The wing housing the kitchen and service quarters is the oldest part of the house, built by Richard Stockton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and his wife, Annis, in the mid-18th century. It was raised in height in the mid-19th century. The porch at its rear would have been used as a work place in good weather, as would the service yard. While one or two servants may have slept in the upper story, it probably also housed children of the large Stockton families.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries, African-American slaves performed most of the domestic tasks and worked on the farm. Tax records indicate that there were between one and six slaves working at Morven at any one time, but probably there were more. New Jersey passed a gradual emancipation law in 1804, and by the 1840 census the Stocktons owned no slaves. Initially their places were taken by free black and white servants. The 1860 census indicates that all the domestic servants at Morven were Irish immigrants.
The Stockton wives and daughters also engaged in domestic tasks. The ladies of the household ironed, made preserves, prepared food, and even bottled beer.