New Hampshire Land and Property

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 01:01, 19 September 2010 by MarkhamMJ (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

United States  Gotoarrow.png  New Hampshire  Gotoarrow.png  Land and Property

Land ownership was recorded in New England towns from the first settlement of the town. Land records are primarily used to learn where people lived and when they lived there. The records often reveal other information, such as the name of a spouse, heir, other relatives, or neighbors. You may learn where a person lived previously, his occupation, if he had served in the military and other clues. Sale of the land may show when he left and may mention his new destination.

Land Jurisdictional Periods

1629 to 1641 - Masonian Proprietary Period

In 1629 the province of New Hampshire was granted to the proprietorship of Captain John Mason. Mason, his heirs, and those who purchased the patent assigned many town grants and many individual grants. These years are commonly known as the Masonian Proprietary Period. Many of these records are in the State and Provincial Papers of New Hampshire:

  • Volume 27 has charters and documents for towns alphabetically from Albany to Moultonborough.
  • Volume 28 has charters and documents for towns alphabetically from Nelson to Wolfeborough.
  • Volume 29 has documents relating to the Masonian patent from 1630 to 1846.

1641 to 1679 - Massachusetts Era

From 1641 to 1679, New Hampshire was considered part of Massachusetts. Town charters granted by Massachusetts, to 1740 have been published in volume 24 of the New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers. The charters extend to 1740 because Massachusetts and New Hampshire had the same governor for most of the time until 1740.

1679 to 1741 - New Hampshire & Massachusetts, then New Hampshire         alone, 1741 on

New Hampshire became a royal province in 1679, although Massachusetts continued to claim the Merrimack Valley until 1741. Town charters were granted by Massachusetts during its jurisdictional period, and charters were granted by New Hampshire during its jurisdictional period. These recorded charters, land grants, maps, and plans can be found in several volumes of New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers. A name indes to all 40 volumes is available online.

  • 1641 to 1800s, Volume 24. Town charters granted by Massachusetts, 1641–1740. Town charters granted by New Hampshire, 1740–1800s. Reference is often made to Masonian grants. (FHL film 1033740)
  • 1740 to 1800s, Volume 25. Town charters granted by New Hampshire, 1740–1800's. Reference is often made to Masonian grants. (FHL film 1033741)
  • 1749 to 1764, Volume 26.  New Hampshire grants, within the present boundaries of Vermont, 1749–1764 (FHL film 1033741).
  • 1720s to 1830s, Volume 27 and Volume 28. Masonian proprietors’ township and individual grants in New Hampshire, 1720s–1830's. Contains maps, plans and descriptions of land grants.  (FHL films 1033741–42)
  • 1629 to1700's, Volume 29 . Masonian proprietors’ documents, 1629–1700's. (FHL film 1033742) 
  • 1748 to 1846, New Hampshire. Proprietors. Proprietors’ Records, 1748–1846. Partial indexes are found at the beginning of vols. 1–3.  (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975). Family History Library film 983688. Microfilm of original records located in Concord, New Hampshire.

Registration of Deeds

When proprietors sold their land to others, the deeds and all subsequent transactions were recorded in provincial, county, and some town records. From 1623 to 1772, the Registry of Deeds was at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. All existing pre-1772 deeds are now at the New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives. The address may be found in Archives and Libraries.

County registrars of deeds began to keep deed records in 1769, when the first five New Hampshire counties were created (Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford). New Hampshire land records now may be found within town records.

The address may be found in Archives and Libraries. For records of deeds after 1772, refer to probate offices in the counties.

Additional information on land and property records can be found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:




Web Sites

My New Hampshire Genealogy gives good information about researching land records in New Hampshire.