New Hampshire Church Records

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New Hampshire Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
New Hampshire Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources
Moderator
The FamilySearch moderator for New Hampshire is Jabhammons

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Before 1900 the largest religious denominations in New Hampshire were the Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches. In early New Hampshire, the Congregational church predominated.

Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]

To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:

Finding the Records[edit | edit source]

Look for online records.[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com can be searched free of charge at your local family history center or the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  1. Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, relationships, and other details.
  2. Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!

Online Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Indexes[edit | edit source]

Ancestry.com Indexes[edit | edit source]

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Other Collections[edit | edit source]

Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]

Family History Library
Salt Lake City, Utah
  • The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
  • Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
  • If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
  • Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
  • To find records:
a. Click on the records of United States, New Hampshire.
b. Click on Places within United States, New Hampshire and a list of counties will appear.
c. Click on your county if it appears.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Click on Places within United States, New Hampshire [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]

These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.


Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]

Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.

  • Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
  • To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
  • Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
  • A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
  • If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
  • See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
  • Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.

Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.

Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.


New Hampshire Historical Society[edit | edit source]

New Hampshire Historical Society
30 Park Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

Phone: 603-228-6688


American-Canadian Genealogical Society Library[edit | edit source]

American-Canadian Genealogical Society Library
1 Sundial Avenue, Suite 317N
Manchester, New Hampshire 03103

Tel: (603) 622-1554


Baptist[edit | edit source]


American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire
P.O. Box 1206
Lebanon, NH 03766
Phone: (603) 643-4201
Fax: (603) 228-6129

They have a quarterly newsletter of the Baptist churches in New Hampshire

American Baptist Historical Society
3001 Mercer University Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone: (678) 547-6680

This society has some Baptist church records from New Hampshire.


Episcopal[edit | edit source]

The Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
63 Green St.
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 224-1914

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]


Diocese of Manchester
153 Ash Street
P.O. Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105
Phone: (603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

In the Diocese of Manchester, each individual parish keeps records of baptisms, first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths. These records are not centralized in the Diocese of Manchester. To contact the parishes in the State of New Hampshire, please utilize our online directory. Parishes that have been merged or unified with another parish are listed under closed churches and will indicate where the sacramental records are maintained (namely, in the unified or merged parish).
  • 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.
  • As the Diocese of Manchester was not established until 1884, it is possible that some records may be maintained by predecessor dioceses (the Diocese of Portland, Maine or the Archdiocese of Boston).
  • In addition, some limited sacramental records are maintained in the Diocese of Manchester archives. See the Archives Listing for a records held. The Archives Office makes its materials available to researchers within the parameters of canon law, and state and federal laws, and diocesan policy. Contact the Archives Office for more information.


The diocese includes the counties of: Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coös, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan


Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]

Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:

Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]

There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.

Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations



Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]

You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:

  • name, including middle name and maiden name
  • names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
  • exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
  • names and approximate birthdates of children
  • all known places of residence
  • occupations
  • military service details


Dark thin font green pin Version 4.pngCarefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.