New Hampshire Maps
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.
New Hampshire is a state with excellent map sources, making it possible to follow migration trails with the use of political divisions and geographic features. David A. Cobb, New Hampshire Maps to 1900: An Annotated Checklist (Concord, N.H.: New Hampshire Historical Society, 1981), helps to identify and locate many maps for research purposes.
An excellent, currently published atlas for the entire state is The New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer published by DeLorme Publishing in Freeport, Maine. It is continually updated and has excellent cartography of New Hampshire features, including roads (indicating type of surface) and geological features. Earlier versions contain markings for structures, some cemeteries, and churches. Although it is slightly oversized for easy carrying, its usefulness outweighs this hindrance.
Statewide nineteenth-century maps are also excellent. D. H. Hurd and Co., Town and City Atlas of the State of New Hampshire (Boston, 1892) indicates occupants’ names for structures and treats each town on a separate page with close-up maps for more populated areas. Saco Valley Publishing, 76 Main St., Fryeburg, ME 04037, has been reprinting excellent county editions of these in a handy notebook size.
Early folio-size maps were published by H. F. Wallings and Charles H. Hitchcock in Atlas of the State of New Hampshire (New York, 1877). Although individual structures are not shown on these maps, such detail can be found on the large county maps done by Wallings, Chase, and others in the 1850s.
As with other New England states, obtaining a copy of the town’s lotting map (the way land was divided before being granted or sold) can be extremely beneficial in solving genealogical problems. The most comprehensive collection of these can be found at the New Hampshire Records and Archives. The layouts are catalogued by town, and include the numbering process of lots and, in many cases, name of the original proprietor, which can help backtrack land holdings and provide a chain of title for problem solving. Many of these are found in the New Hampshire State Papers (see Background Sources) as well.