Sullivan County


Town Records

In New England, the town clerk is the principal record keeper on the local level. The earliest records are called proprietor's records. Town records generally begin with the founding of a town and are kept to the present.

Town records may contain records of births, marriages, burials, cemeteries, appointments, earmarks, estrays (records of stray animals), freeman's' oaths (men becoming eligible to vote), land records, mortgages, name changes, care of the poor, school records, surveys, tax lists, town meeting minutes, voter registrations, and "warning outs" (of town).

The original records are in the respective town clerk's office, at the New Hampshire Historical Society, or at the New Hampshire Division of Records Management and Archives.

Town Records of Births and Deaths

Early vital records exist from the date of organization of each town--some as early as 1639. Town clerks were required by law to keep records, starting in 1686. The original records are located in the respective town clerk's office.

State Records of Births and Deaths

In 1883 the state required the towns to send copies to the state of the vital records in their possession and all subsequent registrations. The town clerks copied their information onto cards and sent the cards to the New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records. This was generally complied with by 1901.

Until 1883 less than half of the population was recorded in the vital records. Moreover, these records often gave very little information about parents and their birthplaces. After 1901 the records are very complete and give much more genealogical information.

Marriage Records

Town clerks began recording marriages as early as 1639. As described above, the information was recorded on cards and sent to the Bureau of Vital Records. The cards are arranged by the groom's surname and filed by the first and third letters.

After 1901 the records are very complete and give more information, such as the parents' names and birthplaces. You can write to the Bureau of Vital Records (address given below) for copies.
The New Hampshire Society has a Card Index to Publishments of Marriage (Intention) Prior to 1900 (FHL film 1,001,439). They also have a card index to New Hampshire people listed in the published vital records of Massachusetts (7 films).

Divorce Records

Divorce proceedings are usually kept by the clerk of the Superior Court of each county. Divorce records prior to 1938 are at the Bureau of Vital Records. The Bureau of Vital Records (address given below) has an index to divorces and annulments prior to 1938


Sullivan County Courthouse
14 Main St Newport, NH 03773-0045
Registry of - Deeds: 603-863-2110 - Probate 603-863-3150

State Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
Health and Human Services Building
Hazen Drive,   Concord, NH 03301
 603- 271-4685 or  800-852-3345


  Archives / Covered Bridges / Resources /



All Rights Reserved