Sullivan County, New Hampshire Genealogy
Guide to Sullivan County, New Hampshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, military records, and other records..
|Sullivan County, New Hampshire|
Location in the state of New Hampshire
|Founded||July 5, 1827|
|Address|| Sullivan County Courthouse|
22 Main St
PO Box 45
Newport, NH 03773-0045
Sullivan County Website
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Description
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Biography
- 5.2 Cemeteries
- 5.3 Census
- 5.4 Church
- 5.5 Court
- 5.6 Genealogy - How to get started?
- 5.7 Genealogy - Town Histories with Genealogy Sections
- 5.8 Historical Societies - (see Societies section below)
- 5.9 Land
- 5.10 Local Histories
- 5.11 Maps
- 5.12 Military
- 5.13 Naturalization
- 5.14 Newspapers
- 5.15 Probate
- 5.16 Taxation
- 5.17 Town Records
- 5.18 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
The Town or City Clerks have birth, marriage, death and burial records.
The Clerk of the Superior Court has divorce and court records from 1827.
The Register of Probate has probate records.
The Register of Deeds has land records.
The Richards Library, in Newport, New Hampshire has other records of genealogical interest.
Towns Organized Before 1800:
Sullivan County is named for Brigadier General John Sullivan, a Revolutionary War hero and former governor.
Sullivan County is located in the southwest region of the state. The county was named for John Sullivan. an Irish-American General in the Revolutionary War, a delegate in the Continental Congress, Governor of New Hampshire and a United States federal judge.
1771-1827: The area that now is Sullivan County was part of Cheshire County from 1771 to 5 July 1827. Thus if you are looking for an ancestor in censuses, deeds, probate records, etc. before 5 July 1827, look in Cheshire County records.
1827 Early deeds were damaged by fire. A separate series of “burned deeds,” consisting of copies of surviving portions of the burned volumes with a separate index, is at the registry.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in the Tennessee Genealogy Blog.
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle.
Towns: An excellent way to gain information is to contact the local town historical society. The best list of these is found at the New Hampshire History Network. At that site, click on the Directory, and scroll down to the town of interest.
Birth, marriage, and death records of many New Hampshire towns and villages are available online at www.familysearch.org, That site has birth records early to 1900, and marriage and death records, early to about 1948. Below is a list of the towns in Sullivan County. Many of the town birth, marriage, and death records were microfilmed and are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.
There are books or films with biographies, genealogies, and vital records for the towns and cities of Sullivan County. The Family History Library has books or films with genealogical sections for: Acworth, Claremont, Charlestown, Cornish, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Newport, Plainfield, Unity, and Washington. Please see the FamilySearch Catalog for the town, and look under the headings Genealogy and History.
For Grantham and Sunapee for which the Family History Library does not have a genealogical book, the Library has films with very good vital records (birth, marriage, and death records) . For Croydon, there is a Centennial Celebration history book published in 1867 with some information on leading figures in the community to 1866.
A very good place to contact for biographies and family histories in Sullivan County is the Newport Historical Society, 20 Central St., P. O. Box 413, Newport, NH 03773, tel. 603-863-1294, e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. They have a good number of local histories, and a good amount of family history information.
Another good place to contact for biographical information is the Historical Society of Cheshire County, in Keene, New Hampshire. 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.
|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|
|See New Hampshire Cemeteries for more information.|
- The Newport Historical Society has collected cemetery records. (See address in Biography section above.)
- The New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association has the most complete list of cemeteries.
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. One 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. Not all of the website map images have legible home owner names.
Note: the 1890 census veterans' schedules for New Hampshire were preserved. They are available at familysearch.org, and ancestry.com, also on microfilms from the Family History Library. You can search for veterans' names or their widows' names.
If you know the church where your ancestor attended, or know which denomination the ancestor belonged to, the Newport Historical Society may be able to help you locate the church and its records. (See the address under Biography above.) 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.
From 1827: The Sullivan County courthouse is located at 24 Main St., Newport, NH 03773. They have some court records from 1827 when the county was organized, to the present, however many of the court records from 1827-1919 have been sent to the New Hampshire State Archives and Records Management. The records can be studied there.
1827-1905: The Family History Library has microfilms of Sullivan County court records from 1827 to 1905. See theLibrary Catalog for the various court records and their microfilm numbers. There is an index at the beginning of each volume.
The Sullivan County Superior Court office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., and is closed for 12;30 - 1:00 p.m. The phone number is 603-863-3450. The Circuit District Court handles cases also. Contact the Superior Court office for assistance with the Distict Court records.
Before 1827: For the court records before 1827, please go to the wiki article on Cheshire County, New Hampshire.
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.
Genealogy - How to get started?
1. Check www.familysearch.org (Family Tree) and see if your ancestor's name is listed there.
2. Check familysearch.org's historical records and see if your family's vital records of births, marriages, and deaths are there.
