Monday, February 22, 2016

The New Hampshire State Papers – You can’t do Colonial NH research without them!

Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire
Volume 9, 1767 - 1771, State Papers Series, Volume 39

This post was originally written in 2010, but the links needed updating- and so did the message!

If your ancestors lived in Colonial New England, or if you suspect that your ancestors lived in New England any time up until 1800, then you must have used the New Hampshire State Papers for your genealogical research. I first came across this wonderful resource years ago (before the internet) at the Portsmouth Atheneum library. Now, when I run across a new name in the family tree, I can go to the NH State Papers online at the website for the State Archives.  

The NH State Papers were published in forty volumes between 1867 and 1943. The websites below have indexes to names about 2070 pages long. The project has been made available on microfilm and CD-ROM to libraries and repositories worldwide. The first seven volumes are sometimes referred to as The Provincial Papers. Their contents include town papers, the Revolutionary Rolls (in volumes 14 to 17), other military records, land grants, town charters, probate and court records.

Please remember that the “Association Test” (also known as “The Patriot Test”) during the American Revolution was a document by the Committee of Safely that required every male over age 21 to sign in 1776. This was a loyalty oath to the Patriot cause.  It is considered as valuable as a census record since both signers and non-signers (usually with a reason why they would not sign, for example Quakers did not sign) are listed.  It is the best list of NH residents before the first Federal census in 1790.  You can find the Association Test signatures in Volume 30, and also at this link grouped by county and town:      

These Association Test names are also available in a book called Inhabitants of New Hampshire, 1776, by Emily S. Wilson, Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993 and online at (look In the card catalog of online books).

Links for the complete set of New Hampshire State Papers:   The New Hampshire State Papers page at official State of New Hampshire website.  The top link is an index, where you can search surnames by then clicking on the correct volume and page.  Rootsweb’s PDF index to the NH State Papers.  Use the index to find the name you are interested in researching, and then the links to the correct Volume and page.  It is cumbersome, but the only way to search the NH State Papers online right now.

The Rutland Historical Society, (Rutland Vermont) has a list of links to all forty volumes of the New Hampshire State Papers, but no index here:

Any link you may have to the University of New Hampshire Archives and Library is a broken link.  They are trying to fix their links now (on my request as of February 1, 2016.  If you feel like browsing through the historical collections for volumes of the NH State papers, you might want to try this link: and click on "NH State Publications" and then click on "Historical" (sorry, no other link will work). 

You may find various volumes of the New Hampshire State and Provincial papers online with Google or other search engine (searchable images or text) but for access to all 40 complete volumes I would recommend using the links above.


Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The New Hampshire State Papers – You can’t do Colonial NH research without them!", Nutfield Genealogy, posted February 22, 2016, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. I bought the cd's years ago and use them often - another hint, use alternate spellings ie. Lock and Locke.

    1. What a good idea! The URLs for these links seem to change every year, and the CDs would mean not having to update this blog post annually!

  2. Thank you, Heather! This will help me with my Ladd and Gilman lines. I consider you a mentor. I appreciate all you do :).

  3. I second Lorena's comment. Just a cursory look through these has given me some new information. Thanks again!

  4. Comment from "maizyqueen" accidentally deleted
    "Heather this is wonderful information. Thank you!"