New Hampshire’s records date from the early colonial period. Town and city clerks kept track of vital records, but coverage is spotty. An every-name index to early vital records exists, but doesn’t include 17 towns. Microfilm copies can be found at the New Hampshire State Library, the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, and through the Family History LIbrary (FHL) http://www.familysearch.org.
Civil Registration in 1866 required cities and towns to send copies of their birth and death records to the state, but total compliance didn’t occur until 1905, with the establishment of the Bureau of Vital Records. Originals remain in most town and city halls. Births prior to 1901 and marriages, divorces, and deaths before 1949 are open to the public.
Colonial resources include provincial tax lists for 1732, 1744, 1767, and 1776. With the exception of 1732, they all appear in the 40-volume Documents and Records Relating to New Hampshire, 1623-1800, known as the New Hampshire State Papers. The State Papers are a good resource for lists of Revolutionary War soldiers and probate documents prior to statehood.
Land records provide clues to early families, but recording was inconsistent and didn’t always occur at the time of the transaction. After the establishment of counties in 1769, land records reside in the registrar’s office of each county. Some land transactions appear in probate records (also kept in the county seat), especially if the transfer occurred between family members.
Researchers with families in the southern part of the state will find a greater variety of records to search than those in the north. Individuals with ancestors in southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts should look for records on both sides of the border for families in the area prior to boundary decisions.
New Hampshire resources are plentiful, so preparing for your research trip beforehand will help you identify facilities to visit. The small size of the state makes it easy to visit multiple facilities. The state capital, Concord, is the center for New Hampshire research, with three major repositories: the New Hampshire Historical Society’s Tuck Library, the New Hampshire State Library, and the New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives.
At the New Hampshire Historical Society, discover town reports, unpublished genealogies, city directories, newspapers, letters, diaries, and papers for the state’s residents. The society also has a collection of manuscripts for many New Hampshire churches, it only represents a small number of congregations. Papers for the rest might be at the church, with descendants of the ministers, or in libraries or historical societies. Search the online catalog for resources relevant to your research at http://nhhistory.library.net.
Fill in gaps in the vital records by consulting probate and land records on the county level. Probate records on the county level offer additional genealogical clues for some families by listing children and wives.
Court records can be found at the New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives. Provincial records from the period before 1771 are organized and indexed; some appear in the New Hampshire State Papers.
Also at the state archives are legislative petitions beginning in the 17th century. They contain an assortment of material, including petitions for release from prison, divorces, and name changes. Organized by year, they are being indexed. Approximately 20 percent of them appear in the New Hampshire State Papers. The state archives also has military papers, including indexes for the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, and Civil War enlistment cards.
Town histories are in print for most communities and often include genealogies of founding families. The largest collection of these is at the New Hampshire Historical Society’s Tuck Library http://www.nhhistory.org.
Not all New Hampshire material is located in-state. The New England Historic Genealogical Society’s manuscript department contains material on New Hampshire families, as well as some town documents and cemetery transcriptions. The website http://www.americanancestors.org features databases and research information.
- Census of New Hampshire, for the Years 1767 and 1775 (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- New Hampshire 1732 Census by Jay Mack Holbrook (Holbrook Research Institute, 1981)
- New Hampshire 1776 Census by Jay Mack Holbrook (Holbrook Research Institute, 1976)
- New Hampshire Residents, 1633-1699 by Jay Mack Holbrook (Holbrook Research Institute, 1979)
- Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775 by Ethel Bolton (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1966)
- Index to New England Naturalization Petitions, 1791-1906 by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (National Archives, 1983)
- Proprietors’ Records, 1748-1846 by the New Hampshire Proprietors (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- Atlas of Historical County Boundaries: New Hampshire, Vermont edited by John H. Long, compiled by Gordon DenBoer and George E. Goodridge Jr. (Simon & Schuster, 1993)
- Communities, Settlements, and Neighborhood Centers in the State of New Hampshire: An Inventory (New Hampshire State Planning and Development Commission, 1937)
- A Gazetteer of the State of New-Hampshire by John Farmer and Jacob B. Moore (Heritage Books, 1997)
- New Hampshire As It Is compiled by Edwin A. Charlton (Tracy and Sanford, 1855)
- The New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer (DeLorme Mapping Company, 1987)
- New Hampshire Maps to 1900: An Annotated Checklist by David A. Cobb (New Hampshire Historical Society, 1981)
- New Hampshire Post Offices, 1775-1978 by L.W. Simonds (N.H.: Simonds, 1978)
- New Hampshire Town Names and Whence They Came by Elmer Munson Hunt (Noone House, 1971, ca. 1970)
- The Place Names of the White Mountains: History and Origins by Robert and Mary Hixon (Down East Books, 1980)
- The Postal History of New Hampshire: The Post Offices and First Postmasters From 1775 to 1985 by Chester M. Smith, Jr. and John L. Kay (Depot, 1986)
- Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire (D.H. Hurd Company, 1892)
- Indian and French Wars and Revolutionary Papers: Collection of 1880 (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- Military History of New Hampshire, From its Settlement, in 1623, to the Year 1861 by Chandler Eastman Potter (1868)
- New Hampshire in the Great Rebellion: Containing Histories of the Several New Hampshire Regiments, and a Biographical Notices of Many of the Prominent Actors in the Civil War of 1861-65 by Otis F.R. Waite (Tracy, Chase & Co., 1870)
- New Hampshire’s Role in the American Revolution, 1763-1789: A Bibliography (New Hampshire American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1974)
- New Hampshire, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 by the US Selective Service System (National Archives, 1987-1988)
- Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866 by the New Hampshire Adjutant General’s Office and Augustus D. Ayling (Ira C. Evans, 1895)
- State of New Hampshire. Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary War, 4 vols., by Isaac Weare Hammond (AMS Press, 1973)
- The Bench and Bar of New Hampshire, Including Biographical Notices of Deceased Judges of the Highest Court, and Lawyers of the Province and State, and a List of Names of Those now Living by Charles H. Bell (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1894)
- Colonial Court Records, Names of Those now Living by Charles H. Bell (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, 40 vols. (George E. Jenks, 1867-1943)
- Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire, 9 vols., by Albert Stillman Batchellor (Rumford Printing Co., 1907-41)
- Province Deeds and Probate Records From 1623-1772 by the Colony of New Hampshire (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- Bride’s Index, 1640-1900 by (New Hampshire Division of Vital Statistics, ca. 1970)
- Card File Index to Bible Records by the New Hampshire Historical Society (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- Card File Index to Publishments of Marriage Intention Prior to 1900 by the New Hampshire Historical Society (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- Colonial Gravestone Inscriptions in the State of New Hampshire compiled by Winifred Lane Goss (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1974)
- Guide to Church Vital Statistics Records in New Hampshire by the New Hampshire Historical Records Survey (The Survey, 1942)
- Index to Births, Early to 1900 by the New Hampshire Registrar of Vital Statistics (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974)
- Index to Deaths, Early to 1900 by the New Hampshire Registrar of Vital Statistics (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974)
- Index to Divorces and Annulments Prior to 1938 by the New Hampshire Registrar of Vital Statistics (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
- Index to Early Town Records, New Hampshire, Early to 1850 by the New Hampshire Secretary of State (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950)
- New Hampshire Marriage Licenses and Intentions, 1709-1961 by Pauline Johnson Oesterlin (Heritage Books, 1991)
- Northern New Hampshire Graveyards and Cemeteries: Transcriptions and Indexes of Burial Sites in the Towns of Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Dixville, Pittsburg, Stewartstown, and Stratford by Nancy L. Dodge (Higginson Books, 1985)
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