Sullivan County | History

Sullivan County

Janet Gibson, Register / Renee Simino, Deputy Register
PO Box 448, Newport NH 03773
14 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Newport NH 03773
Phone: 603-863-2110 / Fax: 603-863-0013
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Sullivan Registry Home

Sullivan County

A Brief History of the
Sullivan County Registry of Deeds


The concept of recording deeds and other documents related thereto goes back to the 15th century where it appears that the Scottish parliament enacted a law that contains the embryo of the recording process. One of the reasons for this process was because there was no way for a person to determine whether this land was actually owned by the person selling or if the land had already been sold.

The expansion of the recording process began in the 17th century in England and came down to the colonies while under British rule. This process was adopted by the States as they became independent from British rule, so that by 1791 it was pretty well the law of the land that no deed shall be good unless recorded.

The principle expressed by the original statute of frauds has long been enacted into all state laws, so no transfer of real estate should be enforceable unless it is in writing. Written instruments are required for all transfers of title or interest.

The primary purpose of the Registry’s records is to put the world on notice as to who the titled owner of the real estate is. It also provides the public with a place to go to get the necessary information needed to determine one’s ownership in land and a means by which to examine the land description.

Most states adopted the county recording system where each county has a Register of Deeds.

The supervision of the office and its recording process is overseen by an elected official known as the Register of Deeds. (This official is also a constitutional officer.)

There are 10 counties in the State of New Hampshire.

A gentleman by the name of William Cheeney proposed a bill to establish a new county and on July 5, 1827 Sullivan County came into being. Sullivan County is comprised of 14 towns and one city.

Newport was chosen to be the county seat for Sullivan County.

Records prior to 1827 will be located in Cheshire County, Keene, NH

The housing of this new office was first at the Old Grange Hall, now known as the Harry V. Spanos District Court Building and later moved to the Town Hall (Sullivan County Superior Court Building).

In 1885 there was a fire at the Town Hall and some of the earlier Registry records were partially destroyed with Volume 1 being completely destroyed.

In 1948 the Sullivan County Convention authorized the County Commissioners to borrow the sum of $85,000 to construct a new Sullivan County Records Building and on November 17, 1949, the new building was accepted and turned over to the County Commissioners. (This building now houses the Sullivan County Cooperative Extension Service.) In May of 1986 the Registry of Deeds, along with other county offices, moved to its present location in the old Hirsch/Hubert Dept. Store Building, located at 14 Main Street, Newport, NH

The Registry is located on the second floor and is opened, Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. This office does not accept documents for recording after 3:00 P. M. and copy requests are not accepted after 3:30 P.M.

This office is closed on all State Holidays.

The Sullivan County Registry of Deeds serves the towns of:Acworth, Charlestown, Cornish, Croydon, Goshen, Grantham, Langdon, Lempster, Newport, Plainfield, Springfield, Sunapee, Unity, Washington and the City of Claremont.