New Hampshire History and Research Overview

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Four towns founded by migrants from Essex County, Massachusetts — Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, and Hampton — clustered near the New Hampshire shoreline. Massachusetts governed the area from 1642 to 1679 and again during 1690 to 1692, even though the area became a royal province in 1679. New Hampshire’s border disputes with adjacent states weren’t settled until the mid-18th century, when its present boundaries were established.

More than 18,000 men from New Hampshire joined forces to fight the British in the American Revolution. Shortly thereafter, in 1781, 36 towns declared themselves part of Vermont, not New Hampshire, but the rift was temporary. New Hampshire ratified the Constitution in 1788 to become the ninth state.

In the 17th century residents settled in the area to fish, farm, and trade furs, with Portsmouth being the center of trade, shipbuilding, and logging. Textile manufacturing became a major industry in the 19th and early 20th century with Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. of Manchester. European immigrants came to New Hampshire from many countries, including England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Scotland and Sweden to work in the fabric and shoe industries, as did laborers from French Canada. During the 20th century, World War I and II kept these factories and the Portsmouth Navy Yard busy producing goods for the war effort.

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New Hampshire state map with county outlines


  • Start your New Hampshire research in Concord, the state capitol — it’s home to the New Hampshire Historical Society’s Tuck Library, the New Hampshire State Library, and the New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives.
  • Town reports, unpublished genealogies, city directories, letters, diaries, some church manuscripts and more are at the New Hampshire Historical Society
  • The New England Historic Genealogical Society has material on New Hampshire families, as well as some town documents and cemetery transcriptions.


  • Federal census: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930
  • Veterans schedules: 1840, 1890
  • Mortality schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880
  • Colonial census: 1732, 1742, 1776


