Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Genealogy
Guide to Hillsborough County, New Hampshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, military records, and other sources of family history information.
|Hillsborough County, New Hampshire|
Location in the state of New Hampshire
|Address|| Hillsborough County Courthouse|
22 Main St
PO Box 45
Newport, NH 03773-0045;
Hillsborough County Website
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Cemeteries
- 4.2 Census
- 4.3 Church
- 4.4 City Directories
- 4.5 Court
- 4.6 Gazetteers
- 4.7 Genealogy
- 4.8 Land
- 4.9 Local Histories
- 4.10 Maps
- 4.11 Military
- 4.12 Naturalizations
- 4.13 Newspapers
- 4.14 Probate
- 4.15 Taxation
- 4.16 Town Records
- 4.17 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
The Hillsborough County Courthouse is located in Nashua, New Hampshire 03060, tel. 603-883-6461. The deed records are kept at 19 Temple St, and the probate records are at 30 Spring St.
The Family History Library has microfilms of many Hillsborough County vital records, court records, naturalizations, probate, and land records.
Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and burial records.
The Clerk of the Superior Court has divorce and court records from 1772.
The Register of Probate has probate records starting in 1771.
The Register of Deeds has land records beginning in 1771.
The Nashua Public Library, in Nashua, has many family history sources available.
Towns Organized Before 1800: (The following towns are actually in Sulivan County)
- Hillsborough County was named for Wills Hill, known first as the Viscount Hillsborough, and later as the Earl of Hillsborough who was British Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1768-1772.
- 1769 - Hillsborough County was created in 1769 from the Colonial lands. 
- 1823 - The northern part of county was set off to create Merrimack County in 1823. 
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Places / Localities
Cities: cities for which the Family History Library has genealogy books or films.
Towns: towns for which the Family History Library has genealogy books or films:
Four New Hampshire counties are adjacent to Hillsborough County: Cheshire, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Sullivan Counties. Three counties in Massachusetts border on Hillsborough County: Essex, Middlesex, and Worcester Counties. Click on the name of a county just below to learn more about that county.
The New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association has the most complete list of cemeteries.
The Findagrave organization has a good internet site for finding a photo of an ancestor's tombstone, and ancestor information. This site provides a way for you to request that a volunteer will take a photograph of a gravestone. Often a volunteer will respond and will e-mail you the photo and add it to the web site.
Another internet site may help you find gravestone records. See billiongraves.com.
Following are examples of some cemetery records that are available on the internet:
- St. Joseph Cemetery in Bedford and Manchester, New Hampshire has its cemetery records available online.
- Old Dunstable Cemetery, Nashua BillionGraves
- Westlawn Cemetery, Goffstown BillionGraves
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:
Censuses for 1790 through 1940, except for the 1890 population schedules, are available on several internet sites. Familysearch.org has indexes for censuses 1790-1940.
The 1890 census, except for the list of Civil War veterans or their widows, was destroyed by a fire in Washington, D. C. in 1921. One help for 1890 is the Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire, published in 1892 in Boston by the D. H. Hurd Company. The atlas has maps for almost every city, town, and village in New Hampshire. The maps show the locations of homes, and the map gives the name of the person living in the home. The above web site is from the University of New Hampshire Library. Not all of the website map images have legible home owner names.
Note: the 1890 census veterans' schedules for New Hampshire were preserved. They are available at familysearch.org, and ancestry.com, also on microfilms from the Family History Library. You can search for veterans' names or their widows' names.
If you know the town of residence and the ancestor's denomination, contact the town historical society, or the public library for that town. They may have information on available church records. You can also see the Church Records section in the general information for New Hampshire. That section lists archives and other record keepers for the various religious denominations.
If you do not know the denomination, search for a marriage record. This may give the name of the minister. Then you can contact a historical society and learn at which church he was the minister. Also search for an obituary, which may mention the church the person attended. The death certificate may list the name of the cemetery. You can then write to the cemetery and ask if it is affiliated with a local church. The death certificate may mention the funeral home. Their file may have the name of the church, cemetery, or a copy of the obituary. Also, relatives might know the denomination.
