NHGenWeb for Manchester,
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
History and Genealogy
The coordinator of NHGenWeb for Manchester is Ann Mensch
+ HISTORY +
+ CEMETERIES +
+ VITAL RECORDS +
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+ BIBLIOGRAPHY +
+ TOWN RESOURCES +
MANCHESTER lies in the eastern
part of the county, and is bounded as follows: On the north by Merrimack
County, on the east and south by Rockingham County, and on the west by Bedford
This territory was originally occupied by the Amoskeag Indians, a tribe subject to the Penacooks, who dwelt around Amoskeag Falls. The Native Americans, however, did not remain here until the arrival of the English colonists. Probably forty years elapsed between the time that the Native People left their much-loved fisheries at the falls, before the first permanent resident from the English colonies arrived.
For additional history, select from the links below:
The History of Manchester, formerly Derryfield, in New Hampshire; including that of Amoskeag, or the Middle Merrimack Valley. By C. E. Potter. Manchester: C. E. Potter, 1856.
History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. By D. Hamilton Hurd. Philadelphia : J. W. Lewis & Co., 1885.
--To John GOFFE, Jr., Edward LINGFIELD and Benjamin KIDDER is ascribed the honor of having been the first English Colonial settlers within the limits of the present town of Manchester. They located in 1722 and erected habitations on Cohas Brook.
The excellent fisheries at this point soon attracted the attention of other enterprising pioneers, and not many years elapsed before the locality witnessed a large (for that early era) influx of settlers, anxious to rear their homes at the "fishing at Ammosceg." Among these were Robert ANDERSON, Benjamin BLODGETT, David DICKEY, Charles EMERSON, William GAMBLE, Benjamin HADLEY, John HALL, Thomas HALL, Ephraim HILDRETH, Benjamin KIDDER, Barber LESLIE, Mr. & Mrs. Michael McCLINTOCK, Alexander McMURPHY, Jr., John & Christiana McNEIL, Nathaniel MARTIN, William NUTT, William PERHAM, John RIDELL, Archibald STARK and Benjamin STEVENS.
Of these early settlers nearly all were active, enterprising men, while some were possessed of marked abiblity, and subsequently became thoroughly identified with the public enterprises, of their day, in this section of the Merrimack Valley. Many of these early settlers were from Londonderry, and were of Scot-Irish extraction.
BENJAMIN KIDDER doubtless came here about 1722 with his father-in-law, John GOFFE, as he was a grantee of Londonderry in that year. He probably was originally of Billerica. He entered in the company under the famous Captain LOVEWELL, int he expedition against Pequauquauke, and while on the march, and inthe neighborhood of Ossipee Lake, was taken sick. It is probable that he did not long survive the hardships and exposures of this expedition. His son, John KIDDER, was named as a legatee in the will of his grandfather, John GOFFE, Esq., made in 1748.
EDWARD LINGFIELD--Very little is known of Edward LINGFIELD. He married a daughter of John GOFFE, Esq., and settled in the Manchester area about 1722. He was a corporal in Lovewell's expedition, was one of th thirty-four men who marched from Ossipee Lake to Pequauquauke, and took part in that famous battle, where he fought with great bravery. He was one of the nine men in that battle "who received no considerable wounds." After his return from that expedition, he received an ensign's commission as a reward of his heroic conduct in the battle of Pequauquauke.