  • The Baptists of New Hampshire by William Hurlin (Printed by the John B. Clarke Company, 1902)
  • Bent’s Bibliography of the White Mountains by Allen H. Bent, edited by E.J. Hanrahan (New Hampshire Publishing Co., 1971)
  • Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the State of New Hampshire (New England Historical Publishing, 1902)
  • Card Index to Genealogies, by the New Hampshire Historical Society (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975)
  • Check List of New Hampshire History by Otis Grant Hammond, edited by E.J. Hanrahan (New Hampshire Publishing Co., 1971)
  • Descriptive Inventory of the New Hampshire Collection by Randall C. Carpenter (University of Utah Press, 1983)
  • Directory of Repositories of Family History in New Hampshire by Scott E. Green (S.I.: Clearfield Company, 1993)
  • The First Laws of the State of New Hampshire (Michael Glazier, 1981)
  • Gathered Sketches From the Early History of New Hampshire and Vermont: Containing Vivid and Interesting Accounts of a Great Variety of the Adventures of our Forefathers, and of Other Incidents of Olden Time, Original and Selected edited by Francis Chase (Heritage Books, ca. 1987)
  • Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, 4 vols., by Ezra S. Stearns, et al. (Lewis Publishing Company, 1908)
  • Genealogical Collection by the Daughters of the American Revolution, New Hampshire (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971)
  • Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire by Sybil Noyes, Charles T. Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983)
  • Genealogical Research in New England edited by Ralph J. Crandall (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1984)
  • God, Grace, and Granite: The History of Methodism in New Hampshire, 1768-1988 by Charles W. Kern (Published for the New Hampshire United Methodist Conference by Phoenix Publishing, 1988)
  • Guide to Church Vital Statistics Records in New Hampshire by the Historical Records Survey, New Hampshire (The Survey, 1942)
  • Guide to Depositories of Manuscript Collections in the United States, New Hampshire by the Historical Records Survey, New Hampshire (The Survey, 1940)
  • Guide to Early Documents (c. 1680-c. 1900) at the New Hampshire Records Management and Archives Center compiled by Frank C. Mevers (Division of Records Management and Archives, 1981)
  • The Heart of the White Mountains by Samuel Adams Drake (Harper & Brothers, 1882)
  • The History of New Hampshire by Jeremy Belknap (Arno Press, 1972)
  • History of New Hampshire, 4 Everett S. Stackpole (American Historical Society, 1916)
  • History of New Hampshire, From its First Discovery to the Year 1830 by Edwin David Sanborn (J.B. Clarke, 1875)
  • History of the White Mountains: From the First Settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket by Lucy Crawford (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992)
  • Index to Genealogies in New Hampshire Town Histories by William Copeley (New Hampshire Historical Society, ca. 1988)
  • Inhabitants of New Hampshire, 1776 by Emily S. Wilson (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993)
  • Inventory of the Church Archives of New Hampshire, Protestant Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire by the Historical Records Survey, New Hampshire (The Survey, 1942)
  • Inventory of the Roman Catholic Church Records in New Hampshire by the Historical Records Survey, New Hampshire (Diocese of Manchester, 1938)
  • Manuscript Church Records at the New Hampshire Historical Society, August, 1981 by William Copeley (Genealogical Society of Utah, 1985)
  • The Native Ministry of New Hampshire by Rev. N.F. Carter (Rumford Printing Co., 1906)
  • New Hampshire, a Bibliography of Its History prepared by the Committee for a New England Bibliography edited by John D. Haskell, Jr., and T.D. Seymour Bassett (G.K. Hall, 1979)
  • New Hampshire Churches by Robert F. Lawrence (1856)
  • New Hampshire Family Histories by Rich Rollock (Family Histories Directory; Capital Copy, 1993)
  • New Hampshire Family Records, 2 William Copeley (Heritage Books, 1994)
  • New Hampshire Genealogical Digest, 1623-1900 by Glenn C. Towle (Heritage Books, 1986-)
  • New Hampshire Genealogical Research Guide by Laird C. Towle and Ann N. Brown (Heritage Books, 1983)
  • New Hampshire Men. A Collection of Biographical Sketches, With Portraits, of Sons and Residents of the State who Have Become Known in Commercial, Professional, and Political Life compiled and edited by George H. Moses (The New Hampshire Publishing Company, 1893)
  • New Hampshire Name Changes, 1768-1923 by Richard P. Roberts (Heritage Books, 1996)
  • New Hampshire Notables Card File by the New Hampshire Historical Society (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988)
  • New Hampshire Research Outline by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (online at
  • New Hampshire Women: A Collection of Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Daughters and Residents of the Granite State, who are Worthy Representatives of Their Sex in the Various Walks and Conditions of Life by Henry Harrison Metcalf (The New Hampshire Publishing Co., 1895)
  • The Pastors of New Hampshire, Congregational and Presbyterian by Henry Allen Hazen (Printed by R.W. Musgrove, 1878)
  • The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623 to 1660: A Descriptive List, Drawn From Records of the Colonies, Towns, Churches, Courts and Other Contemporary Sources by Charles Henry Pope (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965)
  • The Records of American Baptists in New Hampshire and Related Organizations by the American Baptist Historical Society and Susan M. Eltscher (American Baptist Historical Society, 1981)
  • Sketches of the History of New Hampshire, From Its Settlement in 1623 to 1833: Comprising Notices of the Memorable Events and Interesting Incidents of a Period of Two Hundred and Ten Years by John M. Whiton (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973)
  • State Builders; an Illustrated Historical and Biographical Record of the State of New Hampshire at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century edited by George Franklyn Willey (The New Hampshire Publishing Corporation, 1903)
  • The Statistics and Gazetteer of New-Hampshire Containing Descriptions of all the Counties, Towns, and Villages . . . Statistical Tables . . . With a List of State Officers, etc. compiled by Alonzo J. Fogg (D.L. Guernsey, 1874)
  • They Paved the Way: A History of N.H. Women by Olive Tardiff (Women for Women Weekly Publishing, 1980)
  • The Yankee Pioneers: A Saga of Courage by Samuel B. Pettengill (Regional Center for Educational Training, 1977)

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From the Family Tree Sourcebook
Also available: the State Research Guide Book, State Research Guides CD and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.