History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire

The movement to publish a History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire was begun in 1885 by a vote in town meeting, authorizing the appointment of a committee by the selectmen for that purpose. The committee so appointed consisted of Joshua B. Smith, Winthrop S. Meserve and Lucien Thompson. In 1886, in response to a petition signed by this committee and by James W. Burnham, Benjamin Thompson, Hamilton A. Mathes, William P. Frost, Samuel H. Barnum, Henry B. Mellen, Albert DeMeritt, Joseph C. Bartlett, Ephraim Jenkins and John W. E. Thompson, the town voted an appropriation of $900 to assist in the publication of a History not to cost over $5 per copy, and added Ephraim Jenkins and Joseph W. Coe to the above mentioned committee. The committee had power to fill vacancies and was authorized to collect material and secure the publication of the history with such aid as they thought best. Printed circulars were issued, stating the scope of the proposed history, and also there were distributed five hundred circulars full of questions, especially soliciting genealogical information. To this circular there were but few replies. In 1887 Albert Young was chosen a member of the committee to take the place of Joshua B. Smith resigned. In 1889 Hamilton A. Mathes was chosen to fill a vacancy caused by resignation of Joseph W. Coe. Conferences were held with the Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, D. D., and Miss Mary P. Thompson relative to the preparation of the history. Dr. Ham of Dover offered all possible assistance. Thus the records close, — to be reopened over twenty years later.

In 1911 the matter was taken up again. Messrs. Albert DeMeritt, Arioch W. Griffiths and Charles Wentworth were added to the committee, in place of some who had resigned or passed away. These conferred with the Rev. Everett S. Stackpole, D. D., who agreed to write the proposed history. In 1912 the town voted anew to raise $150 for preliminary expenses, and the Hon. Lucien Thompson, who had been gathering material for a score of years, became interested as associate author of the proposed history. The money requisite for the printing of the History was voted by the town at its annual meeting, March 1913. At the request of Mr. Stackpole the name of Dea. Winthrop S. Meserve was added to the title page of the second volume, as associate author of the genealogical part of the History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire.

Title:History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes
Author:Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole, Lucien Thompson, Winthrop Smith Meserve
Publication date:[1913]
Publisher:[Durham? N.H.] : Published by vote of the town
Digitizing Sponsor:Internet Archive
Contributor:Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
Repository:Internet Archive
History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes
History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire

Notes About the History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire

The vital statistics of Durham, N. H., in both town and church records, are not plentiful. There are periods of many years in which nothing of this nature was recorded. The marriages and baptisms of the Rev. John Adams, never heretofore published, were used in this work. The records of Province, State and County were searched for marriages, wills, deaths, etc. The court files at Concord were the “Happy Hunting Grounds,” where something new and interesting can always be found. A large portion of volume 2 was gathered by correspondence from private family records.

  • v. 1. Narrative, by Everett S. Stackpole and Lucien Thompson
  • v. 2. Genealogical, by Everett S. Stackpole and Winthrop S. Meserve

History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire Table of Contents

Many errors in dates will be detected probably, since sometimes the town record, the family Bible and the tombstone may give three different dates for a birth or a death. Correspondents often contradict themselves in such matters without knowing it, and they are sure afterward that they were not in error. The proofs were read and criticized by three or more persons, and this is the best they could provide with their contemporary knowledge.

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The usual genealogical abbreviations appear, b. for born, m. for married, d. for died, s. p. for sme prole, without issue, dau. for daughter, ch. for child or children, bapt. for baptized, l. for lived, rem. for removed, est. for estate, adm. for administered, sometimes O. R. for Oyster River. The families are arranged alphabetically.

Statements are not made herein, unless the evidences are convincing, although all the evidences are not always stated, for lack of space. A probability, or a reasonable supposition, is followed by an interrogation point. Such suggestions are given as pointers for further researches by the reader.

Table of Contents for Vol. 1, Narrative

  • Birth and Growth of the Town
  • Early Settlers and Estates
  • Exiles from Scotland
  • Depredations by Indians
  • Military History
  • Sketch of Church History
  • Roads
  • Burials Places
  • Slavery
  • Education
  • Lawyers and Law Students
  • Physicians
  • Leaders in the Past
  • Some Men of the Present
  • Post Office and postmasters
  • Some Old Houses
  • Lists of Town Officers
  • First Census of the United States, 1790
  • Marriages
  • Baptisms
  • Deaths
  • Index of Places and Subjects
  • Index of Names

Family surnames featured in Vol. 2, Genealogies

Adams, Ash, Ambler, Ballard, Basford, Bamford, Beard, Bennett, Bickford, Bodge, Boody, Bunker, Burnham, Buss, Butler, Young, Buzzell, Chesley, Clark, Clough, Coe, Critchet, Crommett, Cromwell, Croxford, Dame, Dame, Daniel, Davis, DeMeritt, Denbow, Denmore, Dinsmore, Derry, Doe, Drew, Dunn, Durgin, Duley, Durrell, Edgerly, Ellison, Emerson, Elliot, Farnham, Field, Follett, Footman, Frost, Ffrost, Fowler, Giles, Goddard, Griffiths, Grover, Hanson, Hicks, Hill, Hodgdon, Hoitt, Holt, Huckins, Hull, Jackson, Jenkins, Jones, Joy, Keille, Kelley, Keniston, Kent, Kincaid, Kidder, Knight, Lamos, Langley, Lapish, Laskey, Leathers, Palmer, Leighton, Mason, Mathews, Mathes, Meader, Mellen, Messervey, Meserve, Monroe, Mooney, Moore, Morrison, Moses, Munsey, Norton, Odell, Odiorne, Paul, Prendergast, Pendergast, Pendexter, Perkins, Pettee, Pinder, Pinkham, Pitman, Rand, Randall, Reynolds, Runnels, Roberts, Rogers, Runlett, Sawyer, Scott, Shepherd, Sias, Simpson, Small, Smart, Smyth, Smith, Snell, Spencer, Steele, Sullivan, Stevens, Stevenson, Stilson, Tasker, Thomas, Thompson, Twombly, Wakeham, Watson, Wells, Wheeler, Wiggin, Willey, Williams, Woodman, Wormwood, Yeaton, York,


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