Different churches contain a variety of types of records. Many churches keep baptism, marriage, and burial records. Sometimes birth and death information is included. The church records of brothers and sisters, etc. may give clues.
- The 1866 Manchester Directory is available on Google Books.
- Clarke's 1879 Manchester Almanac, City Directory, and Business Index is available on Google Books.
- Ancestry.com ($) has most Manchester City directories from 1822-1995 available online. Ancestry is free at some libraries.
The Court of Common Pleas, Superior Court, Circuit Court, and Supreme Court are the principal court records. Through a Family History Center you can order microfilms of the following court records:
Court of Common Pleas 1783-1784, 1813-1815, 1840-1859. Indexes are at the front of most volumes. These records contain some divorce records along with other types of cases. See the dockets on microfilm to look for divorce information, then see the judgement records on microfilms for further information.
Superior Court 1772-1813, 1816-1827, ca.1837-1855, 1901-1936. Indexes are at the front of many volumes, and, various dockets are available on films. In c efrtain time periods, if a divorce was appealed from the Court of Common Pleas it went to the Superior Court for a hearing, and then was returned to the Court of Common Pleas.
Circuit Court 1874-1876. Indexes are at the front of most volumes.
Supreme Court 1813-1816, 1855-1874, 1876-1901. Indexes are at the front of most volumes, and some dockets are available on films.
See the FamilySearch Catalog - Hillsborough County - Court Records for film numbers.
Court records began in 1773 soon after 1769 when the county was established. Many Hillsborough County court records are being transferred to the New Hampshire State Archives in Concord, New Hampshire. At that site see the Hillsborough County section of the Guide to Archives. The State Archives, for example, has docket books, 1794- ca. 1836; judgement books, 1783- ca. 1900; inventories 1793-1821, and some case records from 1772.
For addresses, and telephone numbers, of courts go to New Hampshire Judicial Branch website.
On 1 July 2011, the New Hampshire legislature merged the District Court, Probate Court and Family Division Court into one Circuit Court system to improve the court system and to improve services. Jurisdictions for the Circuit Court are the same as their prior jurisdictions. There are now ten (10) circuit courts, one for each of the states counties. Some of the largest counties have more than one circuit court clerk assigned to manage divisions in more than one city or town. The locations of the district, family, and probate divisions are listed by county and/or town at: New Hampshire Judicial Branch.
To learn about New Hampshire gazetteers, go to the New Hampshire article in this wiki. There is a section where New Hampshire gazetteers published in 1823, 1849, and 1874 are listed. Those gazetteers can be ordered on microfilms from the Family History Library. Check at your Family History Center to see if they already have the microfilm you are interested in.
Genealogy - How to get started?
1. Check familysearch.org and see if your ancestor's name is listed there.
2. Check familysearch.org and see if your family's vital records of births, marriages, and deaths are there. A vast indexing program is in place and millions of vital records are now being indexed.
3. Check familysearch.org and see if your family is listed on the U. S. census records of 1850-1940. You can also see those censuses at the Family History Center using Heritage Quest, and ancestry.com.
4. If you know the town where they lived, seek a town history that has a genealogical section (see below).
5. Read through the wiki articles on Hillsborough County, and on New Hampshire, for ideas of sources. Study the Records Selection Table in the New Hampshire article. This can help you think of new sources to try.
6. See valuable internet sites such as familysearch.org, genforum.genealogy.com, rootsweb.com, or ancestry.com. You can share your research with these organizations. You can also share your quest with the local historical society or town library and ask for help. Send them your family group forms and a pedigree chart.
Genealogy - Town History Books often have Genealogical Sections in the Back of the Book
Following is a list of the towns for which the Family History Library has town history books with a section of genealogies of families of that town: Amherst, Antrim, Bedford, Brookline, Francestown, Goffstown, Hancock, Hillsborough, Hollis, Hudson, Lyndeborough, Manchester, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, Nashua, New Boston, New Ipswich, Peterborough, Temple, Weare, and Wilton, They are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the town, and then History, or, Genealogy.
Other major libraries may also have these books. For example, the Historical Society of Cheshire County, 246 Main St., Keene, NH 03431, has many of those books. The New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, New Hampshire has a large collection of these town histories. The New Hampshire State Library in Concord also has these types of books.
