Boston Massachusetts genealogy

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<br> 17. '''Tenth Church''', '''Bennet Street Church''', or '''Samuel Mather's Church''', 1742-1785.<br>  
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<br> 17. '''Tenth Church''', '''Bennett Street Church''', or '''Samuel Mather's Church''', 1742-1785.<br>  
  
 
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23. '''First Methodist Episcopal Church''' (1792-1828), later the '''Hanover Street Methodist Episcopal Church''', and since 1873 called '''Grace Church''', 1792-1962.<br>  
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23. '''First Methodist Episcopal Church''' (1792-1828), '''North Bennett Street Methodist Episcopal Church''' (1828-1849), later the '''Hanover Street Methodist Episcopal Church''', and since 1873 called '''Grace Church''', 1792-1962.<br>  
  
 
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::*North Bennett Street, records, 1828-1850 (some vital records), held by [http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/archives/collections/neccah/records-files-state/ma-records/#bennett School of Theology Library, Boston University, CAH CH-MA B6 B38].<br>  
 
::*North Bennett Street, records, 1828-1850 (some vital records), held by [http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/archives/collections/neccah/records-files-state/ma-records/#bennett School of Theology Library, Boston University, CAH CH-MA B6 B38].<br>  
 
::*Hanover Street, records, 1851-1873 (mostly Sunday School), held by [http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/archives/collections/neccah/records-files-state/ma-records/#boston-hanover School of Theology Library, Boston University, CAH CH-MA B6 H3].<br>  
 
::*Hanover Street, records, 1851-1873 (mostly Sunday School), held by [http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/archives/collections/neccah/records-files-state/ma-records/#boston-hanover School of Theology Library, Boston University, CAH CH-MA B6 H3].<br>  
::*First, Grace, Temple Street Methodist Episcopal Church records, 1859-1925 (no vital records), held by [http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/archives/collections/neccah/records-files-state/ma-records/#first-grace-temple School of Theology Library, Boston University, CAH CH-MA B6 T4].<br>  
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::*First, Grace, Temple Street Methodist Episcopal Church records, 1859-1925 (no vital records), held by [http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/archives/collections/neccah/records-files-state/ma-records/#first-grace-temple School of Theology Library, Boston University, CAH CH-MA B6 T4].<br>
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::*Bennett Street Methodist Episcopal Church, membership records, 1830-1849, {{FHL|494832|item|disp=FHL film 1508864 Items 28-29}}.<br>
 
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::*None.<br>  
 
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Revision as of 18:31, 22 February 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Suffolk Gotoarrow.png Boston

This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town and city of Boston. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, deeds (i.e. land records), town and city records, newspapers, maps, and libraries. There are general history and genealogy topics such as ward boundaries, census, street guides, and much more. There are detailed guides for the towns Boston annexed: Brighton (1807-1874); Charlestown (1630-1874); Dorchester (1630-1870); Hyde Park (1868-1912); Roxbury (1630-1868); and West Roxbury (1851-1874).

Contents

Brief History

Historical Boston, then only the land of a peninsula, was a faction of the land mass it is today after massive land-fill projects of the mid- to late-19th century (the rubble from the Great Boston Fire of 1872 help fill in the waterfront) and the annexing of six towns from two counties (as listed above). Boston was first settled by passengers of the Winthrop Fleet of 1630 who first lodged in Charlestown. These first settlers were Puritans, the religious group wanting to change the Church of England from working inside the church. Called the "City on the Hill" by Gov. John Winthrop, the "hub" as we now call it became the center of trade, education, government, wealth, and power. It was the capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, then the Royal colony of Massachusetts, and finally the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Shortly after its settlement, Boston had become a major settlement. It was the largest town in British North America for the first hundred years. Because of that, the town and later city became a draw for immigrants from around the world. Though the first two hundred years saw mostly English arrivals, Scots, Irish, and French were found here, too. It was after 1820 that immigrants from other European countries started arriving in large numbers. The gate was opened by the Irish fleeing the potato famine in 1847. The next wave included more Irish (their dominance starting in the early 20th century is a testament to their number), but also Germans, Italians, and Syrians. The end of the century saw French Canadians, Russian and Polish Jews, and Swedes arriving. The 21st century brought African Americans from the South, Southeast Asian immigrants (especially Chinese and Vietnamese), Muslims, and Puerto Ricans. Many other ethnicities can be found in pockets all over Boston, and walking in downtown one will likely here many languages being spoken.

Historical Data

The basic data is from the "Historical Data" publication series[1] with additions from various sources.

Associated names

Boston at times was called Shawmut, Tremont, and Trimountaine.

Sections (excluding most of the named squares) in downtown Boston [see annexed towns listed above for names in those areas] include Andrew Square, Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Boston Common, Boston Harbor, Chinatown, City Point, Copley Square, East Boston (Eastie), Faneuil Hall, Fenway, Financial District, The Flat (i.e. of Beacon Hill), Fort Point, Government Center, Haymarket Square, Kenmore, Leather District, Logan Airport, Longwood, North End, Scollay Square, Seaport, South End, South Bay, South Boston (Southie), Washington Village, and West End.

Islands that are currently part of Boston are: Apple Island*, Belle Island (formerly Hog's Island)*, Bird Island*, Breed's Island*, Calf Island (formerly Apthrop Island), Castle Island*, Deer Island*, Gallop's Island, George's Island, Governor's Island, Great Brewster Island, Green Island (or North Brewster Island), Little Brewster Island, Little Calf Island, Long Island, Lovell's Island, Middle Brewster Island, Nixes mate, Noddle Island*, Outer Brewster Island, Rainsford Island, Shag Rocks, Spectacle Island, The Graves, Thompson's Island, and Wood Island*.

[* denotes land-fill has made it part of the mainland now and the others are part of the Boston Harbor Island National Recreation Area]

Border changes
Dates Events
7 Sept. 1630 The first reference was "that Trimountaine shalbe called Boston ...." [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 75]
7 Nov. 1632 It was "... ordered, that the necke of land betwixte Powder Horne Hill & Pullen Poynte (now Winthrop) shall belonge to Boston ...." [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 101]
4 Mar. 1633 Border between Boston and Roxbury established.
14 May 1634 "... Boston shall haue convenient inlargemt att Mount Wooliston, ... & Prsent it to the nexte Genall court ...." [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 125]
3 Sept. 1634 It was "... ordered, that Wunetsemt shall belonge to Boston, ... as pte of that towne." [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 125]
25 Sept. 1634 It was "... ordered, that Boston shall haue inlargemt att Mount Wooliston (now Quincy and Braintree) & Rumney Marsh (now Revere)." [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 139]
4 Mar. 1635 Border between Boston and Dorchester, at Mount Wooliston and Wessaguscus (now Weymouth) to be determined.
Deer Island, Hog Island, Long Island, and Spectacle Island granted to Boston. [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 139]
8 July 1635 Border between Boston and Charlestown established.
Border to be established between Boston and Saugus about Rumney Marsh (now Revere).
28 Mar. 1636 Border between Boston and Charlestown, and Boston and Dorchester established.
9 Mar. 1637 Noddle Island (the largest of five islands that made up East Boston) annexed.
6 June 1639 Border between Boston, Charlestown, and Lynn to be settled.
13 May 1640 The part called Mount Wollaston set off as the new town of Braintree.
7 Oct. 1641 Border between Boston and Roxbury established at Muddy River (now Brookline).
Border between Boston and Cambridge established.
13 Nov. 1705 The part called Muddy River set off as the new town of Brookline.
10 Jan. 1739 The parts called Winnissimet, Rumney Marsh, and Pullen Point, except Noodle Island and Hog Island, set off as the new town of Chelsea.
6 Mar. 1804 The section of Dorchester called Dorchester Neck (and now called South Boston) annexed.
4 Mar. 1822 Boston was incorporated as a city per act of 23 Feb. 1822.
22 Feb. 1825 Border between Boston and Brookline established.
25 Mar. 1834 Thompson's Island was set off from Dorchester and annexed to Boston as long as it is used for charitable purposes.
16 Mar. 1836
19 Apr. 1837
Border between Boston and Roxbury established.
3 May 1850 Part of Roxbury annexed and border established.
21 May 1855 Part of Dorchester annexed.
8 May 1860 Part of Roxbury annexed and border established per act of 3 Apr. 1860.
5 Jan. 1868 City of Roxbury annexed by Boston per act of 1 June 1867.
3 Jan. 1870 Town of Dorchester annexed by Boston per act of 4 June 1869.
2 Apr. 1870 Border between Boston and West Roxbury established.
4 Nov. 1870 Part of Brookline annexed per act of 18 June 1870.
12 Apr. 1872 Mount Hope Cemetery in West Roxbury annexed to Boston.
27 May 1873 Border between Boston and Brookline established.
5 Jan. 1874 City of Charlestown annexed by Boston per act of 14 May 1873.
Town of Brighton annexed by Boston per act of 21 May 1873.
Town of West Roxbury annexed by Boston per act of 29 May 1873.
8 May 1874 Part of Brookline annexed.
29 May 1874 Border between Boston and Newton established.
1 July 1875 Part of Newton annexed by Boston per act of 5 May 1875.
27 May 1890 Border between Boston and Brookline established.
4 May 1891 Border between Boston and Somerville established.
13 Apr. 1894 Border between Boston and Brookline established.
29 Mar. 1898 Border between Boston and Newton established.
Border between Boston and Cambridge established.
1 Apr. 1898 Border between Boston and Hyde Park established.
13 May 1898 Border between Boston and Newton established.
29 Mar. 1910 Border between Boston and Cambridge established.
1 Jan. 1912 Town of Hyde Park annexed by Boston per act of 24 May 1911.
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Town Histories

Works written on the town include:
MassachusettsSuffolk CountyNorfolk CountyPlymouth CountyMiddlesex CountyEssex CountyNorfolk CountyBostonChelseaRevereWinthropNeedhamBrooklineDedhamWestwoodNorwoodCantonRandolphBraintreeWeymouthHinghamHullQuincyMiltonNewtonWatertownWalthamLexingtonWoburnWinchesterArlingtonBelmontCambridgeSomervilleMedfordStonehamMelroseMaldenEverettSaugusLynnNanhantCharlestownBrightonRoxburyWest RoxburyDorchesterHyde Park
City and town of Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Also shows annexed towns of Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Roxbury, and West Roxbury.


Boston - General
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Back Bay
  • also see Beacon Hill
  • William A. Newman and Wilfred E. Holton, Boston's Back Bay: The Story of America's Greatest Nineteenth-Century Landfill Project (Boston, 2006), xiv, 228 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Beacon Hill
East Boston
Harbor Island
North End
  • Alex R. Goldfled, The North End: A Brief History of Boston's Oldest Neighborhood (Charleston, S.C., 2009), 190 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Stephen Puleo, The Boston Italians (Boston, 2007), xv, 323 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Anthony V. Riccio, Boston's North End, Images and Recollections of an Italian-American Neighborhood (Guilford, Conn., 2006), xii, 180 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Arnold A. Wieder, The Early Jewish Community of Boston's North End (Waltham, Mass., 1962), 100 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
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South Boston
South End

[No general history of this area of the city found.]

Clubs and Social Registers
  • Search online for the histories and directories of the many social clubs in Boston.
  • Social Register, Boston (New York, various years).
    Digital version at Internet Archive various editions and Google Books 1904, 1910
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • The Clubs of Boston containing a complete List of Members and Addresses of all Boston Clubs of Social and Business Prominence (Boston, 1891), 442 pp. with map.
    Digital version at Internet Archive (1888 ed.).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Guidebooks
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Immigration - Ethnicity

[For Italian, also see the North End section]

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Topographical - Pictorial
  • Boston's Growth. A Bird's Eye View of Boston's Increase in Territory and Population From It's Beginning to the Present (Boston, 1910), 45 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive and Hathi Trust.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL.
  • Boston - One Hundred Years a City. A Collection of Views Made from Rare Prints and Old Photographs Showing the Changes Which Have Occurred in Boston During One Hundred Years of its Existence as a City, 1822-1922 (Boston, 1922), xii, 49 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Thomas Pemberton, "A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston, 1794" in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, for the year 1794, 3: 241-[304].
    Digital version at Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Nancy S. Seasholes, Gaining Ground A History of Landmaking in Boston (Cambridge, Mass., 2003), xiv, 533 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Charles Shaw, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston, from the first settlement of the town to the present period : with some account of its environs (Boston, 1817), 311 pp.
    Digital version at Ancestry ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston (Boston, 1871; 3rd ed., 1890), lvi, 720 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive (1871 ed.) and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries) (1871 ed.); Not at FHL.
  • Annie Haven Thwing, The Crooked and Narrow Streets of the Town of Boston (Boston, 1920; 2nd ed., 1925; Tercentenary ed., 1930), xi, 282 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive, Google Books, and on Ancestry ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL CD no. 1693 with in-library link.
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Vital Records

To understand the issues with the vital records for Boston, we need to understand its history. Massachusetts Bay enacted laws early on for the recording of vital events. The town of Boston dutifully recorded these events. From a study by Lemuel Shattuck using the baptismal records, he determined that the practice of civil recording of births saw a slow and steady decline since 1725 when the reported rate of was 3.3% (religious baptisms were near 5%) and down to 2.0% by 1845 (i.e. less than half of what should be expected). Turning to marriages, Shattuck found that the rate of marriages was relatively unchanged all the way up to 1845. He observed two gaps that should be noted. From 1663 to 1689, not one marriage was recorded in the civil records, and from 1751 to 1761 only a few marriages were found. Deaths were well recorded in the early years, but like the marriages, none appear from 1663 to 1689. A separate volume was used after this period and seem to be representative until 1719. But, from 1719 to 1810, few deaths were recorded. In 1810, recording was done by the Superintendent of Burials so then appear complete from then forward. Shattuck found that from 1704 to 1774, sextons made weekly returns to the newspapers for the number who died each week. In this period as the town grew, the annual average death toll rose from 334 to 521, so many thousands of deaths were not recorded. These gaps and issues should be kept in mind when using Boston vital records. [See Lemuel Shattuck, Report to the Committee of the City Council Appointed to Obtain the Census of Boston for the Year 1845 (Boston, 1846), 126-133, Ap. 71-73.]

The town's vital records are available in many locations:

Online records

There are two collections of original records online. Further details can be found below under Original records below.

FamilySearch [browsable but not yet indexed as of Nov. 2012]:
  • Births, 1630-1920.
  • Marriages, 1646-1910.
  • Deaths, 1849-1910.
Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620–1988 at Ancestry ($) [Indexed]:
  • Births, 1630-1895.
  • Marriages, 1630-1890.
  • Deaths, 1630-1890.
Original records

Boston City's Registry Division
1 City Hall Square - Rm. 213
Boston MA 02201-2006
Phone 617-635-4175

Microfilm of the originals created by the Family History Library:
Note: These records below (except for births after 1920) are browsable (i.e. not yet indexed as of Nov. 2012) on FamilySearch.

Birth records
Marriage records
Birth and Marriage certificates
Out-of-town marriages
Marriage indexes
Death records
  • No death records filmed before 1849.
  • 1849-1895 records and certificates, out-of-town, 1889-1895 (except 1892), stillborn, 1889-1895, index (several), 1630-1891, FHL films 593709 (first of 112.
  • 1896-1905 certificates, index, 1892-1955, Death index of annexed towns, 1629-1912, FHL films 830627.
  • 1905-1910 certificates, out-of-town, 1905-1909, stillborn, 1906-1910, "burials and deaths," 1905-1910, FHL films 804551 (first of 64).
Out-of-town deaths
Death indexes
Boston Female Asylum, records (inc. names, finance, minutes, some baptisms, deaths, and subscribers), 1800-1866, FHL films 954449-954451.
Note: The "Register of Births, British Consulate at Boston, United States" on FHL film 1494362 are births, 1871-1902, in Mass. (mostly Boston); births, 1903-1932, mostly in Mass.; and deaths, 1902-1929, most all at sea.

Microfiche of the originals created by Archive Publishing covering town records:
Note: All are part of Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620–1988 at Ancestry ($); Index.

Boston Vital Records, 1630-1849 (inc. all Suffolk Co., 1643-1660, county marriages, 1716-1731, church marriages, 1751-1761), marriage intentions, 1707-1849, including early deaths, 1630-1848 (not found in above originals), and many indexes, on 540 fiche.
Boston Births and indexes, 1849-1881, on 234 fiche.
Boston Births and indexes, 1882-1895, on 325 fiche.
Boston Marriages and indexes, 1849-1890, on 310 fiche.
Boston Out-of-town marriages and indexes, 1858-1895, on 41 fiche.
Boston Deaths and indexes, 1849-1890, on 369 fiche.

Official state copy of vital records starting in 1841:
[Caveat: Boston did not start submitting records to the state until 1850.]
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston MA 02125
Phone 617-727-2816
Email archives@sec.state.ma.us
Hours and Directions
See the online guide for more information.

Published records - Original
Published records - Derivative
  • Robert J. Dunkle and Ann Smith Lainhart, comp., John Haven Dexter's Memoranda of the Town of Boston in the 18th & 19th Centuries (Boston, 1997), iv, 713 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V2d.
  • Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, Deaths in Boston 1700 to 1799 (Boston, 1999), in 2 vols., xxviii, 1136 pp.
    This voume draws on the town records, coroner's records, church records, contemporary accounts, bible records, histories and genealogies, newspapers, articles in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and other town vital records.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V2dr v. #.
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City Directories and Almanacs

Boston city directories are one of the most complete record of the city's adult male population, business women, and later the widows of the men previously listed. Boston was the third place to start publishing directories (after New York and Philadelphia) in 1789. They were published annually (for the most part) after 1825. The directory evolved from a simple entry (ex. Herring Ebenezer, mason and sexton, Lynde-street) to one of name, occupation and location, residence (boarding or house), and would list you if you worked in the city but lived elsewhere (then it would name the town of residence). Added features were usually a map (often not digitized and missing), lists of a few trades (such as lawyer, physician, etc.), a few civic items (fire companies, justices, etc.), and business advertisements. More categories appeared over time. By the later 1800s, when someone was being dropped because they died, their death date would be given, or moved, their new town of residence was given. By 1930, there was a very helpful reverse directory added (arranged by street). This resource ceased publication in 1981. The years published are:

1789 1796 1798 1800 1803 1805-1810
1813 1816 1818 1820-1823 1825-1975 1981

To see the publishers, page counts, and number of names indexed to 1886, refer to the Boston Record Commissioners' Report, 10: 164-165.

The entire run of directories was microfiched at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1992 and made available through many great libraries including the Boston Public Library, Family History Library, Library of Congress, Massachusetts State Library, and the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library in Boston. Online copies of these Boston directories can be found on Internet Archive and Google Books. There are two paid sites. Ancestry ($) is the first one everyone turns to as they created a large library of U.S. city directories from 1821 to 1989. The first caveat is that they do not have the earliest years and some of the "directories" are actually "almanacs." The best website for Boston directories is fold3 that has all the directories from 1789 through 1926.

The Boston Almanac started publication in 1836 as a simple almanac of climate, astrological, farm, and other tables along with a calendar. Soon, city and state officials were added along with history sections for the previous year and listings of all the streets, wharves, ward boundaries, public buildings, stage coach tables, societies and institutions, newspapers, and other handy information. The contents can change annually. The title changed over time:

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Maps, Wards, and City Streets

Maps

This is a list of map resource sites of particular interest to genealogists, and is not an effort to trace the vast cartographic history of Boston in full. There will be many maps of Boston in every major library including the Family History Library. Consult the catalog for the particular holdings of a library. The earliest map specifically of Boston is by Capt. John Bonner in 1722. There are many versions available on the internet, one is at Boston Public Library. Since Boston covers a majority of Suffolk County, look for Suffolk County Atlases.

Reference Books
  • "List of Maps of Boston, Published Between 1614 and 1822" printed as Appendix J of the Thirty-fifth Annual Report of the City Engineer Boston for the year 1901 (Boston, 1902), pp. 129-161.
    Digital version at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries) [rep.]; Not at FHL.
  • List of maps of Boston published subsequent to 1600, copies of which are to be found in the possession of the city of Boston or other collectors of the same ... February 1, 1904 (Boston, 1904), 95 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    This is another reprint of the 1902 list with supplementary list.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Alex Krieger and David Cobb, Mapping Boston (Cambridge, Mass., 1999), xiv, 278 pp.
    A series of historical and current maps with essays by Anne Mackin discussing the important events and landmarks of the day.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Maps Online
  • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library.
    This is the largest single collection of Boston maps with a listing of 584.
  • Boston Redevelopment Authority, The Boston Atlas.
    This can be a complicated site for the first time user. Click on one of the three viewer choices and wait for the new window to open and fill in with a map. Any of the three will allow a search of a specific address. Here, we are concerned about the historical overlays only. The user can select (or unselect) any overlay desired. For the Flash viewer, unselect all except the historic map (choice of 1775, 1814, 1826, or 1881). The two Java viewers are similar. Unselect all items in the menu except the last. Click on the named box and an extensive menu with sub-menus will appear. The largest collection of historical maps is under "Future Boston Map Collection". Play around until you find what you need.
  • Library of Congress, American Memory project, Boston maps.
  • David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
    Scroll part way down to the Boston section and then click on "Launch GIS Professional Browser" to view historical maps.
  • Sanborn maps, Boston, 1885.
  • Tufts Digital Collections and Archives, Boston Streets: Mapping Directory Data
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Wards of Boston

Introduction

The town of Boston was divided into companies, or districts, to help keep the order, fighting fires, etc. The concept of the Ward was first codified in 1735. The Overseers of the Poor were having difficulty covering the whole town and proposed to divide the town into twelve wards. The freemen agreed and added that these wards would be the districts for "military considerations," too. The division was given to the Overseers to create and the resulting report for such divisions was accepted by the freeman with the caveat that these boundaries would stay in force until the town decided to change them.[See A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston Containing the Boston Records from 1729 to 1742 (Boston, 1885) [i.e. v. 12], 127, 131-133.] The next change in the ward boundaries came in 1805. [See Lemuel Shattuck, Report to the Committee of the City Council Appointed to Obtain the Census of Boston for the Year 1845 (Boston, 1846), Ap. 4-10, wrongly dating the first division as 1746.]

