Researching Your NH Family History
There are many online resources you can access to work on your New Hampshire genealogy research from the comfort of your own home, when our library building is closed. Here are some examples of commonly used print or microfilm resources in our library that you can also access in a digitized format online.
County & Town Histories – histories of the NH towns and biographies of important residents; may include information about your town and early inhabitants. Many of the histories published pre-copyright era can be found digitized at Archive.org or Google Books. If you don't know the exact title, you can do a keyword search, i.e. "New Hampshire" and history and Manchester
Family Histories – NH and New England family histories, and some compilations like Ezra Stearns' Genealogical & Family History of the State of New Hampshire; A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England by James Savage, etc. Again, many of these histories and compilations published pre-copyright era can be found digitized at Archive.org or Google Books. If you don't know the exact title, you can do a keyword search, i.e. genealogy and Kimball and family.
NH Census – 1790-1940 federal census records for the U.S., including NH, can be found for free at FamilySearch.org but you need to create a free account to access. Note: not many census records for 1890 exist due to the 1921 fire at the National Archives. Subscription based sources such as Ancestry.com or HeritageQuest also contain Census records. Your local library may provide access to these. If not, Reference staff have access to Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest. Links to FamilySearch and other resources' census collections.
Town/city reports – from late 1800s to present. Most towns have published an annual list of births, marriages, and deaths in the reports but it was not required by law to have vital statistics in town reports until 1889. After 1937, it was up to the town to include them or not. Many reports are available online via UNH.
Directories – for NH towns and cities, listing occupants, residences, and businesses, 1800s to present. A few of these historical directories can be found via Archive.org by doing a keyword search, i.e. Manchester and "New Hampshire" and Directory. Subscription based sources such as Ancestry.com or HeritageQuest also contain city directories. Your local library may provide access to these. If not, Reference staff have access to Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest.
Early Town Records & Name Index – coverage is generally from town's beginnings (1600s/1700s) to 1840s. Misc. coverage – vital stats (births, marriages, deaths), tax inventories, some town meeting minutes, etc. Also known as the "Sargent" name index, named after the person who compiled the index. FamilySearch.org has some, but not all, of these early town records available to browse (create a free account and sign-in first). They are arranged by county, then town, and volume #.
There are no search fields for these records, unfortunately, but you can browse name index reels and find the name of your ancestors and where they are mentioned within these town record volume. To view a reel, click on the camera icon.
You can also search newer town records (generally mid 1800s to 1947) by name, etc.
Biographies/Whos-Who – i.e. NH Notables series – includes brief biographical sketches of those that "helped shape the character of New Hampshire and their communities, prominent in public, professional, business, educational, fraternal, or benevolent work." Some editions of NH Notables can be found at Archive.org and FamilySearch.org wiki has a guide to digitized NH biographies.
Granite Monthly – NH magazine published from 1877-1930, with an index; has many historical articles about NH people and towns. Available online via UNH.
NH History Books – Books on the general history of NH, such as the History of New Hampshire volumes by Everett Stackpole which also contain biographical sketches. Belknap's History of New Hampshire volumes can be found online. Try Archive.org or Google Books to find other pre-copyrighted works on various NH histories.
NE Historical & Genealogical Register – 1847 to present. Journal of American genealogy focusing on authoritative compiled genealogies. Some older copies available online:
DAR Lineage Books – contains the records of service of men and women who achieved American Independence and the names of their descendants who were admitted to membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Society between 1890and 1915.
Soldiers in NH/New England – The "Rev War Rolls" can be found in various volumes of the NH State & Provincial Papers mentioned above, and Rev War records can be searched at FamilySearch.org after creating a free account.
The Revised Register of the Soldiers & Sailors of NH in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, and the NH Civil War regimental histories, can be found at Archive.org if you search by title or keyword, i.e. "New Hampshire" and regiment and history. Military records can be found via Ancestry.com or Ancestry Library Edition.
1892 NH Town & City Atlas – by D.H. Hurd. Shows the outline of each building and the name of each primary occupant.
NH Maps, 18th-20th century via Library of Congress.
Concord Monitor obituary index – This resource from the Concord Public Library lists dates and page numbers for obituaries that appeared in the Concord Monitor between 1948 and approximately 2014.
Cemeteries/gravestone inscriptions of NH/New England – FindAGrave.com is a popular source, although it is user-contributed so its accuracy is questionable. FindAGrave records also show up in Ancestry.com or Ancestry Library Edition.
Other compiled NH genealogy resource guides:
AccessGenealogy has a nice guide filled with direct links to digitized resources such as town histories, cemetery records, town directories, military records, etc.
NH Record Collections on FamilySearch.org (must create a free account to access).