The land records for Hillsborough County are primarily kept at the courthouse at 19 Temple St., Nashua, New Hampshire 03060, tel. 603-882-6933. The office is open from 8 to 4, Mondays through Fridays. The records begin in 1771 shortly before the county was formed in 1773. There are indexes to grantors (sellers) and grantees (buyers) from 1771 to 1909, and later. The deeds are from 1771 to the present.
Through your local Family History Center you can order microfilms of indexes of grantees (buyers) and grantors (sellers) for 1771 -1909, and, the deed volumes, for years 1771-1901.
You can find information on Hillsborough County deeds from about 1951 to 2012 at Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds. You can search the Hillsborough County deeds' indexes at that internet site if you have the right computer programs. For example, you will need a certain version of Java software, which you can install free. Instructions are given through Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds which can help you install the right Java programs. You will very likely need to have Internet Explorer installed. You will need quite a bit of computer know-how to install the right Java programs.
Local histories are an important source for finding family history information. Fortunately there are local history books for almost every city and town in Hillsborough County. For about twenty-three of these towns there is a local history book with a genealogical section. For a list of those cities and towns see the heading Places/ Localities above in this guide.
An excellent way to gain information about family history and local history is to contact the local town historical society. For a list of the societies, see the web site of the New Hampshire Historical Society.
- Clarke's 1875 Manchester: A brief record of its past and a picture of its present... is available on Google Books.
An interesting atlas published in 1892, with maps for most of the New Hampshire towns is The Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire (click to see digital images), published in Boston in 1892 by the D. H. Hurd Company. The maps show the locations of homes, and the map gives the name of the person living in the home. The above web site is from the University of New Hampshire Library.
The most complete listing of New Hampshire Revolutionary War soldiers is found in volumes 14-17 of the New Hampshire State Papers. You can search the New Hampshire State Papers online at ancestry.com. There you will find a name index to voloumes 14-17, then you can go to the needed volume and page for information on the soldier. Often the place of residence is given.
For a military history of New Hampshire, see:
Potter, Chandler Eastman, The Military History of the State of New Hampshire. Concord, N.H.: McFarland and Jenks, 1866. (Family History Library film 1033664; fiche 6046858.) You can search this book on-line at ancestry.com. See ancestry's Card Catalog, and type in the title. This history comprises events from the first settlements in New Hampshire to the rebellion in 1861. It includes biographical notices of many of the officers and explanatory notes.
War of 1812
Volume two of The Military History of the State of New Hampshire, (see above), has much information about the War of 1812. Volume two includes rosters of men who served in the war. There is an every-name index at the end of volume two.
- 1861-1866 - New Hampshire Civil War Service and Pension Records 1861-1866 at FamilySearch — index and images
Regiments. Civil War service men from Hillsborough County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are many companies or regiments that were formed from men of Hillsborough County:
- - 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Cavalry, Troops A, B, D, K, and M.
- - 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E and F.
- - 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies B, C, F, G, and K.
- - 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C, G, H, and I.
- - 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, C, E, F, and H.
- - 4th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, C, E, G, I, and K.
- - 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies I and K.
- - 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E and K.
- - 8th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and K.
- - 9th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, and H.
- - 10th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A and K.
- - 11th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C, D, and E.
- - 13th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, G, and I.
- - 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company D.
- - 15th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company E.
- - 16th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, C, G, H, and I.
- - 18th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, D, and F.
- - Chandler's Company, National Guards, New Hampshire Militia
- - Houghton's Company, Martin Guards, New Hampshire Militia (90 days, 1864)
- - New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 2nd Company F.
- - New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 2nd Company G.
- - Martin Guards, New Hampshire Militia
- - Tarbell's Company, Lafayette Artillery, New Hampshire Militia
Additional Resources for soldiers from Hillsborough County:
Familysearch.org is a free source for locating names of Civil War soldiers and sailors. Ancestry.com is available free at FamilySearch Centers and is also valuable for finding names of soldiers and sailors.
