Strafford County New Hampshire - Genealogy and History
 

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and history in STRAFFORD County, New Hampshire.

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MAP OF STRAFFORD COUNTY | TOWNS/CITIES IN STRAFFORD COUNTY

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BRIEF HISTORY OF STRAFFORD CO., NEW HAMPSHIRE

Strafford County was one of the five original counties identified for New Hampshire in 1769. Strafford County was organized by an act of the Colonial Legislature, passed March 19, 1771, under the administration of Governor John Wentworth, the then Province of New Hampshire. The area was divided into five Counties, named by him, after some of his friends in England--including Strafford, being named after the Earl of Strafford, who was a distinguished member of the Wentworth family, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford

The areas now within Strafford County were originally called Hilton's Point, Cocheco, Dover Point and Dover Neck (depending on the locality). Strafford's river and ocean access made it an ideal location for sawmills and shipbuilding, two of the strong industries in the 1600s. The County of Strafford now consists of thirteen subdivisions as follows: Barrington, Dover, Durham, Farmington, Lee, Madbury, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Rochester, Rollinsford, Somersworth, and Strafford.

The boundaries of Strafford have varied but little, since it was originally erected into a County. The towns of Holderness and Campton, which originally belonged to Strafford, are now part of Grafton County. The towns of Burton (now Albany), Chatham and Conway who originally belonged to Grafton County are now part of the territory of Strafford County.

In consequence of the sparseness of the population at the time of the division, it was provided, that the Counties of Strafford and Grafton should remained annexed to Rockinghma, until the Governor, with advice of the Council, should declare them sufficient for the exercise of their respective jurisdictions. The County of Strafford remaiend so annexed until about the beginning of the year 1773. The first Court held in the County, under the new organization, was the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, which took place February 23, 1773.

Strafford County is in the easterly part of New Hampshire, bounding on the State of Maine about seventy miles. It is bounded as follows: on the north by Carroll County, on the east by York Co., Maine, on the south by Rockingham County, and on the west by Rockingham and Belknap Counties. It embraces a territory of about 1,400 square imles and it contained, in 1775, a population of 12,513. In 1830 it amounted to 58,916. According to the 2000 federal census estimates it has a population now of 112,233.

The county is watered by the Lamprey, Bellamy, Cocheco, Isinglass, and Salmon Falls Rivers, which furnish an abundance of water-power.

The City of Rochester is the largest city in the seacoast region and is located in the middle of Strafford County, being 40 miles east of Manchester NH. The County Seat of Strafford is Dover, located along the Cocheco River.

SOURCES:
--Juridical and other statistics of the county of Strafford in the state of New Hampshire, by Francis Cogswell; Boston: Printed by Perkins & Marvin, 1839.
--New Hampshire as it is by Edwin A. Charleton; Claremont, N.H.; A. Kenney & Co.,, 1857

-- History of Rockingham and Strafford Counties, New Hampshire : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men; John Cutt, Richard Cutt; Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co., 1882.

  • There is ONE covered bridge in Strafford County, i.e.:
    COCHECO RIVER FOOTBRIDGE NH-09-02, Warren Truss, built in 1996, was located on Washington Street, in Dover, crossing the Cocheco River. It was put in storage in 2010.The GPS location is Lat. 43.1952N & Long. -70.8705W.

DOCUMENTS (this site) for genealogical research

OTHER AREAS OF GENEALOGY / FAMILY TREE RESEARCH FOR STRAFFORD COUNTY (this site)
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Seal of New Hampshire - Live Free or Die
VISIT New Hampshire GENEALOGY and HISTORY
 
 
 
 



If you are looking for town/city specific resources, click on the town map.

For other resources within Strafford County

If you want to know about general genealogy resources (such as how to find vital records, deeds and other documents), visit the "Genealogical Research" section.


Current communities in Strafford County include:


Map of Strafford Co NH Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg Pittsburg
 

TOWNS / CITIES IN STRAFFORD COUNTY, New Hampshire

BARRINGTON

  • Brief History: The town of Barrington was chartered by proclamation in a document dated May 10, 1722 and signed by Samuel Shute, Governor of the Province of New Hampshire. The population of the town of Barrington, according to the census of 1790 was 2470. In 1800 it was 2773. In 1810 the population increased to 3564. Of those prominent in the original settlement of the town were William Cate, Hugh Montgomery, Sampson Babb, Arthur Danielson, Paul Hayes, Eleazer Young, Mark Hunking, Francis Winkley, Samuel Brewster, and Timothy Waterhouse.