When Boston incorporated as a city in 1822. Wards were drawn and redefined in 1822, 1838, 1850, 1865, 1875, 1895, 1914, and 1924. The 1875 was set aside by the court and never officially used. These ward boundaries were defined in A Catalogue of the City Councils of Boston, 1822-1890, Roxbury, 1846-1867, Charlestown, 1847-1873 and of the selectmen of Boston, 1634-1822, also of various other town and municipal officers (Boston, 1891), xxxix, 270 pp. (Boston, 2nd ed., 1909), 402 pp., at pages 7 through 40 [see WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL; online at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Hathi Trust (1909 ed.); and in the Municipal Register for 1912, 1924, and 1927 [WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL; online links for all years, see the Boston Public Library].

It is important to understand these changes ward boundaries as they are referenced in city directories, census, tax records, and other documents. Voter lists and governmental representation was established by wards. The following is a description and associated map to help learn where these boundaries were. Note that the descriptions are the official boundary and the maps sometimes vary from the descriptions (Note: boundaries and colored areas may differ).

1735

Boston Wards in 1735
A New Plan of ye Great Town of Boston (1743) with ward boundaries
Note: 15 churches in the city
Ward Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 Copps Hill area Starting at the Charlestown Ferry and going up Prince Street (including both sides) to Gee's Corner, left on Salem Street, right on Charter Street, left on Henchman's Lane across Lyn Street to the harbor.
Ward No. 2 Union Wharf area Starting at the harbor (at the end of No. 1 above) up Henchman's Lane, right diagonally across Charter Street [description called this Elder Barker's Corner], along Salem Street [as far as the Rev. Dr. Cutler's], left on Love Street, left on North Street, right on Foster's Lane, across Ship Street to the harbor and to which is added Rumney Marsh [now Chelsea].
Ward No. 3 Fleet Street area Starting at the harbor (at the end of No. 2 above) up Foster's Lane, left on North Street, right on Love Lane, left on Salem Street [to Peirce's Corner though called Gee's Corner for No. 1], left on Prince Street through Bell Alley, right at Clark's Square [Mr. Mountfort's Corner and so the Dolphin Tavern] to Fish Street, and at that point, out to the harbor.
Ward No. 4 Center of North End [Since the description does not match the map, we give the map description first] Starting at Fish Street up Clark's Square, left on Bell Alley through Prince Street, left on Back Street (both sides) to the Mill Creek Bridge, sharp left out Middle Street, right on Wood Lane to Fish Street and the beginning. [From the northeast corner of Prince Street, running down the south side as far as Boucher's Corner, and then on both sides of the way to the Mill Bridge, and from thence on the west side of Middle Street to Prince Street, taking in the Square from Cox's Corner, down the north side of Wood Lane, through Bell Alley, to Capt. Wadsworth's.]
Ward No. 5 Christopher Columbus Park north Starting at Wood Lane, left on Middle Street across the Mill Bridge, left on Union Street to the town dock and out to the harbor, including all of Ann Street and Fish Street to Wood Lane and to include the Red Lion Wharf on Fish Street at the corner of Clark's Square.
Ward No. 6 Lower Hanover Street toward City Hall Starting at the Mill Pond and up the Mill Creek to the Mill Bridge, right on Hanover Street, left on Union Street, right on Wing's Lane [to Bradford's Corner], left on Hanover Street to the "Orange Tree", right on Sudbury Street, left on Hawkins Street [description called it Kneeland's Lane] to the corner of it, then right out the Mill Pond to include Jackson's Still House.
Ward No. 7 Beacon Hill and its back Starting just west of the Jackson's Still House (above) on the Mill Pond and back to the same corner on Hawkins Street, and down it, right on Sudbury Street, right on Southack's Court to its end, then drawn a line southwest over the hill [Beacon Hill] to a point where Southack Street and Beacon Street meet -- all land west of this line including Barton's Point.
Ward No. 8 Faneuil Hall to Long Wharf Starting at the town dock near the intersection of Union and Ann Streets, up Wing's Lane, left on Hanover Street, left on Queen Street around the corner through King Street and out Long Wharf.
Ward No. 9 Old South Meeting House north [From the description not found on the map] Starting at Mr. Bowdoin's Corner on Tremont Street taking in the western side of Beacon Street, down to the bottom of the Common, down School Street, right on Marlborough Street, left on Milk Street, left on Horn Street [Taunan Lane on map], right on Water Street to Oliver's Dock, left on Mackerel Lane, left on King Street through Queen Street to the beginning.
Ward No. 10 Franklin Street area Starting at Mr. Secretary Willard's [on Common Street?], down Rawson's Lane, crossing over Penniman's Corner [i.e. right on Marlborough Street], left on Summer Street, left on Cow Lane, over the Hill [i.e. Fort Hill, so right on Gibbs's Lane, left on Battery March] to Halloway's Shipyard, [assumed up Water Street, left on Taunan Lane, and right] to Milk Street, across South Meeting House Square [i.e. right on Marlborough Street], left on School Street to the beginning [the corner of Tremont and Common Streets].
Ward No. 11 South of Summer Street Starting at the Rawson's Lane and going down Common Street, left on West Street, diagonally across Newbury Street and down Pond Street, left on Blind Street onto Summer Street to Barton's Rope Walk [not on map], along the harbor [not stated so] to Mr. Hubbard's [wharf], up the hill [i.e. Gibbs's Lane], left on Cow Lane, up Summer Street, right on Marlborough Street, left on Rawson's Lane to the beginning.
Ward No. 12 West Street south Starting at the School House on the Common, down West Street, diagonally across Newbury Street and down Pond Street, left on Blind Lane onto Summer Street to Bull's Wharf -- all land south of this line.
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1805

Boston Wards in 1805
A New Plan of Boston (1806)
Note: 19 churches in the city
Ward Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 Copps Hill area Starting at the Charles River Bridge onto Prince Street, left on North Street to the Winnisimit Ferry.
Ward No. 2 Christopher Columbus Park and north Starting at the Winnisimit Ferry up North Street through Middle Street, left on Proctor's Lane to the Town Slip.
Ward No. 3 Central North End Starting at the Charles River Bridge onto Prince Street, right on Middle Street, left on Proctor's Lane to the Town Slip (as the northern border) and Mill Creek and causeway (as the southern border) -- all land in between.
Ward No. 4 Quincy Market area Starting at the Mill Creek and onto Hanover Street, left on Court Street passed Pemberton Hill and around through State Street and out Long Wharf.
Ward No. 5 North Station area Starting at the Mill Creek and onto Hanover Street, right to Southack's Court, right on Bulfinch Street to Bowdoin Square, left up Cambridge Street, right on Lynde Street and Leverett Street, right on the causeway to the extension of Mill Creek.
Ward No. 6 Mass. General Hospital area Starting from the causeway down Leverett Street through Lynde Street and through Hancock Street, right on Myrtle Street, right on South Russell Street, left on May Street to the water.
Ward No. 7 State House and the flat of Beacon Hill Starting at the Charles River and up May Street, right on South Russell, left on Myrtle Street, left on Hancock Street, right on Cambridge Street through Bowdoin Square, right on Bulfinch Street, left on Southack's Court, right on Tremont Street, right on Park Street, left on Beacon Street to the Charles River.
Ward No. 8 School Street to Post Office Square area Starting at the Long Wharf and up State Street through Court Street, left on Tremont Street, left on Bromfield Lane, right on Marlborough Street, left on Milk Street to the harbor.
Ward No. 9 Rowe's Wharf area Starting at the harbor and up Milk Street, left on Federal Street, right on High Street, left on Summer Street to the harbor.
Ward No. 10 Downtown Crossing area Starting at Common Street down Bromfield Lane, left on Marlborough Street, right on Milk Street, right on Federal Street, right on High Street, diagonally across and up Pond Street through West Street, right on Common Street to the beginning.
Ward No. 11 Leather District - Chinatown to the Common Starting at the harbor and up Summer Street, veer left onto Pond Street through West Street, left on Common Street onto Pleasant Street [??], left on Elliot Street, left on Orange Street, right on Beach Street and across Front Street to the harbor.
Ward No. 12 South of the Common along Washington Street and South Boston Starting at the Charles River Basin across Elliot Street, left on Orange Street, right on Beach Street and across Front Street to the harbor -- all land south of this line and South Boston included.
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1822

Boston Wards in 1822
Plan of Boston (1826) with ward boundaries - colored section were proposed new wards for 1832
Note: 35 churches in the city
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 Copp's Hill area From Winnesimett Ferry (at the northeast point), then westerly along North and Middle to Prince Street, northerly side of Prince to Thacher Street to easterly side of Medford Street to the river. [Note: Four churches]
Ward No. 2 Lewis's Wharf area From Winnesimett Ferry (at the north point), then southwesterly along North and Middle on the easterly side to Cross Street, then along the north side of Cross Street to the harbor. [Note: Three churches]
Ward No. 3 North Station / Mill Pond area From Medford Street at the river along the southerly side of Medford, Thacher, and Prince Streets, then the western side of Middle to Cross Street; From the town dock through Market Square to Union Street on the northeasterly side to Hanover Street, along the west side of Hanover to Friend Street, then northeasterly side of Friend to the river. [Note: Two churches]
Ward No. 4 Strip from Charles River Dam to Long Wharf plus the islands From the river on the southwesterly side of Friend to Hanover Streets, east on Hanover Street on the southerly side to through Market Square and to the Town Dock, and out to the end of Long Wharf; including all the islands (670 inhabitants); at the head of Long Wharf west on the northerly side of State Street, through Court Street, Bowdoin Square, and Cambridge Street, north of Staniford Street on the easterly side through Leverett Place along Prospect Street to where it meets Causeway Street on the river. [Note: Three churches]
Ward No. 5 West End / Mass. Gen. Hospital Starting at the last point in Ward 4 tracing back to Cambridge Street, then west on the northerly side of Cambridge to the West Boston Bridge [now Longfellow Bridge]. [Note: Two churches, the hospital, and the city court house with two gaols]
Ward No. 6 West side of Beacon Hill Starting at the West Boston Bridge (above) at the river along the south side of Cambridge Street, along the westerly side of South Russell Street to Myrtle east on the southerly side of Myrtle Street to Belknap Street, along Belknap south on the westerly side to Beacon Street, west on Beacon along the northerly side to Charles Street (at the meeting of the Charles River and the Receiving Basin that was divided by the mill dam at the Boston / Roxbury line. [Note: One church]
Ward No. 7 State House / King's Chapel area Starting on Beacon Street at the Common, north on Belknap Street on the easterly side to Myrtle Street, the west to South Russell Street, then north along that to Cambridge Street, east on Cambridge along the southerly side along Court Street to Cornhill, then west on Cornhill along the northerly side through Marlborough and Newbury Streets to West Street, northwest on West to the Common, follow the Common to the beginning along Common, Park, and Beacon Streets back to Belknap. [Note: Seven churches]
Ward No. 8 Downtown Crossing area Starting at the corner of Court Street and Cornhill (above), southwest as above to Bedford Street, southeast on Bedford to the harbor; then from Russian Wharf onto Atkinson Street north to Milk Street, then east to Adams Street, north on Adams through Kilby to State Street, then west on State to Cornhill. [Note: Seven churches]
Ward No. 9 Financial District / Fort Hill - Washington Place Starting at the northerly end of India Street on the harbor west along State Street, then south on Kilby Street through Adams Street to Milk Street, then west on Milk to Atkinson Street, then south on Atkinson to the harbor. [Note: Two churches]
Ward No. 10 North side of Chinatown Starting on the south side of Bull's Wharf on the harbor out westward along Bedford and West Streets to the Common, south and west along the Common on Common Street to Boylston Street, east along Boylston through Essex Street to Rainsford Lane, south on the lane to the harbor. [Note: Two churches]
Ward No. 11 South side of Chinatown / Tufts Medical Center Starting at Ward 10 on west side of Rainsford Lane on the harbor north to Essex Street, then west on Essex through Boylston Street, then north along Charles Street to the Mill Dam [actually, to the Roxbury line in the Receiving Basin], along the Charles to Pleasant Street a short distance then east along Elliot Street to Warren Street, then south on Warren to Orange Street, diagonally across to continue on Pine Street to the harbor. [Note: Two churches]
Ward No. 12 Boston Neck along present Washington Street and South Boston Starting at Ward 11's southern border of Pleasant to Elliot to Warren and the Pine Streets as the northern border of Ward 12, all land south of this along the Boston Neck and also South Boston. [Note: Full ward not shown on map and no churches visible]
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1838

Boston Wards in 1838
A New & Complete Map of the City of Boston (1839) [colorized by wards]
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 Copp's Hill area Starting at the Winnisimet (now Chelsea) Ferry along Hanover Street, right on Richmond Street through Cooper Street, across Charlestown Street and right along Beverly Street to the river.
Ward No. 2 Lewis's Wharf area Starting at the Ferry (above) along Hanover Street, left at Union Street [different on map] to Dock Square, then left on North Market Street to the City Wharf.
Ward No. 3 North Station / Mill Pond area Starting at the river [at Trull's Wharf] along Beverly Street, across Charlestown Street left along Cooper Street through Richmond Street to Hanover Street, right along Hanover Street, left onto Union Street, right onto Elm Street [different on map] to Hanover Street, diagonally across along Portland Street, left on Sudbury Street, right onto Hawkins Street, left on Chardon Street to Bowdoin Square, right on Green Street [different on map], right at Lyman Place, right on Prospect Street [not named on map] to the intersection with Causeway Street through to Lowell Street to the river.
Ward No. 4 Strip from Beacon Hill (behind State House) to Long Wharf plus East Boston and the islands Starting at the end of City Wharf going along North Market Street, through Dock Square, along Elm Street to Hanover Street, diagonally across that street to the right up Portland Street, left on Sudbury Street, right on Hawkins Street, left on Chardon Street to Bowdoin Square, right on Green Street [different on map], left on Staniford Street, right on Cambridge Street, left on Belknap Street [now Joy Street], left on Mt. Vernon Street, [missing - right on Temple Street], left on Beacon Street, left on Tremont Street, right on Court Street through State Street out Long Wharf, then including all of East Boston and all the islands in the harbor.
Ward No. 5 West End / Mass. Gen. Hospital Starting at the Cambridge Bridge on the river (now Longfellow Bridge) along Cambridge Street, left on Staniford Street across Green Street through Lyman Place, right onto Prospect Street [not named on map], across Causeway Street, and along Lowell Street to the river.
Ward No. 6 West side of Beacon Hill Starting at the Cambridge Bridge on the river (now Longfellow Bridge) along Cambridge Street, right on Belknap Street [now Joy Street], right on Beacon Street to the receiving basin.
Ward No. 7 State House / Downtown Crossing / King's Chapel area Starting at the corner of Belknap Street [now Joy Street] and Beacon Street on the Common, up Belknap Street, right on Mt. Vernon Street, [missing - right on Temple Street], left on Beacon Street, left on Tremont Street, right on Court Street through State Street, right on Congress Street, right on Milk Street, left on Federal Street, right on Franklin Street, left on Hawley Street, left on Summer Street, across Chauncey Place and Bedford Place [not labeled on map] through Rowe Street, right on Essex Street, across Washington Street along Boylston Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Park Street, left on Beacon Street to the first point.
Ward No. 8 Financial District / Fort Hill - Washington Place On the harbor at Long Wharf out along State Street, left on Congress Street, right on Milk Street, left on Federal Street, left on Berry Street, right on Atkinson Street to the harbor west of the Russia Wharf.
Ward No. 9 Chinatown North area Starting at and including Hobb's Wharf [Lloyd's Wharf on map], up Beach Street, right on Washington Street, right on Essex Street, left on Rowe through Bedford and Chauncey Place [neither named on map], left on Summer Street, right on Hawley Street, right on Franklin Street, right on Federal Street, left on Berry Street, right on Atkinson Street to the harbor west on the Russia Wharf.
Ward No. 10 South Station - Chinatown area Starting at Hobb's Wharf above [Lloyd's Wharf on map], up Beach Street, right on Washington Street, left on Boylston Street along the Common, left on Pleasant Street and left again on Eliot Street [slightly different on map], right onto Carver Street, left on Pleasant Street, right onto Washington Street, left on Indiana Street [Distilhouse on map], right across the railroad tracks on Harrison Avenue [Front Street on map], and left on the new road to the Cove [Orange Street on the map] to the south side of Guild and Cowdin's Wharf.
Ward No. 11 The Neck - Central South End area Starting at the corner of Boylston and Pleasant streets, down Pleasant Street and left again on Eliot Street [slightly different on map], right onto Carver Street, left on Pleasant Street, right onto Washington Street, left on Indiana Street [Distilhouse on map], right across the railroad tracks on Harrison Avenue [Front Street on map], and left on the new road to the Cove [Orange Street on the map] to the south side of Guild and Cowdin's Wharf. The ward being all land south and west of this line to the Roxbury town border.
Ward No. 12 South Boston All of South Boston.
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1850

Boston Wards in 1850
Plan of Boston Comprising a Part of Charlestown and Cambridge (1851) [colorized wards]
New Map of Boston ... with the new boundaries of the wards (1851)
Note: 83 churches in the city
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 The North End Starting at the end and including all of the Eastern Packet Pier on the harbor and running across and up Richmond Street, right on Salem Street, left on Cooper Street, crossing Charlestown Street diagonally right onto Beverly Street out to the river along and including Trull's Wharf. [Note: Eleven churches]
Ward No. 2 East Boston and the harbor islands Including all that part of the city called East Boston and all the islands in the harbor. [Note: Five churches]
Ward No. 3 North Station area Starting between the Fitchburg Railroad depot and Trull's Wharf on the river and out along Beverly Street across Charlestown Street and left onto Cooper Street, right on Salem Street, left on Richmond Street, right on Hanover Street, right on Court Street through Bowdoin Square and onto Green Street, right on Leverett Street, verse right onto Causeway Street, and left on Lowell Street in a line passed the Boston & Lowell Railroad depot to the river. [Note: Six churches]
Ward No. 4 Government Center to Long Wharf Starting at the harbor next to, but not including, the Eastern Packet Pier and up Richmond Street, left on Hanover Street, right on Court Street through Bowdoin Square and onto Green Street, left on Staniford Street, diagonally across Cambridge Street onto Temple Street through Mount Vernon Street through Park Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Winter Street, left on Washington Street, right on Milk Street across India Street, and out and including Central Wharf. [Note: Thirteen churches and the largest part of the business district]
Ward No. 5 West End / Mass. Gen. Hospital Starting at the Cambridge Bridge and out along Cambridge Street, left on Staniford Street, left on Green Street, right on Leverett Street, and left on Lowell Street to the Boston & Lowell Railroad bridge. [Note: Three churches, Mass. Gen. Hospital, and the new county jail]
Ward No. 6 West side of Beacon Hill including State House Starting at the Cambridge Bridge and out along Cambridge Street, right on Temple Street through Mount Vernon Street, right on Beacon Street and onto Western Avenue to the river. [Note: Five churches, reservoir, State House, and the Eye and Ear Infirmary]
Ward No. 7 Financial District to Rowe's Wharf including Fort Hill Starting where the Central Wharf meets India Street and up Milk Street, left on Washington Street, right on Winter Street, left on Tremont Street, left on West Street through Bedford Street, right on Kingston Street, left on Essex Street, left on South Street, right on Summer Street and straight out to the harbor between Summer Street Wharf (not included) and Bull Wharf (included). [Note: Eleven churches]
Ward No. 8 South Station west to the Common Starting at a point between Bull and Summer Street wharfs on the harbor and up Summer Street, left on South Street, right on Essex Street, right on Kingston Street, left on Bedford Street though West Street to the Common, turn left on Tremont Street, left on Elliot Street through Kneeland Street crossing Sea Street to a point between Howe's and Emery's wharfs. [Note: Four churches]
Ward No. 9 Bay Village north to the Common - Public Garden Starting at the boundary between Roxbury and Boston on Western Avenue at the northwest corner of the planned public garden on Western Avenue through Beacon Street, right on Park Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Warren Street, right on Washington Street, right on West Castle Street and crossing Tremont Street to the Worcester Railroad bridge, then up the receiving basin to the beginning. [Note: Four churches]
Ward No. 10 Tufts Medical Center area south to the Traveler's / Herald building Starting at a point on the harbor between and including Emery's Wharf and not including Howe's Wharf across Sea Street and up Kneeland Street continuing on Elliot Street, left on Tremont Street, left on Warren Street, right on Washington Street, left on Dover Street [now East Berkeley Street] to the South Boston Bridge. [Note: Six churches]
Ward No. 11 The Neck - Central South End area Starting at the boundary between Roxbury and Boston at the Worcester Railroad bridge out across Tremont Street and down West Castle Street, right on Washington Street, and left on Dover Street [now East Berkeley Street] to the South Boston Bridge -- south and west of this line to the Roxbury border down the Neck is included in this ward. [Note: Five churches]
Ward No. 12 South Boston All that part of the city called South Boston on the Dorchester Neck including the South Boston and Free bridges. [Note: Ten churches]
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1865

