I usually ask the library folks in the area that I am interested in if they maintain a volunteer list because many times there are genealogists in the area known to the librarian. Sometimes they do and sometimes they do not.Does not hurt to ask.
It has been my experience over the years that some of the volunteers will do the searches without pay but most will charge for the time involved.That should be clear from the start when you make contact with the volunteers.These folks usually are with the local historical society.They would most likely already know when the records are in their area and the clerks of the court should already know who they are.
The local historical society would also have published some of the local church and cemetery records, voting records, grange records, wills and administration records, militia and military records, petit and grand jury lists as well as the minutes of the courts, marriage and birth records, sales and appraisal records, etc.
The main thing you will have to start with what records you can locate in the 1980`s for your Thomas BOSTOCK in the Tom`s River area.City directories, phone directories for the years of 1990 backwards would be a good start.Check into what voting registration records available.Look into the tax digests to see if he was on the books.
There are many "for a fee" subscription sites online that will cite all of the public records under the sun for any given individual.
Have you looked to see if there is a Family History Center[FHC] near your location ?You would need to make an appointment with them and they can be very helpful.
If you know the required data on you Thomas J. SR you can make a request for his Form SA-5 that he should have filed in his handwriting for his social security card.I am not sure what the fee is today but you should get it to see what his employment was at the time as well as his residence on the date of his application.His parents and his birthplace would be on that form as well.
Remember that all of your ancestors left a paper trail.All of them.The family genealogist just have to look in the right place for that trail.
Brick walls can be overcome if you know how to find the door in that brick wall.Keep in mind sometimes those allied/collateral lines that married into your family may just have the right key to open that door.
There is one problem to keep in mind as well.Sometimes the BOSTOCK is written in some records as "BOSTICK" because of poor penmanship whereas the letter "o" did not have the opening in the script and the transciber wrote it down as he understands the pronounciation.
I have been following the BOSTOCK, BOSTICK, BOSTIC, BOSTWICK, BAUSTOCKE, etc since 1960 and it has never been simple.