Cheshire County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Keene
Organized: March 19, 1771[1]
Parent County(s): Colonial lands
Neighboring Counties
Franklin (MA)  • Hillsborough  • Sullivan  • Windham (VT)  • Worcester (MA)
See County Maps
Courthouse
New Hampshire, Cheshire County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Nh-cheshire.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Cheshire County in England.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cheshire County Courthouse
33 Winter Street
Keene, NH 03431-3355
Phone: 855-212-1234
Cheshire County Website

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

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1771 1771 1771 1771 1771 1771 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started 1866. General compliance by 1901.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

New HampshireMassachusettsVermontCheshire CountyHillsborough CountySullivan CountyMerrimack CountyWorcester CountyFranklin CountyWindham CountyWindsor CountyKeeneRindgeFitzwilliamRichmondWinchesterHinsdaleJaffreyTroySwanzeyChesterfieldMarlboroughDublinHarrisvilleRoxburyNelsonSullivanGilsumSurryWestmorelandWalpoleAlsteadMarlowStoddardCharlestownLangdonAcworthUnityLempsterGoshenWashingtonNewburyBradfordWarnerHennikerHillsboroughWindsorAntrimDeeringBenningtonHancockGreenfieldPeterboroughSharonTempleNew IpswichChesterSpringfieldGraftonRockinghamAthensBrooklineWestminsterPutneyDummerstonBrattleboroGuilfordVernonBernardstonNorthfieldWarwickOrangeRoyalstonWinchendonAtholPhillipstonTempletonGardnerWestminsterAshburnhamAshby
Modern town borders in Cheshire County, New Hampshire.


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: [6]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Historic communities


Towns Organized Before 1800:
Alstead 1763
Chesterfield 1752
Dublin 1771
Fitzwilliam 1773
Gilsum 1763
Hinsdale 1753
Jaffrey 1773
Keene 1753 - This is the county seat.
Marlborough 1776
Marlow 1761
Nelson 1774
Richmond 1752
Rindge 1768
Stoddard 1774
Sullivan 1787
Surry 1769
Swanzey 1753
Walpole 1752
Winchester 1753

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

There are many town history books with biographical and genealogical information published about the towns in Cheshire County. The Family History Library, the Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene, New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, New Hampshire, and other major family history libraries should have most of those books. For a list of the towns for which there are these town history books see the Places - Towns section above.

The Historical Society of Cheshire County (see address in Church section) has collected information from all of the towns in Cheshire County. They have town histories, family histories, biographical manuscripts, photographs, city directories, newspapers, business records, and other biographical information. The New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, New Hampshire is a good source for similar materials.

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Cheshire County, New Hampshire online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See New Hampshire Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 28,753
1800 38,825 35.0%
1810 40,988 5.6%
1820 45,376 10.7%
1830 27,016 −40.5%
1840 26,429 −2.2%
1850 30,144 14.1%
1860 27,434 −9.0%
1870 27,265 −0.6%
1880 28,734 5.4%
1890 29,579 2.9%
1900 31,321 5.9%
1910 30,659 −2.1%
1920 30,975 1.0%
1930 33,685 8.7%
1940 34,953 3.8%
1950 38,811 11.0%
1960 43,342 11.7%
1970 52,364 20.8%
1980 62,116 18.6%
1990 70,121 12.9%
2000 73,825 5.3%
2010 77,117 4.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about New Hampshire denominations, view the New Hampshire Church Records Wiki page. For tips on how to determine denomination, view the New Hampshire Research Tips and Strategies Wiki page.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Genealogy - Town Histories often have Genealogical Sections
Following is a list of the Cheshire County towns for which the Family History Library has town history books with a section of genealogies of families of that town:

Chesterfield, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Jaffrey, Keene, Marlborough, Nelson, Richmond, Rindge, Stoddard, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Troy, Walpole, and Westmoreland.

Those towns are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the town, and then History, or, Genealogy. Major libraries may also have these books. For example, the Historical Society of Cheshire County, 246 Main St., Keene, NH 03431, has those books, and may be able to seach the book of the town history for your family's information.

There is a helpful way to see if your ancestor was mentioned in a town history. See William Copeley's Index to Genealogies in New Hampshire Town Histories. Concord, New Hampshire: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1988. (FHL book 974.2 D22c, fiche 6010808.) Look under your ancestor's surname and it will tell you which town history books have genealogy information for that surname.

Genealogy - Town Histories often have Genealogical Sections[edit | edit source]

Following is a list of the Cheshire County towns for which the Family History Library has town history books with a section of genealogies of families of that town:

Chesterfield, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Jaffrey, Keene, Marlborough, Nelson, Richmond, Rindge, Stoddard, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Troy, Walpole, and Westmoreland.

Those towns are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the town, and then History, or, Genealogy. Major libraries may also have these books. For example, the Historical Society of Cheshire County, 246 Main St., Keene, NH 03431, has those books, and may be able to seach the book of the town history for your family's information.

There is a helpful way to see if your ancestor was mentioned in a town history. See William Copeley's Index to Genealogies in New Hampshire Town Histories. Concord, New Hampshire: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1988. (FHL book 974.2 D22c, fiche 6010808.) Look under your ancestor's surname and it will tell you which town history books have genealogy information for that surname.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents. See New Hampshire Land and Property for additional information about early New Hampshire land grants. A

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section New Hampshire Local Histories.

Cheshire County NH.jpg

An excellent way to gain information about family history and local history is to contact the local town historical society. There are helpful historical societies or groups in Alstead, Chesterfield, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Hinsdale, Harrisville, Jaffrey, Keene (Historical Society of Cheshre County in Keene), Marlborough, Marlow, Nelson, Richmond, Rindge, Stoddard, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Troy, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester.