Boston Wards in 1865
Plan of Boston (1867)
Note: 114 churches in the city in 1867
Note: 127 churches in the city in 1869 (with addition of Roxbury)
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 East Boston and the harbor islands All that part of the city called East Boston and all the islands in the harbor. [Note: Twelve churches]
Ward No. 2 The North End Starting at but not including Warren Bridge at the river along Lovejoy's Wharf, right on Causeway Street, left on Haverhill Street across Haymarket Square through Blackstone Street, left on Clinton Street to the harbor. [Note: Thirteen churches]
Ward No. 3 North Station - Mass. Gen. Hospital area Start at the Cambridge [West Boston on map] Bridge at the river and out along Cambridge Street, left on Staniford Street, left on Green Street, right on Leverett, veer right on Causeway Street to a point just passed the Fitchburg Depot and before Lovejoy's Wharf, then left to the river to the right of and including Warren Bridge. [Note: Seven churches, four railroad depots, Mass. General Hospital, a medical collage, and the county jail]
Ward No. 4 Government Center to Long Wharf Starting at the harbor and up along Clinton Street, right on Blackstone Street across Haymarket Square through Haverhill Street, left on Causeway Street, onto Leverett Street, left on Green Street, right on Staniford Street across Cambridge Street to Temple Street, left on Mount Vernon Street, right on Park Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Winter Street, left on Washington Street, right on Milk Street across India Street to the south side and including Central Wharf. [Note: Seventeen churches, city hall, county courthouse, and many businesses]
Ward No. 5 Financial District to Rowe's Wharf including Fort Hill Starting at the ending point above but excluding Central Wharf across India Street and up Milk Street, left on Washington, right on Winter Street to the Common, left on Tremont Street, left at the Masonic Temple onto Boylston Street, right on Washington Street, left on Beach Street, right on Federal Street, and left on Mount Washington Avenue to Fort Point Channel. [Note: Twelve church, two theaters, and three railroad depots]
Ward No. 6 West side of Beacon Hill including State House, Common and Public Garden Start at the Cambridge [West Boston on map] Bridge at the river and out along Cambridge Street, right on Temple Street, left on Mount Vernon Street, right on Park Street, right on Tremont and right on Boylston Street to follow along the southerly border of the Common and Public Garden, right on Arlington Street, and left out the newly planned Commonwealth Avenue to the border with the city of Roxbury and following that until to meets the river. [Note: Seven churches, the State House, reservoir, the Common, and Public Garden]
Ward No. 7 Fort Point Channel area Starting at Mount Washington Avenue on Fort Point Channel up to and turning right onto Federal Street, left on Beach Street, left on Albany Street, right on Curve Street, left on Harrison Avenue, left on Dover [now East Berkeley] Street across the Dover Street Bridge to the waterline of South Boston, following the shoreline to the point where Dorchester Avenue [Federal Street on map] and the Old Colony & Newport Railroad tracks cross, continuing out the tracks and turn left on E Street out to and across First Street to the harbor. [Note: Five churches, numerous railroad buildings, and the foundry area]
Ward No. 8 Tufts Medical Center and Chinatown Starting on the south side of the Common on Boylston Street at the junction of Carver Street and down Boylston Street, right on Washington Street, left on Beach Street, right on Albany Street, right on Curve Street, diagonally across Harrison Avenue and up Indiana Street, right on Washington Street, left on Pleasant Street, right onto Carver Street to the beginning. [Note: Eight churches, theater, and public library]
Ward No. 9 Bay Village west including southern Back Bay and northern South End Starting on Harrison Avenue at Florence Street and up Florence Street, diagonally across Washington Street and up Champman Street, left on Tremont Street, right on Berkeley Street, left on Warren Avenue, across Columbus Avenue up Newton Street [not named on map], left on the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks to the city of Roxbury border, right up the border to the newly planned Commonwealth Avenue, right on that avenue, right on Arlington Street, left Boylston Street, right on Carver Street onto Pleasant Street, right on Washington Street, left Indiana Street, right on Harrison Avenue to the beginning. [Note: Ten churches and two railroad depots]
Ward No. 10 Eastern South End At the start of Ward No. 9 above then up Florence Street, diagonally across Washington Street and up Champman Street, left on Tremont Street, right on Berkeley Street, left on Warren Avenue, left on Brookline Street to South Bay. [Note: Eight churches and piano factory]
Ward No. 11 West South End Starting at the border between the cities of Boston and Roxbury at the point where the Boston & Providence Railroad crosses and continue on the tracks east, right on Newton Street [not named on map], crossing Columbus Avenue at a diagonal onto Warren Avenue, right on Brookline Street to the South Bay and the city of Roxbury border, then west along this border through the Roxbury Canal and beyond, right traveling up the border, then right again to meet at the beginning. [Note: Seven churches, piano factory, city hospital complex, and city water and sewer plants]
Ward No. 12 South Boston All that section of the city now known as South Boston lying south of E Street and south and west of the track of the Old Colony & Newport Railroad. [Note: Eight churches, idiotic school, insane hospital, and house of correction]

1868

Roxbury annexation adds Wards 13-15 in 1868
Plan of Boston with Additions and Corrections (1869)
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 13 Lower Roxbury east of Dudley Square Starting at and including the Roxbury Canal and following a line between Fellows Street and Harrison Avenue west along the old border between the cities of Boston and Roxbury, right up the same border just east of Hunneman Street, left on Washington Street, left at Dudley Square down Dudley Street to the border with the town of Dorchester, then left following Line Brook that is the border to the South Bay. [Note: No churches, loom, cotton, and watch factories, and the lead and gas works]
Ward No. 14 Southeast of Dudley Square to Washington Park Starting at the point where Dudley Street is crossed by the Line Brook and continuing west along that brook until reaching and continuing on Vale Street until it intersects with Lawrence Avenue, then west on the city of Boston and town of Dorchester line to a corner just southwest of Grove Hall, right to Brush Hill Turnpike [now Blue Hill Avenue] and up Seaver Street though Egleston Square [the border with West Roxbury], right on Shawmut Avenue [now Washington Street], left on Bartlett Street to Eliot Square, sharp right on Dudley Street, left on Putnam Street through Shailers Avenue through unnamed street [Cabot Street?], left on Culvert Street, right on Tremont Street, right on Hammond Street and continuing along the old border between the cities of Boston and Roxbury, right on Washington Street through Dudley Square, left on Dudley Street to the beginning. [Note: Eleven churches]
Ward No. 15 Longwood Medical Area, Mission Hill, Back of the Hill, Hyde Square, Highland Park Starting on Shawmut Avenue [now Washington Street] at the town of West Roxbury border, north along this border to the Muddy River, northeast along this river (being the border with the town of Brookline) almost to the river, right along the old border between the cities of Boston and Roxbury, right along the same border, right again and coming down to Tremont Street, right on that street , left on Culvert Street, right on an unnamed street [Cabot Street?] through Shailers Avenue and Putnam Street, right on Dudley Street, sharp left at Eliot Square and down Bartlett Street, right on Shawmut Avenue to the beginning. [Note: Two churches]
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1870

Dorchester annexation adds Ward 16 in 1870
Map of Boston from the Lastest surveys (1870)
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 16 Town of Dorchester Being all the part of the town of Dorchester before annexation.
Brighton, Charlestown, and West Roxbury annexation adds Wards 17-22 in 1873
Map of Boston, for 1874 (1874)
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 17 West Roxbury Being all the part of the town of West Roxbury before annexation.
Ward No. 18 Brookline This was to be the former town of Brookline, but Brookline declined to be annexed so this ward never existed.
Ward No. 19 Brighton Being all the part of the town of Brighton before annexation.
Ward No. 20 Charlestown Square Starting at the Charles River and going up Chapman Street, diagonally right onto Austin Street, left on Main Street, right up Green Street, right on High Street, right on Winthrop Street, left along the north side of Winthrop Square [i.e. Adams Street], right on Chestnut Street, right on Chelsea Street, sharp diagonal left on Wapping Street to the Charles River.
Ward No. 21 Bunker Hill and Navy Yard From the river follow the previous border up Wapping, Chelsea, and Chestnut streets to Winthrop Square, along the north side of the square, up High Street, and right on Pearl Street in a line down to the Mystic River.
Ward No. 22 West Charlestown Starting at the Charles River and going up Chapman Street, diagonally right onto Austin Street, left on Main Street, right up Green Street, left on High Street, and right on Pearl Street in a line down to the Mystic River - all the land northwest of this line.
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1875

Boston Wards in 1875
Map of Boston (1876)
[includes the amended border change in 1876 and shows the old borders with Roxbury and Dorchester]
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 Northeast East Boston Beginning at Front Street on the harbor and up Porter Street through Central Square to Border Street, and left out between Week's Wharf and Jackson's Shipyard (that is included) on the Mystic River -- all land northeast of this line and including Breed's Island.
Ward No. 2 East Boston and the harbor islands Using the line above -- all land southwest of this line and including all of the harbor islands.
Ward No. 3 Northeast Charlestown and Navy Yard Starting on the Mystic River at the extension of Pearl Street, up Pearl Street, left on High Street, left on the east side of Monument Square, right on Chestnut Street, left on Mount Vernon Avenue, right on Mount Vernon Street, left on Adams Street, right on the southwestern border of the Navy Yard to the Charles River.
Ward No. 4 West Charlestown As described, being all the land in that part called Charlestown that was not included in Wards 3 and 5.
Ward No. 5 Charlestown City Square Beginning at the Charles River at Caswell's Wharf and up the southwestern border of the Navy Yard, left on Adams Street, right up Mount Vernon Street, left on Mount Vernon Avenue onto Chestnut Street, left down the east side of Monument Square, right on High Street, left on Walker Street, diagonally across Main Street onto Lincoln Street through its extension to the border with the city of Somerville.
Ward No. 6 North End Beginning at and including the Charles River Bridge down Prince Street, right on Salem Street, diagonally across Hanover Street and left on Blackstone Street, right on North Street across Dock Square, left on Devonshire Street, left on Milk Street, left on India Street [different than map] and out and excluding India Wharf.
Ward No. 7 West End Beginning at and including the Charles River Bridge down Prince Street, right on Salem Street, diagonally across Hanover Street and left on Blackstone Street, right on North Street across Dock Square, left on Devonshire Street, right on State Street through Court Street, left on Howard Street, right on Bulfinch Street though Bowdoin Square, left onto Cambridge Street, right on Lynde Street through Leverett Street, veer right onto Causeway Street, and left on Beverly Street out to the Charles River.
Ward No. 8 Spaulding Rehab. Hospital - Suffolk County Jail Beginning at the Warren Bridge and out Beverly Street, right on Causeway Street, left on Leveret Street and through Lynde Street, right on Cambridge Street, left on Blossom Street, left on Allen Street to the Charles River.
Ward No. 9 Mass. General Hospital Starting at the Charles River and up Allen Street, right on Blossom Street, left on Cambridge Street, right on Joy Street, right on Beacon Street, right on Otter Street to the Charles River.
Ward No. 10 Public Garden / Common - State House - Downtown Crossing Starting at the northwest corner of the Public Garden east on Beacon Street, left on Joy Street, right on Cambridge Street through Bowdoin Square, right on Bulfinch Street, left on Howard Street, right on Court Street through State Street, right on Devonshire Street through Lincoln Street, right on Beach Street, left on Hudson Street, right on Kneeland Street through Eliot Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Boylston Street, and right on Arlington Street to the beginning.
Ward No. 11 Back Bay - Bay Village Beginning on the Charles River and out Otter Street, left on Beacon Street, right on Arlington Street, left on Boylston Street, right on Carver Street, left on Eliot Street, right on Warrenton Street, right on Tremont Street, veer right onto Chandler Street, lef on Berkeley Street, right on Lawrence Street, left on Dartmouth Street, right on Warren Avenue, left on West Newton Street, left on the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks, and right on West Chester Park to the Charles River.
Ward No. 12 South Station Starting at and including India Wharf, across and out India Street, left on Milk Street, right on Devonshire Street through Lincoln Street, right on Beach Street, left on Hudson Street, right on Kneeland Street through Eliot Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Boylston Street, left on Carver Street, left on Eliot Street, right on Warrenton Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Pleasant Street, right on Washington Street, left on Pine Street through Way Street, and veer right onto Broadway to the bridge at Fort Point Channel.
Ward No. 13 Northwestern side of South Boston Starting on Fort Point Channel at the Dover Street Bridge down into South Bay to the junction of the with the New York & New England Railroad and the Old Colony Railroad tracks, continuing right out the Old Colony tracks, left on D Street, right on West Sixth Street, and left on E Street out the Boston Harbor.
Ward No. 14 East end of South Boston Starting on the Boston Harbor and down E Street, left on West Broadway, right on Dorchester Street, and left on Old Harbor Street to Dorchester Bay -- all lands east of this line.
Ward No. 15 Andrew Square Starting on Dorchester Bay and up Old Harbor Street, right on Dorchester Street, left on West Broadway, left on E Street, right on West Sixth Street, left on D Street, right on the Old Colony Railroad tracts, left on the New York and New England Railroad tracks, left on the extension and then onto Willow Court, left on Dorchester Street, right on Mount Vernon Street to Dorchester Avenue, and then a straight line to Dorchester Bay.
Ward No. 16 Castle Square Starting at Fort Point Channel and up Broadway, left on Way Street through Pine Street, right on Washington Street, left on Pleasant Street, left on Tremont Street, veer right onto Chandler Street, left on Berkeley Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Milford Street through Bradford Street and through Medford Street, left on Washington Street, right on Ashland Place onto Bristol Street, left on Albany Street, and right on the Dover Street Bridge on Fort Point Channel.
Ward No. 17 East side of the South End Beginning at Fort Point Channel and South Bay at the Dover Street Bridge, left on Albany Street, right on Bristol Street through Ashland Place, left on Washington Street, right on Medford Street through Bradford Street and Milford Street, right on Tremont, left on Berkeley Street, left on Lawrence Street, left on Dartmouth Street, right on Warren Avenue, left on West Brookline Street through East Brookline Street to the South Bay.
Ward No. 18 West side of the South End Starting on the South Bay and up East Brookline Street through West Brookline Street, left on Warren Avenue, right on West Newton Street, left on the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks, left on Camden Street, right on Washington Street, left on Lenox Street, left on Fellow Street, sharp right on Northampton Street, and sharp left onto Albany Street to the Roxbury Canal and out to the South Bay.
Ward No. 19 Madison Square At Camden Street on the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks out, left on Tremont Street, right on Pynchon Street, left on Roxbury Street, left on Washington Street, and left on Camden Street to the beginning.
Ward No. 20 Dudley Square - Cottage Avenue Starting at the South Bay and up the Roxbury Canal, left on Albany Street, sharp right onto Northampton Street, sharp left on Fellow Street, right on Lenox Street, left on Washington Street, veer left on Warren Street, left on Dudley Street, right on Greenville Street, right on Blue Hill Avenue, left on Quincy Street, left on Columbia Street through Boston Street and Dorchester Street, and left on Willow Court out to South Bay.
Ward No. 21 Fort Hill - Washington Park - Grove Hall Starting at where Tremont Street crosses the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks, right on Pynchon Street, left on Roxbury Street, left on Washington Street, right on Warren Street, left on Dudley Street, right on Greenville Street, right on Blue Hill Avenue, left on Seaver Street through Egleston Square, right on Washington Street, left on Codman Avenue, sharp right on Amory Street until it meets Centre Street and the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks, and right along the tracks to the beginning.
Ward No. 22 Mission Hill to the planned Fenway and all of Brighton
[This is the 1876 amended version that added Ward 25 (Brighton) to this ward]
Starting at the Charles River and down West Chester Park, right on the Boston & Providence Railroad tracks, right on Centre Street through Perkins Street, right on Pond Avenue to the Muddy River and border for the town of Brookline, right along this border with Brookline, left on Brighton Avenue along the northern town border and then including everything west of this point being the former town of Brighton.
Ward No. 23 West Roxbury - Roslindale - Jamaica Plain Starting at the border with the town of Brookline and down Pond Avenue, right on Perkins Street through Centre Street, right on Amory Street, left on Codman Avenue, right on Washington Street, left through Egeleston Square and Searver Street, right on Blue Hill Avenue, veer right on Back Street to the border with the town of Hyde Park -- all land west of this line.
Ward No. 24 Dorchester - Mattapan Starting at Dorchester Bay and a straight line to Dorchester Avenue, across and up Mount Vernon Street, left on Dorchester Street through Boston Street and Columbia Street, right on Quincy Street, left on Blue Hill Avenue, veer right on Back Street to the border with the town of Hyde Park, left along the town line to the Neponset River, and down the river to Dorchester Bay.
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1895

Boston Wards in 1895
Map of the City of Boston and Vicinity (1896)
An Outline Map of Boston showing the old & new ward lines also the old Congressional lines (1896) - no streets
Ward Modern Description Boundary
Ward No. 1 Northeast East Boston Starting at the harbor going up Front Street [not shown on map] and up Marion Street, left on Bennington Street through Central Square, right onto Border Street past first main pier and left out to the Mystic River -- all land northeast of this line plus Breed's Island.
Ward No. 2 East Boston and the harbor islands Using the line from above -- all land southwest of this line plus all the harbor islands.
Ward No. 3 Northeast Charlestown and Navy Yard Starting at and including Brook's Wharf on the Mystic River, across Medford Street and up Pearl Street, left on High Street along the south side of Monument Square, left up the east side of the square, right on Chestnut Street, verge left onto Mount Vernon Avenue, right on Mount Vernon Street, across Adam and Chelsea streets along the Navy Yard's southwest border to the Charles River -- all land northeast of this line.
Ward No. 4 West Charlestown Beginning at the Mystic River at the border between the city of Boston and Somerville and along this border to a point on the Boston and Maine Railroad tracks where the extension of Lincoln Street would be, left up that extension along Lincoln Street, right on Main Street, left up Walker Street. right on High Street, left on Pearl Street in a straight line to the west of Brook's Wharf on the Mystic River -- all land west of this line plus the island on the north side of the Mystic River where the Malden Bridge lands.
Ward No. 5 Charlestown City Square Starting at Miller's River up the city of Boston and Somerville line, right on the extension of Lincoln Street (above mentioned) through Lincoln Street, right on Main Street, left on Walker Street, right on High Street along the south side of Monument Square, left up the east side of the square, right on Chestnut Street, verge left onto Mount Vernon Avenue, right on Mount Vernon Street, across Adam and Chelsea streets along the Navy Yard's southwest border to the Charles River -- all the land south of this line to the Miller's and Charles rivers.
Ward No. 6 North End Starting at the south side of Long Wharf across Atlantic Avenue, up Central Street, right on India Street, left on Milk Street, right on Washington Street, left on School Street across and up Beacon Street, right on Bowdoin Street, right on Cambridge Street, left on Chardon Street, left on Portland Street, right on Travers Street, left on Charlestown Street, right on Causeway Street, left on Prince Street to the Charles River.
Ward No. 7 Boston Common - Chinatown - South Station - Financial District Starting at Fort Point Channel up Broadway, left on Way Street, left on Harrison Avenue, right on Motte Street through Castle Street, right on Tremont Street, left on Pleasant Street, right on Columbus Avenue through Park Square, left on Charles Street, right on Beacon Street across through School Street, right on Washington Street, left on Milk Street, left on India Street, right on Central Street to the south side on Long Wharf on the harbor.
Ward No. 8 Mass. General Hospital - North Station Starting at the West Boston Bridge [now Longfellow Bridge] down Cambridge Street, right on Joy Street, left on Beacon Street, left on Bowdoin Street, right on Cambridge Street through Bowdoin Square, left on Chardon Street, sharp left on Portland Street, right on Travers Street, diagonal left on Charlestown Street, right on Causeway Street, and left on Prince Street to the river.
Ward No. 9 Southeastern South End Starting at Fort Point Channel up Broadway, left on Way Street, left on Harrison Avenue, right on Motte Street through Castle Street, left on Tremont Street, left on West Dedham Street, right on Shawmut Avenue, left on East Canton Street through to its extension to South Bay.
Ward No. 10 East Fenway through northern South End Starting at the Back Bay Fens at Boylston Street on the east, in on Boylston Street, right on Exeter Street, left on Blagden Street through Copley Square onto St. James Street, left on Berkeley Street, right on Providence Street to Park Square, right down Pleasant Street, right on Tremont Street, right on Dartmouth Street, left on Warren Avenue, diagonally across Columbus Avenue onto West Newton Street, left along the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks, sharp right on Rogers Avenue, left on Huntington Avenue, right on the entrance to the Back Bay Fens, and along the Muddy River to the beginning.
Ward No. 11 Boston University - West Fenway - Back Bay - Flat of the Hill Starting on the Charles River at the West Boston Bridge [now Longfellow Bridge] out Cambridge Street, tight on Joy Street, right on Beacon Street, left on Charles Street through Park Square, right on Providence Street, left on Berkeley Street, right on St. James Avenue through Copley Square onto Blagden Street, right on Exeter Street, left on Boylston Street across the Muddy River and continue on Boylston Street, along the Muddy River to the extension of St. Mary's Street, down St. Mary's Street to the Charles River.
Ward No. 12 Western side of the South End Starting at the South Bay up East Canton Street, right on Shawmut Avenue, left on West Dedham Street across Tremont Street and up Dartmouth Street, left on Warren Avenue, diagonally across Columbus Square up West Newton Street, left on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks, left on Camden Street, right on Washington Street, left on East Lenox Street, right on Fellows Street, right on Northampton Street, left on Albany Street, right on Massachusetts Avenue, left along the Roxbury Canal out to South Bay.
Ward No. 13 Northwestern side of South Boston Starting at a point on South Bay where the Dorchester Avenue and the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad and go along Dorchester Avenue, left on D Street, right onto the tracks, left on E Street, right on West Broadway, left on F Street to the harbor -- all lands northwest of this line.
Ward No. 14 East end of South Boston Starting at the Old Harbor up K Street, left on East 6th Street, right on H Street, left on East Broadway and turn onto West Broadway, right on F Street to the harbor -- all land east of this line.
Ward No. 15 North Andrew Square to Telegraph Hill Starting at a point on South Bay where the Dorchester Avenue and the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad and go along Dorchester Avenue, left on D Street, right onto the tracks, left on E Street, right on West Broadway, turn onto East Broadway, right on H Street, left on East 6th Street, right on K Street to the old harbor, right along the water, right up Old Harbor Street, left on Burnham Street, left on Mercer Street, right on Newman Street, left on Dorchester Street through Andrew Square and out Swett Street to South Bay.
Ward No. 16 South Andrew Square - Everett Square - Western Upham's Corner Starting on the Old Harbor up Old Harbor Street, left on Burnham Street, left on Mercer Street, right on Newman Street, left on Dorchester Street through Andrew Square and out Swett Street out the bridge, left on New York and New England Railroad tracks crossing Massachusetts Avenue, right on East Cottage through West Cottage Street, left on Blue Hill Avenue, left on Quincy Street, left on Columbia Street through Upham's Corner onto Boston Street to Everett Square, left on East Cottage across Town Meeting Square onto Crescent Avenue, left on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, right on the Carson Street extension to the Old Harbor.
Ward No. 17 Dudley Square of Roxbury Starting at South Bay and up the Roxbury Canal, right on Massachusetts Avenue, left on Albany Street, right on Northampton Street, left on Fellows Street, right on East Lenox Street, left on Washington Street, left on Warren Street, left on Moreland Street, right on Blue Hill Avenue, left on West Cottage onto East Cottage, left on New York and New England Railroad to South Bay.
Ward No. 18 Madison Square area of Roxbury Starting on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks at Camden Street, out on the tracks, left on Linden Park Street, right on Gay Street, right on Roxbury Street to Eliot Square, very sharp left Bartlett Street onto Dudley Street, left on Warren Street onto Washington Street, and left on East Camden Street back to the beginning.
Ward No. 19 Mission Hill area of Roxbury Starting at the Back Bay Fens on the Muddy River (and the border with the town of Brookline), out the entrance, left on Huntington Avenue, right on Rogers Avenue, right on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, left on Linden Park Street, right on Gay Street, right on Roxbury Street across Eliot Square, left on Highland Street, right on Marcella Street, left on Centre Street, right on Heath Street [different than on map] to New Heath Street, left on Bickford Street, right on Minden Street, left on Day Street, right on Grotto Glen and extension across the Jamaicaway to the Muddy River, right along the river and border with the town of Brookline back to the beginning.
Ward No. 20 Mount Bowdoin northeast to Savin Hill in Dorchester Starting on Dorchester Bay up Greenwich Street, left on Dorchester Avenue, right Centre Avenue to what now is Codman Square, right on Talbot Avenue, right on Blue Hill Avenue, right on Quincy Street, left on Columbia Street through Upham's Corner onto Boston Street to Everett Square, left on East Cottage across Town Meeting Square onto Crescent Avenue, left on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, right on the Carson Street extension to the Old Harbor.
Ward No. 21 Washington Park to Grove Hall of Roxbury Starting at Eliot Square out on Bartlett Street onto Dudley Street, right on Warren Street, left on Moreland Street through Emmanuel Street, right on Blue Hill Avenue through Grove Hall, right on Seaver Street, right on Walnut Avenue, left on Westminster Avenue, right on Washington Street, left on Valentine Street, right on Thornton Street, left on Ella Street, left on Hawthorn Street, right on Highland Street to Eliot Square.
Ward No. 22 Jamaica Plain - Egleston Square Starting at Jamaica Pond out on Pond Street on the border with the town of Brookline, right on Myrtle Street, right on Centre Street, veer left onto South Street at the Soldier's Monument, left on Carolina Avenue, left on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks, right on Green Street across Washington Street onto Glen Road across Forest Hills Street onto Sigourney Street onto Walnut Street, left on Westminster Avenue, right on Washington Street, left on Valentine Street, right on Thornton Street, left on Ella Street, left on Hawthorn Street, left on Highland Street onto Marcella Street, merge onto Centre Street, left on Centre Street, right on Heath Street [different than on map] to New Heath Street, left on Bickford Street, right on Minden Street, left on Day Street, right on Grotto Glen and extension across the Jamaicaway to the Muddy River, left along the Muddy River and the border with the town of Brookline to the beginning.
Ward No. 23 West Roxbury - Roslindale - Forest Hills Starting at Jamaica Pond out on Pond Street on the border with the town of Brookline, right on Myrtle Street, right on Centre Street, veer left onto South Street at the Soldier's Monument, left on Carolina Avenue, left on the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad tracks, right on Green Street across Washington Street onto Glen Road across Forest Hills Street onto Sigourney Street onto Walnut Street, right on Seaver Street, right on Blue Hills Avenue, right on Harvard Street to the border of the city of Boston and town of Hyde Park, left along the border with Hyde Park, right onto the border with the town of Dedham, right onto the border with the city of Newton, right onto the border with the town of Brookline back to the beginning.
Ward No. 24 Mattapan - Lower Mills - Ashmont - Neponset - Harrison Square Starting on Dorchester Bay up Greenwich Street, left on Dorchester Avenue, right Centre Avenue to what now is Codman Square, right on Talbot Avenue, left on Blue Hill Avenue, diagonally across Blue Hill Avenue onto Harvard Street to the border of the city of Boston and town of Hyde Park, left along the border with Hyde Park to the Neponset River, left down the river along the border with the town of Milton and city of Quincy to Dorchester Bay.
Ward No. 25 Allston - Brighton Starting at the Charles River at St. Mary's Street [Abbey Street on map] to Commonwealth Avenue -- all lands west of this line being the former town of Brighton.
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1912