ARCHIBALD STARK was born at Glasgow, in Scotland, in 1693. Soon after graduating at the university, he moved to Londonderry, in the north of Ireland, becoming what was usually denoted a "Scotch-Irishman." There he was married to a poor, but beautiful Scottish girl, by the name of Eleanor NICHOLS, and emigrated to America. He at first settled in Londonderry, where he remained until some time in 1736, when, having his house burned, he removed to that portion of land upon th Merrimack then known as Harrytown, upon a lot that had been granted to Samuel THAXTER by the government of Massachusetts, and which was situated upon the hill upon the east bank of the Merrimack, a short distance above the falls of Namaoskeag. Here he resided until his death. An educated man, STARK must have had a strong desire that his children should enjoy the advantages of an education; but in a wilderness, surrounded by enemies, and upon a soil not the most inviting, the sustenance and protection of his family demanded his attention rather more than their education. His children, however, were instructed at the fireside in the rudiments of an English education, and such principles were instilled into them as, accompanied with energy, courage and decision of character, made them fit actors in the stirring events of that period. His education fitted him rathr for the walks of civil life; but yet we find him a volunteer for the protection of the frontier against the ravages of the Indians, in 1745. For the protection of the people in this immediate neighborhood, a fort was built at the outlet of Swager's or Fort Pond, which, out of compliment to Mr. STARK's enterprise in building and garrisoning the same, was called Stark's Fort.
Mr. STARK had seven children--four sons and three daughters. His four sons: William, John, Archibald and Samuel, were noted soldiers in the Indian and French wars, and the three oldest had distinguished themselves as officers in the notable corps of Rangers prior to their father's death. The second son, John, became the famous partisan officer in the Revolution, and as a brigadier won unfading laurels at the battle of Bennington. Mr. STARK died the 25th day of June, 1758, aged sixty-one years.
JOHN HALL came to this country probably after 1730. He tarried some time in Londonderry, and then moved upon a lot of land near the west line of Chester, and in that part of the town afterwards set off to form the town of Derryfield. He was an energetic business man, and for a series of years transacted much of the public business of this neighborhood and town. He kept a public-house until his death. The original frame house built by him, but added to according to business and fashion, until little of the original could be recognized, was standing until 1852, when it was destroyed by fire. It had always been kept as a public-house, and generally by some one of the name.
Mr. HALL was the agent of the inhabitants for obtaining the charter of Derryfield, in 1751, and was the first town clerk under that charter. He was elected to that office fifteen years, and in one and the same year was moderator, first selectman and town clerk.
WILLIAM GAMBLE and MICHAEL McCLINTOCK--William GAMBLE came to this country in 1722, aged fourteen years. He and two elder brothres, Archibald and Thomas, and a sister, Mary, started together for America, but the elder brothers were pressed into the British service upon the oint of sailing, leaving the boy William and his sister to make the voyage alone. William was saved from the press-gang alone by the ready exercise of "woman's wit." The GAMBLEs had started under the protection of Mr. and Mrs. Michael McCLINTOCK, who resided in the same neighborhood, and were about to emigrate to New England. Upon witnessing the seizure of the elder brothers, Mrs. McCLINTOCK called to William GAMBLE, "Come here, Billy, quickly," and upon Billy approaching her, she continued, "Snuggle down here, Billy," and she hid him under the folds of her capacious dress! There he remained safely until the gang had searched the house for the boy in vain, and retired in high dudgeon at their ill sucess.
Upon coming to this country, the McCLINTOCKs came to Londonderry. They were industrious, thriving people, and Michael and William, his son, built the first bridge across the Cohoes, and also another across the Little Cohoes, on the road from Amoskeag to Derry. These bridges were built in 1738, and were probably near where bridges were still maintained, across the same streams on the "old road to Derry," ca. 1885. The McCLINTOCKs were voted twenty shillings a year for ten years for the use of these bridges.
William GAMBLE, upon his arrival in Boston, went to work on the ferry from Charleston to Boston. Here he remained two years. During the Indian War of 1745, he joined several "scouts," and uon the commencement of the "Old French War," in 1755, having lost his wife, he enlisted in the regular service, and was in most of the war, being under WOLFE on the "Plains of Abraham."
JOHN McNEIL came to Londonderry with the first emigrants in 1719. The McNEILS of Scotland, and in the north of Ireland, were men of known reputation for bravery, and Daniel McNEIL was one of the Council of the city of Londonderry, and has the honor, with twenty-one others of that body, of withstanding the duplicity and treachery of Lundy, the traitorous Governor, and affixing their signatures to a resolution to stand by each other in defense of the city, which resolution, placarded upon the market-house and read at the head of the battalions in the garrison, led to the successful defense of the city.
