties do, some counties don’t. Check with freeholder’s office to find the local tradition.

—-If addressed as ‘the Honorable” (envelope, address block on letter or email):
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(County) Board of Freeholders

—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(County) Board of Chosen Freeholders


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

—-If not addressed as ‘the Honorable” (envelope, address block on letter or email):

—-—-Mr./Ms./Mrs./etc. (Full Name)
—-—-(County) Board of Freeholders

——–Mr./Ms./Mrs./etc. (Full Name)
—-—-(County) Board of Chosen Freeholders

—-And in conversation or in a salutation use:
——–Freeholder (Surname)
——–Mr./Ms./Mrs./etc. (Surname)

The etc. means to use whatever honorific they normally use. There is no special honorific for freeholders. Formally in writing address as Mr./Ms./Mrs./etc. (Name).  But like many elected positions (delegate, assemblyman, councilman, etc.) you hear ‘freeholder’ informally used before a name in the media or anytime it is desired to emphasize the office they hold: ‘Freeholder Jason Wilson will be here in ten minutes.’ or ‘Atlantic County Freeholder Sarah Thompson said today…’. Generally, it is an informal practice and done to be clear who said what? … and who holds what job?   How to Address a freeholder


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

For those who don’t know what a freeholder is …. elected county officials in New Jersey are called ‘freeholders.’

The term is rooted in the colonial period when only men with land, then called a freehold, were permitted to vote or serve in elected office. In most other states holders of the equivalent office are members of a county board or county council.

In most counties, freeholders are elected at-large, or county-wide. In several counties freeholders are elected by district. In Atlantic County and Essex Counties, some freeholders are elected at-large and others are elected by district. In Hudson County, all freeholders are elected by district. Whether to elect freeholders by district or at large is determined by county referenda.

– Robert Hickey How to Address a freeholder

See Also These Related Posts:
—-Assemblyman or Assemblywoman, State
—-Commissioner, State
—-Delegate, State
—-President of a State Assembly
—-Representative, State
—-Senator, State


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”