1863-1865: Another helpful source is the U. S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865, on ancestry.com. You will find the names of those who registered, their age, occupation, married or single status, state where born, and earlier military service.
1861-1866: You can go to ancestry.com and search for names in The Revised Register of the Soldiers and Sailors of New Hampshire in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, by Augustus D. Ayling. This book gives the age, residence, and service information about approximately 32,000 New Hampshire Civil War veterans. The book is also available on microfilm or microfiche from the Family History Library.
Town history books are available through the Family History Library, and other large libraries, for most of the towns in Hillsborough County. They often contain extensive information concerning the war and the soldiers. Following are examples of some of the histories:
- 1861-1965: Amherst in the great civil conflict of 1861-65, compiled by Edward D. Boylston - Available on microfiche at the Family History Library.
- 1861-1865: History and Genealogy of Goffstown, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire - Military Record 1861-65
- History of Bedford, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire - Participants of the Civil War, see page 281.
- History of Brookline, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire - Lists participants in the Civil War.
- 1861-1866: Manchester men soldiers and sailors in the Civil War, 1861-'66, by George C. Gilmore - Online Book - Also available on microfiche at the Family History Library.
- 1917-1918: Milford in the Great War: Memorial Book by Milford Memorial Book Committee (Milford, NH: Town of Milford, 1922) (digitized book). NOTE: although the cover reads Milford in the World War 1917-1918, the title page reads Milford in the Great War: Memorial Book.
World War I
1917-1918 - A very helpful source for World War I is an index at ancestry.com of World War I draft registration cards, 1917-1918. All men between ages eighteen and forty-five were required to register. Their birth date, often their town and country of birth, present address, and sometimes the name of nearest kin, are listed on the card. Many of these men served in the war.
World War II
1942 - There is an index at ancestry.com of the World War II draft registration cards,1942 for New Hampshire, of men forty-five to sixty-five. Some of these men served in that war. The records contain name, address, birth date and place, name of kin or friend, name and address of employer, and signature.
The New Hampshire State Archives in Concord, New Hampshire now has many of the pre-1900 naturalization records of Hillsborough County. They have the naturalization records for 1859-1871, and 1890-1900. The files are in alphabetical order. They also have in a filing cabinet an index to the naturalizations for 1848-1990s. They may receive additional naturalization records.
Through your local Family History Center you can order films of naturalization indexes, petitions, etc. There are indexes for about 1842-1906, and 1906-1929. You can also order films of the naturalization records, such as declarations of intention, petitions, etc. for about 1842 to about 1930. For film numbers see the FamilySearch Catalog - Hillsborough County, New Hampshire - Naturaliazation and Citizenship.
Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. You can search this free at Family History Centers. Their database has Portsmouth newspapers (1898-2007), The Lowell Sun (Massachusetts), and Fitchburg newspapers (Massachusetts) covering local news that included residents from Hillsborough County communities.
See also linkpendium.com which has links to several Hillsborough County newspapers that can be viewed online. Other internet sites for newspapers are www.news.google.com, and www.genealogybank.com.
There are many community newspapers, for example, the Nashua Telegraph newspaper, published since 1832, 17 Executive Drive, Hudson, NH 03051, tel. 603-594-6535, www.nashuatelegraph.com. Contact the public library, or historical society where your ancestor lived to learn about newspapers. You may wish to search for obituaries, a marriage announcement, or a birth announcement of your ancestor.
Finding More New Hampshire Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Probate records for Hillsborough County began in 1771 shortly after the county was organized in 1769. The records are primarily kept at the Spring Street Courthouse, 30 Spring St., Nashua, NH 03060.
In book form, and on microfilm, there is an book that indexes the probate records, Register of Probate Index, 1771-1884, published by the New Hampshire Probate Court (Hillsborough County), in 1973 (FHL book 974.28 P22 or film 1,036,181 item 1).
Through your local Family History Center you can order films of indexes to Hillsborough County probate records for 1771-1859, and 1885-1961. You can also order microfilms of the probate records volumes 1-254 for the years 1771-1921, and a few later years. There are probate case files at the courthouse. These often contain information that is not recorded in the records volumes.