Hyde Park annexation adds Ward 26 in 1912
The entirety of the former town of Hyde Park constitutes the whole of Ward 26


1914

Boston Wards in 1914
No ward map found online
You can use the Boston Atlases, 1873-1938, by neighborhood


By this time, the wards come more neighborhood centric and so only the neighborhoods will be given from here forward to describe the ward geography.

Ward Description Ward Description
Ward No. 1 East Boston Dist. North
Ward No. 14 Roxbury Dist. West
Ward No. 2 East Boston Dist. South and the harbor islands Ward No. 15 Roxbury Dist. - Roxbury St. to Franklin Park
Ward No. 3 Charlestown Dist. West Ward No. 16 Roxbury Dist. - Moreland St. to Franklin Park
Ward No. 4 Charlestown Dist. East Ward No. 17 Dorchester Dist. - Blue Hill Ave. to Savin Hill
Ward No. 5 Boston Proper - North End, and East Side to Broadway Ward No. 18 Dorchester Dist. - Grove Hall to Field's Corner
Ward No. 6 Boston Proper - South End to Tremont St. Ward No. 19 Dorchester Dist. - Franklin Park to Dorchester Ctr.
Ward No. 7 Boston Proper - Back Bay East Ward No. 20 Dorchester Dist. - Ashmont to Neponset River
Ward No. 8 Boston Proper - West End and Back Bay West Ward No. 21 Dorchester Dist. - Franklin Park to Lower Mills
Ward No. 9 South Boston Dist. North Ward No. 22 Jamaica Plain and Forest Hills
Ward No. 10 South Boston Dist. South Ward No. 23 West Roxbury Dist. and Roslindale
Ward No. 11 Dorchester Dist. - South Bay to Upham's Corner Ward No. 24 Hyde Park Dist. and Mattapan West
Ward No. 12 Roxbury Dist. East Ward No. 25 Brighton Dist. South
Ward No. 13 Roxbury Dist. Center Ward No. 26 Brighton Dist. North
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1924

Boston Wards in 1924
No ward map found online
You can use the Boston Atlases, 1873-1938 by neighborhood

This redistricting for the first time reduced the number of wards from 26 down to 22. Also, the harbor island were not included in any ward, so it is assumed no one was then living there.

Ward Description Ward Description
Ward No. 1 East Boston
Ward No. 12 Roxbury East
Ward No. 2 Charlestown Ward No. 13 Dorchester North
Ward No. 3 Boston Proper Ward No. 14 Dorchester West
Ward No. 4 Back Bay South and the Fenway Ward No. 15 Dorchester North Central
Ward No. 5 Back Bay Ward No. 16 Dorchester South
Ward No. 6 South Boston North Ward No. 17 Dorchester Center
Ward No. 7 South Boston South Ward No. 18 Hyde Park and Mattapan
Ward No. 8 South End and Roxbury North Ward No. 19 Jamaica Plain and Roslindale East
Ward No. 9 Roxbury Center Ward No. 20 West Roxbury and Roslindale West
Ward No. 10 Roxbury West Ward No. 21 Brighton South
Ward No. 11 Roxbury South and Forest Hills Ward No. 22 Brighton North
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City Streets

Introduction

With Boston's aggressive program of landfill and annexation of neighboring towns, the city landscape of streets was ever-changing. This is the researcher's guide to these streets, the additions, but also the deletions or moving of a name from one area to another.

The first listing of streets for the town of Boston was published as a broadside called The Names of the Streets, Lanes & Alleys within the Town of Boston, in New England (Boston, 1708). The Vade Mecum for America (Boston, 1732) was the first commercial guide designed for travellers. After the Revolution, some names of English or Royal bent were changed. The town ordered a new list made and it was recorded in the Town Records in 1788 that was recorded in book 8 starting on page 81. A second unofficial list was published called Names of the Streets, Lanes and Alleys in the Town of Boston in 1800. Street lists began to appear in the Boston City directories starting in 1803. The next official list came in 1834 when the 1708 and 1788 lists were reprinted and then updated with streets in the annexed South Boston, formerly Dorchester Neck. This was reprinted later the same year. An update to this report was published in 1842. As a byproduct of a project to index plans at the Suffolk Registry of Deeds in 1860, Francis Lincoln found it necessary to prepare a list of streets and their changes. This can be found there in manuscript form.

Because of the annexation of Roxbury, a list of changes in names for street in Boston proper and Roxbury was given in 1868 to eliminate the confusion caused by the duplication of names [see Municipal Records, Vol. 46, pp. 286-408, city Doc. No. 49, 1868]. The great study of street names and their history post-1708 was published in 1879 [see City Doc. No. 119 for 1879, Appendix J]. This included the work in 1860, but the problem was it only focused on Boston proper and many more towns had been annexed by that time. The Street Commissioners reported on 27 December 1880 to the city Council a Report of the Street Commissioners on the Nomenclature of the City's Streets [see City Doc. No. 141 for 1880] of suitable names the duplicate streets could be given. The rest of the publication history is presented in the lists to follow.

Unofficial lists (early)

  1. Vade Mecum for America; or a companion for traders and travellers (Boston, 1732), pp. 206-214.
    Digital version at Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  2. Boston Streets, Wards and Landmarks (Boston, 1826-1873) - 24 issues.
    No known digital versions.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  3. A List of Boston Streets, etc., etc. (Boston, 1868), 52 pp.
    Digital version at Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  4. Boston Street Directory, a complete pocket guide to the streets, avenues, places, parks, squares, wharves, etc., containing also hotels, etc. (Boston, 1876), p. 24to.
    No digital version found.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  5. Boston Street Directory, a complete pocket guide to the streets, avenues, places, parks, squares, wharves, etc., containing also hotels, etc. (Boston, 1885), unknown pagination.
    No digital version found.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.

Official lists

  1. The Names of the Streets, Lanes & Alleys within the Town of Boston, in New England (Boston, 1708), broadside, Note: This was reproduced in the front of the records of streets published in 1910 (below).
    No digital version found of original, but see the 1910 reprint.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries - one of many versions); Not at FHL.
  2. The 1788 street name list published in the Documents of the City of Boston for the year 1903.
    Digital version at Google Books.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL.
  3. By a committee of the Board of Alderman, a third official list of streets was created in 1834 that utilized the first two lists and additions and deletions to 1834. This work included the streets from the recently annexed South Boston (in 1804). See city Records, Vol. 12, p. 179. This listed was formally submitted and adopted later in the year.
  4. The Committee on Laying Out and Widening Streets submitted a list an update to the previous report in 1842. See Municipal Record, Vol. 20, p. 297.
  5. Francis Lincoln who was preparing an index to plans at the Suffolk Registry of Deeds found it necessary to prepare a list of streets with their various names in 1860. This file was placed at the registry (so noted in 1910).
  6. An order was present to the Board of Aldermen in 1868 providing fo changes in the names of a number of streets in Boston proper and Roxbury that was intended to eliminate the confusion caused by the duplication of names in the newly annexed Roxbury bearing the same names as streets in Boston proper. See Municipal Records, Vol. 46, pp. 286-408, city Doc. No. 49 for 1868.
  7. The Joint Standing Committee on Ordinances in 1879 submitted a report consisting of a statement of the manner in which the streets of the city had been named and their names changed, together with the reasons of the committee for limiting their research into the history of the streets to the period subsequent to 1708, and explanation of the difficulty of the work and the process by which the committee had arrived at the result, being appendix J of their report. See City Doc. No. 119 for 1879. Note: This study was only for Boston proper and thus left the rest of the city unstudied.
  8. Report of the Street Commissioners on the Nomenclature of the City's Streets which was a list of the public streets in different parts of the city with similar names and "the title which the Commissioners have suggested to themselves as suitable for such of those streets as in their opinion should be renamed and appended to them." See city Doc. No. 141 for 1880.
  9. List of Streets, Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc. showing the number and divisions of those extending through more than one ward by the Board of Registrars of Voters.
    Digital versions at 1880 ed. and 1888 ed.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  10. James R. Carret agreed to prepare for the city a record of names of the streets in the city as found in its records, alphabetically arranged, showing the dates of laying out and the date of change in name of any streets which had taken place from 1871 to 1894. See city Doc. No. 35 for 1894.
  11. The above work was continued by J. H. Jenkins, John W. Morrison, and Irwin C. Cromack and appeared as Appendix B in the report of the Street Laying-Out Department for 1894. See city Doc. No. 35 for 1895.
  12. List of Streets, Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc. showing the number and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct together with the location of hotels, apartment-houses, etc. by the Board of Election Commissioners (Boston, 1896), 128 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  13. A Record of the Streets, Alleys, Places, Etc. in the City of Boston compiled under the Direction of the Street Commissioners and Printed by Order of the City Council with an Appendix containing a description of the Boundary, Wards and Aldermanic Districts of the City ... by the Street Laying-out Department (Boston, 1902), 466 pp.
    No digital version found.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  14. Boston Streets also its Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc., showing the numbers and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct, together with the location of hotels, apartment-houses, etc. by the Board of Election Commissioners (Boston, 1906), 156 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  15. A Record of the Streets, Alleys, Places, Etc. in the City of Boston ... with an Appendix containing a description of the Boundary Line of the City and also a Description of the Changes which have been made in it by Annexations, etc., from the date of the Settlement of the Town to 1910 by the Street Laying-out Department (Boston, 1910), xvi, 543 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  16. Boston Streets also its Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc., showing the numbers and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct, together with the location of hotels, apartment-houses, engine houses, school houses, institutions and hospitals by the Board of Street Commissioners (Boston, year varies).
    Digital versions by year: 1913; 1916; 1919; 1921; 1923; 1925; 1926; 1928; 1930; 1932; 1933; 1935.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries) - choose year; Not at FHL.
  17. Boston Streets also its Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc., showing the numbers and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct, together with the location of hotels, apartment-houses, engine houses, school houses, institutions, hospitals and Squares named in honor of World War veterans by the Board of Street Commissioners (Boston, year varies)
    Digital versions by year: 1936; 1939; 1941; 1944; 1948; 1951.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries) - choose year; Not at FHL.
  18. Boston Streets also its Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc., showing the numbers and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct, together with the location of Squares named in honor of World War veterans, hotels, fire stations, schools, institutions and hospitals, public libraries, parks and playgrounds by the Public Works Department (Boston, year varies).
    Digital versions by year: 1955; 1957 (supp. only); 1958; 1959 (supp. only); 1960 (supp. only); 1963.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries) - choose year; Not at FHL.
  19. Boston Streets also its Avenues, Courts, Places, Etc., showing the numbers and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct, together with the location of Squares named in honor of veterans, hotels, fire stations, police stations, schools, institutions and hospitals, public libraries, little city halls, parks, playgrounds, public buildings, historical sites, parking locations, and places of religious worship by the Public Works Department (Boston, year varies).
    Digital versions by year: 1971; 1976; 1982; 1989.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries) - choose year; Not at FHL.
  20. Street Directory including location of all streets with numbers at which other streets intersect by the Boston Transportation Department (Boston, year varies).
    Digital versions by year: 1993; 1999.
    Not in WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.

Official database

  1. Online database that gives the street's beginning and end, whether public, ward, precinct, district, Public Works Department section, and zip code.
Top of Page

Cemeteries

The following is a chronological list of cemeteries in present-day Boston proper, Boston Harbor, East Boston, and South Boston. For information on the areas annexed to Boston, see those separate town pages. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department runs a public / private cooperative program called the Historic Burying Grounds Initiative. From their website, you can learn more about the eighteen historic burying grounds in their oversight, find maps of them, newsletters of the program, and a mid-1980s database of fourteen of the cemeteries (missing Evergreen, Fairview, Mount Hope, and South End) giving the name, death date, cemetery, and location for each entry.

Boston proper cemeteries


1. King's Chapel Burying Ground, Tremont St., 1630. (B, C)

Note: There are interior tombs in the chapel dating back to 1749.
Wikipedia entry.

2. Copp's Hill or North Burying Ground, between Hull St. and Charter St., 1660. (B)

City of Boston cemetery website.
Wikipedia entry.

3. Granary Burying Ground, Common [now Tremont] St., 1660. (B, C)

City of Boston cemetery website.
Wikipedia entry.
  • "Burials in Boston's South (Granary) burial ground, 1708-1710" (Mss C 1040), 14 items, R Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  • Thomas Bridgman, The Pilgrims of Boston and their Descendants: also, inscriptions form the monuments in the Granary Burial Ground, Tremont Street (New York, 1856; rep. West Jordan, Utah, 1984), xvi, 406 pp.
    Note: Reprint printed with six original pages on one reprinted page.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Ancestry ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); WorldCat (Other Libraries) (reprint); FHL book 974.461 D2b and film 1425546 Item 1 (with digital link).
  • A Sketch of the Original and History of the Granary Burial Ground: With a list of the past and present owners of tombs (Boston, 1879), 21 pp.
    Digital version at Google Books.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL.
  • William Henry Whitmore, The Graveyards of Boston: Second Volume, Granary and Boston Common Epitaphs (Albany, N.Y., 188-), 128 pp.
    No digital version available.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL; NEHGS Library, Boston.
  • "Historical Sketch and Matters Appertaining to the Granary Burial-Ground" in Annual Report of the Cemetery Dept. of Boston, Fiscal Year 1901-1902 (Boston, 1902), p. 35-65. Offprint (Boston, 1902), 37 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Ogden Codman, Gravestone Inscriptions and Records of Tomb Burials in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Mass. (Salem, Mass., 1918; rep. Bowie, Md., 1997), 255 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V3g and film 873757 Item 4 (with digital link); FHL book 974.461 V3c (reprint ed.).
  • Alphabetical Indexes to Boston Burying Grounds (Boston, 1984-1985), 6 parts in 1 volume.
    Note: 6th part is the Granary Burying Ground.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL; NEHGS Library, Boston.

4. Quaker Burying Ground [site], Congress St., 1709. (B)

Note: The meeting house was burned in the Great Fire of 1760. Thwing [see History - Topographical above], 145, said the remains were re-interred in Lynn in 1827. Dunkle and Lainhart [see below as item B], 800, say William Mumford bought land on Brattle Square in 1694 for a Quaker meeting house and burying ground. The Society moved to Quaker Lane [now Congress Street] in 1708. This Society voted to discontinue in 1808. After eleven years of non-use, the remains of 111 people were exhumed and removed to Lynn. It was uncommon for Quakers to inscribe stones, so this lost cemetery was likely marked with fieldstones. The source for the later is not given.

5. Jewish Burial Ground, Chamber St., before 1734. (B)

Note: This burying ground was referenced in a deed of Isaac Solomon in 1735 as a "Burying Ground as it is now fenced in to the Jewish nation." Nothing more is known about this site. See Thwing [see History - Topographical above], 205-206.

6. Central or Boston Common Burying Ground, Boylston St., 1756. (B, C)

Wikipedia entry.
  • William Henry Whitmore, The Graveyards of Boston: Second Volume, Granary and Boston Common Epitaphs (Albany, N.Y., 188-), 128 pp.
    No digital version available.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL; NEHGS Library, Boston.
  • Ogden Codman, Gravestone Inscriptions and Records of Tomb Burials in the Central Burying Ground, Boston Common, and Inscriptions in the South Burying Ground, Boston (Salem, Mass., 1917), 167 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V3cb or film 873757 Item 5 (with digital link).
  • Alphabetical Indexes to Boston Burying Grounds (Boston, 1984-1985), 6 parts in 1 volume.
    Note: 6th part is the Granary Burying Ground.
    Not on WorldCat; Not at FHL; NEHGS Library, Boston.

7. South Burying Ground or South End Cemetery, Washington St. between East Newton and East Concord Sts., South End, 1810-1866. (A, B)

From the city's Historic Burying Ground Initiative: When the South End Burying Ground was opened in 1810, it was located on the narrow strip of marshland, Roxbury Neck, which connected the peninsula of Boston to the mainland. The gallows stood at the east edge of the burying ground, near the tidewaters of South Boston Bay, leading to the persistent myth that primarily hanged pirates and other criminal were buried here. In fact, it is difficult to know exactly who is buried here. In the nineteenth century, people of modest means had recorded, but unmarked graves. They could not afford elaborate headstones or other types of monumentation. While there are only 20 grave markers, records indicate that over 11,000 are buried at this site. Successive filling of the marshy site permitted burials in several tiers. It has been reported that South End Burying Ground contains the graves of paupers from the Alms House and inmates from the House of Industry. Mostly, though, this site is known as a working man's burying ground, where families paid a small fee to the City for burials. Interments ceased in this graveyard in 1866.

Note: Others have taken the short list of inscriptions (noted above and given below) into a long lost cemetery on Boston Neck, but in fact there is only one cemetery in this part of the city.

