Strafford County, New Hampshire Genealogy

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Guide to Strafford 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: Dover
Organized: March 10, 1771
Parent County(s): Colonial lands
Neighboring Counties
Belknap  • Carroll  • Merrimack  • Rockingham  • York (ME)
See County Maps
New Hampshire, Strafford County Courthouse.png
Location Map

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Strafford County is located in the southeast region of the state. The county was named for William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford in the mistaken belief that he was the ancestor of governor John Wentworth – although they were distantly related, William had no descendants.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Strafford County Courthouse
259 County Farm Rd
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: 855-212-1234
Strafford County Website

The Town Clerk or City Clerk has birth, marriage, death and burial records.
The Clerk of the Superior Court has divorce and court records.
The Register of Probate has probate records.
The Register of Deeds has land records from 1773. [2]

Strafford 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
1769 1769 1769 1769 1769 1769 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 HampshireMaineStrafford CountyRockingham CountyMerrimack CountyBelknap CountyCarroll CountyYork CountyNew DurhamMiddletonMiltonFarmingtonStraffordRochesterBarringtonSomersworthRollinsfordDoverMadburyLeeDurhamWakefieldBrookfieldWolfeboroTuftonboroAltonGilmantonBarnsteadPittsfieldEpsomNorthwoodDeerfieldNottinghamCandiaRaymondEppingNewmarketNewfieldsExeterStrathamGreenlandNewingtonPortsmouthRyeNewfieldWaterboroShapleighActonAlfredSanfordLebanonNorth BerwickBerwickSouth BerwickYorkEliotKittery
Modern town borders in Strafford 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]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Towns Organized Before 1800:

  • Barrington 1722
  • Dover 1623
  • Durham 1732
  • Farmington 1798
  • Lee 1766
  • Madbury 1755
  • Middleton 1778
  • New Durham 1762
  • Rochester 1722
  • Somersworth 1754

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 Strafford 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 23,611
1800 32,614 38.1%
1810 41,595 27.5%
1820 51,117 22.9%
1830 58,910 15.2%
1840 61,127 3.8%
1850 29,374 −51.9%
1860 31,493 7.2%
1870 30,243 −4.0%
1880 35,558 17.6%
1890 38,442 8.1%
1900 39,337 2.3%
1910 38,951 −1.0%
1920 38,546 −1.0%
1930 38,580 0.1%
1940 43,553 12.9%
1950 51,567 18.4%
1960 59,799 16.0%
1970 70,431 17.8%
1980 85,408 21.3%
1990 104,233 22.0%
2000 112,233 7.7%
2010 123,143 9.7%
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]

1830-1935: The Family History Library has many city directories on microfilm. See the FamilySearch Catalog and look up the city or town - Directories. There are city directories available for some towns, for some years, from 1830-1935.

Many directories are also available on the internet at 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]

Genealogical Collections for the Period of about the 1600s to about 1776
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 Go to, 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 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 article, 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.

There are some local history books which contain a genealogy section. These are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under New Hampshire, Strafford County, [name of town] - Genealogy. Some of these books may be available on microfilms at your local Family History Center, and the two volumes for Durham are on the internet with digital images. These books are available at the Family History Library for Dover, Durham, New Durham, Rochester, and Rollinsford.

Fortunately, the Family History Library Catalog lists films of Vital Records (birth, marriage, and death records), for most of the cities and towns in Strafford 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 for birth, marriage, and death information, or (2) locate a microfilm with birth, marriage, or death information.

The New Hampshire State Library 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.

The Dimond Library at the University of New Hampshire has a large collection of history books, family papers, maps, diaries, etc. relating to New Hampshire.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Carroll CountyBelknap CountyMerrimack CountyRockingham CountyYork CountyNH STRAFFORD.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 National Gazetteer: A Geographical Dictionary of the United States, compiled in 1884 by Auguste L. de Colange. This is a PDF file and you can look alphabetically for the town or city. A 1990 version of this book can be found at The National Gazetteer of the United States of America.
  • 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 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).

