Belknap County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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United States > New Hampshire > Belknap County

County Courthouse

Belknap County Courthouse
64 Court Street
Laconia, NH 03246-3679
Phone: 603.524.3570 

Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage and death records;
The Clerk of the Superior Court has divorce and court records;

The Probate Judge has probate records from 1841;
The Register of Deeds has land records from 1841. [1]

The area that is now Belknap County was up to 1841 part of Strafford and Merrimack counties. Thus if you are looking for ancestors in this area before 1841 you may want to try deeds, probate records, court records, etc. of Strafford and Merrimack counties. Please see the wiki articles about those two counties.

Towns Organized before 1800:
Alton 1796,
Barnstead 1727,
Centre Harbor 1797,
Gilmanton 1727,
Meredith 1768,
New Hampton 1777,
Sanbornton 1770 


Nh-Jeremy Belknap.jpg
  • Named for Dr. Jeremy Belknap, a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire.

Parent County 

The area that is now Belknap County was up to 1841 primarily part of Strafford County, posssibly part of Merrimack County. Thus if you are looking for ancestors in this area before 1841 you may want to try deeds, probate records, court records, etc. of Strafford Couonty. Please see the wiki article about Strafford County. Belknap County was created 22 December 1840 from Strafford County. [1] 

Note: The book Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, edited by Alice Eichholz, published in 2004, page 436, states that Belknap County was created from Strafford and Merrimack counties. Was part of what is now Tilton in Merrimack County? We will need to consult old maps to find out. The rest of Belknap County surely seems to have been taken from Strafford County.

Boundary Changes 

Before 1841 the Belknap County area was part of Strafford County.

Record Loss

Places / Localities

Populated Places


  • Laconia


  • Alton
  • Barnstead
  • Belmont
  • Center Harbor
  • Gilford
  • Gilmanton
  • Meredith
  • New Hampton
  • Sanbornton
  • Tilton


  • Lakeport
  • Tilton-Northfield
  • Weirs Beach

Neighboring Counties

Carroll | Grafton | Merrimack | Strafford


Archives and Libraries

  • Historical Records Survey (New Hampshire), Inventory of the county archives of New Hampshire, no. 1, Belknap County, (Manchester, New Hampshire : The Survey, 1938).  Available at the Family History Library, FHL US/CAN Book 974.245 A3h, or FHL US/CAN Film 1750733 Item 35.
  • Historical Records Survey (New Hampshire),Inventory of the county archives of New Hampshire, [No. 5, Grafton County] (Manchester, New Hampshire : The Survey, 1940).  Database available online at$


  • Biographical Review Publishing Company, Biographical review containing life sketches of leading citizens of Belknap and Strafford Counties, New Hampshire, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1969).   Available online at Internet Archive.  Also available at the Family History Library, FHL US/CAN Film 1000199 Item 1, or FHL US/CAN Film 599185 Item 1.



Censuses for 1790 through 1930, except for the 1890 population schedules, are available on several internet sites. The site is currently indexing many of these census records. The 1940 census will be available this year (2012) on the internet in a browsable form, and will be indexed soon. Indexing began 2012. Volunteers are needed! Check with about many indexing opportunities.

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. An interesting 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.

Note: the 1890 census veterans' schedules for New Hampshire were preserved. They list Civil War veterans or their widows, and are available at


If you know the name of the town or city, and the denomination, you may wish to contact the historical society in the town where your ancestors lived. They may have volunteers who can send you the names and addresses of churches of that denomination for the town.

Or, if you know the town of residence and the ancestor's denomination, see the Church Records section in the general information in the New Hampshire wiki article. 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.

Belknap County, Church, (accessed 20 August 2011).  Hosted by US Genweb.  The following bullets have links from this website.

  1. SMITH MEETING HOUSE, GILMANTON, NH (Deaths 1788-1818)
  2. Membership Records of the Smith Meeting House of Gilmanton, NH
  3. Marriages Performed by Rev'd Isaac Smith, Smith Meeting House, Gilmanton, NH
  4. Records from the SMITH MEETING HOUSE at Gilmanton, NH

Originally copied by Mary Lovering Holman, 1911. The Smith Meeting House in Gilmanton was the first church in that part of New Hampshire. Gilmanton has now been divided into Gilmanton, Gilmanton Iron Works, Gilford and Belmont. I received a photocopy of the typewritten manuscript by Mary Lovering Holman from the NHHS. Here on the Internet with the permission of the NHHS. All spellings are kept as they were in the manuscript. Trish Elliott-Kashima Courtesy of pkashima@InfoAve.Net (Trish Kashima).


  • New Hampshire. Superior Court (Belknap County), Court judgements, 1841-1917; indexes to judgements, 1841-1921, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976, 1990).   Contains records of the Court of Common Pleas, 1841-1859; Supreme Judicial Court, 1855-1874; Circuit Court, 1874-1876; Supreme Court, 1876-1900; and Superior Court, 1901-1917.  In plaintiff indexes, volumes 1-5 are listed as volumes A-E.  Available at the Family History Library, 10 FHL US/CAN Films.


  • Laconia (New Hampshire) city directories, (Woodbridge, Connecticut : Research Publications, [199-?]).   Available at the Family History Library, 4 microfilm reels, FHL US/CAN Film.
  • The town register Meredith, Tilton, Gilmanton, Sanbornton, Gilford, Belmont, New Hampton, 1908, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Digitized by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2008).    Available online at Internet Archive.  Also available at the Family History Library,


Genealogy - How to get Started?

1. Check and see if your ancestor's name is listed there.

2. Check and see if your family's vital records of births, marriages, and deaths are there.

3. Check and see if your family is listed on the U. S. census records of 1850-1930. You can also see those censuses at the Family History Center using Heritage Quest, and

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 Cheshire 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. Share your search on,, or 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.


New Hampshire County Registries of Deeds, (accessed 20 August 2011).

Local Histories

  • Belknap New Hampshire Genealogy and History, (accessed 20 August 2011).  This web site is a resource for researchers of family tree (genealogy) and history in Belknap County, New Hampshire.  Towns and Cities are listed separately with history and links available for research.



Civil War

Civil War service men from Belknap 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 Belknap County.

- 4th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company D.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company E.
- 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company I.
- 8th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and F.
- 12th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, G, H, and I.

Newspapers ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Portsmouth,NH newspapers from the early 1900's covering local news that included residents from Belknap County communities.



Vital Records

Certified copies of of birth, death, and marriage records are available from the State Division of Vital Records Administration 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 and earlier vital records were transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the state.


Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers



  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Belknap County, New Hampshire page 452, {WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; FHL Book 973 D27e 2002. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "HBG" defined multiple times with different content