John McNEIL was a lineal descendant of this councilor. Becoming involved in a quarrel with a person of distinction in his neighborhood, who attacked him in the highway, McNEIL knocked him from his horse, and left him to be cared for by his retainers. This encounter, though perfectly justifiable on the part of Mr. McNEIL, as his antagonist was the attacking party, made his tarry in Ireland unpleasant, if not unsafe, and he emigrated to America, and settled in Londonderry. Here he established a reputation not only as a man of courage, but one of great strength, and neither white or Indian man upon the borders dared to risk a hand-to-hand encounter with him. Measuring six feet and a half in height, with a corresponding frame, and stern, unbending will, he was a fit outpost, as it were, of civilization, and many are the traditions of his personal encounters during a long and eventful border life. His wife, Christiana, was well mated with him, of strong frame and great energy and courage. It is related that upon one occasion, a stranger came to the door and inquired for McNEIL. Christiana told him that her "gude mon" was not at home. Upon which the stranger expressed much regret. Christiana inquired as to the business upon which he came, and the stranger told her he had heard a great deal of the strength of McNEIL and his skill in wrestling, and had come some considerable distance to throw him. "And troth, mon," said Christiana McNEIL, "Johnny is gone, but I'm not the woman to see ye disappointed, an' I think if ye'll try mon, I'll throw ye meself." The stranger, not liking to be thus bantered by a woman, accepted the challenge, and, sure enough, Christiana tripped his heels and threw him upon the ground. The stranger, upon getting up, thought he would not wait for "Johnny," but left without deigning to leave his name.
PROVINCE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
"Whereas, our loyal subjects inhabitants of a tract of land
within our province of New Hampshire aforesaid, lying partly within that part
of our province of New Hampshire called Londonderry in part, and in part in
Chester, and in part of land not heretofore granted to any town within our
province aforesaid, have humbly petitioned and requested to us that they may
be erected and incorporated into a township, and infranchised with the same
powers and privileges which other towns within our said province by law have
and enjoy; and it appearing to us to be conducive to the general good of our
said province, as well as of said inhabitants in particular, by maintaining
good order, and encouraging the cultivation of the land, that the same should
be done; Know Ye, therefore, that we, of our especial grace, certain
knowledge and for the encouragement and promoting the good purposes and ends
aforesaid, by and with the advice of our trusty and well-beloved Bennington
Wentworth, Esq., our Governor and Commander in Chief, and of our Council of
our Province of New Hampshire aforesaid, have erected and ordained, and by
these presents, for ourselves and successors, do will and ordain, that the
inhabitants of a (the) tract of land aforesaid, shall inhabit and improve
thereon hereafter butted and bounded as follows, viz. : Beginning at a
pitch pine tree standing upon the town line, between Chester and Londonderry,
marked one hundred and thirty-four, being the bounds of one of the sixty-acre
lots in said Chester, being the South West corner of said lot; thence running
south into the township of Londonderry one hundred and sixty rods to a stake
and stones; thence running west to Londonderry North and South line; thence running
South upon Londonderry line to the Head line of Litchfield to a stake and
stones; thence running upon the head line of Litchfield to the Bank of the
Merimack river; thence running up said river, as the river runs eight miles
to a stake and stones standing upon the bank of said river; thence running
East South East one mile and three quarters, through land not granted to any
town, until it comes to Chester line; thence running two miles and a half and
fifty-two rods on the same course into the township of Chester, to a stake
and stones; thence running south four miles and a half to the bounds first
mentioned, all which lands within said bounds which lies within the townships
of Londonderry and Chester aforesaid, are not to be liable to pay any taxes or
rates, but as they shall be settled, and by these presents are declared and
ordained to be a town corporated, and are hereby erected and incorporated
into a body politick, and a corporation to have continuance forever by the
name of Derryfield, with all the powers, authorities, privileges, immunities
and infranchises to them the said inhabitants and their successors forever,
always reserving to us, our heirs, and successors, all white pine trees
growning and being, or that shall hereafter grow and be on the said tract of
land, fit for the use of our Royal Navy, reserving also the power of dividing
said town to us, our heirs and successors, when it shall appear necessary and
convenient for the benefit of the inhabitants thereof, and as the several
towns within our said province of New Hampshire, are by law thereof entitled
and authorized to assemble, and by the majority of votes to choose all said
officers as are mentioned in the said laws.
