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New Hampshire Deed History

The Province of New Hampshire was initially created in 1629 from a land grant given seven years prior to Captain John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Georges by the Council for New England. New Hampshire was the first of the British North American colonies to break away from the British in January of 1776. In June of 1788 it became the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. New Hampshire was first under the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and then it was briefly a separate province before being absorbed into the Dominion of New England in 1686. When the Dominion collapsed in 1689, New Hampshire was again part of Massachusetts until a provincial charter was issued in 1691by William and Mary.

As New Hampshire is a small state, there are only 10 counties. Five of those counties were formed in 1769 when New Hampshire was still a British Colony. Dover, located in the present day county of Strafford, is the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire. It was first settled in 1623. Strafford was eventually organized as an official county of the Province of New Hampshire in 1771.

An act was passed in 1769 that required the recording of deeds to be conducted at the county level, but many deeds were still recorded at the province level until 1771. In the Province of New Hampshire, the first name to appear on the record in the capacity of a registrar of deeds is Renald Fernald in 1655. The recorder of deeds in 1776 for Strafford County was Thomas Westbrook Waldron.