Sunday, April 10, 2016

Top Ten New Hampshire Genealogical Resources

Every month on the 10th day I publish a "Top Ten" list pertaining to genealogy and family history. Here are my favorite ten places to do genealogy research in the state of New Hampshire.  In no particular order...

1. New Hampshire Vital Records and Archives
Visit the Department of Vital Records and Archives on 71 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire.  There are staff and volunteers to assist in searching for birth, marriage, divorce and civil union certificates going back to the 1600s.  FREE but there are fees for obtaining certified copies of records.  The Archives is in the same building as the Vital Records, and they share a reading room.  In the archives you will find probate records, land title deeds, military records, naturalizations, poor records and more. Some of these records are available online at places like or

2.  New Hampshire Historical Society Library and the New Hampshire State Library
For $40/year for an individual membership you can join the New Hampshire Historical Society and have access to their large library and also their museum located at 30 Park Street in Concord, New Hampshire (across the street from the state house).  They offer free or discounted lectures and workshops.   The staff is very good at helping with genealogy requests and research, and the card catalog is available online, too.  Collections include family histories, vital records, church records, cemetery records, diaries and manuscripts, genealogy periodicals and general genealogical reference materials.  The library is open to non-members for $7 day fee.  The catalog and finding aids are online.
       The NH Historical Society Library is located right next door to the NH State Library at 20 Park Street in Concord.   They have about 2400 titles of published family histories for NH and New England, as well as early town records, town histories, town reports and NH newspapers.  It is FREE to the public, and you won’t have to find a new parking space if you visit both libraries!

3.  American Canadian Genealogical Society
Join the American Canadian Genealogical Society in Manchester   for $35.00/ year for an individual member.  This gives you access to their large library in Manchester (4 Elm Street), individual assistance from a very knowledgeable staff, a yearly conference and a subscription to the Society’s journal American Canadian Genealogist.   Hanging out at the library in Manchester is only $5 per day (applicable towards membership if you decide to join), and you will have the chance to meet genealogists of all levels of expertise.   And they love to answer questions! Free parking, too.   This library is of general interest to all genealogy researchers, not just those with French Canadian heritage.

4. Local Historical Societies and local public libraries
New Hampshire’s hidden treasure is the small historical societies in nearly every town, and the historical collections to be found in the public libraries.  An incomplete list can be found at this link:   Most historical societies will accept queries.  If they don’t have the resources or volunteers to research you query, ask about what resources are available just in case you would like to hire an independent researcher to visit the collections for you.   Many towns also have a town historian who will answer queries, or at least tell you what resources are available for their location.
       Consult the local library’s reference department to see what local records are stored in their collections.  Many local libraries have online card catalogs, or an email direct to the reference librarian.  If you are visiting there in person, see if the local libraries have the institutional version of on their computers, for FREE use by patrons, saving you the subscription fee you would have to pay on your home computer.  Many libraries also have subscriptions to or newspaper archives online for FREE, too.

5. NHSOG and journal
The New Hampshire Society of Genealogists was founded in 1978.  They have an annual conference day and publish a respected journal, The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, and a newsletter.   You can find copies of this journal at NEHGS, The American Canadian Genealogical Society, the New Hampshire Historical Society library, and other libraries with good genealogical collections.   Their project “New Hampshire Families in 1790” has an index online

6.  Portsmouth Athenaeum
The Portsmouth Athenaeum is located at 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, New Hampshire on the third floor.  The Joseph P. Copely Research Library is open free to the public. This library has over 40,000 volumes, manuscripts and ephemera.  It also sponsors lectures and exhibits. There are some one-of-a-kind things here you will not find online or in any other library, so it is worth checking out if you have seacoast New Hampshire ancestors!

7. UNH Dimond Library
Dimond library is the main library on the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus.  Inside the special collections are manuscripts, genealogies, family papers, archives, and the Piscataqua Pioneer’s Lamson collections (see below) stored under number MC231 in the Milne Special Collections.  These papers are the member applications, society information, and member created genealogies and biographies.   See this link for the University special collections    Researchers and the general public are welcome to use these collections in the Dunleavy Reading Room, Room 101. 

8.  New Hampshire County Registries of Deeds website
Most records are kept at the town level in New Hampshire, except for land titles and probate records.  You can visit each county seat Registry of Deeds to search, or you can use this handy online website

9. Piscataqua Pioneers
This is the oldest lineage society in the state of New Hampshire collecting genealogical records on some of the first settlers in the Granite State and Maine.  If your ancestor settled in the Piscataqua River region, which spans both states, this group probably has a lot of information on your family.  The website has a genealogical queries column   The organization meets annually, and has a newsletter and a frequently updated website.  The book Piscataqua Pioneers is wonderful  volume of biographies of the pioneer settlers, and was updated in 2000, and can be ordered at the website.  

10.  NH State and Provincial Papers
This 40 volume set of historical documents is described in this previous blog post, along with online finding aids and indexes, as well as where to find the books.  As the title of the blog post read “You can’t do Colonial NH research without them!”    The first seven volumes are the Provincial Papers, which include town papers, the Revolutionary War rolls, military records, land grants, town charters, probate and court records.   These volumes cover New Hampshire historical documents up to about the year 1800. 


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Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Top Ten New Hampshire Genealogical Resources", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 10, 2016, (  accessed [access date]).