New Hampshire, Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947 .

Collection Time Period

This collection includes information for the years 1654 to 1947. However the majority of the records are after 1900.

Record Description

This collection includes records from the New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics as well as records from individual town and country clerks. The earlier records are handwritten. Later records are handwritten or typed on printed forms.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in most records of the New Hampshire Statewide Deaths are:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of death Age
  • Length of time in the community
  • Date and place of birth
  • Gender
  • Color or race
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Name of father and mother (including maiden name) and their place of birth
  • Name of spouse
  • Place and date of interment

How to Use the Collection

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to deaths make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the death occurred.
  • The name of the person at the time of death.
  • The approximate death date.

Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in these 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 one record to another record.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Record History

Town clerks began recording deaths as early as 1640. However, the earlier records do not give much information and the information varies depending upon the clerk.

In 1866 the state passed laws requiring the registration of vital events. It is estimated that by 1883 almost half of the population was listed in the vital records with 90 percent coverage by the end of the decade.

The Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics was created in 1905. They have copies of records made by the town clerks dating from about 1640 to the present.

Why This Record Was Created

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

Record Reliability

The most reliable information is the date and place of death or burial. Other information will only be as reliable as the informant’s knowledge or memory.

Related Web Sites

New Hampshire Cemetery List

Some of the cemeteries in New Hampshire have listings on this page at

Related Wiki Articles

New Hampshire Vital Records

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

"New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947." database and images,FamilySearch: accessed March 31, 2011. entry for Cora S. Williams, died 25 March 1911; citing Death Records, FHL film 2131634; New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord, New Hampshire.

Sources of Information for This Collection

"New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947," database, FamilySearch Record Search, 2010; from New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics. “Death certificates, 1901-1937," "New Hampshire Statewide Death Records, 1938-1947," "New Hampshire Statewide Death Records Early to 1900." Bureau of Vital Records, Concord. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Full bibliographic records are available in the FamilyHistory Library Catalog: