New Hampshire Genealogy

In the United States, generally speaking, each state has jurisdiction over the government records that are kept regarding their inhabitants' births, marriages, deaths, divorces, land transactions, probates, health, disease, education etc. They are not responsible for private record-keeping efforts such as those done by churches, cemeteries, community groups, companies, businesses etc. The federal government oversees the taking of the national census every decade, but not of state censuses. Certain cities have also participated in early record-keeping efforts even prior to their state's commencement of such things. And then there are numerous other entities involved with keeping records; these include shipping lines, publication companies (city and county directories, and phone books), orphanages, hospitals and military organizations.

If you are researching your genealogy in New Hampshire, then this article is for you. Since all states have essentially the same basic types of federal records (census and vital or civil registration), we will devote this article to sources that are specific to New Hampshire genealogy. Much of the information I give in this article comes from Val D. Greenwood's The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy (2nd Edition, 1990), a standard in its field, and This is not a complete list of sources.

Let's look at Revolutionary War records, since early New Hampshire genealogy will certainly involve these records. As one of the original thirteen colonies, New Hampshire had white explorers as early as 1600. By the time of the American Revolution, New Hampshire was comprised of a wealthy upper class and a class of laborers, indentured servants, mariners and slaves. New Hampshire was the first colony to declare its independence from England, although only one battle was fought there and that was in 1774.

Wikipedia gives the largest ancestry groups in New Hampshire as French and French-Canadian (26.6%), Irish (21.1%), English (20.1%), Italian (10.4%), German (10.3%), and Scottish or Scots-Irish (7.7%). French is the most common language spoken (other than English) in New Hampshire today. Because New Hampshire borders Canada, it is perhaps surprising that not more of the inhabitants of the state were Loyalists (those who supported the crown) during the Revolutionary War.

The subscription web site,, has a large collection of Revolutionary War records to assist in your genealogy search in New Hampshire. You may be able to find out more not only about his military service but also about his family, health, and life after the war. All four groups include New Hampshire. The first (alphabetically) is the Revolutionary War Pensions. This collection contains pension and bounty-land warrant application files which were selected because of their genealogical content. You can find out more about your New Hampshire genealogy by searching for your ancestor first by state, then by the last letter of his surname, then his surname and given name.

The second group may be of less value in your search for New Hampshire genealogy unless your ancestor was involved in the Revolutionary War Prizes - ships and cargo that were captured from the British.

The third group is the Revolutionary War Rolls, which are personnel, pay and supply records for the American army units. They may include name, rank, time of engagement and discharge, and information regarding pay and provisions. These records can be browsed by state and by soldiers' names. They are not arranged by name so please read the description of these records prior to starting your search.

The fourth group is the Revolutionary War Service Records. These files are arranged by unit and by individual. Of greatest value in searching your New Hampshire genealogy are the abstract cards for individuals which will give you information on which companies he served with, his rank(s), periods of absence if any, and whether he went missing in action, became a prisoner or died. Since they are difficult to use, please read the description first.

As you can see, Revolutionary War records can be a great asset in searching for your New Hampshire genealogy.

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