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Latest revision as of 16:54, 10 July 2020

Guide to Merrimack County, New Hampshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Merrimack County, New Hampshire
Map of New Hampshire highlighting Merrimack County
Location in the state of New Hampshire
Founded 1823
County Seat Concord
Address Merrimack County Courthouse
163 N Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603.225.5501

Merrimack County Website

Merrimack County, New Hampshire Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1823 1823 1823 1823 1823 1823 1790
Statewide registration for births and deaths started 1866. General compliance by 1901.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has divorce records from 1840 and court records from 1823.
Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death, burial records.
Probate Judge has probate records from 1823.
Register of Deeds has land records from 1823.[2]

Towns Organized Before 1800:
Andover 1779
Bradford 1787
Bow 1727
Boscawen 1760
Canterbury 1727
Chichester 1727
Concord 1765
Dunbarton 1765
Epsom 1727
Henniker 1768
Hopkinton 1765
Loudon 1773
Newbury 1778
New London 1779
Northfield 1780
Pembroke 1759
Pittsfield 1782
Salisbury 1768
Sutton 1784
Warner 1774

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

If your ancestor lived in the area that is Merrimack County, before 1823, you will need to determine if the town where your ancestor lived was in Hillsborough, Grafton, or Rockingham counties. Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed., Provo, Ut., 2004 (FHL book 973 D27) has a map of New Hampshire on page 437, and after the map there is a list of towns telling to which county the town belongs now, and to which county it belonged before 1823.

The eastern half of Merrimack County including the towns from Hookset, up to Concord, and up to and including Franklin was taken from Rockinginham County in 1823.
The nothern two towns of Danbury and Hill were taken from Grafton County in 1823.
The western towns of Merrimack County in the line of Dunbarton, Hopkinton, Boscowen, Salisbury, to Andover and westwards were taken from Hillsborough County in 1823.

Description[edit | edit source]

Merrimack County is located in the south central region of the state. The county was named for the Merrimack River. [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

New HampshireMerrimack CountyCheshire CountyHillsborough CountyRockingham CountyBelknap CountyGrafton CountySullivan CountyHooksettAllenstownEpsomPittsfieldChichesterPembrokeBowDunbartonHennikerHopkintonConcordLoudonCanterburyBoscawenWebsterWarnerBradfordNewburySuttonNew LondonWilmotSalisburyAndoverDanburyHillFranklinNorthfieldHarrisvilleNelsonStoddardHancockAntrimWindsorHillsboroughGreenfieldBenningtonFrancestownDeeringWeareNew BostonGoffstownBedfordManchesterWashingtonLempsterGoshenSunapeeNewportCroydonGranthamSpringfieldAuburnChesterCandiaRaymondDeerfieldNorthwoodStraffordBarnsteadGilmantonAltonBelmontTiltonGilfordLaconiaSanborntonMeredithNew HamptonWolfeboroEnfieldGraftonCanaanOrangeAlexandriaBristolBridgewater
Modern town borders in Merrimack County, New Hampshire.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
NHGenWeb Archives WorldCat Billion Graves
Tombstone Project FamilySearch Places
Billion Graves
See New Hampshire Cemeteries for more information.

The Findagrave website has 395 cemeteries listed for Merrimack County. Many of these contain photographs of the headstones. They may also provide 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.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 34,614
1840 36,253 4.7%
1850 40,337 11.3%
1860 41,408 2.7%
1870 42,151 1.8%
1880 46,300 9.8%
1890 49,435 6.8%
1900 52,430 6.1%
1910 53,335 1.7%
1920 51,770 −2.9%
1930 56,152 8.5%
1940 60,710 8.1%
1950 63,022 3.8%
1960 67,785 7.6%
1970 80,925 19.4%
1980 98,302 21.5%
1990 120,005 22.1%
2000 136,225 13.5%
2010 146,445 7.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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. The website images are not yet clear enough to have legible names.