  • Villages and Place Names: East Barrington, South Barrington, West Barrington
  • Profile & Statistics of Barrington NH (current) PDF
  • GOVERNMENT:
  • OTHER WEB SITES:
  • Genealogy:
    • Annual Report of the Town of Barrington, New Hampshire for Years: 1891, 1893, 1928-29, 1933-34, 1934-35, 1935-36, 1936-37, 1937-38, 1938-39, 1939-40, 1940-41, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1943-44, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1947-48, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,Annual Reports for the Town of Barrington NH (These include births, marriages and deaths for that year at the end of the report). -- Internet Archive
    • Brief History of Barrington NH from: The New England gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England; 14th ed.; published 1841 by I. S. Boyd and W. White, J. Hayward in Concord, N.H, Boston.
    • Strafford County Archives - USGenWeb
    • Strafford County NH - USGenWeb
    • Frank Jones & the Frank Jones Brewery
  • Barrington Historical Society
    Address: c/o E Hayes, Treasurer
    169 Route 9
    Barrington , NH 03825-3829
    Phone: 603-664-2442
    Email: pjm@metrocast.net

Business:

Photographs/Postcards:

  • General Photographs of Barrington NH - Flickr
  • Winkley's Pond, in Barrington NH (Wikipedia)
  • East Barrington NH Post Office, vintage (Wikipedia)
  • Photograph Collection: several early (1900-1950's) photographs of Barrington, Dover, Durham, Farmington, and Rochester NH
  • Barrington: Photograph - Frank Jones (1832-1902), b. in Barrington NH, Sep 15, 1832, son of Thomas Jones, moved to Portsmouth NH when 17 years old; died in Portsmouth Oct 2, 1902, buried in Harmony Grove Cemetery; married Sept 15, 1861 to Martha Sophia Leavitt, the widow of his brother, Hiram Jones; was a successful businessman and politician. He was the mayor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and a United States representative (1875-1879). His many business ventures included the Frank Jones Brewing Company, hotels, an insurance firm, a shoe factory, the Maine and Boston railroad, a music hall, racehorses and three utilities. Had at least 2 daughters, Eliza, and Emma J.

MAPS:

  • Barrington and surrounding area map - Topographical
  • University of NH Digital Map Collections - Hurd Town and City Atlas of 1892 (Barrington, Dover, E. Rochester, Farmingham, Gonic, Great Falls, Lee, Madbury, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Rochester, Rollinsford, Salmon Falls, Somersworth and Town of Strafford
  • Yahoo map and driving directions to Barrington, NH

    DOVER


  • Brief Early History: New Hampshire history begins in Dover. The Indian name of the place was Wecohamet. Settled in 1623 on the banks of the Piscataqua River, it was the first permanent settlement in New Hampshire and the seventh oldest in the United States. Dover is therefore the oldest town in the state, having been settled only three years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Mass. and nine years after the discovery of New Hampshire, by Captain Smith. [Portsmouth was settled about the same time, at a place called Little Harbour by David Thompson, who came over with the Hiltons. There is ongoing discussion with Portsmouth historians of which is oldest settlement - Dover feels it is definitely because it was never abandoned!] Edward and Wm. Hilton were sent by "The Company of Laconia," and it was first called Hilton's Point. Captain Thomas Wiggins became the agent for the proprietors. Dover manufacturers were pioneers in large-scale printing of cotton fabric in the 1820s. Dover’s first mill was built in 1815 on the Upper Falls of the Cocheco River. The Cocheco Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1827, and discontinued all operations in 1937. Dover was incorporated as a city in 1855.
  • Villages and Place Names of Dover NH: Bellamy, Cocheco, Gates Corner, Sawyers, Wentworth Terrace.

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DURHAM
  • Brief History of Durham NH: Incorporated 15 May 1732. Durham started as a parish of Dover called Oyster River Plantation, first settled in 1669. The river takes its name from the abundance of oysters formerly found near its confluence with the Piscataqua. [There are two varying stories on the origin of its name, i.e. 1) is named after Durham, County Durham, England, from whence came two of its earliest settlers, William and Henry Hilton or 2) Durham was incorporated in 1732, probably to honor the first Puritan bishop, Richard Barnes, Bishop of Durham.] Durham included what is now Lee until 1766, when that town was incorporated. Benjamin Thompson, descendent of an early settler, bequeathed the family estate, the Warner Farm, to be used for establishment of an agricultural college. The state agricultural school, originally set up in Hanover in 1866, was moved to Durham in 1890, becoming the University of New Hampshire in 1923.

Villages and Place Names: Northam, Oyster River

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HISTORY and DOCUMENTS relating to UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE (and precursors):

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FARMINGTON

History: The town now known as Farmington was originally the West Parish, a portion of Rochester. It separated from Rochester in 1798 as Farmington. It was also known as Farmington Dock because its location on the Cocheco River was an ideal spot for sawmills. Shoe-making factories became the manufacturing focus of the town, and one of the first places to use automated shoe-making machines instead of relying on handwork. One Farmington resident known in the shoe trade was Jeremiah J. Colbath, who, after changing his name to Henry Wilson, was elected Vice-President under Ulysses S. Grant.