8. St. Paul's Cathedral Tombs [site], Tremont St., 1823-1914.

Note: The tombs were used to the late 19th century and the burials removed in 1914 -- some to Mount Hope Cemetery.

9. Park Street Church Tombs, Park St., 1824-1861.

Note: Some burials were re-interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, in 1861.

10. Old Trinity Church Tombs [site], Summer St., burned in the Great Fire of 1872.

Boston Harbor Island cemeteries


What is known about the cemeteries on the island comes from Edward Rowe Snow, The Islands of Boston Harbor, Their History and Romance 1626-1935 (Andover, Mass., 1935), 367 pp. with map, WorldCat (Other Libraries), Not at FHL. The only islands with cemeteries there now are "Deer Island" and "Long Island" - neither are technically islands any more.

11. Nix's Mate Island Cemetery [site], Mix Mate Island, Boston, Harbor, 1724-1735.

Note: Used for the burial of some pirates.

12. Castle Island Cemetery, now through landfill, the tip of South Boston, 1762.

There were several individual sites on the island and the cemetery on the southern point. Some burials were moved to Governor's Island in 1892 and others to Deer Island in 1908.

13. Thompson's Island Cemetery [site], Thompson's Island, Boston Harbor, 1842.

A Boston Death record lists a Charles H. Austin who was buried there in 1842.

14. Deer Island Cemetery, Deer Island, Boston Harbor, 1847.

This island has a Native American burial site from the King Philip's War in 1675-1676. The island was home to a quarantine station and many immigrants, mostly Irish, who died at the station were buried there in nameless graves. These are two separate sites. The burial grounds are now part of the park and the cemetery listed on maps nearby is Resthaven Cemetery (listed below) but included Waster Water Treatment Facility.

15. Governor's Island Cemetery [site], 19th century.

The cemetery was on the north slope of the hill and every grave was moved in 1908 to Deer Island.

16. Rainsford Island Cemetery [site], 1871-1920.

Note: This cemetery may no longer exist and it not mentioned in the history above or David Allen Lambert, A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries. The island was home to the adult male Paupers' House from 1871 to 1888. Those residences were moved over to nearby Long Island then and the building housed the adult female paupers. It became the House of Reformation from 1895 to 1920 that was renamed the Suffolk School for Boys. Burials were made from the Paupers' House.

17. Long Island Hospital Cemetery, Long Island, Boston Harbor, 1893.

The Almshouse was here and buried over 2500 there by 1935. These graves are only marked by lot numbers.

18. Resthaven Cemetery, Deer Island, Boston Harbor, 1918.

Note: This island was home to a prison, reform school, a fort, and other buildings. There were two cemeteries for these different facilities, one for prisoners and hospital patients and the other for military personnel. The military remains wer re-interred at Fort Devens Cemetery in Ayer, Mass. The others were moved to the New Rest Haven Cemetery.

East Boston cemeteries


19. Bennington Street Burying Ground, Bennington corner of Swift Sts., East Boston, 1819. (A)

20. Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery, Wordsworth St., East Boston, 1844.

South Boston cemeteries


21. South Boston Tombs [site], West Seventh and Dorchester Sts., South Boston, 1810.

Note from Toomey and Rankin, History of South Boston, p. 127: Fifteen tombs were built on the spot where the Shurtleff school was and it was supposed that it was used only for a short time.

22. Hawes Burying Ground, Old Road now Emerson St., South Boston, 1816. (A, B)

Thomas Hill, "The Only Protestant Burial Ground in South Boston" (mss., 1901) (Mss C 3389), 10 p., R Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.

23. St. Augustine's Cemetery, West Sixth St. west of Dorchester St., South Boston, 1819.

Note: This cemetery was filled not long after 1900.
The Archdiocese of Boston Archives holds the lot sales (1840-1859), burials (1850-1859), copies of gravestones (1819-1850), and an undated list of graves copied from the original records.

24. St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Tombs [site], Broadway near E St., South Boston, 1819.

Note: Tombs were built in the cellar of the church and these were removed in 1864 and re-interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Roslindale [a former section of West Roxbury].

25. Union Cemetery, East Fifth St., South Boston, 1841 (A).

Note: This is the newest and smallest cemetery in South Boston and adjoins the Hawes Burying Ground.

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Inventories of Some Boston Cemeteries (Boston, 1990)
WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
(B). Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, Inscriptions and Records of The Old Cemeteries of Boston (Boston, 2000), xiii, 914 pp.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V3d.
Available in an online database at New England Historic Genealogical Society ($).
(C). Charles Chauncey Wells and Suzanne Austin Wells, Preachers, Patriots & Plain Folks: Boston's Burying Ground Guide to King's Chapel, Granary, Central (Oak Park, Ill., 2004), 288 pp.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V37wc.

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Churches

The following is a list of churches established in Boston, East Boston, and South Boston by date founded. The earliest list of churches found was from Thomas Prince, The Vade Mecum for America: Or a Companion for Traders and Travellers (Boston, 1732), page 215, with "A List of the Houses of Publick Worship in Boston, with the Streets where they Stand, and the Times of the Foundation of the several Churches." There were fourteen listed then and by all accounts, there nothing established that were closed by then. The next authority used was John Hayward, A Gazetteer of Massachusetts (Boston, 1847), pp. 70-102, and Carroll D. Wright, Report of the Custody and Condition of the Public Records of Parishes, Towns, and Counties (Boston 1889). For information specific to Congregational churches, Harold Field Worthley, An Inventory of the Records of the Particular (Congregational) Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, Mass., 1970) was consulted.

The best resource for the vital records of the churches of Boston is Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) on CD [see WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL CD-ROM no. 1547]. The transcribers copied all baptisms, marriages, deaths, admissions, and dismissals from all Boston churches established before 1800 where records were found and include the first three parishes of Roxbury. Some transcriptions go beyond 1800. The only church not giving permission for their records to be included was the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (the oldest Catholic Church in New England). This is available online as a database at New England Historic Genealogical Society ($).

Another interesting source for early churches is Martin Moore, Boston Revival, 1842: A Brief History of the Evangelical Churches of Boston (Boston, 1842; rep. Wheaton, Ill., 1980), viii, 148 pp., digital versions of the first edition at Internet Archive and Google Books.

1. First Church, Old Church or Old Brick Church [now First Church of Boston], 1630.

Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • King Street [later called State St.] at the corner of Devonshire St., 1632-1639 [see sketch].
  • Cornhill [later called Washington St.], 1639-1808. This building burned in 1711 and a new brick church built on the same spot the following year called the Old Brick Church [see painting of building, 1712-1808]. This building was sold in 1808.
  • Chauncey Place, 1808-1868 [see sketch].
  • 66 Marlborough Street, 1868 to present [see 19th century image or 1920 view].
Note:
  • A fire destroyed its building in 1968, and after it merged with the Old North Church to form The First and Second Church of Boston.
  • Voted to change its name to the Society of the First Church in Boston in 2005.
Records:
Online resources:
Publications:
  • William Emerson, An Historical Sketch of the First Church in Boston: from its formation to the present period (Boston, 1812), [2], 256 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Hathi Trust.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Jeremiah Colburn, "Marriages in Boston, Mass. from the Original Certificates of the Clergymen Officiating" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 34 [1880]: 94-96, for 1707.
  • Arthur B. Ellis, History of the First Church in Boston, 1630-1880 (Boston, 1881), lxxxviii, 356 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1630-1699 (Boston, 1883; rep. 1908), vii, 281 pp.
    This volume includes baptisms from the First Congregational Church only.
    This volume was microfiched by the Family History Library, FHL fiche 6013405-6013407 and in digital versions at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Ancestry ($). In a database at American Ancestors or browse ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries), 1883 ed., 1908 ed.; FHL fiche 6013405-6013407.
    Sanford Charles Gladden, An Index to the Vital Records of Boston, 1630-1699 ([Boulder, Colo.], 1969), ii. 188 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 V22g.
  • Anson Titus, "Marriages of Rev. Thomas Foxcroft, A.M., Boston. 1717-1769" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 42 [1888]: 152-155, 250-254.
  • Memorials in the First Church in Boston (Boston, 1926?), [40] pp., photographs with descriptive text.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Richard D. Pierce, ed., The Records of The First Church in Boston, 1630-1868 being vols. 39 to 41 in the Publications of The Colonial Society of Massachusetts: Collections (Boston, 1961), 1254 pp.
    Digital version of Vol. 1 only at DigitalCommons for viewing only (this takes a couple minutes to download file) and cannot be saved.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Leo W. Collins, This is Our Church: The Seven Societies of the First Church in Boston 1630-2005 (Boston, 2005), iii, 181 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
John Wilson (1632-1667) Benjamin Wadsworth (1696-1725) Rufus Ellis (1853-1886)
John Cotton (1633-1652) Thomas Bridge (1705-1715) Stopford Wentworth Brooke (1886-1898)
John Norton (1656-1663) Thomas Foxcroft (1717-1769) James Eells (1898-1905)
John Davenport (1668-1670) Charles Chauncey (1727-1787) Charles Edward Park (1906-1946)
James Allen (1668-1710) John Clarke (1778-1798) Duncan Howlett (1946-1958)
John Oxenbridge (1670-1674) William Emerson (1799-1811) Rhys Williams (1960-2000)
Joshua Moody, asst. (1684-1693) John Lovejoy Abbott (1813-1814) Stephen Kendrick (2001-20--)
John Bailey, asst. (1693-1697) Nathaniel L. Frothingham (1815-1850) Rosemary Lloyd (2005-20--)
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2. Second Church or North Church and latter the Old North Church, 1650-1970.

Wikipedia pages: Second Church, Boston (historic church) and Second Church in Boston (last building).
Locations:
  • North Square [called Church Square in 1732] in the North End, 1650-1776 [see sketch].
    Burned in 1676, rebuilt on old site, British troops tear down building for firewood in 1776.
  • Middle Street [became part of Hanover Street in 1824] in the North End, 1779-1849.
    This was formerly the church for the Seventh Church or so-called New Brick Church and became the Old North Church.
  • Freeman Place on Beacon Hill, 1849-1854.
  • Bedford Street in the Financial District, 1854-1872.
  • Boylston Street at Copley Square, 1874-1914.
  • 874 Beacon Street on the corner with Park Drive, 1914-1970.
Notes:
  • Some members left to form the New North Church in 1714.
  • A group of Old Light members led by Samuel Mather seceded in 1742 to form the Tenth Church. When their pastor died in 1785, they rejoined this church.
  • Congregation invited to combined services at the New Brick Church (i.e. Seventh Church ) after British troops destroyed the Old North Church in 1776.
  • This church merged with the Seventh Church [or so-called New Brick Church] to be called the Old North Church in 1779.
  • Church shifts to Unitarian doctrine in 1802.
  • Church building demolished in 1844 and rebuilt on the same site in 1845 and called The Second Church.
  • Church purchased the Freeman Place Chapel and moved there. They sold their Hanover Street building to a Methodist congregation.
  • Church merged with the Church of Our Savior and moved into their building on Bedford Street in 1854. They sold the Freeman Place building.
  • Church on Bedford Street dismantled, the land sold, and reassembled the building with slight modifications in Copley Square that opened in 1874.
  • Brought property at the corner of Beacon Street and Park Drive in 1913 and built a church in 1914.
  • The Second Church joined the First Church to form The First and Second Church of Boston in 1970.
Records:
  • A note in the earliest original book state that after 23 years of existence, the church had yet to get a record book and that this sad state of affairs was impossible to restore it to a desirable record. The contemporary records begin in 1673.
  • The church vital records from 1741 to 1768 were lost during the Revolutionary War according to Worthley, but most seem present.
  • Second Church (Boston, Mass.), Records, 1650-1970, held at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • John Lathrop, account book, 1780-1802, minister of the Second Church, held by the Baker Library, Harvard Business School.
  • Second Church, records, 1676-1816, FHL film 856699 Item 2.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • Richard Mather, John Cotton, and James Allen, A platform of church-discipline; : gathered out of the Word of God; and agreed upon by the elders and messengers of the churches assembled in the Synod at Cambridge in N.E. : To be presented to the churches & General Court for their consideration & acceptance in the Lord, the 8th. month, anno. 1649 (1649; rep. Boston, 1701, by the Second Church), [26], 64, [6] pp.
    Digital transcription online.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Henry Ware, Two Discourses containing the History of the Old North and New Brick Churches, united as the Second Church in Boston (Boston, 1821), 61 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Catalogue of Books Belonging to the Library of the Second Church, 1832 (Boston, 1832), 17 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Chandler Robbins, A History of the Second Church, or Old North, in Boston: to which is added a History of the New Brick Church (Boston, 1852), viii, 320 pp.
    Admissions and baptisms on pp. 226-291.
    Digital versions available at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 K2rc.
  • Catalogue of Books Belonging to the Library (Boston, 1854), 56 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Jeremiah Colburn, "Marriages in Boston, Mass. from the Original Certificates of the Clergymen Officiating" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 34 [1880]: 94-96, for 1701 and 1715.
  • Francis H. Brown, The Historical and Other Records Belonging to the Second Church in Boston ([Boston, 1888]), 12 pp.
    Digital version available at Hathi Trust.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • George Henry Eager, Historical Sketch of the Second Church in Boston (Boston, 1894), 43 pp.
    Digital Version available at Internet Archive.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Three Centuries of Christian Church Life, 1649-1949 ([Boston], 1949), 13 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • John Nicholls Booth, The Story of the Second Church in Boston, the original Old North; including the Old North Church Mystery (Boston, 1959), 92 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
John Mayo (1655-1673) Ralph Waldo Emerson (1829-1832) Dudley Hays Ferrell (1931-1932)
Increase Mather (1664-1723) Chandler Robbins (1833-1874) DuBois LeFevre (1933-1940
Cotton Mather (1685-1728) Robert Laird Collier (1876-1878) Walton E. Cole (1941-1945)
Joshua Gee (1723-1748) Edward Augustus Horton (1880-1892) G. Ernest Lynch Jr. (1947-1949)
Samuel Mather (1732-1741) Thomas Van Ness (1893-1913) Clayton Brooks Hale (1950-1957)
Samuel Checkley Jr. (1747-1768) Samuel Raymond Maxwell (1914-1919) John Nicholls Booth (1958-1964)
John Lathrop (1768-1816) Eugene Rodman Shippen (1920-1929) John K. Hammon (1964-1970)
Henry Ware Jr. (1817-1830)
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3. Quaker Meetinghouse, 1661-1808, 1870-present.

Locations:
  • Brattle Street on the part that was later called Brattle Square, to ca. 1710.
    The Society of Friends met in Boston as early as 1664. They built the first brick meeting house in Boston in 1694.
  • Leverett's Lane [also called Quaker Lane and later became Congress Street], ca. 1710-1808.
Notes:
  • Their meeting house was burned in the Great Fire of 1760 and they rebuilt on the same site.
  • They voted to "laid down" in 1808, though they met informally at Milton Place (in 1847).
  • The Boston meeting was officially restarted in 1870 and became a Monthly Meeting in 1883.
  • Boston Monthly Meeting merged into the Cambridge Monthly Meeting in 1944.
Records:
  • Boston Working Group, 1661-1707;
  • Boston Preparative Meeting, 1707-1792;
  • Boston Working Group, 1792-1808;
  • Boston Working Group, 1870-1879; and
  • Boston Preparative Meeting, 1879-1883 are
    All part of the Salem Monthly Meeting records held by the Rhode Island Historical Society.
  • Boston Monthly Meeting, 1883-1944, held by the Rhode Island Historical Society.
Publications:
Top of Page


4. Annabaptist Church or First Baptist Church, 1665.

Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • The group first met usually at the home of Thomas Gould, the first pastor, in Charlestown [not then part of Boston] and later at his place on Noodle's Island [now East Boston], 1665-1679.
  • The first meetinghouse built off from Back Street on the shore of the Mill Pond in the North End [later it became Stillman Street], 1679-1771.
  • They built a larger structure on the same site, 1771-1829.
  • They built a brick church on Hanover Street at the corner of Union Street, 1829-1854.
  • They moved to a brick building on Somerset Street on Beacon Hill, 1854-1877.
  • They moved to the Suffolk Street Chapel at the corner of Shawmut Avenue and Rutland Street in the South End, 1877-1882.
  • They moved to the church at 110 Commonwealth Avenue at the corner of Clarendon Street, 1882-present.
Notes:
  • This church was formed by two women and seven men in Charlestown in 1665.
  • Its doors were ordered nailed shut in 1680 by order of the Governor and Council for a week.
  • Its pastor Samuel Stillman help to establish Rhode Island College [now Brown University] and the first Baptist Missionary Society in America [now The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts] in 1764.
  • First African Church [now the People's Baptist Church in Roxbury] gathered here in 1805.
  • Established a sabbath school in 1816.
  • Found the Newton Theological School [now the Andover Newton Theological School] in 1825.
  • The congregation sold their church to a new congregation that formed in South Boston and the building was floated over to its new location in 1829.
  • The Shawmut Avenue Baptist Church merged with this church in 1877.
  • The church bought its present building from the Brattle Square Unitarian Society who had it constructed in 1872.
Records:
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • James M. Winchell, Jubilee Sermon: Two Discourses Exhibiting an Historical Sketch of the First Baptist Church in Boston from its First Formation in Charlestown 1655 to the Beginning of 1818 (Boston, 1819), 47 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • A Brief History of the First Baptist Church in Boston, with a list of its present members (Boston, 1839), 36 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • A Brief History of the First Baptist Church in Boston, with a list of its present members (Boston, 1843), 36 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • A Brief History of the First Baptist Church in Boston, with a list of its present members (Boston, 1853), 36 pp.
    Digital version at Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Historical Sketch of the First Baptist Church, Boston: With the Church covenant, articles of faith, and a list of present members (Boston, 1891), 64 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Nathan E. Wood, The History of the First Baptist Church of Boston (Philadelphia, 1899), x, 378 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL film 1320779 Item 3.
  • John W. Brush, Legacy of Faith: A Short History of the First Baptist Church of Boston (Groveland, Mass., 1965), 68 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
Thomas Gould (1665-1675) Francis Wayland Jr. (1821-1827) Herbert S. Johnson (1938-1940)
John Russell Jr. (1679-1680) Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor (1827-1830) Harry Howard Kruener (1940-1948)
Isaac Hull (1682-1689, 1694-1699) William Hague (1831-1837) John U. Miller (1949-1956)
John Emblem (1684-1699) Rollin Heber Neale (1837-1877) Edward L. Gunther (1958-1961)
Ellis Callender (1708-1726) Cephas Bennett Crane (1878-1894) Charles W. Griffin (1961-1970)
Elisha Callender (1718-1738) Philip Stafford Moxom (1894-1899) J. Walter Sillen (1971-1981)
Jeremiah Condy (1738-1764) Nathan Eusebius Wood (1894-1899) Milton P. Ryder (1982-2001)
Samuel Stillman (1764-1807) Francis Harold Rowley (1900-1910) Jay Warren VanHorn (2003-2006)
Joseph Clay (1807-1808) Austen Kennedy deBlois (1911-1925) Stephen Butler Murray (2008-20--)
James Manning Winchell (1814-1820) Harold Major (1926-1938)
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5. Third Church or South Church [now called Old South Church in Boston officially or the New Old North Church], 1669.

Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • Cedar Meeting House, 1670-1729.
    This was on Marlborough Street [between Summer and School Streets and became part of Washington Street in 1824 at the corner of Milk Street']. This building was torn down as it was no longer big enough, and the new brick meeting house (below) constructed on the same spot.
  • Old South Meeting House, 1729-1875.
  • 645 Boylston Street (at the corner of Dartmouth St.) on Copley Square, 1875-present.
Note:
  • This church was organized by twenty-eight members from the First Church who believed in the Halfway Covenant in 1669.
  • This congregation occupied King's Chapel from 1777 to 1782 during the Revolutionary War when that church's ministers fled.
  • This church joined with the Park Street Church to form the City Mission Society for the purpose of serving the city's poor in 1816.
Records:
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
Ministers: [with years served]
Thomas Thacher (1670-1678) John Bacon (1771-1775) Jacob M. Manning (1857-1882)
Samuel Willard (1678-1707) John Hunt (1771-1775) George Angier Gordon (1884-1927)
Ebenezer Pemberton (1700-1717) Joseph Eckley (1779-1811) Russell Henry Stafford (1927-1945)
Joseph Sewall (1713-1769) Joshua Huntington (1808-1819) Frederick M. Meek (1946-1973)
Thomas Prince (1718-1758) Benjamin B. Wisner (1821-1832) James W. Crawford (1974-2002)
Alexander Cumming (1761-1763) Samuel H. Stearns (1834-1836) Nancy S. Taylor (2005-20--)
Samuel Blair (1766-1769) George W. Blagden (1836-1872)
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6. French Huguenot Church, 1686-1748/1764.

Locations:
  • Boston offered the use of the Boston Latin School on School Street for as long as they needed, 1685-1715.
  • They purchased land on School Street in 1704 but were not allowed to build their church until 1715.
Note:
  • They sold their building to the Eleventh Congregational Church in 1748 as there were only seven congregants left.
  • Commemorative plaque about their church [no location given].
Records:
  • No extant records.
Publications:
Ministers: [with years served]
Laurentius Van den Bosch (1685-1685) Ezechiel Carre (1689-1691) Pierre Daille (1696-1715)
David de Bonrepos (1686-1688) Daniel Bondet (1694-1696) Andre Le Mercier (1715-1764)
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7. King's Chapel, 1688.

