Coös County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Lancaster
Organized: December 24, 1803
Parent County(s): Grafton
Neighboring Counties
Carroll  • Essex (VT)  • Grafton  • Oxford (ME)  • Quebec, Canada
See County Maps
New Hampshire, Coos County Courthouse.png
Location Map

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The name Coös derives from the Algonquian Indian term meaning crooked, the Indian name of the Connecticut River, which rises in the northernmost end of the county.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Coös County Courthouse
55 School Street, Suite 301
Lancaster, NH 03584
Phone: 603-788-5559
Coös County Website

Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and burial records.
A courthouse fire destroyed the probate records that existed before 1885.
The Clerk of the Superior Court has divorce and court records from 1887.
The Register of Probate has probate records from 1885.
The Register of Deeds has land records. [1]

Coös 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[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1803 1803 1803 1887 1887 1887 1790
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started 1866. General compliance by 1901.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1886 The Coös County Courthouse burned on November 5, 1886. Some damaged records were saved, for example some deed volumes were saved. Many damaged deed volumes where transcribed and they are on films available at Family History Centers. The book, Inventory of the county archives of New Hampshire, no. 4. Coos County is online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.

Because many county records were destroyed in 1886, you will want to check town records such as birth, marriage, and death records. Those records were kept by the town clerks and were not destroyed. You might find helpful clues about your ancestors in the filmed Index to Early Town Records of New Hampshire, Early to 1850. (See Town Records section.)

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

New HampshireMaineVermontQuebecCoos CountyGrafton CountyCarroll CountyOxford CountyFranklin CountyEssex CountyHadley's PurchaseSargent's PurchaseCutt's GrantBean's GrantChandler's PurchaseCrawford's PurchaseCarrollLow and Burbank's GrantThompson and Meserve's PurchaseMartin's LocationBean's PurchaseGreen's GrantPinkham's GrantDaltonWhitefieldJeffersonRandolphGorhamShelburneLancasterKilkennyBerlinSuccessMilanStarkNorthumberlandCambridgeDummerOdellStratfordMillsfieldErrolErving's LocationColumbiaWentworth's LocationDixvilleColebrookStewartstownDix's GrantSecond College GrantAtkinson and Gilmanton Academy GrantClarksvillePittsburgChathamConwayBartlettHart's LocationJacksonLivermoreLincolnFranconiaEastonLandaffSugar HillLisbonLymanLittletonBethlehemBridgtonFryeburgSwedenLovellStowStonehamWaterfordSouth OxfordGileadBethelHanoverNewryAndoverNorth OxfordUptonMagalloway PlantationLincoln PlantationRangeley PlantationRangeleyNorth FranklinWaterfordConcordLunenburgKirbyGuildhallVictoryGranbyBurkeEast HavenNewarkMaldstoneFerdinandBrunswickBrightonBloomfieldLewisAvery's GoreWarren's GoreNortonAverillCanaanLemingtonCompton CountyStanstead CountySherbrooke CountyFrontenac County
Modern town borders in Coös County, New Hampshire. Towns with records are named in black. Unincorporated green places usually lack records.

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

Besides Cambridge, Dixville, Millsfield, and Wentworth, no one resides in the unincorporated communities below (as of 2013). Click here to see a map showing the location of the unincorporated places.

Towns Organized Before 1800:
Bartlett 1790
Cambridge 1773
Colebrook 1790
Columbia 1797
Dalton 1784
Dummer 1773
Jefferson 1796
Kilkenny 1774
Lancaster 1763
Millsfield 1774
Northumberland 1779
Stratford 1773
Stewartstown 1799
Success 1773
Whitefield 1774

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Coös 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.
1810 3,991
1820 5,549 39.0%
1830 8,388 51.2%
1840 9,849 17.4%
1850 11,853 20.3%
1860 13,161 11.0%
1870 14,932 13.5%
1880 18,580 24.4%
1890 23,211 24.9%
1900 29,468 27.0%
1910 30,753 4.4%
1920 36,093 17.4%
1930 38,959 7.9%
1940 39,274 0.8%
1950 35,932 −8.5%
1960 37,140 3.4%
1970 34,291 −7.7%
1980 35,147 2.5%
1990 34,828 −0.9%
2000 33,111 −4.9%
2010 33,055 −0.2%
Source: "".

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]

City and town directories are available for many towns in New Hampshire. Contact the local historical society to see if they have them for the years you need.

1928-1930 The Family History Library has some city directories also. Film 2,310,391 item, 2 for North Country (New Hampshire) Directories has city and town directories for several Coös County towns, for 1928-1930. Click on the link to see a list of the towns.

1821-1989 Some city directories are also available at Do a search in their card catalog for city directories. Ancestry appears to be gathering city directories for the time period 1821-1989.

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Town Histories often have Genealogical Sections
Following is the name of the one Coös County town history book with a genealogy section: History of the Town of Stratford, New Hampshire, 1773-1925, by Jeanette R. Thompson. (FHL book 974.21/S1 H2t; FHL film 1321380 item 11.) Contact the local historical society in the town where your ancestors lived. Ask if they have a town history or collection, with family history information.

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. There are history books for many of the towns in Coös County. Major libraries that have family history collections may have the books. For example, the Family History Library has histories for the following cities and towns in Coös County and many are available on films: Colebrook, Dummer, Errol, Jefferson, Lancaster, Milan, Pittsburg, Randolph, Stratford, and Whitefield.

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.
Following are example of histories. The ones for Coös County and Lancaster are available in digital images on the internet:

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Carroll CountyGrafton CountyEssex CountyQuebecOxford CountyNH COOS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War
The most complete listing of New Hampshire Revolutionary War soldiers is found in volumes 14-17 of theNew Hampshire State Papers. You can go to, and look for New Hampshire State Papers with the link to 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 and Jenks, 1866. Online at: Internet Archive, Ancestry ($). 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.

War of 1812
See Potter's book above for information on the War of 1812.

Civil War

Regiments. Civil War service men from Coös 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 Coös County.

- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies H, I, and L.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company G.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company B.
- 13th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company H.
- 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E and F.

World War I
A very helpful source for World War I is an index at 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 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 for further information.)

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The New Hampshire Newspaper Project was organized to collect newspapers from many New Hampshire cities and towns. See their list. The newspapers are at the New Hampshire State Library at Concord, New Hampshire.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

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.

The probate records for 1803 to 1885 were badly damaged in a fire (see Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd edition, 2004, page 436). For background on existing records see the Inventory of the County Archives of New Hampshire, No. 4. Coös County. This is available online at See the Archives section above which has a link to that record at That inventory states that some probate information is included in deeds involving property.

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
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. When you see M. R. on a card this indicates there is a marriage record. When you see F. R., this indicates there is a record of family members. 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 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]

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 on Family History Library microfilms, Index to Early Town Records of New Hampshire, Early to 1850. The film numbers are given above in the Taxation section. Many town records are still in the town offices and many have been microfilmed.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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 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]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Coos County Historical Societies as listed by CountyOffice.orgWebsite

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]

How to get started?
1. Check and go to the Family Tree and see if your ancestor's information is listed there.

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

3. Check 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

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 Coös 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.

7. Enter your ancestor's information on the Family Tree,, or You can also share your quest with the local historical society, genealogical society, or town library and ask for help. Send them a family group form and a pedigree chart related to your present search..

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Coös County, New Hampshire page 452, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Coös 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.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  4. 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.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Coös County, New Hampshire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,ös_County,_New_Hampshire, accessed 19 November 2018.