New Hampshire, Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: New Hampshire, Birth Records, Early to 1900 .
These records are handwritten cards compiled in 1905 from original town records. The collection covers the early years to 1900.
Online collections for other websites may include original ledgers from which the 1905 cards were created. The original town records from which the Hancock and Grofton births were transcribed are available on Fold3.com, under the New Hampshire Town Records collection.
Official records of births occurring in each New Hampshire town or city are kept by the clerk, who sends copies to the Bureau of Vital Records and Health in Concord, New Hampshire. Statewide compilation began with the passing of a law in 1866. Total compliance with the law did not happen until sometime in the 1880’s. Prior to 1883 less than half of the population was listed in the birth records; thereafter the records are more complete and give more genealogical information. When the Bureau of Vital Records was created in 1905 printed cards were distributed and early town records of births dating back to the 1640s were transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the new Bureau.
Births were recorded to better serve public health needs. The most reliable information is the date and place of birth.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "New Hampshire, Birth Records, Early to 1900." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord.
Key genealogical facts found in New Hampshire Statewide Birth index cards are:
- Child's name and gender
- Date and place of birth
- Living birth or stillborn
- Number of children in family
- Father's name, age and birth place
- Father's race, occupation and residence
- Maiden name of mother her place of birth
- Mother's race and age
- Name of physician or midwife attending birth
- Place where birth was recorded
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know
- The full name
- Other identifying information such as the birth date, place or names of parents
Search the Collection
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. 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.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
- Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
- The parent’s birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents.
- If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents.
- Search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
- The information in birth 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 record to record.
- If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the names.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Related Web Sites
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Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.