Villages and Place Names: West Parish, Merrill's Corners, Robert's Hill; March's Dock, Farmington Dock, The Dock.

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LEE

History: Lee was incorporated on January 16, 1766. The territory of Lee was part of the old town of Dover, which began to be settled at Dover Point in the spring of 1623. The first immigrants built their village on Dover Neck, and later branched out. In 1669 a grant was made for "Wadleigh's Falls" on the Lamperele River. In 1732 Durham separated from Dover, and included the area that is now the town of Lee. It remained a part of Durham until January 16, 1766 when the act for a new town became law. Possibly the town was named for the town of Lee on the River Lee, now in greater London, or another belief it that it was named for General Charles Lee, friend and kin of the Governor, who had fought with George Washington and others during the French and Indian Wars. Lee also fought under Washington during the American Revolution, and in doing so, forfeited estates in England.

Villages and Place Names: Glenmere, Lee Five Corners, South Lee, Wadleigh Falls, Thompson's Falls, Newtown Plains, Lee Hill aka "The Hill."

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PROFILE & STATISTICS

  • Profile & Statistics: Lee NH

GENEALOGY & HISTORY of LEE, NEW HAMPSHIRE:

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MADBURY

History: Incorporated in 1755, Madbury was a part of Dover and Durham that was sometimes called Barbados because many residents were traders with the island. Also located here was the farm of Sir Francis Champernowne of Greenland, nephew to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who at one time held proprietary rights to what is now the state of Maine. Sir Francis' English home was called Modbury, and the name Madbury is in its honor. Madbury Parish was granted for the first time in 1755, and town privileges were granted in 1768. The name Barbados is still used for several natural features of the area, including Barbados Pond.

Villages and Place Names: Madberry, Moharimet's Hill.

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PROFILE & STATISTICS

GENEALOGY & HISTORY

  • History & Genealogy: History of Madbury, N.H. (this site) - TXT File | PDF File
  • Online Books: Receipts and expenditures of the Town of Madbury, SOME include Vital records, births, marriages and deaths for the years: 1853-1854, 1864, 1877, 1882-1884, 1886-1887, 1889, 1903, 1908-1914, 1916-1917, 1920-1921, 1923-1925, 1927-1928, 1930-1972, 1974, 1976-1990, 1992, 1994-1997, 1993, 1998-2007.(Internet Archives)
  • Online Book: History of the Town of Madbury, Strafford Co. NH - from History of Strafford County, New Hampshire, and representative citizens - Scales, John, 1914
  • Online Books: Receipts and expenditures of the Town of Madbury NH, MOST (but not all) of which include vital records (births, marriages, deaths) - of the following years: 1853-1854, 1864, 1877, 1882-1884, 1886-1887, 1889, 1903, 1908-1914, 1916-1917, 1920-1921, 1923-1925, 1927-1928, 1930-1937, 1939-1972, 1974, 1976-2007.
  • Online Book - Brief History of Madbury NH from: The New England gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England; 14th ed.; published 1841 by I. S. Boyd and W. White, J. Hayward in Concord, N.H, Boston.
  • Madbury, New Hampshire - Wikipedia

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MIDDLETON

History: Middleton NH was incorporated in 1778; the territory was first granted by the Masonian Proprietors in 1749. It may have been named for Sir Charles Middleton, Lord Barham, an admiral of the Navy who had served in the West Indies. Middleton was situated on the road between Exeter and Wolfeboro, the location of Governor John Wentworth's summer home, Kingswood. Neglect of the road caused the Governor to bill the proprietors for repairs that he had to make for safe travel to Kingswood. In 1785, residents of the northern portion of Middleton and part of Wolfeboro petitioned for a separately incorporated town. The first petition was at first denied, but then was granted in 1794 as Brookfield.

Villages and Place Names: Middleton Corners

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MILTON

History: Milton was incorporated in 1802, it was originally the north parish of Rochester known as Three Ponds or Milton Mills. Located along the Maine border on the Salmon River, it was the location of several mills, and the scene of early manufacturing. Following the 1798 incorporation of the northwest parish as Farmington, Rochester's territory was over 20 miles long, making travel to the meetinghouse difficult, and the north parish was incorporated as Milton in 1802. The name Milton may have come from a relative of the Wentworths, William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Fitzwilliam and Viscount Milton. Milton's Mount Teneriffe was named in honor of the volcano on the Canary Islands.

Villages and Place Names: Hayes Corner, Laskey Corner, Milton Mills, Town House

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NEW DURHAM

History: New Durham was incorporated: 1762; it was originally granted in 1749 as Cocheco, New Durham was first settled almost entirely by colonists from Durham, New Hampshire. Colonel Thomas Tash, who had fought in England's Seven Years War against France and was granted land in reward for his service, was appointed proprietor's clerk and called the first town meeting. The town was incorporated as New Durham in 1762. An early minister in the town, Reverend Benjamin Randall, founded a new religious denomination called the Free-Will Baptists, later known as Free Baptists.

