New Hampshire, Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This collection includes information for the years 1654 to 1947. However the majority of the records are after 1900.

This collection includes records from the New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics as well as records from individual town and country clerks. The earlier records are handwritten. Later records are handwritten or typed on printed forms.

Town clerks began recording deaths as early as 1640. However, the earlier records do not give much information and the information varies depending upon the clerk. 

In 1866, the state passed laws requiring the registration of vital events. It is estimated that by 1883 almost half of the population was listed in the vital records with 90 percent coverage by the end of the decade. 

The Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics was created in 1905. They have copies of records made by the town clerks dating from about 1640 to the present.

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

The most reliable information is the date and place of death or burial. Other information will only be as reliable as the informant’s knowledge or memory.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Hampshire, Death Certificates, 1938-1959.
You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947.

Record Content

Information found in New Hampshire statewide death records may include:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Age in year, months and days
  • Length of residence in community
  • Institution where died
  • Date and place of birth
  • Gender, race, marital status, and occupation
  • Cause of death
  • Parents names, including maiden name of mother
  • Parents' birth place
  • Father's occupation
  • Name of spouse, if married
  • Name of physician or person reporting death and their residence
  • Place and date of interment

How to Use the Collection

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the death occurred
  • The name of the person at the time of death
  • The approximate death date

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Year" category
⇒Select the “Name Range or Certificate Number Range" category which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Web Sites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection citation for "New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947":

"New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Hampshire, Death Records, 1654-1947.

Collection citation for "New Hampshire, Death Certificates, 1938-1959":

"New Hampshire, Death Certificates, 1938-1959." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing New Hampshire Division of Vital Records, Concord.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for New Hampshire, Death Certificates, 1938-1959.

Image citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New Hampshire, Death Certificates, 1938-1959.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 25 September 2014, at 15:39.
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