Grafton County

Variant name of place

County of Grafton

Geographic position

43.93°N 71.84°W


Grafton County, New Hampshire Genealogy & History at SEARCHROOTS, Geo coordinates from

General note

Originally known as “The fifth,” that is, the fifth county in New Hampshire, Grafton County was established by an act of the Colonial legislature on 19 March 1771 to encompass all the land in the colony not a part of the other four counties. It was named for Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton (1735-1811), a supporter of American causes in the English Parliament, who was British Prime Minister at the time. An immense tract of land that stretched one hundred and fifty miles south from the border of what is now Cananda, the entire northern frontier of New Hampshire, it was divided several times until its borders were fixed in 1829 to finally encompass 1,463 square miles. It is bounded north by Coos County, east by Coos, Carroll and Belknap Counties, south by Merrimack and Sullivan Counties and west by the west bank of the Connecticut River. Twenty-nine of its towns were granted under King George II, several of which are now in Vermont. When Wheelock arrived in Hanover in 1769 to establish his “College,” Grafton County had not yet been established; the township of Hanover was then in a region called “Cowas” or “Coos.” Soon after the county’s establishment in 1771, Wheelock and his son-in-law Bezaleel Woodward, also the first librarian of the College, became Justices of the Peace for Grafton County, hearing cases in Woodward’s residence.