The Historical Society of Cheshire County, in Keene, New Hampshire is an excellent source for local history information. See the Church section above for how to contact them, They have a large collection of town and county histories, records collections, photographs, and manuscripts. See also:

  • Inventory of the county archives of New Hampshire, no. 3, Cheshire County. Manchester, New Hampshire: Historical Records Survey, 1939. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Cheshire County New Hampshire Genealogy and History, (accessed 22 August 2011). This web site is a resource for researchers of family tree (genealogy) and history in Cheshire County, New Hampshire. There is a brief history and genealogical links to the towns and cities of Cheshire County.
  • Hurd, D. Hamilton, History of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, New Hampshire, (Philadelphia J. W. Lewis; 1886, (accessed 22 August 2011). Hosted by Internet Archive. You can also read the book online at familysearch.org - see the Books tab there. The book includes histories for many of the Cheshire County towns. The digitizing was completed by the University of New Hampshire Library.
  • 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 New Hampshire Historical Society also in Concord has a very large collection of local history books and other publications.

See the heading Biography under Cheshire County for additional suggestions.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Hillsborough CountySullivan CountyWindham CountyFranklin CountyWorcester CountyNH CHESHIRE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


For historical publications and online resources for the state, see the pages: New Hampshire Maps and New Hampshire Gazetteers.

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

General Military Records 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.

Revolutionary War Records

The most complete listing of New Hampshire Revolutionary War soldiers is found in volumes 14-17 of the New Hamsphire State Papers. You can go to rootsweb.com. There you will find an every-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.

Civil War

Online Civil War Indexes and Records

  • 1861-1866 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.
  • History of Chesterfield, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, by Oran E. Randall. See pages 116-124,Record of the Citizens of Chesterfield Who Enlisted in the Military Service of the United States During the War of the Rebellion 1861-65 - Alphabetical listing.
  • Civil War Vets Buried in New Hampshire - Cheshire County - Towns A-J are listed, and at the end there is a place to lead you to the rest of the Cheshire County towns.

Regiments.' Civil War service men from Cheshire 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 Cheshire County:

- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Cavalry, Troops A, B, E, G, H, and K.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company G.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company A.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company I.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E, F, H, and K.
- 9th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company G.
- 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, F, and G.
- 15th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company H.
- 16th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies F and I.
- 18th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company A.
- New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 2nd Company F.

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records
Cheshire County naturalization records are kept at the county courthouse at 12 Court St., Keene, NH 03431. The records for 1831-1859 are included in the county volumes titled "Roads and Session Records." For the film numbers go to the FamilySearch Catalog --- New Hampshire, Cheshire County, Public Records.

You can search Family History Library microfilms of naturalization records for 1860-1945 kept by the Supreme Judicial Court. They include records of the Circuit Court, 1874-1876, and the Superior Court, 1901-1904. See the Library Catalog, New Hampshire, Cheshire County, Naturalization and Citizenship.

Volunteers, in recent years, arranged most of the naturalization records in alphabetical order. The Historical Society of Cheshire County, in Keene, has photocopies through the early 1900s.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The main newspaper for Cheshire County is the Keene Sentinel, published since 1799. The offices are at 60 West St., Keene, NH 03431, tel. 603-352-1234, e-mail classified@keenesentinel.com. The web site is sentinelsource.com.

  • 1799-1891 At www.genealogybank.com (accessed 11 November 2011) you can search for names in the Keene Sentinel for years 1799-1891.
  • 1868-1977 Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Fitchburg, MA newspapers (1868-1977) covering local news that included Cheshire County residents.
  • 1998-2008 Obituary Index Cheshire County, New Hampshire, (accessed 24 January 2019). This has obituaries primarily from 1998 to 2008 as of November 2011.
  • 1799-1890 and 1985-present The Historical Society of Cheshire County (see address in Church section above) has obituaries taken from the Keene Sentinel newspaper for 1799-1890 and 1985- present.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

A vast number of articles are written each year about families and their history. There is an index to family history periodicals called PERSI (Periodical Source Index). This index is available on the internet through several libraries or companies.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in New Hampshire, probate records have been kept by the county. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.


Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Online Tax Indexes and Records
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 film numbers see the FamilySearch Catalog under New Hampshire - Cheshire County - [name of town] - Town Records.

Town Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Certified copies of of birth, marriage, and death 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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • 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 Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Cheshire County Public Libraries, (accessed 22 August 2011).Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

1. Check familysearch.org and see if your ancestor's information is listed there.

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

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. (The censuses for 1850-1940 list each person in the household. The censues for 1790-1840 list the name of the head of the household).

4. If you know the county where your ancestor lived, take a look at the free internet site USGenWeb Project. A volunteer helper gathers information about ancestors who lived in that county. You might find biographies, cemetery records, deeds, obituaries, queries, vital records, etc. You can leave a query.

5. If you know the town where they lived, look for a town history with a genealogical section. See the section below for how to find out if there is a town history.

6. Read the wiki articles on Cheshire County, and read the New Hampshire wiki articles for ideas of sources. Study the Records Selection Table in the New Hampshire wiki article. This can help you think of new sources to try.

7. Enter your ancestor's information on familysearch.org., genforum.com, or ancestry.com. You can also share your quest with the local historical society, genealogical socieety, or town library and ask for help. Send them a family group form and a pedigree chart.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cheshire 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), Cheshire 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.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), New Hampshire.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Cheshire County, New Hampshire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheshire_County%2C_New_Hampshire, accessed 14 November 2018.