Note: the 1890 census veterans' schedules for New Hampshire were preserved. They are available at United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890 at familysearch.org - How to Use this Collection, and ancestry.com, also on microfilms from the Family History Library. You can search for veterans' names or their widows' names.

Church[edit | edit source]

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.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court[edit | edit source]

The  Merrimack County courthouse is located at 163 N. Main St., Concord, NH 03301. The court records began in 1824 after the county was taken off in 1823 from Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties. The Family History Library has microfilms of the following records (look in the Library Catalog in familysearch.org under --- Merrimack County, New Hampshire - Court Records):

Court of Common Pleas, 1840 to 1867 (staff will check on ending date of the last cases). Indexes are at the beginning of most volumes in all these court records below.

Superior Court, 1840 to 1865, and an index for 1824-1888.

Circuit Court, 1874-1875.

Supreme Judicial Court, 1856-1900, and an index for some years.

For court records before 1823 you will need to determine if the town where your ancestor lived was in Grafton, Hillsborough, or Rockingham Counties. (See the heading Parent County above near the beginning of this article.) Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed., Provo, Ut., 2004 (FHL book 973 D27) has a map of New Hampshire on page 437, and after the map there is a list of towns giving to which county the town belongs now, and to which county it belonged before 1823.

See the New Hampshire article in this wiki, Court Records section, for background information about the various courts and when they began and ended.

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.

Directories (city directories)[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has many city directories on microfilm. See the FamilySearch Catalog and look up the city or town - Directories. For example Concord, New Hampshire city directories are available on microfilms and/or microfiche for 1830 to 1935 with gaps for some years. Those directories also often include the names of persons living in other towns in the county.

Many directories are also available on the internet at www.ancestry.com. Go to Ancestry's card catalog, and under Search Titles, then type New Hampshire City Directories. Then you can select the city and see for which years ancestry has digital images of the city directories. 

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Grafton CountyBelknap CountyStrafford CountyRockingham CountyHillsborough CountySullivan CountyNH MERRIMACK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

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.

Land[edit | edit source]

Deeds since 1823 are kept at the Registry of Deeds in Concord, New Hampshire. The Family History Library has microfilms of indexes to the deeds for 1823-1900, and also has microfilms of the deed volumes for 1823 to about 1919. There are indexes to grantors (sellers) and grantees (buyers).

If before 1823 your ancestors lived in the area that is now Merrimack County, you will need to look in the records of Grafton County, Hillsborough County, or Rockingham County.

To determine if the town where your ancestor lived was in Grafton, Hillsborough, or Rockingham Counties before 1823 see the section Parent County above. See Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd ed., Provo, Ut., 2004 (FHL book 973 D27). This book  has a map of New Hampshire on page 437, and after the map there is a list of towns mentioning to which county the town belongs now, and to which county it belonged before 1823.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

There are town histories for most of the towns in Merrimack County, and there is often a genealogical section with a great deal of family history information. The Family History Library has microfilmed many of those books, and some are on the internet.

For the following towns the Family History Library has town histories or genealogical collections which include a good deal of genealogical information: Andover, Boscawen. Bow, Bradford, Canterbury, Concord, Dunbarton, Epsom, Henniker, Hopkinton, Loudon, New London, Northfield, Pembroke, Pittsfield, Salisbury, Sutton, and Webster.

For the other towns, Allenstown, Chichester, Danbury, Franklin, Hill, Hookset, Loudon, Newbury, Warner, and Wilmot the Family History Library usually has microfilms of births, marriages, and deaths, and often cemetery records.

To look up the books, go to familysearch.org, and see the Catalog tab. Type in the box the name of the town you are seeking. Select the reference to that town, then click the Search button. You will then see a list of items for that town. See if "History" or "Genealogy" are listed. If so, look at those items.

The New Hampshire State Library in Concord, New Hampshire has a vast collection of books about New Hampshire towns and counties. Check their internet catalog for a town of interest.

The [1] also in Concord has a very large collection of local history books and other publications.

Maps[edit | edit source]

NH Merrimack County

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 New Hampshire History Network has a helpful list of historical societies. Town libraries may also have good maps.

