Census Records for New Hampshire

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This entry was originally written by George F. Sanborn Jr., FASG, and Alice Eichholz, Ph.D, CG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the New Hampshire Family History Research series.
History of New Hampshire
New Hampshire Vital Records
Census Records for New Hampshire
Background Sources for New Hampshire
New Hampshire Maps
New Hampshire Land Records
New Hampshire Probate Records
New Hampshire Court Records
New Hampshire Tax Records
New Hampshire Cemetery Records
New Hampshire Church Records
New Hampshire Military Records
New Hampshire Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
New Hampshire Archives, Libraries, and Societies
New Hampshire Immigration
Native Americans of New Hampshire
New Hampshire County Resources
New Hampshire Town Resources
Map of New Hampshire


Population Schedules

• Indexed'1790, 1800 (part), 1810, 1820 (part), 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

• Soundex'1880, 1900, 1920

Industry and Agriculture Schedules

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Mortality Schedules

• 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Union Veterans Schedules

• 1890

Part of the 1800 and 1820 census records for New Hampshire are no longer in existence. Towns in Rockingham County in 1800 not included are Atkinson, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Londonderry, Northampton, Pelham, Plaistow, Salem, Seabrook, Stratham, and Windham. Strafford County towns missing from that census are Alton, Barnstead, Brookfield, Effingham, Gilmanton, Middleton, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, and Wolfeborough. The 1798 U.S. Direct Tax has been found for nine of these towns (published by Heritage Books): Alton, Brookfield, Effingham, Middleton, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, and Wolfeborough. This is an excellent alternative source to the lost census returns (see New Hampshire Tax Records). Heads of Family at the Second Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1800 was privately published by John Brooks Threlfall (Madison, Wisc.: the author, 1973). Except for the missing towns, the entire census enumerations are in this volume, which is distributed through Adams Press in Chicago, Illinois.

All the census records for 1820 for Grafton County and parts of Rockingham (Gosport, Greenland, New Castle, Newington, Portsmouth, and Rye) are lost. Only Center Harbor, Gilford, Moultonborough, New Hampton, and Sanbornton records are available for Strafford County.

The original population returns (1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 for the entire state, and 1840 for Rockingham, Merrimack, and Strafford county towns) are now held by the New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives (see New Hampshire Archives, Libraries, and Societies).

With large numbers of French-Canadians in the state by the time of the 1850 census, care should be taken to use alternate spellings when using any indexes. The New Hampshire State Library (see New Hampshire Archives, Libraries, and Societies) and the New England Historic Genealogical Society hold microfilm copies of all extant census records for the state.


For the provincial period, various enumerations, primarily for tax purposes, exist for the years 1732, 1744, 1767, and 1776. All originals are available at the New Hampshire Records and Archives, and except for 1732, appear in the multi-volume set of New Hampshire State Papers (see Background Sources for New Hampshire). There are reprints of some with additional material used for supplements. It should be noted that none of the following listings are censuses in strict terms:

  • Holbrook, Jay Mack. New Hampshire Residents, 1633'1699. Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1979. For Dover, Exeter, Portsmouth, Hampton (and Kingston), Isles of Shoals. An alphabetical listing compiled from tax lists, land grants, probates, church records, and other sources. Each listing gives the original source for checking accuracy.
  • . New Hampshire 1732 Census. Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1981. Lists 3,500 heads of household by town with number of males over age sixteen enumerated and covers a period of years, not just 1732.
  • . New Hampshire 1776 Census. Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook, 1976. Over 9,000 males listed by place of residence and whether for or against revolution. Original spellings are used. A copy of this work has been placed on Ancestry.com and is available here: [1].

External Links

  • New Hampshire Census Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing New Hampshire census records. Identifies federal, state, and colonial censuses, as well as substitute records (FamilySearch Research Wiki).