Rockingham County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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Guide to Rockingham 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: Brentwood
Organized: March 19, 1771
Parent County(s): one of the five original New Hampshire counties[1]
Neighboring Counties
Essex (MA)  • Hillsborough  • Merrimack  • Strafford  • York (ME)
See County Maps
Courthouse
New Hampshire, Rockingham County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Nh-rockingham.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Rockingham County is located in the south east region of the state. The county was named for for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, who had been Prime Minister in 1765-1766.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Rockingham County Courthouse
# 10 Rt. 125
Brentwood, NH 03833
Phone: 855-212-1234
Rockingham County Website

The clerks of the courts have divorce and court records from 1769.
Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and burial records.
The Register of Probate has probate records from 1770.
The Register of Deeds has land records from 1643. [3]

Rockingham 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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1630 1630 1630 1639 1643 1639 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 HampshireMassachusettsMaineRockingham CountyHillsborough CountyMerrimack CountyStrafford CountyEssex CountyYork CountySalemWindhamLondonderryDerryHampsteadAtkinsonPlaistowNewtonSouth HamptonSeabrookHampton FallsKensingtonEast KingstonKingstonDanvilleSandownChesterAuburnCandiaRaymondDeerfieldNorthwoodNottinghamEppingFremontBrentwoodNewmarketNewfieldsExeterStrathamHamptonNorth HamptonRyeGreenlandPortsmouthNewingtonNew CasltePelhamHudsonNashuaLitchfieldMerrimackBedfordManchesterHooksettBowAllenstownPembrokeConcordEpsomChichesterLoudonCanterburyPittsfieldGilmantonBarnsteadStraffordFarmingtonRochesterSomersworthRollinsfordDoverMadburyDurhamLeeBarringtonIsles of Shoals (aka Appledore and Gosport)LebanonBerwickNorth BerwickWellsOgunquitSouth BerwickYorkEliotKitteryDunstableTyngsboroughDracutMethuenLawrenceNorth AndoverBoxfordGrovelandHaverhillMerrimacWest NewburyNewburyNewburyportAmesburySalisbury
Modern town borders in Rockingham 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:[7]

Cities
Towns
Villages
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Gosport (known as Star Island)


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • Rockingham County was first settled by Europeans moving north from the Plymouth Colony as early as 1623.
  • The county was named for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, who had been British Prime Minister in 1765-1766.
  • The government was tightly linked to Massachusetts until 1679. The counties of New Hampshire were not introduced until 1769.

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 Rockingham 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 43,184
1800 45,427 5.2%
1810 50,175 10.5%
1820 55,246 10.1%
1830 44,325 −19.8%
1840 45,771 3.3%
1850 49,194 7.5%
1860 50,122 1.9%
1870 47,297 −5.6%
1880 49,064 3.7%
1890 49,650 1.2%
1900 51,118 3.0%
1910 52,188 2.1%
1920 52,498 0.6%
1930 53,750 2.4%
1940 58,142 8.2%
1950 70,059 20.5%
1960 99,029 41.4%
1970 138,951 40.3%
1980 190,345 37.0%
1990 245,845 29.2%
2000 277,359 12.8%
2010 295,223 6.4%
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]

The Family History Library has many city directories on microfilm. See the FamilySearch Catalog and look up the city or town - Directories. For example Exeter, New Hampshire city directories are available on microfilms and/or microfiche for 1872, 1908, 1911-1912, 1915-1929. Those directories also often include the names of persons living in other nearby 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 select the year, and see the digital images of the city directories.

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

A helpful book for early settlers from the 1600s to about 1776 is the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire. You can search this at www.ancestry.com. Go to ancestry.com, then see Search. Look for the Card Catalog. In the Title box type Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire. Two items are listed. One is a photo-reproduction of the book. The other is a search engine where you can type in an ancestor's name and then look at each place where the name is mentioned. This book was first published 1928-1939 by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby, and Walter Goodwin Davis. It was reprinted in 1983 by Genealogical Publishing Co. (FHL book 974 D2n; film 476,892; fiche 6046621.) Another good book with biographies of early setters before 1776 in New Hampshire and Maine is Piscataqua Pioneers, 1623-1775: Register of Members and Ancestors. This was edited by John Scales and published in 1919 at Dover, N.H., and is available online from The Library of Congress site archive.org. The biographical sketches are in alphabetical order, and you can use the search function to look up the name of an ancestor. Then you can study the page where that name is found. This book is also available on FHL film 928,026 item 5.

The Piscataqua Pioneers organization has deposited their membership applications with the University of New Hampshire Library in Durham, New Hampshire. These contain detailed information on lineages going back to the early settlers. The applications are also on Family History Library microfilms. Please see the New Hampshire wiki article, then go to the Genealogy section, then see Piscataqua Pioneers.

For other helpful genealogical collections see the New Hampshire wiki artilce, Genealogy section and Societies section.

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. Town history books or collections with genealogical sections are at the Family History Library for: Candia, (includes Candia Four Corners region), Chester, Danville, Derry, Hampstead, Hampton (includes Hampton Beach region), Hampton Falls, Kensington, Londonderry, New Castle (data from cemeteries), Newfields, Newington, Northwood, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Salem, Windham. Check the Family History Library now and then to see if new books have come in.

Fortunately, the Family History Library has microfilms of birth, marriage, and death records, for most of the towns in Rockingham County, often from the date when the town was founded until the 1920s or 1930s, on microfilms. Thus, if there isn't a local history book with a genealogical section, you can: (1) check familysearch.org for birth, marriage, and death information, or (2) locate a microfilm with the town or city birth, marriage, or death records.

The New Hampshire State Library in Concord has a vast collection of books about New Hampshire towns and counties. Check their online 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. Their Collections Catalog can be searched online.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

York CountyStrafford CountyMerrimack CountyHillsborough CountyMiddlesex CountyEssex CountyNH ROCKINGHAM.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.

  • 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.

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 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).

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 the New Hampshire State Papers. You can also 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 & Jenks, 1866. (Family History Library film 1033664; fiche 6046858.) 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 Chandler Potter's book directly above for information on the War of 1812.

Civil War
Online Civil War Indexes and Records

Regiments. Civil War service men in Rockingham County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (part of a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in this county:

- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Cavalry, Troops H, L and M.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C, H, and K.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies A, C, D, E, K, L, and M.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, E, and K.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, D, and H.
- 4th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, C, H, I and K.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and K.
- 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C and H.
- 8th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, D, F, G, and H.
- 9th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A and H.
- 10th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A and G.
- 11th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, E, and I.
- 12th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- 13th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies C, E, F, and K.
- 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company D.
- 15th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, E, H, I and K.
- 16th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company K.
- 18th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company D.
- Houghton's Company, Martin Guards, New Hampshire Militia (90 days, 1864)
- Martin Guards, New Hampshire Militia
- New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 2nd Company F.

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The New Hampshire Newspaper Project began microfilming newspapers in the early 1990's. A list of the titles filmed, the range of date of publication, and the reel number can be found at the New Hampshire State Library. Films of newspapers may be able to be borrowed on interlibrary loan through your local public library or university library.

Newspaperarchive.com has historical newspapers available online. You can search this free at Family History Centers. Their database has Portsmouth newspapers (1898-2007) and the Lowell Sun, of Lowell, Massachusetts (1878-1977) that covered local news on Rockingham County residents as well as residents from surrounding counties. Other internet sites with newsapers include ancestry.com and genealogybank.com.

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.


Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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 - Rockingham County - [name of town] - Town Records. You may wish to contact the Town Clerk's Office to see if they have addtional tax records.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

Town Records[edit | edit source]

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.

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. Many of those records are available on Family History Library microfilms. Following are links to online searches with indexes and records:

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]

Societies
Rockingham County Historical Societies as listed by CountyOffice.orgWebsite

The New Hampshire History Network has an internet site where you can find information about historical societies in many cities and towns of Rockingham County. These historical societies can often be a great source of information for your family history research.

You may also want to go to the internet and type in the name of the town in New Hampshire. Often you will find there is a public library. They can often help you with your family history questions.

Public Libraries
When you learn the name of the town or city where your ancestor lived, contact the public library and the historical society there to see if they have information in their files. For a listing of local historical societies click here. Following are several local libraries that have family history collections: Lane Memorial Library
2 Academy Ave.
Hampton, NH 03842
Telephone: (603) 926-3368
The New Hampshire Room offers genealogies, town histories, and items of local interest. Their
Website offers links to several genealogical resources.

Exeter Public Library
4 Chestnut St
Exeter, NH 03833
Telephone (603) 772-3101Website

Portsmouth Athenaeum
6-8 Market Square 3rd floor
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Telephone (603) 431-2538
Hours: Open Tues. and Thurs. 1-4, Sat. 10-4Website

Portsmouth Public Library
175 Parrott Ave.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Telephone (603) 427-1540
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9-9, Fri. 9-5:30, Sat. 9-5, Sun. 1-5 (closed Sundays June-August)Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Newberry
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Rockingham County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockingham_County,_New_Hampshire accessed 25 September 2018.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Rockingham County, New Hampshire page 453, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Rockingham 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.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. 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.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Rockingham County, New Hampshire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockingham_County,_New_Hampshire, accessed 17 November 2018.