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.
4. If you know the town where they lived, seek a town history that has a genealogical section (see below).
5. Read through the wiki articles on Sullivan 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.
6. Share your search on familysearch.org (Family Tree), genforum.com, or ancestry.com. You can also share your quest with the local historical society or town library and ask for help. Send them your family group forms and a pedigree chart.
Genealogy - Town Histories with Genealogy Sections
For Sullivan County there are many excellent town histories. Many have a genealogical section. The Family History Library has history books or films with genealogical sections for: Acworth, Claremont, Charlestown, Cornish, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Newport, Plainfield, Unity, and Washington. In the Family History Library Catalog, go to the town, then look for the heading Genealogy or History. Many of the books are on microfilm or available online.
Many other historical societies and libraries will very likely also have these books.
Historical Societies - (see Societies section below)
1827 on: The Sullivan County deed records begin in 1827 when the county was established from Cheshire County. Deed records are available at the county courthouse in Newport, New Hampshire. A note in Redbook: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3rd edition, 2004, page 436 states that "Early deeds were damaged by fire. A separate series of "burned deeds," consisting of copies of surviving portions of the burned volumes with a separate index, is at the registry."
1827-1900: To search Sullivan County land records for 1827-1900 you can go to the internet site Sullivan County Registry of Deeds. For detailed instructions go to Newport Historical Society. Look for the instructions on searching the deeds.
1827-1850: The Family History Library has microfilms of the grantor, and, grantee indexes for 1827-1850 and films of the deed volumes for 1827-1850. See the Library Catalog for the film numbers.
The Newport Historical Society has maps and books that can help you study land records, and locations of homes, farms, etc. (For their address see the Biography section above.)
Early - 1885: The Family History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has many local history books about Sullivan County and the towns in the county. Several of the books can be read online through familysearch.org. For example, the History of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, New Hampshire, by D. Hamilton Hurd, published in 1886 (FHL book 974.2 H2h, film 962,933). This has histories of each town from early settlement to about 1885. You can search for names or keywords. There is also a separate index on the internet.
1766-1878: The book History of the Town of Cornish, New Hampshire is available online, and The History of Newport, New Hampshire, from 1766 to 1878, with a Genealogical Register can be seen online.
The Newport Historical Society and other town historical societies are good places to contact for local history for Sullivan County. See the Internet site of the New Hampshire History Network for contact information for historical societies.
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.
Your local public library or college library may have maps or atlases to help you. For very detailed maps, or old maps, contact the town historical societies or libraries. A list of town historical societies may be seen on the Internet site of the New Hampshire History Network.
1890: 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.
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 online 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.
Fortunately the History of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, New Hampshire is available online through familysearch.org. This was written by D. Hamilton Hurd, and published in 1886 (FHL book 974.2 H2h, film 962,933). There is a history of each town with names of soldiers who served from that town in the Revolutionary War. There is also background information about activities surrounding the 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 google.com, and look forNew Hampshire State Papers with the link to ancestry.com. 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.
War of 1812
Hurd's History of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties, New Hampshire, mentioned above, is available online, and lists soldiers in the various towns who served in the War of 1812. Find the history of the town where the soldier lived and look in the military history section.
- 1861-1866: New Hampshire Civil War Service and Pension Records 1861-1866 at FamilySearch — index and images
Regiments. Civil War service men from Sullivan 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 Sullivan County.
- - 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies D and K.
- - 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Cavalry, Troops A, F, G, I, and L.
- - 1st Regiment, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Companies A, B, and H.
- - 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies H and I.
- - 3rd Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A and F.
- - 5th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies E and G.
- - 6th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies F and G.
- - 9th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company D.
- - 11th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- - 14th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies B and I.
- - 15th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Company F.
- - 16th Regiment, New Hampshire Infantry, Companies A, F, and I.
- - New Hampshire Sharpshooters, 1st Company E.
Additional Resources for soldiers from Sullivan County:
FamilySearch 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. Ancestry.com has Civil War draft registration records, soldier's records, and an index to Civil War pension applications.
Again, Hurd's book mentioned under the heading Revolutionary War and War of 1812 is very helpful. This book is available online. There is a history of each town. In the military section you will generally find the names of those who fought in the Civil War, with information about the various regiments.
History books about the various towns often give the names of soldiers and other helpful information. See the Library Catalog at FamilySearch.org for Sullivan County towns and the topic History. For example, if your ancestor served in the Civil War from Claremont, Sullivan County, there is a book which you can read online:
World War I
1917-1918: A very helpful source for World War I is an index at 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 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
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. (See www.ancestry.com for further information.)
1938-1946: At ancestry.com you can also search the index, and information given in, the U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946. The information includes name, birth year, state or country of birth, city or county of residence, enlistment date and city, occupation, marital status, and education.
