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Church records, and the information they provide, vary greatly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation such as age, date of baptism, christening or birth, marriage information and maiden name, death date and burial, and admissions and removals. Since your ancestors may have changed their religious affiliations during the years, several denomination records may have to be searched.
Before 1900 the largest religious denominations in <a href="New Hampshire">New Hampshire</a> were the Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches. In early New Hampshire the Congregational church predominated.
Lawrence, Robert F. The New Hampshire Churches. N.p.: Claremont Manufacturing, 1856. (Family History Library book 974.2 K2L; fiche 6046841.) This source comprises histories of the Congregational and Presbyterian churches in the state, with notices of other denominations. Included are names of ministers and dates of service. It also contains many interesting incidents connected with the first settlement of towns. The records are arranged by county and then towns within a county.
Carter, Nathan Franklin. The Native Ministry of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: Rumford Printing, 1906. (Family History Library book 974.2 D3c.) This book contains biographies of native-born clergy of the Protestant denominations. It often mentions the minister’s name as well as the names of his parents and spouse. It is well indexed.
Copeley, William. “Church Records at the New Hampshire Historical Society,” Historical New Hampshire 39 (Fall/Winter 1984): 151–59. (Family History Library book 974.2 H25h.) This periodical contains articles of historical interest as well as articles about the families.
Over 160 individual congregations of Congregational, Baptist, Freewill Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Universalist, and other churches have sent their church records, 1700s through the 1900s, to the New Hampshire Historical Society.
You may also contact the following repositories to locate church records:
American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire
P.O. Box 1206
Lebanon, NH 03766
They have a quarterly newsletter of the Baptist churches in New Hampshire
American Baptist Historical Society
3001 Mercer University Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30341
This society has some Baptist church records from New Hampshire.
For a history of the Baptist Church, see:
Hurlin, William. The Baptists of New Hampshire. Manchester, N.H.: New Hampshire Baptist Convention, 1902. (FHL film 1697589 item 8.)
United Church of Christ, New Hampshire Conference
314 S. Main St.
Concord, NH 03301
Many older Congregational church records of congregations no longer active are at the New Hampshire Historical Society.
The Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
63 Green St.
Concord, NH 03301
The diocesan archives at the above address has records of churches that have closed. It also contains bishops’ official acts, such as confirmation records. The New Hampshire Historical Society has the church records of several New Hampshire Episcopalian congregations, which are held in the archives.
Some of the records of the older Methodist congregations have been deposited at:
School of Theology Library
745 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
The New Hampshire Historical Society has Presbyterian records for Antrim, Bedford, Chester, Derry, Hampton, Londonderry, Pembroke, and Seabrook.
Diocese of Manchester
153 Ash Street
P.O. Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105
Many Catholic marriage and baptismal records have been published, particularly for larger parishes. The New Hampshire Historical Society and the American-Canadian Genealogical Society have the best collections.
For help in locating records of the Roman Catholic church that existed in 1938, see:
Historical Records Survey. Inventory of the Roman Catholic Church Records in New Hampshire. Manchester, New Hampshire: Diocese of Manchester, 1938. (Family History Librarybook 974.2 K2hs.)
Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rhode Island Historical Society Library
121 Hope St.
Providence, RI 02906
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