Villages and Place Names: Copplecrown Village District

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ROCHESTER

History: Rochester NH was Incorporated in 1722; originally this town was one of four granted by Samuel Shute during his brief term as Governor of Massachusetts, which at the time included the New Hampshire province. The 1722 grant included what is now Farmington and Milton, and was named for a close friend of Governor Shute, Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, who was a brother-in-law to King James II. The first settlers arrived in 1728, but due to trouble with Indians, the settlement didn't experience any growth until about 1760. Rochester was incorporated as a city in 1891. It includes the village of Gonic, named for the Indian Squamanagona, meaning day and water.

Villages and Place Names: Norway Plains, East Rochester, Gonic

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HISTORY & GENEALOGY

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Postcard: Central Square, Rochester NH - Wikipedia
  • Photograph Collection: several early (1900-1950's) photographs of Barrington, Dover, Durham, Farmington, and Rochester NH
  • Rochester: Photograph #1 | Photograph #2 - John Parker Hale (1806-1873) - Born at Rochester (NH); died at Dover (NH). Lawyer, state and national legislator. His daughter Lucy Lambert Hale's photograph reportedly was in found in John Wilkes Booth's pocket
  • Lithograph: ROCHESTER, Birds Eye View 1877 - American Memory/HABS
  • Rochester - Photograph: Jacob Hart Ela (1820-1884), son of Enoch & Mary (Hart) Ela, b. 18 July 1820 in Rochester, Strafford Co. NH, died 2 Aug 1884 in Washington DC; attended the village school in Rochester; at fourteen years of age was apprenticed in a woolen manufactory and subsequently learned the printer’s trade; member of the State house of representatives in 1857 and 1858; United States marshal from July 1861 to October 1866; elected as a Republican to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses (March 4, 1867-March 3, 1871); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (Forty-first Congress); appointed by President Grant as Fifth Auditor of the Treasury on January 1, 1872, and served until June 2, 1881; on June 3, 1881, was appointed Auditor of the Treasury for the Post Office Department and served in that position until his death in Washington, D.C., on August 21, 1884; interment in North Side Cemetery, Rochester, N.H.; m. 10 May 1845 to Abigail Moore.

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ROLLINSFORD

History: Rollinsford NH was incorporated in 1849; This area was part of Dover when that town was incorporated in 1641. When Somersworth was separated from Dover in 1729, Rollinsford was included as a parish of that town. Rollinsford was incorporated as a new town in 1849, and so named in honor of newlyweds Edward H. and Ellen West Rollins. Rollins went on to be Speaker of the New Hampshire House, chairman of the State Republican Committee, Congressman and Senator from New Hampshire, and founder of the banking firm E.H. Rollins & Sons in Boston. His son, Frank W. Rollins, was Governor of New Hampshire, 1899-1901, and the originator of Old Home Week.
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Villages and Place Names: Kelwyn Park, Rollinsford Station, Salmon Falls, Rollinsford Plains, Quamphegan, Style's Cove, Sligo

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SOMERSWORTH

History: Somersworth was incorporated in 1754; This territory was first settled about 1650 when it was part of Dover. It was made a separate parish in 1729, called Summersworth. In 1753, residents petitioned Governor Benning Wentworth for a separate township. The town was incorporated as Somersworth in 1754. In 1849, the town was divided nearly in half when the southern portion was incorporated as Rollinsford. Somersworth was incorporated as a city in 1893. Situated on the Salmon River, Somersworth has been home to many gristmills, sawmills, and cotton and woolen making establishments.

Villages and Place Names: Unknown

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STRAFFORD

History: Strafford was incorporated in 1820; This territory was for a long time part of Barrington, and settled prior to the Revolution. It was incorporated as a separate town in 1820, taking its name from the county in which it is located. Earl of Strafford was a title of the Wentworth family in England. Strafford, Vermont is also named for the family. The name was also adopted by a state militia company in Dover, the Strafford Guards, who later became part of the New Hampshire National Guard. The company served as escort for the Marquis de Lafayette on his visit to America, and saw service in the Civil War.

Villages and Place Names: Berrys Corner, Bow Lake Village, Center Strafford, Hills Corner, Leighton Corners, Strafford Corner, Welshs Corner


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PROFILE & STATISTICS:

  • Profile & Statistics: Strafford, NH
  • CIVIL LIST of Strafford NH (Town) Representatives, Town Clerks, Selectmen and Delegates to the Constitutional Conventions, From: History of Rockingham and Strafford counties, New Hampshire : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men - Hurd, D. Hamilton, Philadelphia 1882

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