There are two very good early atlases that show the county and town boundary lines. One was published in 1822  by H. C. Carey and I. Lea, A Complete, Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas: . . . Philadelphia: H. C. Carey and I. Lea, 1822 (FHL film 02083 item 6).

The second very useful early atlas was published in 1838 by T. G. Bradford, An Illustrated Atlas, Geographical, Statistical, and Historical, of the United States, and Adjacent Countries. Boston: Weeks, Jordan and Company, 1838 (FHL film 02083 item 7).

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

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 volumes 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 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.

Online Records

War of 1812[edit | edit source]

1812 - See Potter's book above for information on the War of 1812. See also the New Hampshire Online Records box at the beginning of this wiki article.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Online Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Merrimack 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 Merrimack County.

- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Cavalry, Troops A, D, E, F, G, H, I, L, and M.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies A, B, C, E, and L.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and F.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, C, E, and H.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B and E.
- 4th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, E, and I.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, E, F, and I.
- 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company I.
- 8th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company H.
- 9th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, and I.
- 10th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and E.
- 11th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, E, and F.
- 12th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C, D and F.
- 13th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C and E.
- 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies H and K.
- 15th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, F, and G.
- 16th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, E, and H.
- 17th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A and B.
- 18th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.
- New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 1st Company E.
- New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 2nd Companies F and G.
- New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 3rd Company.

Additional Resources for soldiers from Merrimack 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.

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:

World War I[edit | edit source]

1917-1918: 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[edit | edit source]

1938-1946 - At ancestry.com you can search the U. S. Army enlistment records for 1938-1946. These are records of men and women. Their ages vary from about eighty-five years old to seventeen years old (born between 1855 and 1929). About 8.3 million persons enlisted. The year of birth; state or country of birth; marital status; city, county, or state of residence; and occupation, are given.

1942 - There is an index on 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.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Portsmouth, NH newspapers from the late 1700's covering local news that included residents from Merrimack County communities.

Another internet source is genealogybank.com. This site has Concord, New Hampshire newspapers from 1790 to 1891.

Finding More New Hampshire Newspapers[edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Merrimack County, New Hampshire Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Probate[edit | edit source]

1824-1984: The original probate record volumes, 1-421, and indexes for the years 1824-1984, have been transferred to the New Hampshire State Archives in Concord, New Hampshire. If you are able to visit there you can search the index and request to look at the volumes.

Fortunately microfilms of the record volumes 1-145, for 1823 to about 1925, and indexes for 1823-1988 can be ordered through the Family History Centers of the Family History Library. See the Catalog, and in the place name box type New Hampshire, Merrimack County. The courthouse may have the probate case files which often contain additional information. 

Online Probate Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

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 - Merrimack 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[edit | edit source]

Many town records are still in the town office buildings. Many are on film at the Family History Library. 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. 

To look up the film numbers of town records, go to the Catalog tab at familysearch.org. Click on place name search. Then type in the name of the town. Select the reference to that town in New Hampshire. Then click on Search. You will see a list of subjects. Look for the subject "Town Records." Click on that heading to see information about the records including book or film numbers.

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.

Online Records

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Fortunately, you can see the New Hampshire birth records 1700s-1900, marriage records 1637-1947, and death records 1654-1947 online at family.search.org.

The birth, marriage, and death indexes below are on cards sent to the state of New Hampshire. If you do not find the record you are seeking, you could search a microfilm of records for the town, or you could write to the city or town clerk. In 1905, when the state created the Bureau of Vital Records and Health, printed cards were distributed to the local town clerks and earlier vital records were transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the state.

Certified copies of of birth, death, and marriage records are also 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.

Online Records

Births[edit | edit source]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Page 452-453. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 436.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Merrimack County, New Hampshire page 452, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Merrimack County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrimack_County,_New Hampshire accessed 25 September 2018.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Merrimack County, New Hampshire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrimack_County%2C_New_Hampshire, accessed 16 November 2018.