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  • Genealogical Resources in the New Hampshire State Library

    John Fipphen

    In recent years the New Hampshire State Library has become a much more useful resource for genealogical research. Formerly the pertinent material had been kept in closed stacks and had to be requested at the desk by the researcher. A few years ago, though, most of the genealogical material was relocated to a room on the first floor with open stacks. The online library catalog makes searching easy for the genealogist. The library staff welcomes patrons and makes every reasonable effort to assist library users in finding the information for which they are searching. And there is no admission charge at state library facilities, which is not the case for non-members at the New Hampshire Historical Society, just across North State Street from the Library. That facility will be discussed in a future article in this series. In choosing the resources listed in this brief catalog, I attempted to select the most important items from a collection of thousands of books and other types of records.

    American Genealogical and Biographical Index

    The library holdings include both the red-covered original set of this series and all of the revised, green-covered volumes that have been published to date. This index contains the names of thousands upon thousands of individuals who lived in America from 1607 to the early nineteenth century. Census records, military records, many genealogies and collections of genealogies, and the Boston Transcript genealogical columns are indexed in the AGBI.

    Cemetery Records

    This miscellaneous collection of manuscripts and typescripts includes records from a large number of the cemeteries in the state.

    Census Records

    These federal census records of the State of New Hampshire from 1790 to 1910 also include AIS Indexes to 1860; Soundex for 1880, 1900, and 1920; the Civil War Veterans’ census of 1890; and 1790 censuses of several other states. The library also has compilations of so-called NH censuses taken in 1776 [The Association Test] and 1732.

    City and County Directories (located in closed stacks)

    This collection contains fairly complete sets of city directories for the state’s most populous municipalities and a smattering of directories for several smaller communities. Large numbers of Boston city directories and New England business directories are also included in this collection.

    County Histories

    In general the earliest settlers and prominent residents are featured in the town histories found in these volumes.

    Early New Hampshire Town Records

    The flagship collection of the library’s genealogical holdings is the indexed collection of the early records of New Hampshire’s towns. This collection contains the records of many births and marriages which occurred prior to about 1840. The tax lists found in this collection can also provide helpful information about ancestors.

    Family Histories

    This large collection of genealogies contains some volumes that are not found in the collection at the New Hampshire Historical Society next door. Copeley’s guide to town histories, a helpful index to this vast collection of brief genealogies, is available at the reference desk.

    General References

    The entries listed under this heading represent a minute sampling of the genealogical reference materials available at the State Library:

    • Ayling -- “Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion: 1861-1865” DAR Patriot Index
    • Filby -- “Passenger and Immigration Lists Index”
    • New England Historic Genealogical Society Register
    • Noyes, Libby, and Davis -- “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire.”
    • Savage -- “Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England.”
    • Stearns -- “Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire.”


    Index to New Hampshire Notables

    The names of New Hampshire citizens that have appeared in county histories, biographical collections, Dartmouth class rolls, etc., are included in this extensive index.

    Local Histories

    Many of these histories and accounts of New Hampshire towns and cities contain genealogical information.

    Loyalists’ Petitions to The Crown (located in closed stacks)

    This five-volume set provides a considerable amount of genealogical information about New Hampshire residents who fled to Canada as a result of having chosen to remain loyal to Great Britain during the American Revolution. Family historians who have Loyalist ancestors from colonies other than New Hampshire should find these of interest because the same sort of information was contained in the documents that all loyalist petitioners made to His Majesty’s Government.

    Maps and Atlases

    Included in the map collection are county maps of 1858 and 1892, which plot the positions of individual homes and identify the residents. The Sanborne Fire Insurance Maps are of interest for more recent information and are located in closed stacks.

    Massachusetts Vital Records to 1849
    This multivolume set, which began as a WPA project during the depression of the 1930s, contains records of the births, marriages, and deaths in the majority of Massachusetts towns and cities. Data for these vital records were obtained from such sources as town records, church records and cemetery records.

    Military Records

    See “Provincial and State Papers” below and also Ayling under “General References.” See also Potter’s The Military History of the State of New Hampshire, 1621-1861.


    New Hampshire newspapers of both rural communities and the state’s major cities are included in this collection. Although the majority of these newspapers were printed beginning about 1875, a few of the items in this collection were printed prior to that year.

    Provincial and State Papers of New Hampshire

    This 34-volume set encompasses a wide variety of topics relative to the provincial and early state history of New Hampshire. Especially valuable to the genealogist are the military rolls found in volumes 14-17 and provincial probate records from 1635 to 1771, contained in volumes 21-29. The volumes which were not cited in this paragraph are also potential sources of significant genealogical information.

    Town Reports (located in closed stacks)

    Beginning just before 1890, towns in New Hampshire began publishing vital records in the annual town reports. Many towns have discontinued this practice, but a few towns continue to publish this valuable genealogical data in current town reports. The library contains a comprehensive collection of these reports.


    Metered spaces are available on Park Street and State Street for 25 cents per hour with a two-hour limit. Free three-hour parking is available on North State Street, one block north of the library. Free all-day parking is available on nearby Union Street.


    Patrons may make photocopies from books for 10 cents per copy and from microfilms for 25 cents per copy. Photocopies may be ordered by mail for 20 cents and 50 cents per copy respectively.

    Research by Correspondence

    Staff members will spend at least 45 minutes to research requests received in the mail, and will provide a reasonable number of photocopies in response to such requests. The New Hampshire Historical Society list of local researchers is available to correspondents requiring more extensive work.

    General Information

    20 Park Street (directly across Park Street from the capitol building), Concord, NH 03301
    (603) 271- 2144
    HOURS: Monday-Friday from 8AM - 4:30PM except state holidays.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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