1827-1906: Many of the Sullivan County naturalization records for 1827-1906 have been transferred to the New Hampshire State Archives. See this link for a list of what is at the State Archives. Naturalization records since 1906 may very well be at the courthouse.
1838-1903: Naturalization index, 1838 to approxamatley 1903.
1838-1903: Naturalization records of the various courts, 1838-1903.
- 1906-1993: New Hampshire, United States Naturalization Records, 1906-1993 at FamilySearch — images
The oldest newspaper for the Sullivan County region is the Keene Sentinel, published since 1799. The offices are at 60 West St., Keene, NH 03431, tel. 603-352-1234, e-mail email@example.com. The web site is sentinelsource.com. See the Newspaper section for Cheshire County in the wiki for information on indexes to the Keene Sentinel.
Over the years various newspapers have been published in Sullivan County, for example for the Newport region, the New Hampshire Argus, 1834-1835. The name has changed many times, and today there is the Argus Champion. For the Claremont region there is the Claremont Eagle Times, and the Claremont Courier.
To learn more about early newspapers published in Sullivan County cities and towns, see the United States portion of the wiki, under the heading Newspapers. For example see Winifred Gregory's book American Newspapers, 1821-1936, published in 1937, reprinted in 1967 (FHL Ref Q book 970 B33a 1967, film 483713).
Finding More New Hampshire Newspapers
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Sullivan County, New Hampshire Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Probate records for Sullivan County began in 1827 when the county was created from Cheshire County. See the address for the courthouse in the County Courthouse section above.
The Family History Library has films of Sullivan County probate records. The follow records can be viewed at the library:
1827-1864: probate index for wills 1827-1864
1856-1914, 1858-1922, to 1947: probate index for wills 1856-1914, and admistrations abt. 1858 to 1922, some other records to 1947.
1827-1864, 1827-1855, 1827-1902: records of wills 1827-1864, administrations 1827-1855, and other records 1827-1902.
1856-1914, 1858-1922, to1947: records of wills 1856-1914, administrations, ca. 1858-1922, and other records to 1947.
Pre-1827: For information on the pre-1827 probate records please go to the Cheshire County, New Hampshire wiki - Probate section.
Online Probate Records
- 1635-1753: New Hampshire Probate Records 1635-1753 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1643-1982: New Hampshire Wills and Probate Records 1643-1982 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
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 - Sullivan County - [name of town] - Town Records.
Early-1850: 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. The records are listed in the catalog in the manner mentioned in the paragraph above.
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.
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.
Early-1850: 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, Index to Early Town Records, New Hampshire, Early to 1850. (For more information see the Taxation section just above.) The index and film numbers are listed just above in the Taxation section. Many town records are still in the town offices.
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.
Fortunately, most of the New Hampshire birth records to 1900, and marriage and death records to 1947, are on the internet at FamilySearch.org where you can view a digital image of the actual record. (See the births, marriages, and deaths headings below.)
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. The Family History Library has films of Sullivan County town and city birth records to about 1900, and marriage, and death records often to the 1940s. These are listed in the Library Catalog under New Hampshire, Sullivan County, (name of town or city) - Vital Records.
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.
- 1656-1938: New Hampshire, Vital and Town Records Index, 1656-1938 at FamilySearch — index
- To 1900: New Hampshire Birth Records, Early to 1900 are available online at FamilySearch .
- 1901-1915: New Hampshire, Birth Certificates, 1901-1915 at FamilySearch.org - browse images only
- 1637-1964 - New Hampshire, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1637-1947: New Hampshire Marriage Records, 1637-1947 are available online at FamilySearch .
- 1948–1959: New Hampshire Marriage Certificates, 1948-1959 at FamilySearch — index and images
Societies and Libraries
There are historical societies in the following towns in Sullivan County: Acworth, Claremont, Charlestown, Cornish, Croydon, Goshen, Grantham, Lempster, Newport, Plainfield, Springfield, Sunapee, Unity, and Washington. For addresses, Internet sites, etc. see the New Hanmpshire History Network. Although Langdon does not have an historical society, it does have an historical commission. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richards Free Library
58 N. Main St.
Newport, NH 03773
The Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene, New Hampshire has a large genealogical collection relating to Cheshire County. Their collection might help you if your family was an early family in Sullivan County.
The New Hampshire Society of Genealogists publishes a magazine regularly. They also publish books containing records. You may want to view their Internet site.
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- The Sullivan County NHGenWeb Project, an member of The NHGenWeb Project, an affiliate of USGenWeb Project.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Sullivan County
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Sullivan County (backup site)
- FamilySearch.org FamilySearch Catalog for Sullivan County
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Sullivan, New Hampshire page 453, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- name="HBG">Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].