Researching Hampton Genealogy in Published Genealogy Books
Dow's History of Hampton
The first choice of titles when researching Hampton Genealogies is volume two of Joseph Dow's History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire : from its first settlement in 1638 to the autumn of 1892. Volume one of this excellent title covers the history of the town, while volume two contains genealogies of all the old (and some of the newer) families who have lived in town. While many town genealogies published in the 19th century are sorely lacking in accuracy, Dow's work has generally been regarded by professional genealogists as one of the best of its kind. This is not to say, of course, that it is free of error. Several errors have been found over the years, and most of these are now reflected in the library's online database of Hampton genealogy, which used Dow's work as its starting point. Whenever using Dow's genealogies, it is important to also check our website for any corrections or additions that may exist.
Toppan's History of Hampton
Edmund Willoughby Toppan (1808-1845), was one of Hampton's earliest historians and genealogists. Before his death at an early age he compiled information on Hampton's earliest settlers. This information remained unpublished until 2009 when a descendant, Lori White Cotter, published her one volume "Toppan's History of Hampton: The Early Settlers 1630-1730." She transcribed Edmund Toppan's handwritten notes, updated references and dates, and edited this valuable work on early Hampton genealogy. While Joseph Dow's later work is far more comprehensive and includes information Toppan was unaware of, there are often references to oral history known to the generation that came before Dow. In addition, Cotter has included updated information on some families where appropriate.
Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire
This classic work by Noyes, Libby and Davis, originally published in serial form in the years 1928-1939, has long been considered indispensable for researching families in early Maine and New Hampshire. It contains extensive biographical and genealogical data on every family established in Maine and New Hampshire before 1699. Listed are the births, marriages, and deaths of the settlers through the third generation, and sometimes into the fourth. Also included are data on places of origin, residences, wills and deeds, court cases, and highlights of lives and careers. Data on Hampton-area families from this work has also included in the library's online database, mentioned above.
A modern follow-up to the Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire (GDMNH) was published by a local genealogical society called the Piscataqua Pioneers in the year 2000. Titled Piscataqua Pioneers: selected biographies of early settlers in northern New England, its focus is on the area of the Piscataqua River that divides Maine and New Hampshire, as well as surrounding towns including most of Seacoast New Hampshire and York County, Maine. Most data is taken from GDMNH but many entries include updated information on several area families. One valuable feature is the inclusion of the location of the original homesite for these families, when known. The book also includes an excellent overview of the early history of the area.
The Great Migration Series
Since 1995 the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has been publishing the work of well-respected genealogist Robert Charles Anderson on the first families of New England. The "Great Migration" refers to the first waves of immigrants to New England shores from 1620-1643. The first three volumes in the series are titled "The Great Migration Begins : Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633". The second series -- "The Great Migration : Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635" began publication in 1999 and finished in 2012. While Hampton was not settled until 1638 and this series only covers families who were in New England through 1635, it does include those Hampton settlers who lived elsewhere in New England before moving here. The information included is of the highest caliber of research and is very reliable.
Torrey's New England MarriagesClarence Almon Torrey was a noted genealogicast in the first half of the 20th century. He spent years pouring over reference works at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, seeking out and recording the records of any marriage that occurred in New England and environs before 1700. He also included couples for whom no marriage record can be located but whose marriage can be proved or inferred indirectly, through documents such as children's birth or baptisms, court records, probates, and deeds. Many of these marriages took place in England. As such it will include every couple who lived in Hampton in the 17th century. The Genealogical Publishing Company came out with a version of the work in 1985 titled "New England marriages prior to 1700." A CD version was published in 2001, and in 2011 a new 3-volume, fully sourced and indexed set was published by the Society under the same title. The library has both print editions. In 2003 Melinde Lutz Sanborn published "Third supplement to Torrey's New England Marriages prior to 1700." This "third" supplments replaces two earlier editions and serves as an index to marriages mentioned in published genealogical work since Torrey died in 1962. Both of these titles cannot be considered source material. They are guides to locating source material, and as such often include references to information that has since been proven to be incorrect. So it should never be used as a standalone reference for any early New England marriage. Always check the original published sources that are referenced and evaluate the information accordingly.
Single Family Genealogies
Most of the early families of Hampton have had genealogies published. They are of widely varying quality. Some are exellent and reliable, while others are poorly written, hard to use and full of inaccuracies. The library collection contains most of these. We continue to search out and acquire new and old published genealogies for area families. Please let the library know if you are aware of titles we do not own.
Other Printed Resources
The library has many volumes of other genealogical reference works that will prove useful in your research. A list of most of them can be found on our website. Other more specialized series are described below.
The library has printed indexes for the New Hampshire censuses from 1790 through 1910 (except 1880 and 1890). There are now online indexes on Heritage Quest and Ancestry that are both available on library computers (Heritage Quest is also available from home with a library card.)
New Hampshire State Papers
The New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers series consists of transcripts of 40 volumes of documents relating to the early history of New Hampshire up to the year 1800. All probate records from 1635 to 1771 are included, as are all Revolutionary War rolls and various court records from 1640-1692. Every town in the state has several pages of documents that give invaluable original documentary information on the early settlers of each town. Each volume has its own index, but the New Hampshire State Archives has produced a 2070 page combined index to all 40 volumes. That index, as well as all of the 40 volumes themselves, are available in pdf format on the web at the Archives website.
In addition to the New Hampshire Revolutionary War rolls mentioned in the paragraph above, the library has the set of "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War" (except volume one), as well as histories and registers for most of the New Hampshire Civil War regiments.