"Immediate family" having direct and tangible interest shall include mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, great-grandmother, great-grandfather, great-grandchildren, guardian, step-parents, step-children, aunt, uncle, nephew and niece of the registrants or any spouse of a divorced or legally separated person or person whose former marriage has been annulled, in the case of divorce, legal separation or annulment records. A person covered by any one of the above categories qualifies for access to the vital records.The NH Bureau of Vital Statistics arranges data by type of record, filed alphabetically by surname.This expanded facility also houses a well-appointed research room.

[NOTE: Some links to these town reports are contained on this web site, located under the specific town entry].

You can also contact the library, historical society, or town clerk of the specific town involved, or the NH Archives.

ADOPTION RECORDS: The concept of adoption was not legally recognized in the United States until the 1850's, with the inception of the first adoption statutes.

While transfers of children to substitute parents had occurred informally since American colonial times, adoption statutes legitimized the informal adoptive arrangements which previously existed.

IMPORTANT - One of the most frequently overlooked sources of birth, marriage and death records in New Hampshire are TOWN and COUNTY REPORTS.

Many of the towns, especially from the mid 1800s [and some earlier and later] published ANNUAL reports.During the early years of American society, no formal procedures existed for recording births or name changes.[Typically the only place to find adoption records pre-1850 are in bible notes, in the 1850 US Census notes, in town histories or family journals, an in wills.] Adoptees BORN in New Hampshire only, when the state received an adoption report, and sealed the original record, and created a new record.The records for births, marriages and deaths date from 1640 and divorces from 1880.The Bureau has an index by the bride’s maiden name.Under NH statutory requirements and applicable administrative rules, certain older records are open to the public while other, more recent records, are only available when the applicant has a “direct and tangible interest” in the record.