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Genealogy, Local History, & Vital Statistics

  • Genealogy & Local History Resources

    • Ancestry Library Edition - Database of census data, birth, marriage & death records, immigration records, military records, and family history records (usually only available within the library from public internet stations)
    • The Library has scanned many of the Vital Records of Keene, N.H. (births, marriages, & deaths), and these are now online (see Vital Statistics tab below) and searchable.
    • For other Keene vital records information, see the City Clerk's Vital Records page.
    • For Keene cemetery information, see the Dept. of Parks and Recreation Cemetery Division page. They now have a Cemetery Lookup tool that lets you search the cemeteries!
    • The Library has scanned the two significant histories of Keene, which include much genealogical information. They are available as searchable pdfs:
      1) A History of the Town of Keene from 1732, when the Township was Granted by Massachusetts, to 1874, when it became a City by S. G. Griffin
      2) "Upper Ashuelot"; a history of Keene New Hampshire by the Keene History Committee
    • The Library has scanned an extensive collection of historical photos (currently about 1500) from our collection and the Historical Society of Cheshire County. These can be viewed at Flickr and are in the Flickr CommonsFlickr Commons Rights Statement.
    • The Library has scanned many historical pamphlets for Keene and Cheshire County, and these are available online.
    • Obituaries: The Historical Society of Cheshire County has an index to Keene Sentinel obituaries from 1985 to the present, along with a clippings file of these obituaries.  These are not available online at the present time. The Library has the Sentinel on microfilm reels from 1799 to the present but does not have an obituary index.
    • The Library has town histories for most NH towns available for in-library use. Do a subject search in the catalog by town name to find out which have published histories. 
    • City Directories are available for 1871 to date and scattered years from 1831-1871. (Vital records are also online. links below)  The Historical Society of Cheshire County has an index to Keene Sentinel marriage and death notices, 1799-1890.
    • Some issues of the New Hampshire Sentinel from 1790-1820 have been scanned and are available online
  • Vital Statistics

    Pursuant to N.H. Statutes, we will add one year to the birth records each year.  In 1941, the law requiring vital statistics to be printed in the annual reports was repealed.  We have scanned marriage and death records through 1942, the last year they were published in the town's Annual Report.

    47:1 Vital Records; Disclosure of Information to Genealogists.
    RSA 5-C:105, I.(a) Birth records more than 100 years old and death, marriage, and divorce records more than 50 years old shall be considered part of the public domain.

    The Keene Public Library received a federal LSTA grant in 1999 through the New Hampshire State Library to purchase a scanner and computer. One of the goals of this grant was to scan and digitize historical documents and photographs of the Keene, NH area. Because the Vital Statistics of Keene are in great demand by genealogists and historians. Because the physical volumes are in such bad shape, we decided that our first phase would be to scan the Vital Statistics.  

    Several volunteers have assisted in this project, most notably Bob Borden, Deborah Roche, Alice Gomes, Cynthia Scott, Meg Brodhead, and Melissa Decoteau, who put in long hours scanning and editing text, as well as Dennis House, Gaale Klein, Emily Graves, Adam Van Dell, Alice Kingsbury, Diane Miller, Daniel Davis, and Peter Wright. While every effort has been made to correct all of the errors resulting from scanning the text, some mistakes might still occur. If you are aware of any, please let us know by contacting us.

    A special thank you to Bob Borden and Gaale Klein, whose herculean efforts allowed us to finish this project!

    When the original volume indicated mistakes in a "Corrections" section, these corrections have been incorporated into the text.

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