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  • New Hampshire Town and County Development, Part II

    This concludes the two-part series on New Hampshire town and county developments. Part one of this list covered the first five counties established in the state: Rockingham, Strafford, Hillsborough, Chesire, and Grafton. Initially, New Hampshire was one province with an individual town government. In 1769, an act proposing the establishment of five counties to handle growing demand on government administration was sent to England for confirmation. The Crown confirmed the act in 1771 and the new system was established a year later.

    What follows are descriptions of the remaining counties, their original boundaries, and the towns founded within those bounds. Each town list includes:

    • The name of town with the date it was adopted
    • All known previous names and date name was adopted, when known
    • Date of town grant or incorporation
    • Parent town set off from, when applicable and known
    • Date settled
    • Date of affiliation with county or counties

     

    All information in this article regarding the formation of counties, their bounds, the towns in each county with dates, and county seats is taken from the preface of Otis G. Hammond, ed. Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire vol. 39, State Paper Series (State of New Hampshire: 1941), viii. For a statewide alphabetical list of New Hampshire town names see this volume. Also Isaac W. Hammond, ed. Town Papers, Documents Relating to Towns in New Hampshire vol. 6-8, State Paper Series (Concord, NH, Parsons B. Cogswell, State Printer: 1891) was used to obtain information about former names and dates of settlement. When information from these sources conflicted, or dates of settlement were missing, various town histories were consulted. In addition, a list of old town names found in the New Hampshire Vital Record office, Hazen Drive, Concord, NH, was incorporated. This list is not sourced and when information from the list conflicted with the State Papers series, or did not make sense, it was not used.

    Coos County was established by an act passed December 24, 1803, to take effect March 1, 1805, to contain all the lands and waters northerly of a line beginning on the west bank of the Connecticut River at the southwesterly corner of Dalton and running on the westerly and southerly line of Dalton to Whitefield, then on the westerly and southerly line of Whitefield to Bretton Woods (Carroll), then on the westerly and southerly line of Bretton Woods to the southeasterly corner thereof, then southerly on a straight line across the unallocated lands to the line of the county of Strafford at the northwesterly corner of Tamworth, then on the line of the county of Strafford to the line of the district of Maine. Records for the towns of Coos County after February 1805 are kept at Lancaster.

    Towns in Coos County

    Town Date Adopted Previous/Alternate Name(s) and dates adopted * Date of Grant or Incorporation Parent Town Date Settled Date of Affiliation with County
    Berlin 1829 Cascade, Maynesborough 1771 Granted 1771   ca 1781 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805
    Cambridge     Not incorporated, granted 1773     Grafton 1773, Coos 1805
    Carroll 1832 Nash & Sawyers Location, Fabyan’s, Twin Mountain, Bretton-Woods, 1772 Granted 1772     Grafton 1772, Coos 1805
    Clarksville 1853 Dartmouth College Grant, 1789 Granted 1792     Grafton 1792, Coos 1805
    Colebrook 1770 Colebrooke Town, Dryden, 1762 Granted 1770   by 1788 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805
    Columbia 1811 Preston, 1762, Cockburne Town, 1770, Wales Location Granted 1770   by 1787 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805
    Dalton 1784 Chiswick, 1764, Apthrop, 1770 Granted 1770 Set off from Littleton ca 1773 Grafton 1784, Coos 1805
    Dixville     Not incorporated     Grafton 1771, Coos 1805

    Dummer


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        Granted 1773     Grafton 1773, Coos 1805

    Errol


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        Granted 1774   bef. 1800 Grafton 1774, Coos 1805

    Gorham


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    1836 Shelburne Addition, 1770 Granted 1770 Set off from Shelburne 1764 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805

    Jefferson


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    1796 Dartmouth, 1765 Granted 1765   1772 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805
    Kilkenny     Not incorporated, granted 1774     Grafton 1774, Coos 1805
    Lancaster 1763 Upper Coos, Barker’s Location Granted 1763   1764 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805


    Milan

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    1824 Paulsbourg, 1771 Granted 1771     Grafton 1771, Coos 1805


    Millsfield

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        Not incorporated, granted 1774     Grafton 1774, Coos 1805


    Northumberland

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    1771 Stonington, 1761, Groveton Granted 1761   1767 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805


    Pittsburg

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    1840 Indian Stream Territory, 1823 Incorporated 1840   by 1832 Coos 1800


    Randolph

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    1824 Durand, 1772 Granted 1772     Grafton 1772, Coos 1805


    Shelburne

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    1769   Granted 1769   1775 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805


    Stark

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    1832 Percy, Piercy, 1774, General John Winslow Grant Granted 1774   before 1794 Grafton 1774, Coos 1805


    Stewartstown

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    1799 Stuart, 1770 Granted 1770   by 1795 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805


    Stratford

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    1773 Woodbury, 1762 Granted 1762   ca 1773 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805
    Success     Not incorporated, granted 1773     Grafton 1773, Coos 1805
    Wentworth Location     Not incorporated, granted 1797     Grafton 1797, Coos 1805


    Whitefield

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        Granted 1774   1801 Grafton 1774, Coos 1805


    * Includes some village names under given towns.