Wikipedia page.
Location:
  • 58 Tremont Street at the corner with School Street has been its only location.
Note:
  • The first building was a small wooden meeting house where the current building now standing, 1689, see sketch.
  • Box pews were built in 1712.
  • First church organ in New England installed here in 1714.
  • A larger building of Quincy granite replaced the dilapidated wooden structure. The lot to the east was purchased for the expansion. Work began in 1749 and the church opened in 1754. See a view in 1843 in a Philip Harry painting.
  • There was no minister for this church when the British were driven out in 1776. The building, then called the Stone Chapel, was used by the Old South Meeting House congregational with some of the old parishioners until the church settled a minister in 1782.
  • The Minister Rev. Henry Caner left for Halifax, N.S., with the church records in 1776. Seemingly these have been returned.
  • This congregation temporarily merged with Trinity Church from 1777 to 1781.
  • This church severed its ties with the Church of England in 1785, it has kept a quasi-Episcopalian form of church government, and considered Unitarian.
Records:
  • King's Chapel, records, 1686-1942, held by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Ms. N-1867.
  • "Graves with and without stones, King's Chapel, Boston, Mass.," Mss C 1021, R Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  • King's Chapel, records, i.e. baptisms (1703-1824), marriages (1718-1842), and burials (1714-1844), FHL films 837128, 856698 Item 2, 837129 Item 1.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
Ministers: [with years served]
Robert Ratcliffe (1686-1689) F. W. P. Greenwood (1836-1843) Palfrey Perkins (1933-1955)
Samuel Myles (1689-1728) Ephraim Peabody (1845-1856) Joseph Barth (1955-1965)
Roger Price (1729-1746) H. W. Foote (1861-1889) Carl Scovel (1967-1999)
Henry Caner (1747-1776) Howard Brown (1895-1921) Matthew McNaught (1999-2001)
American Revolution and Interregnum Harold Speight (1921-1926) Earl K. Holt III (2001-2009)
James Freeman (1782-1836) John Carroll Perkins (1926-1933) Dianne E. Arakawa (2009-20--)
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8. Fourth Church, Brattle Street Church, and last the Church in Brattle Square, 1698-1876.

Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • Brattle Street at Brattle Square.
  • Wood church building replaced by a brick building in 1772. See 1853 image of church.
  • Church building demolished on Brattle Street in 1872.
  • Started building a building at 110 Commonwealth Avenue at the corner of Clarendon Street in 1873. See image of church.
  • Opened the church at the new location in 1875 as the Brattle Square Church and then closed in 1876.
Notes:
  • The church was organized as a Congregational Church in 1698.
  • This church was also called the Manifesto Church for publishing its practice that differed from other Puritan churches in 1699.
  • This church at one time was called the Brattle Square Church.
  • The church moved to Unitarianism in 1805.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1872, but this proved financially burdensome that it was sold in 1876 and the society ended.
  • Church building on Commonwealth Avenue sold to the First Baptist Church in 1882.
Records:
  • The Brattle Street Church records, 1841-1872, burned in the Great Fire of 1872 according to the 1885 survey of public records.
  • Original church record book, 1699-1804, missing per Harold F. Worthley in 1970.
  • Church in Brattle Square, records, ca. 1699-1887, held by Boston Public Library, Rare Books, Mss. Ms.Bos.Z15.
  • Church in Brattle Square, records, held by the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, bMS 1, 1855-1884.
  • Part of "Index to Church records," card index to church records held by the City Clerk, this card index held by Boston City Archives.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
Ministers: [with years served]
Benjamin Colman (1699-1747) Peter Thacher (1785-1802) John Gorham Palfrey (1813-1831)
William Cooper (1716-1743) Joseph Stevens Buckminster (1805-1812) Samuel Kirkland Lothrop (1834-1876)
Samuel Cooper (1747-1783) Edward Everett (1814-1815)
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9. Fifth Church or New North Church, 1714-1863/1884.

Location:
  • North Street and became part of Hanover Street in 1824, now 401 Hanover Street. See 1843 sketch.
Notes:
  • This church was founded by members from the Second or Old North Church and built in 1714.
  • This church was rebuilt in 1730.
  • This church started building a brick church on North Street [now 401 Hanover Street] in the North End in 1802 and opened in 1804.
  • The building was sold to the Roman Catholics and renamed St. Stephen's Church in 1862.
  • This church merged with the Bulfinch Street Church in 1863 though this church society was active until 1884. The merged church ceased not long after this date.
Records:
  • New North Church, records, 1714-1870 (microfilm), held by the Boston Public Library.
    Being church registers, v. 1 (1714-1797) and v. 2 (1813-1870).
    Are original records held by the Rare Books and Manuscript Department?
    WorldCat (Other Libraries).
  • New North Church, records, 1714-1863 (microfilm), FHL films 837130 Item 1 and 856699 Item 5, being church registers, 1714-1797 and 1800-1863.
  • New North Church, Record of the sales of pews, 1799-1813, [50] pp., held by the Boston Public Library.
  • Minutes of the New North Religious Society, 1860-1884 (microfilm), held by the Boston Public Library.
    Are original records held by the Rare Books and Manuscript Department?
    WorldCat (Other Libraries).
  • "A list of marriages performed by John Webb," Mss C 1025, R Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society, and digital version at American Ancestors.
  • New North Church (Boston, Mass.) records, 1798-1813, Mss A 5367, R Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
    End sheet has "2d volume of records of the New North Church" and include meeting minutes, baptisms, marriages, lists of councils and ordinations, and deaths.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • Ephraim Eliot, Historical Notices of the New North Religious Society in the Town of Boston, with Anecdotes of the Reverend Andrew and John Eliot &c. &c.' (Boston, 1822), 51 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Thomas Bellows Wyman, comp., Robert J. Dunkle, trans., and Ann S. Lainhart, ed., The New North Church Boston 1714 (Baltimore, 1995), [5], 132 pp.
    This was a manuscript made by Thomas Bellows Wyman in 1867. A copy of this transcript at FHL film 837130 Item 3.
    A digital version of the book at Ancestry ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 K2wt.
Ministers: [with years served]
John Webb (1714-1750) Francis Parkman (1813-1845+) Arthur B. Fuller (1853-1859)
Peter Thatcher (1723-1739) Amos Smith (1842-1845+) Robert C. Waterston (1859-1860+)
Andrew Eliot (1742-1778) Joshua Young (1849-1853) William R. Alger (1855?-1872+)
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10. Sixth Church or New South Church, 1719-1866.

Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • The group built their wooden church on the Summer Street at Blind Lane [later Pond Street and now Bedford Street] in 1719 on land deeded by the town in 1715.
  • A new building of granite was erected on the same site in 1814. See circa 1850 image.
  • Conflicting facts say the building was either demolished in 1868 or destroyed by the Great Fire of 1872.
  • 101-113 Summer Street where the church stood was designated the Church Green Historic District in 1999.
Notes:
  • This church merged with the Suffolk Street Chapel and the Concord Street Chapel and reorganized in 1867 as a Unitarian church. The new church did not survive long after the merger per Harold Worthley (1970), but it appears as the New South Church in the 1885 survey.
Records:
  • New South Church, records, held by City Hall per Harold Worthley survey, 1970.
  • New South Church, baptisms and marriages, 1719-1812, FHL film 837129 Item 2.
  • New South Church (Boston, Mass.), records, 1800, 1815-1846, correspondence and pew deeds, Mss 826, R Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  • New South Church, minutes of meetings, 1719-1868 (microfilm), held by the Boston Public Library, being a transcription from the manuscript Minutes of meetings of the church and society, 1719-1868. Consists of records of members admitted into the church, notes and transactions of the church, children and adult persons baptized, persons that renewed covenants of baptism, and lists of marriages by the ministers of the church, ca. 1719-1811.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
Ministers: [with years served]
Samuel Checkley (1719-1769) John Thornton Kirkland (1794-1810) Alexander Young (1825-1854)
Penuel Bowen (1766-1772) Samuel Cooper Thacher (1811-1818) Orville Dewey (1857-1862)
Joseph Howe (1773-1775) F. W. P. Greenwood (1818-1821) William P. Tilden (1862-1866)
Oliver Everett (1782-1792)
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11. Seventh Church or New Brick Church, 1722-1779.

Locations:
  • Middle Street [now part of Hanover Street] at the corner of Wood Lane [later called Word Street on 1775 map, Proctor's lane by 1796, and now Richmond Street since 1824].
Note:
  • This church was organized by seceding members of the Fifth Church in 1722 and shown on the Bonner's Boston map of 1722 called New No. Brick Church, 1721.
  • It was called the Middle Street Church on Middle Street [later Hanover Street] in a travel guide of 1732.
  • After the destruction of the Second Church by British troops in 1779, this church merged with and became the Second Church.
Records:
  • Agreement among subscribers to build New Brick Church, 1720, Mss C 5144, R Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society, with online copy ($).
  • New Brick Church, records, 1722-1775, bound volume, [34 pp.], containing various records: church records (1722-1754), baptisms (1722-1775), owners of covenant (1728-1757), and admission to full membership (1722-1773), held by Boston Public Library - Special Collections.
  • New Brick Church, records, 1722-1776, FHL 856701 Item 4.
  • New Brick Church, committee book, 1761-1800 [sic], one stitched quire, [76 pp.], held by Boston Public Library - Special Collections.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • Henry Ware, Two discourses containing the history of the Old North and New Brick Churches, united as the Second Church in Boston: delivered May 20, 1821, at the completion of a century from the dedication of the present meeting-house in Middle-Street (Boston, 1821), 60 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Chandler Robbins, A History of the Second Church, or Old North, in Boston: to which is added a History of the New Brick Church (Boston, 1852), viii, 320 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 K2rc.
  • Thomas B. Wyman, "New Brick Church, Boston List of Person connected therewith from 1722 to 1775" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 18 [1864]: 237-240, 337-344; 19 [1865]: 230-235, 320-324.
Ministers: [with years served]
William Waldron (1722-1727) Ellis Gray (1738-1753) Ebenezer Pemberton (1754-1777)
William Welsted (1728-1753)
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12. Christ's Church, but commonly called the Old North Church, 1722.

Wikipedia page.
Location:
  • The church was built at what is now numbered as 193 Salem Street in the North End at the foot of Copp's Hill in 1732.
    The is Boston's oldest church building.
Notes:
  • Organized as the second Anglican church in Boston in 1722.
  • They built a stone church on Salem Street that opened in 1723.
  • The church was closed during the Revolution from April 1775 to August 1778.
  • The church steeple used by Sexton Robert Newman who hangs two lanterns at the request of Paul Revere to warn that the British were sailing up the Charles River to Cambridge to march on Lexington.
  • The steeple was blown down in October 1804 and replaced in 1806.
  • The church built the Salem Street Academy on the north side of its property in 1810 and the schoolhouse begins Boston's first Sunday school in 1815.
  • A building on the east side of the church is built for Sunday school in 1834.
  • The Italian Protestant Chapel of St. Francis is built on the south side of the church property for the Italian Waldensians.
  • Christ Church modified its administrative structure and as such was no longer organized as a parish.
  • The church is re-incorporated as Christ Church in the City of Boston in 1947.
  • The steeple was blown down by Hurricane Carol in August 1954 and rebuilt in May 1955.
  • The church crypt was in use from 1732 to 1853 containing 37 tombs holding an estimated 1100 bodies and archeologists began examining this in 2009.
Records:
  • Records prior to 1806 report lost in 1885 survey, but that has been proven inaccurate.
  • Old North Church (Christ Church in the City of Boston), records, 1569-1997, held by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Ms. N-2249.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
Rectors: [with years served]
Timothy Cutler (1723–1765) John Woart (1840–1852) Ernest Joseph Dennen (1927-1930)
James Greaton (1759–1767) William T. Smithett (1853–1860) Francis Ellsworth Webster (1930-1939)
Mather Byles (1768–1775) John T. Burrell (1861-1868) Henry Knox Sherrill (1939-1941)
Stephen Christopher Lewis (1778–1785) Henry Burroughs (1868–1882) William Henry Paine Hatch (1941-1946)
William Montague (1786-1792) William H. Munroe (1882-1892) Charles Russell Peck (1946-1956)
William Walter (1792-1800) Charles W. Duane (1893–1911) Howard Pearson Kellett (1956-1971)
Samuel Haskell (1801-1803) William Lawrence (1912-1914) Robert W. Golledge (1971-1997)
Asa Eaton (1803-1829) William Herbert Dewart (1914-1927) Stephen T. Ayers (1997-20--)
William Croswell (1829-1839)
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13. Trinity Church [and now officially Trinity Church in the City of Boston], 1728/1734.

Wikipedia page.
Location:
  • The first church building was made of wood was erected in 1734 and stood on Summer Street at the corner of Hawley Street. [See wood engraving].
  • The wooden building was torn down in 1828 and a Gothic church of unhewn granite was built on the same site that opened in 1829. [See 1870 photo].
  • The church was moved to 206 Clarendon Street in Back Bay in 1877. [See photo].
Note:
  • This is the third Anglican church in Boston.
  • The church is a Episcopal "low church."
  • A gift of land on Summer Street was given in 1728.
  • The Vestry voted to move the church in 1870.
  • The lot in Back Bay is purchased in January 1872 and the building planning started.
  • The Great Fire of 1872 destroyed the second building on Summer Street in November (see image). The congregation used Huntington Hall of the Institute of Technology.
  • The third church at its present location is opened 9 February 1877.
Records:
  • Trinity Church records, have been deposited at various times in repositories around the city, but are at present held in the church building.
  • Trinity Church records, 1820-1869, FHL film 1306087 Item 1.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
Rectors: [with years served]
Addington Davenport (1740–1746) Manton Eastburn (1842–1868) Theodore Parker Ferris (1942–1972)
William Hooper (1747–1767) Phillips Brooks (1869–1891) Thom Williamson Blair (1974–1981)
William Walter (1768–1776) Elijah Winchester Donald (1892–1904) Spencer Morgan Rice (1982–1992)
Samuel Parker (1779–1804) Alexander Mann (1905–1922) Samuel T. Lloyd III (1993–2005)
John Sylvester John Gardiner (1805–1830) Henry Knox Sherrill (1923–1930) Anne Berry Bonnyman (2006–2011)
George Washington Doane (1831–1832) Arthur Lee Kinsolving (1930–1940) Samuel T. Lloyd III (2011–20--)
Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright (1833–1838) Oliver James Hart (1940–1942)
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14. Long Lane Church [later the Federal Street Church and now the Arlington Street Church], 1729.

Wikipedia pages: Federal Street Church and Arlington Street Church.
Locations:
  • A barn on Long Lane [called Federal Street since 1788] at the corner of Bury Street [called Berry Street in 1803 and finally Channing Street since 1845] was converted into a meeting house in 1729.
  • A wooden church building was erected on the same spot in 1744.
  • A brick church building was erected on the same spot in 1809. [See photo].
  • The congregation moved and built a new church on Arlington Street at the corner of Boylston Street in Back Bay in 1862. [See photo of new building].
Note:
  • This church was organized by Irish immigrants and governed it in the Presbyterian style of church governance in 1729.
    It was known as the Long Lane Church on Long Lane [later named Federal Street] in 1732 and sometimes called The Church of the Presbyterian Strangers.
  • The church dismissed the three men governing the church in 1774. William McAlpine, one of the three, refused to relinquish the records and took them with him to Halifax, N.S., and then to Glasgow, Scot., where he died in 1788. These early records have been presumed lost.
  • The church adopted the congregational form of church governance in 1787.
  • Massachusetts Convention held at this church where the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
  • William Ellery Channing, pastor of this church, defines "Unitarian Christianity" in a sermon delivered in Baltimore that launched the Unitarian movement in the United States.
  • The American Unitarian Association was founded at this church in 1825.
  • The Benevolent Fraternity, a first-ever social agency of this kind, formed at the church.
  • The congregation voted to build a new building in Back Bay in 1859. They move there in 1862 and the congregation was renamed the Arlington Street Church.
  • The Second Universalist Church (1817) merged with this church in 1935.
  • Church members found the Freedom Center in 1970.
  • The Samaritans started at this church in 1970
Records:
  • Church records before 1786 were said to be missing (see note above) in 1885 survey, but they seem to have been located as listed below.
  • Arlington Street Church (Boston, Mass.), records, 1730-1979, held by Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
    Note: Jermey Belknap's list of families in the parish with information about "inoculation" of members, and records of deaths from smallpox in Boston, 1702-1792, available online.
  • Federal Street Church, records, 1774-1803, 1 v., held by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Ms. N-81.
  • Federal Street Church (Boston, Mass.), records, 1787-1830, 1 v. ([33] pp.), Mss A 5368, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  • Federal Street Church, pew records, 1803-1804, 1 v., held by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Ms. N-1865.
  • Arlington Street Church (Boston, Mass.), records, 1927-1980, held by Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • Memoir of the Federal Street Church & Society ([Boston, 1824?]), [33]-47 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Harriet E. Johnson, "The Early History of Arlington Street Church" in Unitarian Historical Society Proceedings, 5 [1937]: 15-37.
    Journal: WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Reprinted, n.d.: WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Bertha Langmaid, A Brief History of Arlington Street Church: delivered before the New England Associate Alliance, January 15, 1953 ([Boston], 1953), [12] pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • The Century and the Quest: Commemorating the Centennial Celebration of the Arlington Street Church, Unitarian-Universalist, Boston, Mass. 1861-1961 ([Boston, 1961?]), [14] pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
Code to Ministers: [C] Congregational; [P] Presbyterian; [U] Unitarian; [UU] Unitarian Universalist
John Moorhead (1729–1773) [P] John F. W. Ware (1872–1881) [U] Jack Mendelsohn (1959-1969) [UU]
Robert Annan (1783–1786) [P] Brooke Herford (1882–1892) [U] Mwalimu Imara (1970-1974) [UU]
Jeremy Belknap (1787–1798) [C] John Cuckson (1892-1900) [U] Ministry by members (1974-1976) [UU]
John Snelling Popkin (1799–1802) [C] Paul Revere Frothingham (1900-1926) [U] Victor H. Carpenter (1976-1987) [UU]
William Ellery Channing (1803–1842) [C, U, UU] Samuel Atkins Eliot (1927-1935) [U] Farley Wheelwright (1987-1989) [UU]
Ezra Stiles Gannett (1824–1871) [U] Dana McLean Greeley (1935-1958) [U, UU] Kim K. Crawford Harvie (1989-20--) [UU]
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15. Eighth Church, Harvard Street Church, South Meeting House, but later known as Hollis Street Church, 1732-1887.

Hollis Street Church Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • A wooden church building was built on Hollis Street [called Harvard Street in 1732].
  • The church was burnt in 1787 and a new one rebuilt in its place in 1788.
  • This building was sold, taken down, and removed to Braintree in 1810.
  • A new brick building was built on the same spot in 1811. [See sketch of the Hollis Street Church.]
  • A new building was erected at 180 Newbury Street on the southeast corner of Exeter Street in 1884.
Notes:
  • The church became Unitarian in 1800.
  • Some congregants left to form the South Congregational Society in 1825.
  • This church merged with the South Congregational Church that took over the building in 1887 and that ultimately merged with the First Church of Boston in 1925.
Records:
  • Records, 1732-1789 said by Harold Worthley to be held by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1970, but they could not be located in their catalog.
  • Hollis Street Church, ledger, 1787-1788, subscriptions to rebuild the church, Ms. N-1407 (Tall) held by the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Hollis Street Church records, [1787-1879], Andover-Harvard Theological Library, bMS 5, Harvard Divinity School.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • John Pierpont, Proceedings in the controversy between a part of the proprietors and the pastor of Hollis Street Church: 1838 and 1839 (Boston, [1839]), 60 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • George Leonard Chaney, Hollis Street Church from Mather Byles to Thomas Starr King, 1732-1861: two discourses given in Hollis Street meeting-house, Dec. 31, 1876, and Jan. 7, 1877 (Boston, 1877), 70 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Ogden Codman, Robert J. Dunkle, and Ann S. Lainhart, Hollis Street Church, Boston : records of admissions, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1732-1887 (Boston, 1998), 295 pp.
    Note: Based on Ogden Codman, "Hollis Street Church, Boston: records of admissions, baptisms, marriages and deaths, 1732-1887" (ms., 1918), Mss 293a, Manuscripts Dept., New England Historic Genealogical Society that was microfilmed, FHL film 856698 Item 1.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 K2c.
Ministers: [with years served]
Mather Byles (1732-1777) Horace Holley (1809-1818) Thomas Starr King (1848-1860)
Ebenezer Wight (1778-1778) John Pierpont (1819-1845) George Leonard Chaney (1862-1877)
Samuel West (1789-1808) David Fosdick (1846-1847) Henry Bernard Carpenter (1878-1887)
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16. Ninth Church, West Church or Lynde Street Church, 1737-1889.

Locations:
  • The first church was built of wood on Lynde Street at the corner of Cambridge Street in 1737.
  • The wooden structure was torn down and an enlarged brick building constructed in its place all during 1806. The church now faced 131 Cambridge Street. [See an image of the West Church of Boston].
Notes:
  • British troops occupying the town during the Revolution used this church as a barracks.
  • The church was reorganized as a Unitarian Church in 1806.
  • The congregation's 1806 building was deeded to the city in 1894 and served as a branch of the library. The First Methodist Church and Copley Religious Society merged in 1962, bought this building from the city, and became Old West Church, a United Methodist congregation.
Records:
  • All the records were listed in 1970 by Harold Worthley as being with the City Clerk.
  • West Church, records, 1826-1876, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, bMS 10, Harvard Divinity School.
    Note: There are no vital records in this collection.
  • West Church records, baptisms, marriages, 1737-1880, FHL film 856695 Item 2.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • Brief history of the First Free Congregational Church: with the articles of faith, and covenant, ecclesiastical regulations and a list of its members (Boston, 1840), 48 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Edward Wheelwright, "Records of the West Church, Boston, Mass. Baptisms, 1737-1854" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 91 [1937]: 340-354; 92 [1938]: 10-28, 116-134, 242-260, 342-358; 93 [1939]: 58-66, 114-124, 250-263, 314-326; 94 [1940]: 38-47, 155-163, 290-297, 373-380.
    Note: Plates were struck for the publication of the records of this church by The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, but the project was abandoned and some proof pages were lost. The remaindered were offered to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1935, the gaps filled in and published to 1854.
Ministers: [with years served]
William Hooper (1737-1746) Simeon Howard (1767-1804) Cyrus A. Bartol (1861-1889)
Jonathan Mayhew (1747-1766) Charles Lowell (1806-1861)
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17. Tenth Church, Bennett Street Church, or Samuel Mather's Church, 1742-1785.

