Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Genealogy
- 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
- Hillsborough County was named for Wills Hill, the Viscount Hillsborough who was British Secretary of State for the Colonies at the time.
- Hillsborough County was created in 1769 from the Colonial lands. 
- The northern part of county was set off to create Merrimack County in 1823. 
One record source that would be helpful, but was destroyed, is the 1890 census. There was a fire in Washington, D. C. in 1921 which badly damaged the records. None of the New Hampshire population records remain. The 1890 census Civil War veterans' lists were kept in a different building and were saved. They are available on microfilms and at www.ancestry.com. You can search for veterans' or widows' names.
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 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 www.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 1930, except for the 1890 population schedules, are available on several internet sites. The site www.familysearch.org is currently indexing many of these census records. The 1940 census will be available this year (2012) on the internet, possibly on ancestry.com, and will be indexed soon. Indexing began 2012. Volunteers are needed! Check with familysearch.org 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 ancestry.com.
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 1844-1964 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 Family History Library 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 www.courts.state.nh.us.
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 new.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 new.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 Family History Library 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 deeds for years 1771-1901.
For deeds from 1951 to the present:
You can find information on Hillsborough County deeds from about 1951 to 2012 at www.nhdeeds.com. 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 www.nhdeeds.com 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 Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire. At that site click on the Directory tab, and scroll down to see the alphabetical list of towns and addresses.
- 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.
A town historical society may be an excellent place to obtain a map. The Association of Historical Societies of New Hampshire has a helpful list of historical societies. Town libraries may also have good maps.
The most complete listing of New Hampshire Revolutionary War soldiers is found in volumes 14-17 of the New Hampshire State Papers. You can go to google.com, and look for New Hampshire State Papers with the link to 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 & Jenks, 1866. (Family History Library film 1033664; fiche 6046858.) You can search this book on-line by going to google.com. Look for ancestry.com as the internet way to search this book. 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.
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.
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:
- Amherst in the great civil conflict of 1861-65, compiled by Edward D. Boylston - Available on microfiche at the Family History Library.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- - 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C, G, and I.
- - 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, C, E, F and H.
- - 4th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, D, E, G, I, and K.
- - 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies I and K.
- - 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E and K.
World War I
A very helpful source for World War I is an index at www.ancestry.com of World War I draft registration records, 1917-1918. All men between ages eighteen and forty-five were required to register. Their birth date and place, address, and sometimes the name of nearest kin, are listed on the card. Many of these men served in the war.
World War II
There is an index on www.ancestry.com of the 1942 World War II draft registrations 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. (See www.ancestry.com for further information.)
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 microfilms of indexes to naturalizations. These films index the naturalizations of all the various courts in Hillsborough County. There are microfilms with indexes for about 1842-1906, and 1906-1929. Also you can order microfilms of the naturalization records, such as declarations of intention, petitions, etc. They are available on microfilms for about 1842 to about 1930. See the Family History Library Catalog - Hillsborough County - Naturaliazation and Citizenship.
- Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. 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 www.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.
Probate records for Hillsborough County began in 1771 shortly aftere 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 index to 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 microfilms 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.
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 Family History Library 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.
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.
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 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 Family History Library Catalog under the town or city - Hillsborough County - Vital Records.
For divorce records there are divorce dockets for Hillsborough County:
Film 1,492,043 has divorce record dockets, vols. 1-3 for Feb. 1837 to August 1838 and perhaps later.
Film 1,492,044 has divorce record docket vol. 1 for Aug. 1838 and perhaps later (staff will check).
Film 1,492,048 has divorce record dockets for vols. 29-30 for Oct. 1848 through Apr. 1849 and possibly later (staff will check).
Film 1,492,153 has divorce record docket for vol. 25 for Oct. 1850 and perhaps later (staff will check).
Film 1,492,154 has divorce record dockets for probably the 1850s (staff will check).
- New Hampshire Birth Records, Early to 1900 are available online from FamilySearch.
- New Hampshire Marriage Records, 1637-1947 are available online from FamilySearch.
- New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947 are available online from FamilySearch.
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 Association of Hiistorical Societies of New Hampshre. There you will find addresses, telephone numbers, and often internet addresses for many city and town historical societies.
Family History Centers
- The Hillsborough County NHGenWeb Project, an member of The NHGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Hillsborough County
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Hillsborough County (backup site)
- FamilySearch.org Family History Library catalog for Hillsborough County
- Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, Michael Leclerk, ed., 5th ed. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012). [FHL book 974 D27.]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002]. Cite error: Invalid
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