    **You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to download pdf files. You may download it free from their website.

     

    Merrimack County was established by an act to take effect August 1, 1823. It was to include specific towns listed below, ten taken from Rockingham County and thirteen taken from Hillsborough County. Merrimack County records are kept at Concord.

    Towns in Merrimack County

    Town Date Adopted Previous/Alternate Name(s) and dates adopted * Date of Grant or Incorporation Parent Town Date Date of Affiliation with County
    Allenstown 1759   Granted 1722   before 1748 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Andover 1779 Brown’s Town, Emery’s Town, 1748, New Breton, 1758, Cilleyville, Gale, Potter Place Granted 1748   1761 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Boscawen 1760 Contoocook, 1733, Gerrish Granted 1733   1734 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Bow     Granted 1727   by 1758 Rockingham 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Bradford 1787 New Bradford, 1771, Bradfordton, Washington Gore, Melvin Mills, Bradford Center Granted 1735/36   1771 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Canterbury     Granted 1727   ca 1728 Rockingham 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Chichester     Granted 1727   1758 Rockingham 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Concord 1765 Penacook, 1659, Rumford, 1725, Fisherville Granted 1725   1727 Rockingham 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Danbury     Incorporated 1795 Set off from Alexandria   Grafton 1795, Merrimack 1874
    Dunbarton 1752 Gorham’s Town, 1735, Starkstown, 1748 Granted 1735   1749 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Epsom   Gossville, ca 1882 Granted 1727   by 1743 Rockingham 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Franklin     Incorporated 1828 Set off from the towns of Northfield, Salisbury, Andover, and Sanborton 1748 Merrimack 1828
    Henniker 1768 Line Town No. 6, 1735, Todds Town, 1752, New Marlborough, ca 1765 Granted 1735   1761 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Hill 1837 New Chester, 1753 Granted 1753   1768 Grafton 1771, Merrimack 1868
    Hooksett by 1822 Chester Woods, White Pine Country, Hanna-Ko-Kees Hills, Rowe’s Corner, Isle au Hooksett Incorporated 1822 Set off from Goffstown, Chester, Dunbarton before 1782 Hillsborough 1822, Merrimack 1823
    Hopkinton 1762 Contoocook, Line Town No. 5, 1735, New Hopkinton, ca 1736 Granted 1735/36   by 1738 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Loudon     Incorporated 1773 Set off from Canterbury 1760 Rockingham 1773, Merrimack 1823
    New London 1779 Heidleburg, bef. 1769, Alexandria Addition, 1773, Scytheville, ca 1835, Elkins, ca 1900, absorbed part of Kearsarge Gore Granted 1773   ca 1775 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Newbury 1837 Hereford, Dantzick, 1753, Fishersfield, 1772 Granted 1753     Cheshire 1771, Hillsborough 1778, Merrimack 1823
    Northfield 1780 Factory Village Incorporated 1780 Set off from Canterbury in 1760 Rockingham 1780, Merrimack 1823
    Pembroke 1759 Lovewell’s Town 1728, Buckstreet, Suncook Granted 1726   ca 1728 Rockingham 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Pittsfield 1782 Lower City, Upper City, Knowltons Corners, Berry District Incorporated 1782 Set off from Chichester ca 1768 Rockingham 1782, Merrimack 1823
    Salisbury 1768 Bakers-town, 1736, Stevens-town, 1749, Gerrishtown Granted 1736/37   1750 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Sutton 1784 Perrys-town, 1748 Granted 1749   ca 1770 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Warner 1774 Line Town No. 1, New Amesbury, Jenness-town, Roby, Dimond Bayley, Davisville, Rye Town Granted 1735/36   1762 Hillsborough 1771, Merrimack 1823
    Webster 1860   Incorporated 1860 Set off from Boscawen   Merrimack 1860
    Wilmot 1807 absorbed part of Kearsarge Gore Incorporated 1807 Set off from New London   Hillsborough 1807, Merrimack 1823

    * Includes some village names under given towns.


    Sullivan County was established by an act passed July 5, 1827, to take effect the first Tuesday of September following, to consist of fifteen towns from Cheshire County. Sullivan County records are kept at Newport.

    Towns in Sullivan County

    Town Date Adopted Previous/Alternate Name(s) and dates adopted * Date of Grant or Incorporation Parent Town Date Date of Affiliation with County
    Acworth 1766 Burnat, 1752 Granted 1752   1767 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Charlestown 1753 Fort No. 4, 1735 Granted 1735   1740 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Claremont     Granted 1764   1762 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Cornish   Mast Camp Granted 1763   1765 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Croydon   Four Corners, Ryder Corner, Brighton Granted 1763   1766 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Goshen     Incorporated 1791 Set off from Newbury, Sunapee, Newport, Unity and Lempster 1768 Cheshire 1791, Sullivan 1827
    Grantham 1761 Meriden, New Grantham Granted 1761   after 1767 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Langdon     Incorporated 1787 Set off from Charlestown and Walpole 1773 Cheshire 1787, Sullivan 1827
    Lempster 1761 Fort No. 9, 1735, Line Town No. 9, Dupplin, 1753 Granted 1735/36   1770 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Newport 1761 Grenville, 1753, Kelleyville, Guild Granted 1761   1766 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Plainfield   Meriden Granted 1761   1764 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Springfield 1794 Protectworth, 1769 Granted 1769   1772 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Sunapee 1850 Corey's Town, by 1764, Saville, 1768, Wendell, 1782, Georges Mills, Blodgetts Landing Granted 1768   1769 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Unity 1764 Buckingham, 1753 Granted 1753     Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827
    Washington 1776 Monadnock No. 8, 1735, Line Town No. 8, 1735, Belcher's Town, 1735, New Concord, 1752, Camden, 1768 Granted 1735/36   1768 Cheshire 1771, Sullivan 1827

