Manalapan Township was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 9, 1848, from portions of Freehold Township. The name "Manalapan" is derived from a word in the Lenape language that would mean either "land of good bread," "good land to settle upon," "good bread," or "covered swamp with edible roots." The Battle of Monmouth Court House was fought in 1778 on land that is now part of Manalapan and Freehold townships. Monmouth Battlefield State Park occupies 2,928 acres in the two townships.
Source: Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 181.