"PROVINCE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
"Entered and recorded in the Book of Charter, this third
day of September 1756, pages 79 & 80.
This charter covered about eighteen square miles of
the southwest part of Chester, about nine square miles of the northwest part
of Londonderry, including The Peak, and the strip of land between
Londonderry, Chester and the Merrimack River, called Harrytown, containing
about eight square miles.
ü The History of Manchester, formerly Derryfield, in New Hampshire; including that of Amoskeag, or the Middle Merrimack Valley. . ." written by C. E. Potter, Manchester: C. E. Potter, 1856.
For Vital Records Requests (For the current fees, check with the clerk.)
· Office of City Clerk - One One City Hall Plaza - Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: (603) 624-6455
Vital Records and Genealogy information
For Reference and Materials
- Manchester City Library
- The City of Manchester Home Page
- Manchester Historic Association - 129 Amherst Street - Manchester 03101 Phone: (603) 622-7531.
- American Canadian Genealogical Society - P.O. Box 6478, Manchester, New Hampshire 03108; Phone: 603-622-1554
- St. Raphael's Catholic Church Parish in Manchester, NH
765 Brown Ave. - Manchester, NH 03103 Phone: (603) 624-6514.
Amoskeag Cemetery (est. 1885) - Find A Grave
Fieldcrest Road, Manchester, NH
Center City Cemetery see Huse Cemetery - Find A Grave listings for Huse Cemetery
Derryfield Cemetery (aka Center City; aka Huse Cemetery) (est. 1930) - Find A Grave listings for Huse Cemetery
Mammoth Road, Manchester, NH
Hall Cemetery (est. 1921) - Find A Grave
Young & Sunnyside Street, Manchester, NH
Huse Cemetery (aka Center City Cemetery, aka Derryfield Cemetery) (est. 1930) - Find A Grave listings for Huse Cemetery
Mammoth Road, Manchester, NH
Manchester Hebrew Cemetery - Find A Grave
Merrill Cemetery (est. 1894) - Find A Grave
S. Willow Street & Huse Road, Manchester, NH
Moore Cemetery (aka Goffs Falls Cemetery) (est. 1921) - Find A Grave
Brown Avenue, Manchester, NH
Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery (est. 1881) - Find A Grave
474 Goffstown Road, Manchester, NH; Phone: (603) 622-3215
Pine Grove Cemetery (est. 1851) - Find A Grave
765 Brown Avenue, Manchester, NH
Piscataquog Cemetery (est. 1915) - Find A Grave
Bowman Street, Manchester, NH
Saint Leanders Cemetery (aka Saint Anselm Cemetery) - Find A Grave
100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, NH
The cemetery is for the order at the Saint Anselm Abbey.
Stark Cemetery - Find A Grave
River Road, Manchester, NH
Stowell Cemetery (est. 1921) - Find A Grave
Bodwell Road, Manchester, NH
Valley Cemetery (est. 1841) - Find A Grave
at Auburn, Pine, Valley and Willow streets , Manchester, NH
Hurd, D. Hamilton. (Supervisor of Compilation). History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. Philadelphia : J. W. Lewis & Co., 1885.
Potter, C. E. The History of Manchester, formerly Derryfield, in New Hampshire; including that of Amoskeag, or the Middle Merrimack Valley. Manchester: C. E. Potter, 1856.
Copyright 2003-2016, by Ann Mensch