    * Includes some village names under given towns.

    Belknap County was established by an act to take effect January 1, 1841, to consist of eight towns from Strafford County. Belknap County records are kept at Laconia.

    Towns in Belknap County

    Town Date Adopted Previous/Alternate Name(s) and dates adopted * Date of Grant or Incorporation Parent Town Date Date of Affiliation with County
    Alton 1796 New Durham Gore Incorporated 1796   ca 1770 Strafford 1796, Belknap 1841
    Barnstead     Granted 1727   before 1767 Strafford 1771, Belknap 1841
    Belmont 1869 Upper Gilmanton, 1859 Incorporated 1859 Set off from Gilmanton 1743 Belknap 1859
    Center Harbor 1797   Incorporated 1797 Set off from New Hampton   Strafford 1797, Belknap 1841
    Gilford 1812 Gunstock Parish Incorporated 1812 Set off from Gilmanton 1743 Strafford 1812, Belknap 1841
    Gilmanton 1727 Governor’s Island Granted 1727   1761 Strafford 1771, Belknap 1841
    Laconia 1855 Meredith Bridge Incorporated 1855 Set off from Meredith 1743 Belknap 1855
    Meredith 1768 New Salem, 1748, Palmer’s Town, Bear Islands, Stone-dam Granted 1748   before 1768 Strafford 1771, Belknap 1841
    New Hampton 1777 Moultonborough Addition, 1765 Granted 1765   by 1777 Strafford 1771, Belknap 1841
    Sanbornton 1770 Crochtown, Gaza, Sanborn Town, 1748, North Sanbornton Granted 1748   1764 Strafford 1771, Belknap 1841
    Tilton 1869 Sanbornton Bridge Incorporated 1869 Set off from Sanbornton   Belknap 1869

    * Includes some village names under given towns.


    Carroll County was established by an act to take effect January 1, 1841. It was to consist of fourteen towns taken from Strafford County. Carroll County records are kept at Ossipee.

    Towns in Carroll County

    Town Date Adopted Previous/Alternate Name(s) and dates adopted * Date of Grant or Incorporation Parent Town Date Date of Affiliation with County
    Albany 1833 Burton, 1766 Granted 1766   before 1785 Grafton 1771, Strafford 1800, Carroll 1841
    Bartlett   Glen, Intervale Incorporated 1790     Grafton 1790, Coos 1805, Carroll 1841
    Brookfield   Coleraine, 1726 Incorporated 1794 Set off from Middleton and Wolfeborough 1726 Strafford 1794, Carroll 1841
    Chatham   McDonough’s Location Granted 1767   1781 Grafton 1771, Coos 1805, Strafford 1823, Carroll 1841
    Conway 1765 Pequawket, Foster’s Pocket Granted 1765   1766 Grafton 1771, Strafford 1778, Carroll 1841
    Eaton   Sandy Hill, Snowville, 1825 Granted 1766   before 1788 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Effingham 1778 Leavits Town, 1749 Granted 1749   before 1775 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Freedom   North Effingham, 1831 Incorporated 1831 Set off from Effingham   Strafford 1831, Carroll 1841
    Hart's Location     Granted 1772     Grafton 1772, Carroll 1841
    Jackson 1829 Fowles Location, New Madbury, Rogers Grant, 1771, Treadwell Grant, 1771, Wentworth, 1771, Gilman Grant, 1773, Adams, 1800 Incorporated 1800   before 1796 Grafton 1800, Coos 1805, Carroll 1841
    Madison     Incorporated 1852     Carroll 1852
    Moultonborough 1763 Moultonborough Gore, Long Island Granted 1763   1764 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Ossipee 1785 Wigwam Village, New Garden, Ossipee Gore Incorporated 1785   by 1782 Strafford 1785, Carroll 1841
    Sandwich     Granted 1763   before 1773 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Tamworth   Chocorua, Wonalancet, Whittier Granted 1766   1771 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Tuftonboro   Melvin Corner, Melvin Village, Mirror Lake Granted 1750   after 1780 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Wakefield 1774 East town, Ham’s Town, Sanbornville, Union, Watertown Granted 1749     Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841
    Wolfeboro 1895 Kingswood, Wolfeborough, 1759 Incorporated 1770   1759 Strafford 1771, Carroll 1841

    * Includes some village names under given towns.

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