Locations:
  • The church was built at the corner of Bennett and North [now Hanover] Streets in the North End in 1742.
Notes:
  • Old Light members of the Second Church gathered to form this church with Samuel Mather, its only minister. Per his dying wishes, the members returned to the Second Church at his death. No records survive except the few marriages mentioned below.
  • The church was sold to the First Universalist Church as their first building.
Records:
  • Jeremiah Colburn, "Marriages in Boston, Mass. from the Original Certificates of the Clergymen Officiating" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 34 [1880]: 96, for 1742.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($).
Publications:
  • See above under records.
Ministers: [with years served]
Samuel Mather (1742-1785)
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18. Second Baptist Church, then Baldwin Place Baptist Church, and finally Warren Avenue Baptist Church, 1743-1912.

Locations:
  • Built on the eastern side of Mill Pond in 1746, this wooden structure of was the southern one of two meeting houses there off of Back Street [now Salem Street in the North End] that since 1829 is now called Baldwin Place.
  • A new building was erected on the same spot in 1811.
  • The congregation built a Gothic red brick church on Warren Avenue in the South end in 1866.
Notes:
  • The church changed its name to Baldwin Place Baptist Church between 1832 and 1841.
  • The church merged back with the First Baptist Church in 1920.
  • The South End building was sold at that time and was abandoned in the 1960s when arsonists burnt the building in 1967. The land was cleared and is now the beautiful James Hayes Park.
Records:
  • Second Baptist Church, records, 1743-1787, 0824 Microfilm held by the Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, Mass., and also at the Boston Public Library (who had the records microfilmed - and thus likely hold the originals), FHL film 837132 Item 1.
  • Baldwin Place Baptist Church, records, 1769-1881, FHL film 856702 Item 2.
  • Second Baptist Church, records, 1787-1793, 0825 and 0826 Microfilm held by the Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, Mass.
  • Second Baptist Church, records, 1789-1811, FHL film 856700 Item 5.
  • "Record of marriages in Boston by Thomas Baldwin, pastor of the Second Baptist Church, 1790-1826", Mss A 1586, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  • Second Baptist Church, records, 1788-1920, 42 volumes, held by the Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, Mass., but not in their online catalog.
Online:
  • Part of Robert J. Dunkle and Ann S. Lainhart, trans., The Records of the Churches of Boston (Boston, 2002) [records to 1800] in a database at American Ancestors ($) covering 1769 to 1881.
Publications:
  • Thomas Ford Caldicott, Concise history of the Baldwin Place Baptist Church, together with the articles of faith and practice; also ... calendar of the present members (Boston, 1854), 96 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • "Marriage records of the Rev. Thomas Baldwin, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church, Boston, Massachusetts" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 125 [1971]: 99-109, 214-223, 287-294; 126 [1972]: 64-68, 141-145, 204-209.
Ministers: [with years served]
Ephraim Boand (1743-1765) Thomas Baldwin (1790-1825) Thomas Ford Caldicott (1853-18xx)
John Davis (1770-1772) James D. Knowles (1825-1832)
Isaac Skillman (1773-1787) Baron Stowe (1832-1848)
Thomas Gair (1788-1790) Levi Tucker (1849-1852)
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19. Eleventh Church, School Street Church, or Rev. Andrew Croswell's Church, 1748-1785.

Locations:
  • This congregation bought the French Huguenot Church on School Street in 1748 just two-thirds a block south and across the street from King's Chapel.
Notes:
  • This church was the gathering of New Lights from several Boston Congregational churches under Rev. Andrew Croswell. After Croswell's death in 1785, the congregation disbanded and sold their church building to Roman Catholics to serve as their first church building.
Records:
  • None known to exist.
Online:
  • None.
Publications:
  • Andrew Croswell, A Narrative of the Founding and Settling The New-gathered Congregational Church in Boston (Boston, 1749), 37, [3] pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
Andrew Croswell (1748-1785)
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20. Sandemanian Society, 1764-ca.1823.

Locations:
  • Their meeting house was off of Middle Street [now Hanover Street] in the North End, between Richmond's Lane and Cross Street.
Notes:
  • From several maps of the period consulted, only "A New Plan of Boston" (Boston, 1806) published by W. Norman actually showed the building.
  • Little has been written on this group started in the United States by the childless Robert Sandeman (1718-1771) who brought the teachings of his father-in-law John Glas (known as Glasites) to America. They were considered pacifist Loyalists.
  • For more information, see the publications below.
Records:
  • There are no known records from this group.
Publications:
  • Glasite Wikipedia page.
  • Caleb H. Snow, A History of Boston (Boston, 2nd ed., 1828), Chap. XLV, p. 256-257.
  • Henry H. Edes, "The Places of Worship of the Sandemanians in Boston" in the Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Transactions, 1899-1900, 6 [1904]: 109-123.
Ministers:
  • No known ministers used by this group.
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21. First Universalist Church, 1785-1864.

Locations:
  • This congregation bought their first church from the Tenth Church otherwise known as Samuel Mather's Church on the corner of Bennet and North [now Hanover] Streets in the North End in 1785.
Notes:
  • Their wooden church (the last one standing in Boston) was torn down in 1838 and a new structure built.
Records:
  • First Universalist Church, proprietors' records, 1792-1815, on microfilm at the Massachusetts Historical Society (but not in their online catalog).
  • First Universalist Church, records, 1792-1909, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, bMS 302, Harvard Divinity School.
    Note: There are no vital records in this collection and most of the post-1864 records are from the Sunday school.
  • First Universalist Church, marriages, 1813-1840, FHL film 837130 Item 4.
Online:
  • None.
Publications:
  • Thomas W. Silloway, An Historical Discourse delivered in the First Universalist Meeting-House, Boston, Sunday, May 29, 1864, on the occasion of taking final leave of the premises (Boston, [1864?]), 42 pp.
    No Digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
John Murray (1793-1815) Paul Dean (1813-1823)
Edward Mitchell (1816-1817) Sebastian Streeter (1824-18xx)
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22. Church of the Holy Cross and now Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1788.

Wikipedia page for Holy Cross Boston; Wikipedia page for the Cathedral.
Locations:
  • They bought a church building on School Street from the Eleventh Church or School Street Churchin 1788 that was built by the French Huguenot Churchin 1715.
  • They built a chapel on the southern end of Franklin Place at what would now be 214 Devonshire Street in 1803. [See an image of the Cathedral in 1859.]
  • Built a new cathedral building at 1400 Washington Street in the South End in 1875.
Notes:
  • Outgrowing the old building on School Street and their lease being up, a committee was formed in 1799. They found a spot with the help of Charles Bulfinch at the southern end of his first of its kind urban designed city block in the United States, Franklin Place (sometimes called the Tontine Crescent). They broke ground in 1800 and the chapel opened in 1803.
  • When the Diocese of Boston was established, the chapel became the Cathedral for the diocese in 1825.
  • The last mass in the Cathedral was in 1860 and the building demolished in 1862.
  • After the delay caused by the Civil War, ground was broken for the new cathedral in 1866. It was dedicated in 1875 as the largest church in New England.
Records:
  • Cathedral of the Holy Cross, baptisms, 1789-1928, marriages 1789-1925, confirmations, 1803, 1810-1823, 1864-1926, burials, 1789-1822, and ordinations, 1815-1822, held by the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
  • All other records are held by the Cathedral.
Online:
  • None.
Publications:
  • Robert H. Lord, John E. Sexton and Edward T. Harrington, History of the Archdiocese of Boston in the various stages of its development, 1604 to 1943 (New York, 1944), 3 vols.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Thomas H. O'Connor, Boston Catholics: a history of the church and its people (Boston, 1998), xvi, 357 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Priests associated with this church before 1900: [with years served]
C. F. Bouchard de la Peterie (1788-1789) John B. McMahon (1840-1846) Patrick J. Power (1868-1869)
Louis Rousselet (1789-1791) Francis Roloff (1843-1844) James Donegan (1869-1870)
John Thayer (1790-1794) Patrick F. Lyndon (1843-1847) William J. Daly (1870-1873)
Francis A. Matignon (1792-1818) James Maguire (1844) William J. J. Denvir (1870-1872)
John L. de Cheverus (1796-1823) Peter Crudden (1844-1845) Stanislaus Buteux (1871-1872)
John Thayer (1798-1799) George F. Haskins (1844-1852) Theodore A. Metcalf (1873-1879)
J. S. Tisserand (1803) Ch. E. Brasseur de Bourbourg (1845-1846) John B. Smith (1873-1881)
Matthew O'Brien (1804) John J. Williams (1845-1856) John H. Fleming (1874-1875)
F. X. Brosius (1816) Ambrose Manahan (1845-1853) Bernard O'Regan (1874-1882)
Philip Lariscy (1818-1821) Hilary Tucker (1846-1872) Josue P. Bodfish (1875-1888)
Stephen Cailleaux (1819-1823) Joseph Cooidge Shaw (1847-1848) Lawrence J. O'Toole (1875-1885)
William Taylor (1821-1825) Nicholas J. A. O'Brien (1847-1856) Maurice X. Carroll (1876-1885)
Paul McQuade (1822-1823) Samuel A. Mulledy (1849-1851) Maurice S. Fitzgerald (1876-1879)
Patrick Byrne (1823-1830) Thomas H. Shahan (1849-1851) Matthew McDonnell (1878-1879)
Benedict J. Fenwick (1825-1846) Michael P. Gallagher (1849-1855) Leo P. Boland (1879-1892)
William Wiley (1827-1831) George T. Riordan (1852-1853) Lawrence M. A. Corcoran (1879-1894)
Robert Woodley (1828-1830) Joseph M. Finotti (1852-1857) Thomas Moylan (1880-1883)
Thomas J. O'Flaherty (1829-1833) David Welsh (1853-1854) E. McCarthy (1881-1882)
William Tyler (1829-1844) James Augustine Healy (1855-1866) Denis J. O'Donovan (1882-1883)
Michael Healy (1830-1837) Patrick J. Rogers (1856-1859) Henry A. Sullivan (1882-1902)
Constantine Lee (1830-1832) John T. Roddan (1856-1859) James F. Talbot (1883-1892)
James T. McDermott (1831-1832) Michael Moran (1857-1869) Nicholas R. Walsh (1883-1905)
Patrick McNamee (1832-1833) C. Lyonnet (1859-1860) Richard Neagle (1886-1896)
Edward Walsh (1833-1834) Charles Lynch (1859-1862) Denis J. O'Donovan (1888-1890)
John J. Curtin (1834-1836) Lawrence S. McMahon (1860-1863) Edward Connolly (1892-1895)
William Wiley (1835-1836) A. Sherwood Healy (1862-1875) Peter J. Walsh (1894)
Patrick O'Beirne (1835-1836) B. O'Reilly (1863-1864) Thomas J. McCormack (1894-1907)
James Conway (1836-1839) John H. Cornell (1863-1864) John T. Mullen (1895-1907)
Franz Salesius Hoffman (1836) Angelo M. Baret (1863-1865) Francis X. Dolan (1895-1908)
William Fennelly (1838-1842) William Byrne (1865-1874) Michael J. Doody (1896-1903)
Edward Freygang (1838) John J. Williams (1866-1907) Joseph V. Tracy (1898-1903)
Terence Fitzsimmons (1839-1840) Emiliano Gerbi (1866-1868)
Richard Hardey (1840-1845) Patrick F. Lyndon (1866-1870)
John B. Fitzpatrick (1840-1866) William H. Fitzpatrick (1867-1869)
Adolph Williamson (1840-1843) J. B. Purcell (1868-1873)
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23. First Methodist Episcopal Church (1792-1828), North Bennett Street Methodist Episcopal Church (1828-1849), later the Hanover Street Methodist Episcopal Church, and since 1873 called Grace Church, 1792-1962.

Locations:
  • The congregation erected a small church off of North Street [now Hanover Street] called Methodist Alley across from Charter Street in the North End in 1796.
  • They built a second church a couple blocks away on North Bennett Street in 1828.
  • They moved to the Cockerel Church on Hanover Street in 1849.
  • After merging, the church moved to Temple Street in 1873.
Notes:
  • They sold their North Bennett Street location to the Freewill Baptist Society in 1850.
  • The front of the church was demolished in 1869 for the widening of Hanover Street.
  • This church merged with the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in 1873 to form the First Methodist Episcopal Church (Temple Street) but variously called First Methodist Church, Grace Methodist Church, or the Temple Street Methodist Church(sometimes using all three names).
  • This church merged with Copley Methodist Church in 1962 and formed a new church called First-Copley Methodist Church (that later became Old West Methodist Church).
Records [most records missing before 1873, but what survives follows]:
Online:
  • None.
Publications:
  • None researched.
Ministers [very incomplete - help needed]: [with years served]
Joseph Lee (1792-xxxx) Eprhaim Wiley (1828-1829)
J. Bonney (1830)
A. D. Merrill (1831)
J. Lindsay (1832-1833)
D. Fillmore (1834-1835)
Abel Stevens (1836)
A. D. Sargent (1837)
J. C. Pierce (1838-1839)
James Porter (1840-1841)
Mark Trafton (1842-1843)
Jonathan D. Bridge (1845)
Miner Raymond (1846)
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[NOTE: Churches after 1800 have had less research done on their entries.]


24. First Christian Church, 1804.

Locations:
  • They built a building at the corner of Summer and Broad Streets in 1825.
  • By 1855, they were on Tyler Street and the corner of Kneeland Street.
  • There was no listing for this church after 1895.
Records:
  • Original records not yet located.
  • First Christian Church records, 1803-1870, FHL 856700 Item 8.
Ministers: [with years served]
Abner Johnes (1804-1807) J. V. Himes (1830-1837) Perry W. Sinks (in 1880)
Elias Smith (1816-1817) Simon Clough (1837-1839) Edward Edmunds (in 1885-1895+)
Simon Clough (1819-1824) Edwin Burnham (1839-1840)
Charles Morgredge (1825-1826) J. S. Thompson (1841-1844)
Isaac C. Goff (1828-1829) Edmond Edmonds (1844-1875+)
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25. African Baptist Church, Independent Baptist Church, and the Belknap Street Church, 1805.

African Meeting House Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • Their church was on Belknap Street [now called 46 Joy Street] on Beacon Hill in 1806 and commonly called the African Meeting House.
Notes:
  • This is the oldest Black church in the United States.
  • The New England Anti-Slavery Society was founded here by William Lloyd Garrison in 1832.
  • The Massachusetts 54th Regiment recruited here in 1863.
  • The church was there as late as 1872.
  • The building was purchased and used as a Jewish synagogue until 1972.
  • The church was at Smith Court [Note: The Beacon Hill court is behind 46 Joy Street and a second one is in Roxbury] in 1885.
  • The church was not listed in the city directory in 1888.
  • The Joy Street building was acquired by the Museum of African American History in 1972
  • The Joy Street building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
  • The Joy Street building was renovated back to its 1854 design in 2011.
Records:
  • No records have been located at this time.
Ministers: [with years served]
Thomas Paul (1805-1829) George H. Black (1838-1841) H. H. White (ca. 1864)
John Peak (ca. 1830) John T. Raymond (1841-1845) [No minister in 1865]
Washington Christian (1832-1832) William B. Serrington (ca. 1848-1849) Alexander Ellis (1868-ca. 1875)
Thomas Ritchie (ca. 1832) A. T. Wood (1850) [No minister in 1880]
Samuel Gooch (1832-1834) William Thompson (1850-1853) Peter Smith (ca. 1885)
John Given (1834-1835) Thomas Henson (ca. 1856-1858)
Armstrong W. Acher (1836-1837) J. Sella Martin (1860-1862)
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26. Second Methodist Church and later Bromfield Street Methodist Episcopal Church, 1806-1913.

Locations:
  • They built a chapel on Bromfield Street in 1806.
Notes:
  • Black congregants were given their own minister in 1818 and a separate church on May Street in 1823.
  • The church became independent in 1831 and listed as Boston South until 1835.
  • The church was remodeled in 1848.
  • The church was burned and rebuilt in 1864.
  • The church was repaired in 1895.
  • The church merged with Tremont Street Methodist Church to form the Bromfield-Tremont Methodist Church on Tremont Street in 1913.
Records:
  • Bromfield Street Methodist Church records, 1790-1922, held by the School of Theology Library, CAH CH-MA B6 B7, Boston University.
  • Bromfield Street, Tremont Street, and People's Temple Methodist Church records (Boston, Mass.), 1856-1922, held by the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library, Syracuse, N.Y., that include offerings and accounts, 1886-1901, for this church.
  • Bromfield Street Methodist Episcopal Church, records, 1806-1922, includes baptisms and marriages, 1879-1882, 1890-1922, FHL film 1508865 Items 1-5.
Ministers: [with years served]
Stephen Lovell (1841-1845) V. M. Simons (in 1872) W. T. Perrin (in 1905)
Stephen Remington (1845-1849) Frederick Woods (in 1875) G. F. Durgin (in 1910)
Loranus Crowell (1849-1854) A. H. Kendig (in 1880)
William Rice (1854-1860) David H. Els (in 1885)
William Warren (1860-1865) G. A. Crawford (in 1888 and 1890)
W. F. Mallalieu (1865-1870) L. B. Bates (in 1895)
George Prentice (in 1870) John Galbraith (in 1900)
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27. Third Baptist Church and later Charles Street Baptist Church, 1807-1877.

Locations:
  • They built a church on Charles Street in 1807.
Notes:
  • The church was disbanded in 1877.
  • The church was officially dissolved on 6 June 1889.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Caleb Blood (1807-1810) John C. Stockbridge (1853-1860+) William V. Gardner (in 1870 through 1875)
Daniel Sharp (1812-1853) [No minister in 1865]
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28. Park Street Church, 1809-present.

Park Street Church Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • This church was built at One Park Street at the corner of Tremont Street in 1810.
Notes:
  • The cellar of this church was designed as a cemetery.
  • The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston was organized here in 1815.
  • The church started a Sunday school program in 1816.
  • Major renovations to the interior were done in 1840.
  • America's first radio ministry began here in 1923.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Edward D. Griffin (1811-1815) William H. H. Murray (1868-1874) Paul E. Toms (1969-1989)
Sereno E. Dwight (1817-1826) John L. Withrow (1876-1887, 1898-1907) David C. Fisher (1989-1995)
Edward Beecher (1826-1830) David Gregg (1887-1890) Pablo Polischuk (1995-1997)
Joel H. Linsley (1832-1836) Isaac J. Lansing (1893-1897) Gordon P. Hugenberger (1997-20xx)
Silas Aiken (1837-1848) Arcturus Z. Conrad (1905-1937)
Andrew Leete Stone (1849-1866) Harold J. Ockenga (1936-1969)
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29. St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 1816-sometime after 1946.

Locations:
  • They built a church on Broadway in South Boston in 1818.
  • They built a new church at 408/410 West Broadway near E Street in 1861.
Notes:
  • The first two years, services were held in a school house conducted by lay readers.
  • The cemetery and tombs for this church were removed in 1864 and re-interred at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Roslindale [a former section of West Roxbury].
  • The church merged with the Church of the Redeemer to form the new St. Matthew the Redeemer utilizing the building of the latter at 825 E Street sometime after 1946.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Dr. Gardner (1821-1824) Frederick Wilson (1860-1869) James Sheerin (in 1915)
J. L. Blake (1824-1832) J. I. T. Coolidge (1869-1873) Frank Rathbone (in 1920 and 1925)
M. A. D'W. Howe (1832-1832) John Wright (1873-1887)
E. M. P. Wells (1834-1835) A. E. George (1887-1901)
Horace L. Conolly (1835-1838) William H. Dewart (1902-190?)
Joseph H. Clinch (1838-1860) Ernest N Bullock (in 1905 and 1910)
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30. Second Universalist Church and later Church of the Redemption, 1816-1935.

Locations:
  • The church was dedicated on School Street in 1817.
  • They built their second church on Columbus Avenue in the South End in 1872.
  • They built a third church at 1101 Boylston Street on the corner of Ipswich Street by 1925 and called the Church of the Redemption.
Notes:
  • The church no longer was listed as owning a church in 1920 and was not listing in 1915.
  • Renamed the Church of the Redemption between 1920 and 1926.
  • The church merged with the Arlington Street Church in 1935.
  • Its last building is now the St. Clement Charistic Shine [Roman Catholic].
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Hosea Ballou (1817-1846) Henry I. Ceshman (1868-1872+)
E. H. Chapin (1846-1848) Stephen H. Roblin (in 1895-1926+)
Alonzo A. Miner (1848-1895+)
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31. The New Jerusalem Church [Swedenborg] and now called Church on the Hill, 1818-present.