  • FamilySearch Places: Map of cities and towns in this county - How to Use FS Places

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 go to, and look for New Hampshire State Papers with the link to There you will find a name index to volumes 14-17, then at that site 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 part one of this book online by going to Part one has information to about to 1808. The volumes include biographical notices of many of the officers and include explanatory notes.

War of 1812
See Chandler Potter's book (see section on Revolutionary War above), but see part 2, which is on film or fiche. The Family History Library indicates volume two is available on film or fiche. Part 2 does not currently (July 2013) appear to be available at

Civil War
Online Civil War Indexes and Records

Regiments. Civil War service men from Strafford 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 Strafford County:

- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, C, and K.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Cavalry, Troops B and K.
- 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies D and M.
- 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and H.
- 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, I, and K.
- 4th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, B, F, and G.
- 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A and D.
- 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and H.
- 8th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies G and I.
- 11th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company K.
- 12th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company A.
- 13th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B, C, E, and F.
- 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company E.
- 15th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D, G, and I.
- 18th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company C.
- Littlefield's Company, Strafford Guards, New Hampshire Militia

World War I
1917-1918 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 often the town or city of birth, address, and sometimes the name of nearest kin, are listed on the card. Many of these men served in the war.

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records
1861-1936: Indexes to declarations of intention [the first papers in the process of naturalization] 1861-1936.

1861-1936: Indexes to Petitions for naturalizations [the second papers in the process] 1861-1936.

There are also films of indexes with docket volumes: 1890-1906: Declarations of Intention Index and Docket, 1890-1906.

1890-1906: Naturalization Index and Docket, 1890-1906.

Naturalization declarations of intention, and, petitions: 1842-1861: Naturalization Records, 1842-1861.

1861-1906: Naturalization Papers, 1861-1906.

1871-1906: Declarations of Intention, 1871-1906 [Declarations are the first papers in the naturalization process].

1861-1900: Petitions of Naturalization, 1861-1900 [Petitions are the second papers in the process].

1906-1931: Declarations of Intention, 1906-1931.

1906-1993 New Hampshire, United States Naturalization Records, 1906-1993 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; Index and images 1907-1931: Naturalization Petitions and Records, 1907-1931.

If you are searching for naturalization records before 1842, search the various Strafford County court 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's New Hampshire Newspaper Project. Films of newspapers may be able to be borrowed on interlibrary loan through your local public library or university library.

The New Hampshire State Library in Concord, New Hampshire has a vast collection of New Hampshire newspapers on microfilms. In the catalog search box type in the name of a town and add newspapers (for example Somersworth newspapers).

See: for Dover, New Hampshire newspapers. Those for 1790-1818, 1825-1829 are online and indexed (as of August 2012). They will very likely be adding additional newspapers.

The University of New Hampshire Library, in Durham, New Hampshire has collected newspapers and other publications from many towns in Strafford County. You can go to their library catalog and then search for a town or city - newspapers. ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. This data base is available free at Family History Centers. Their database has Portsmouth, NH newspapers from the early 1900's covering local news that included residents from Stafford County communities.

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]

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 microfilm numbers see the FamilySearch Catalog under New Hampshire - Strafford County - [name of town] - Town Records. You may wish to contact the Town Clerk's Office to see if they have additional tax records.

Town Records[edit | edit source]

Many town records are still in the town office buildings.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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

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]

Strafford (NH) Historical Society
Website Strafford 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 Strafford 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.

  • The University of New Hampshire Library Milne Special Collections, at Durham, New Hampshire has many history books, genealogical collections, family papers, and diaries. See their internet site for genealogy, local history, and family papers information. Their telephone number is 603-862-2714, and their email address is

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]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Strafford County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_New_Hampshire accessed 25 September 2018.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Strafford County, New Hampshire page 453, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Strafford 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. Newberry
  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, "Strafford County, New Hampshire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_New_Hampshire, accessed 18 November 2018.