Online Probate Records
- 1635-1753: New Hampshire Probate Records 1635-1753 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1643-1982: New Hampshire Wills and Probate Records 1643-1982 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
Many town tax records have been preserved by town clerks and town tax officials. Town tax records were generally taken each year. The Family History Library has many town records on microfilms. For microfilm numbers see the FamilySearch Catalog under New Hampshire - Hillsborough County - [name of town] - Town Records. You may wish to contact the Town Clerk's Office to see if they have addtional tax records.
There is an index to the town records (which include many tax records) from the early settlement of the town to about 1850. This is the Index to Early Town Records of New Hampshire, Early to 1850 (FHL films 14942-15052). The index cards list volume and page numbers for the town records, many of which are on Family History Library microfilms.
Ancestry.com has online images of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax lists for New Hampshire and many other states for 1862-1866. Only persons who owned businesses, or valuable items such as carriages, were listed. You may wish to check ancestry.com to see if your ancestor was listed. The record gives the person's name, town of residence, business or valuable item, and amount of tax.
Town records are an important source of family history information from the 1600s to about the 1940s. The early New Hampshire town records to about 1850 have an every-name index. The index and film numbers are listed just above in the Taxation section. Many town records are still in the town offices.
To see the types of family history information you might find in town records please go to the heading Town Records in our New Hampshire wiki article.
Below are links to online images of New Hampshire birth, marriage, and death records that are included in familysearch.org.
- 1656 - 1938 - New Hampshire, Vital and Town Records Index, 1656-1938 at FamilySearch — index
Certified copies of of birth, death, and marriage records are available from the State Division of Archives and Records Management or from the local city and town clerk where the event took place. Original records are kept by the city or town clerk and copies are sent to the state.
In 1905, when the state created the Bureau of Vital Records and Health, printed cards were distributed to the local clerks so that earlier vital records could be transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the state. However, not all earlier records were sent to the state.
If a record is not found in the state's compiled records it may exist in the records of the city or town clerk. Below you will find links to birth, marriage, and death records. These indexes are based on the cards sent to the state of New Hampshire. If you do not find the record you are seeking there, you could search a microfilm of records for the town, or you could write to the city or town clerk.
For towns and cities in Hillsborough County, the Family History Library has microfilms of most of the original volumes of birth, marriage, and death records, in many cases to the 1920s or 1930s. See the FamilySearch Catalog under the town or city - Hillsborough County - Vital Records.
For divorce records there are divorce dockets for Hillsborough County:
02/1837 - 08/1838: Film 1,492,043 has divorce record dockets, vols. 1-3 for Feb. 1837 to August 1838 and perhaps later.
08/1838: Film 1,492,044 has divorce record docket vol. 1 for Aug. 1838 and perhaps later (staff will check).
10/1848 - 04/1849: Film 1,492,048 has divorce record dockets for vols. 29-30 for Oct. 1848 through Apr. 1849 and possibly later (staff will check).
10/1850: Film 1,492,153 has divorce record docket for vol. 25 for Oct. 1850 and perhaps later (staff will check).
1850's: Film 1,492,154 has divorce record dockets for probably the 1850s (staff will check).
- To 1900: New Hampshire Birth Records, Early to 1900 are available online at FamilySearch.
- 1901-1915: New Hampshire, Birth Certificates, 1901-1915 at FamilySearch.org - browse images only
- 1637-1947: New Hampshire Marriage Records, 1637-1947 are available online at FamilySearch.
- 1948–1959: New Hampshire Marriage Certificates, 1948-1959 at FamilySearch — index and images
Societies and Libraries
City and Town Historical Societies
One of the best ways to get in touch with city and town historical societies is to go to the internet site New Hampshre History Network. There you will find addresses, telephone numbers, and often internet addresses for many city and town historical societies.
Family History Centers
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- The USGenWeb.com site lists projects for several counties in New Hampshire. See also The USGenWeb Project.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Hillsborough County
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Hillsborough County (backup site)
- FamilySearch.org FamilySearch Catalog for Hillsborough County
- Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
- Michael J. Leclerc, Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, 5th ed. (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012), 277. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974 D27g 2012.