New Hampshire, Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: New Hampshire Birth Records, Early to 1900 .
Collection Time Period
These records cover from the early years to 1900.
Official records of births occurring in each New Hampshire town or city are kept by the clerk, who sends copies to the Bureau of Vital Records and Health in Concord, New Hampshire. Statewide compilation began with the passing of a law in 1866. Total compliance with the law did not happen until sometime in the 1880’s. Prior to 1883 less than half of the population was listed in the birth records; thereafter the records are more complete and give more genealogical information. When the Bureau of Vital Records was created in 1905 printed cards were distributed and early town records of births dating back to the 1640s were transcribed onto the cards and submitted to the new Bureau.
Why This Record Was Created
Births were recorded to better serve public health needs.
The most reliable information is the date and place of birth.
These records are handwritten cards.
Key genealogical facts found in New Hampshire Statewide Birth index cards are:
- Name of child
- Date and place of birth
- Ages of parents
- Name of father and mother and their place of birth
- Name of physician or midwife
- Color or race
- Living or stillborn
- Occupations of parents
- Place recorded
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the birth records. Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
• Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
• Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
• The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
• The parent’s birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
Keep in mind:
• The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
• Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
• There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
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Sources of This Collection
"New Hampshire Birth Records, early to 1900," database, FamilySearch; from New Hampshire Registrar of Vital Statistics. "Index to births, early to 1900." New Hampshire Registrar of Vital Statistics, Concor, New Hampshire. FHL microfilm, 98 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
A full bibliographic record is available in the Family History Library Catalog.
How To Cite Your Sources
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