Locations:
  • The group rented a hall on Phillip's Place and other places.
  • They built a church at 140 Bowdoin Street on Beacon Hill in 1845.
Records:
  • Records are assumed to be at the church.
Ministers: [with years served]
Thomas Worcester (1828-1867) Emanuel F. Goernitz (in 1900)
James Reed (1867-1920+) H. Clinton Hay (in 1905-1926+)
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32. First African Methodist Episcopal Society or May Street Mission (1818-1860),

Revere Street Methodist Episcopal Church (1860-1911),
Fourth Methodist Church (1911-1949), and
Union United Methodist Church (1949-present), 1818-present.
Locations:
  • Their church was on May Street and dedicated on 1824.
  • They moved several doors down to 79 Revere Street [formerly May Street] by 1885.
  • They moved to 712 Shawmut Avenue in the South End in 1911.
  • They moved to Columbus Avenue at Rutland Street in 1949.
Notes:
  • May Street was renamed Revere Street in 1855.
  • By 1860, the church was just called Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • By 1880, the church was called the Revere Street Methodist Episcopal Church at 73 Revere Street.
  • In 1885, the address was listed at 79 Revere Street with no minister given.
  • This church moved to the South End and became the Fourth Methodist Episcopal Church at 712 Shawmut Avenue when the Missionary Society purchased this building for the congregation from the Swedish Baptist Church in 1911, but only had constructed a basement with a roof over it by 1929.
  • The congregation purchased the Union Congregational Church listed below at 485 Columbus Avenue at West Rutland Street, moved there, and became the Union Methodist Church in 1949.
Records:
  • Location of the original records is unknown, but likely reside with the church.
Ministers [very incomplete]: [with years served]
Samuel Snowden (1818-1850) T. B. Snowden (in 1880) J. A. Faust (in 1910)
Thomas Freeman (in 1860) I. H. Haven (in 1888)
J. McKay (1861-1865+) James W. Newell (in 1890)
J. N. Mars (in 1870) [No minister listed in 1895 or 1900]
Jenkins Williams (in 1872) Stephen J. Hammond (in 1905)
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33. Hawes' Place Church, 1819-before 1888.

Locations:
  • They built a church on the corner of K and East Fourth Street in South Boston in 1832 and dedicated in 1833.
NOtes:
  • This was a Unitarian church.
  • This church was not listed as existing or extinct in the 1885 or 1898 records surveys.
Records:
  • The location of the original records is unknown.
Ministers: [with years served]
Lemuel Capen (1823-1839) Thomas Dawes (1854-1865) Herman Bisbee (in 1875)
Charles C. Shackford (1841-1844) Frederic Hinckley (1865-1869) Charles B. Elder (in 1885)
George W. Lippet (1844-1851) George A. Thayer (1869-1872+)
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34. Essex Street Church or Union Church, 1819-1948.

Locations:
  • Their church on Essex Street on the corner of Rowe Street [later Chauncy Street] was dedicated in 1819.
  • The church had moved to 485 Columbus Avenue at West Rutland Street in the South End by 1872.
Notes:
  • The church was re-formed out of Sabine's church and called the Union Church.
  • This was an Orthodox Congregational Church.
  • The church had major renovations in 1841.
  • This church was called Congregational Trinitarian in 1860.
  • This church was for the first time called solely Union Church in 1870.
  • This church was purchased by the Fourth Methodist Church listed above in 1949.
Records:
Ministers [incomplete list with years served]:
James Sabine (1819-1822) Frank A. Warfield (in 1880) Allen A. Stockdale (in 1910)
Samuel Green (1823-1834) R. R. Meredith (in 1885) Ernest G. Guthrie (in 1915-1925+)
Nehemiah Adams (1834-1875) Nehemiah Boynton (in 1888-1895+)
Henry M. Parsons (in 1872) Samuel L. Loomis (in 1900-1905+)
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35. St. Augustine's Church, 1819. [Catholic]

Locations:
  • The church was built at 181 Dorchester Street in South Boston in 1819.
Notes:
  • The church was enlarged in 1825.
  • The church was consecrated in 1833.
  • A Catholic cemetery surrounds this church and the building was primarily used for funerals by 1847.
  • The church was listed in 1850, but not in 1855.
  • It was now, since the opening of Saints Peter and Paul's in 1845, been considered a cemetery chapel.
Records:
  • No records are known to exist. Sacraments for here may at the Cathedral and after 1847, Sts. Peter and Paul.
Ministers: [with years served]
Thomas Lynch (1833-1836) M. Lynch (1839-1840)
John Mahony (1836-1839) F. Fitzsimmons (1840-1850+)
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36. St. Paul's Episcopal Church and now called The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 1820-present.

Cathedral Church of St. Paul Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • They built a stone church on Tremont Street near Winter Street in 1820.
Notes:
  • The church was designated the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in 1912.
Records:
  • Location of original records are likely at the church.
  • St. Paul's Church, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1820-1859, FHL film 856702 Item 1.
Ministers: [with years served]
[Note: For a list of Bishops at this church, see the Diocesan history].
Samuel Farmar Jarvis (1820-1825) William J. Harris (in 1888) John Moses (in 1920)
Alonzo Potter (1826-1831) John S. Lindsay (in 1890-1900+) Micahel Paul St. A. Huntington (in 1920)
John Seely Stone (1832-1841) Edward Tillotson (in 1905) Donald B. Aldrich (in 1925)
Alexander H. Vinton (1842-1859) Edmund Scott Rousmaniere (in 1910-1925+) Charles Russell Peck (in 1925)
William R. Nicholson (1859-1872+) Frank Poole Johnson (in 1910) John W. Suter Jr. (in 1925)
Treadwell Walden (in 1875-1877) Frederick J. Walton (in 1915-1925+) Allen W. Clark (in 1925)
William Wilberforce Newton (1877-1882) Artley B. Parson (in 1915)
Frederick Courtney (in 1885) Henry Goddard (in 1920-1925+)
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37. Bulfinch Street Church, 1822-1863.

Locations:
  • They built their church on Bulfinch Street in 1823.
Notes:
  • This Society was formed as Universalist and changed to a Unitarian Society.
Records:
  • Bulfinch Street Society records, 2 vols., 1844-1863, were with the City Clerk in 1899.
  • Bulfinch Street Church records, 1839-1854, FHL film 856700 Item 1.
Ministers: [with years served]
Paul Dean (1823-1840) Frederick T. Gray (1839-1855) William R. Alger (1855-1860+)
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38. Leyden Church or Green Street Church, 1823-1844.

Locations:
  • This church was located on Green Street in the West End and dedicated in 1826.
Notes:
  • This was a Trinitarian church.
  • This church merged with the Garden Street Church and took their minister from 1844 to 1845.
  • This church had some of the congregation of the Leyden Church join them, including their minister, in 1845 to form the Messiah Church in 1844 and disbanded in 1846.
Records:
  • Green Street Church records, 1822-1844, 1 vol., held by the Congregational Library, Boston.
  • Green Street Church (Boston, Mass.) records, 1826-1865, 1 vol., Mss C 5645, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
Ministers: [with years served]
William Jenks (1826-1844) William Chapman (1844-1845) Joseph H. Towne (1844-1845)
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39. Evangelical Congregational Church or Phillips' Church, 1823-present?

Locations:
  • On Fourth Street near C Street in South Boston from 1823 to 1825.
  • The church moved to a small brick church building at the corner of Broadway and A Street from 1825 to 1836.
  • A new and larger building was erected on the same spot in 1836.
  • The built a new church on Broadway near Dorchester Street in 1859.
  • An addition building called Phillips Chapel was dedicated at East 7th Street near I Street in 1883.
  • The congregation worshiped at the Presbyterian Church at Silver and Dorchester Streets from 1948 to 1954.
  • They bought a building on Atlantic Street and Fourth Street in 1954.
  • The congregation bought a second building at 381 West Broadway near E Street in 1983 as their Winipress Christian Resource Center.
  • The church was listed at 2 Atlantic Street in 2000.
Notes:
  • This was a Trinitarian church.
  • The church was renamed the Phillips' Church in 1835.
  • They sold their building on Broadway and A Street in 1858.
  • They sold their building in 1948.
  • The church is a member of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference since 1960.
  • The is no current listing for this church, but it is likely the "Phillips Church in South Boston" located at 68 Eustis Street, Revere, Mass.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Joy H. Fairchild (in 1836-1840) Edmund K. Alden (1859-1875+) Charles A. Dinsmore (in 1900)
William W. Patton (in 1845) R. R. Meredith (in 1880) Frederick B. Richards (in 1910)
John W. Alvord (in 1850-1854) Francis E. Clark (in 1885) Clarence W. Dunham (in 1915)
Charles S. Porter (1854-1859) William H. G. Temple (in 1890) Howard A. Morton (in 1925)
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40. Twelfth Congregational Church, 1825-1863.

Locations:
  • The congregation built a church at 40 Chambers Street between Allen and McLean Streets in the West End [now a Mass. General Hospital building].
Notes:
  • This was a Unitarian church.
  • The church building was updated from its rather plain state in 1831.
  • Hayward's 1847 guide mixed this church with the Chambers Street Church.
  • This church was dissolved on 5 Mar. 1863.
Records:
  • The original records were with the City clerk in 1899.
  • 12th Congregational Church, records, 1824-1861, FHL film 856699 Item 3.
Publications:
Ministers: [with years served]
Samuel Barrett (1825-1863)
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41. Hanover Street Church and later Bowdoin Street Church, 1825-1861.

Locations:
  • Their house on Hanover Street in the North End was burnt in 1830.
  • The church was found on Bulfinch Street on Beacon Hill in 1830.
  • The group built a new stone church on Bowdoin Street across from Bulfinch Place on Beacon Hill in 1831.
Notes:
  • When the congregants moved to Bowdoin Street, they renamed their church the Bowdoin Street Church.
  • The last minister was dismissed in 1861.
  • The church was dissolved in 1863 and the building sold to the Church of the Advent. The records were donated to the Congregational Library on dissolution.
  • The building is currently [2013] the St. John the Evangelist Church.
Records:
  • The survey of 1885 said these records burnt in the Great Fire of 1872.
  • Bowdoin Street Church records, 1825-1865 (gaps), held by the Congregational Library, RC 0806, Boston.
Ministers: [with years served]
Lyman Beecher (1826-1832) Jared B. Waterbury (1846-1859) Edwin Johnson (1859-1861)
Hubbard Winslow (1832-1844)
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42. Thirteenth Congregational Church or Purchase Street Church, 1825-ca. 1858.

Locations:
  • The first building was on Purchase Street near the weaterfront and Custom House.
  • The group moved to Harrison Avenue at the corner of Beach Street between 1845 and 1850.
Notes:
  • The house was dedicated in 1826.
  • The first minister Ripley left to start the Utopian community of Brook Farm in West Roxbury in 1841.
  • The second minister Coolidge became an Episcopalian after leaving this church.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
George Ripley (1826-1841) James I. T. Coolidge (1842-1858)
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43. Salem Street Church, 1827-1879.

Locations:
  • On Salem Street in the North End.
Notes:
  • This church merged with the Mariner's Church in 1866.
Records:
Publications:
  • Stephen H. Hayes, Memorial Volume of Salem Church, Boston, Mass. (Boston, 1874), 52 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
Justin Edwards (1828-1829) Edward Beecher (1844-1855) S. P. Fay (in 1865)
George W. Blagden (1830-1836) Henry Dexter (1849-1856)
Joseph H. Towne (1837-1844) George W. Field (1856-18xx)
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44. Pine Street Church, Berkeley Street Church, or Berkeley Temple, 1827-1907.

Locations:
  • This church was building on Washington Street at the corner of Pine Street in Chinatown.
  • They built a church on Berkeley Street at the corner of Third Avenue [now Warren Avenue] in the South End by 1860.
Notes:
  • This church merged with the Union Church in 1907.
  • By 1865, it was called the Berkeley Street Church.
  • By 1888, it was called the Berkeley Temple.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Thomas Harvey Skinner (1838-1829) Austin Phelps (1842-1848) Edward Anderson (1901-1902)
John Brown (1829-1831) Henry Martin Dexter (1849-1867) William A. Knight (1902-1903)
Amos Augustus Phelps (1832-1834) William Burnet Wright (1867-1886) Allen A. Stockdale (1904-1907)
Artemas Boies (1834-1840) Charles A. Dickinson (1888-1901)
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45.South Congregational Church and sometimes Hale's Church, 1827-1929.

Locations:
  • The church was built on Washington Street at the corner of Castle Street in 1828.
  • The congregation built a new church on Union Park Street in 1861.
  • The merged congregation moved to the southeast corner of Exeter and Newbury Streets in Back Bay in 1887.
Notes:
  • This church was formed from three groups: people of the new South End, members of the over-crowded Hollis Street Church, and friends and supports of Dr. Horace Holley (a former minister of the Hollis Street Church) in 1825.
  • The congregation sold the Union Park Street building to a Jewish organization who turned it into a synagogue in 1887 [it is now St. John the Baptist Greek Church].
  • The congregation merged with its mother church the Hollis Street Church to form the South Congregational Society in 1887.
  • The church merged into the First Church of Boston in 1925.
  • The South Congregational Society was dissolved on 13 May 1929.
Records:
Publications:
  • Edward Everett Hale, Memorials of the History for Half a Century of South Congregational Church, Boston (Boston, 1878), 119 pp.
    Digital version at Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
Ministers: [with years served]
Mellish Irving Motte (1828-1842) Edward Everett Hale (1856-1899) Edward Cummings (1900-1925)
Frederick Dan Huntington (1842-1856)
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46. Federal Street Baptist Church, later Rowe Street Baptist Church, and finally Clarendon Street Baptist Church, 1827.

Locations:
  • The congregation built a church on Federal Street near Milk Street in 1827.
  • The congregation built a new church on Rowe Street [now Chauncey Street] at Bedford Street just north of present-day Chinatown in 1845.
  • The congregation met at the Baldwin Place Baptist Church from June 1868 until April 1869.
  • The congregation built their third church on Clarendon Street at Montgomery Street in the South End in 1869.
Notes:
  • This was Boston's fourth Baptist church called the Federal Street Baptist Church in July 1827.
  • It was called the Rowe Street Baptist Church in April 1846.
  • It was called the Clarendon Street Baptist Church in December 1868.
  • Pastor A. J. Gordon founded the Boston Missionary Training School at the church in 1889 that became Gordon College.
  • The church was burned to the ground in 1982. The front facade with its rose window survived and was incorporated into the new condominiums rebuilt there.
Records:
Publications:
  • A brief history of the Clarendon St. Baptist Church, (formerly Federal Street, afterwards Rowe Street Church) Boston : with the declaration of faith, church covenant, list of members, etc. (Boston, 1872), 126 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.461 K2bh.
Ministers: [with years served]
Howard Malcolm (1827-1835) S. C. Ohrum (1904-1906) Harold W. Arthur (1940-1943)
George B. Ide (1835-1837) W. C. Minifie (1907-1909) Norman L. Lavers (1943-1946)
Handel G. Nott (1839-1840) James A. Francis (1909-1914) Arlington W. Booker (1947-1950)
William Hague (1840-1848) William Allan (1916-1918) H. L. Sthengaard (1950-1958)
Baron Stow (1848-1867) W. Harry Freda (1919-1924) Normand Norris (1958-1959)
Adoniram Judson Gordon (1868-1895) I. W. Williamson (1925-1929) Frank B. Beck (1959-1964)
J. A. McElwain (1895-1900) Paul G. Jackson (1929-1932) Paul M. Cutting (1964-1969)
Emory W. Hunt (1900-1902) A. A. Forshee (1932-1933) Leonard P. Edwards (1969-1985)
James A. Francis (1902-1903) Daniel Rider (1933-1940)
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47. Bethel Church, 1828-present.

Locations:
Notes:
  • The Mariners' Bethel Church was erected on North Square in the North End by the Boston Port Society in 1830 as a Methodist Episcopal church.
  • Another Methodist church called Bethel Church was formed in 1848.
  • This Bethel Church was listed in the city directories in North Square from 1835 to 1875.
  • This church was called the Mariners' Bethel Church by 1878.
  • The building became the Italian's Church of the Sacred Heart by 1900.
Records:
  • Boston University's Methodist churches of Boston guide say that this group is still active, so perhaps the records of the church might be found with the Boston Port and Seamen's Aid Society who founded the church in 1828.
Ministers: [with years served]
Edward Thompson Taylor (1828-1871) John A. B. Wilson (in 1875) E. R. Watson (in 1880)
George S. Noyes (in 1870-1873+) C. L. Eastman (in 1878) George S. Small (1885-1931)
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48. Mariners' Church, 1828-1866.

Locations:
  • The church was built on Purchase Street in 1829 [see image of the Mariners' Church in 1843].
  • The congregation had moved to Summer Street at the corner of Sea Street [no longer existing] by 1855 and had no settled minister then.
  • The location in 1860 and 1865 was given as Summer Street at the corner of Federal Street [which is likely the same place as before].
Notes:
  • The patrons of this church were connected with the Sailor's Home Society.
  • Record book 1 burned with home and church on 10 July 1852.
  • This church merged with the Salem Street Church in 1866.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Jonathan Greenleaf (1830-1833) George W. Bourne (1849-bef.1855) Elijah Kellogg (1855-1866)
Daniel M. Lord (1834-1849)
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49. St. Stephen's Chapel and later St. Stephen's Church [Episcopal], 1829-1872/1880?

Locations:
  • The congregation built their church on Purchase Street in 1845.
  • The congregation moved to D Street near West Broadway in South Boston by 1875.
  • The congregation moved to Tyler Street at the corner of Kneeland Street in present-day Chinatown by 1880.
Notes:
  • The church was dissolved on 9 Nov. 1872.
  • The name switched from Chapel to Church by 1880.
  • A new church called St. Stephen's Episcopal Church was the re-organization of this chapel in 1891.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
Asa Eaton (1829-1837) H. H. Hewett (1869-1871) F. S. Harraden (in 1880)
Mr. [Samuel?] McBurney (1837-1843) Joseph H. Young (in 1875)
E. M. P. Wells (1844-1872+) J. L. Watson (1860-1865+)
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50. Grace Church [Episcopal], 1829-1865.

Grace Church Wikipedia page.
Locations:
  • The congregation worshiped at a building on Piedmont Street [now Church Street] from 1829 to 1834.
  • The congregation moved to a building on Bedford Street in 1834.
  • The congregation moved to a building on Temple Street in 1836 [see an image of Grace Church in 1836].
Notes:
  • Their building was sold to the Methodist Episcopal Society of North Russell Street in 1865.
Records:
Ministers: [with years served]
James Sabine (1829-1830) Zechariah Mead (1833-1836) Clement Moore Butler (1844-1847)
George F. Haskins (1830-1831) Thomas M. Clark (1836-1842) Charles Mason (1848-1865)
Samuel McBurney (1832-1833)
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[NOTE: This page is under construction and will take several months to fill completely, so please be patience. The old page that had content is maintained below.]

Town records

Boston Record Commissioners Series (Vols. 1-39)

In 1875 the City of Boston appointed Record Commissioners to “directly assist in perfecting the record of the vital statistics of Boston.” Their duty was “to complete, so far as practicable, the record of births, marriages and deaths, in the town and city of Boston, prior to A.D. 1849, and to receive and collect all documents obtainable therefor [sic].”[2] As a result of the hard work and dedication of the Record Commissioners, thirty-nine volumes of records relating to the town and city of Boston were published between 1876 and 1909. Six of the volumes (for Boston, v. 9, 24, 28, 30; for Dorchester, v. 21, 36) pertain to vital records. The remaining thirty-three volumes are comprised of an assortment of record which includes town records, selectmen’s records, tax lists, censuses, directories, notarial records, warnings out, and miscellaneous papers. Also included are town records for Charlestown, Dorchester, and Roxbury. They are all verbatim transcriptions.

All thirty-nine volumes of the record commissioners’ series can be accessed for free online in various digital formats. They are available from Google Books, Heritage Quest Online ($), and Internet Archive. The Boston Public Library has an online list with note on content and a link to an online version. In the Family History Library, they are FHL book 974.461 H2b with digital links. There are separate catalog records for individual volumes that were microfilmed.

Below is a description of each record volume, year published (with other editions), contents, and a link to a free digital version of the book. The title started out as [report number] Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston and by the sixth volume the title was simply A Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston usually followed by the subject of that volume. This is the verbatim publication of the Boston town records to 1822.

Volume Year Contents Digital version
1
1876, 1881 Statistics on churches and town records, tax list for 1674 (p. 21-59), 1676 (p. 60-67), 1681 [imperfect] (p. 68-77), 1685 (p. 78-82), 1686 (p. 82-84), 1687 (p. 84-134), 1688 (p. 134-145), 1689 (p. 146-147), 1691 (p. 147-157), and 1695 (p. 158-170). Internet Archive
2
1877, 1881 Boston town records, 1634-1660 (p. 1-160), the "Book of Possessions" [earliest records of land before 1652], and created maps of Boston for 1630, 1635, 1640, and 1645 locating the residents [they were fold out maps in the first edition and differently arranged in the second edition]. There was a supplement to the second edition (1905) that had all the folded maps. Internet Archive
3
1878 Charlestown "Book of Possessions" [i.e. the earliest land records] (bulk 1638-1649, but to 1717), Streets in 1670 (p. 186-188), proprietor's records (1681-1686, 1714-1715) (p. 189-219), survey of 1767 (p. 220-244), survey of 1771 (p. 245-247), survey of 1802 (p. 247-262). Internet Archive
4
1880, 1883, 1896 Dorchester town records, 1632-ca. 1654. Internet Archive
5
1880, 1884 This is a reprint of the "Gleaner" articles that were published in the Boston Daily Transcript for the second half of the year 1855 on various historical topics covering different parcels of land or estates, some churches, streets, legal issues, houses, monuments, and several families all written by Nathaniel Ingersoll Bowditch (1805-1861). Internet Archive
6
1880, 1884 Roxbury land records, 1639-1717 (p. 1-70) and the Roxbury church records (p. 73-212). The latter includes the Rev. John Eliot's Record of the Church Members [it begins with how each of the earliest members arrived in Mass. Bay and continues with those admitted to 1775], baptisms (1641-1775), deaths/burials (1641-1688), Rev. John Eliot's records (1642-1677), and Rev. Samuel Danforth's records (1649-1674). Internet Archive
7
1881 Boston town records, 11 Mar. 1660/1 to 10 Mar. 1700/1. Internet Archive
8
1883 Boston town records, 11 Mar. 1700/1 to 30 Sept. 1728. Internet Archive
9
1882 Boston births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1630-1699. Internet Archive
10
1886 Miscellaneous papers: (1) will of Robert Keayne, 1653 (p. 1-54); (2) admissions to the town of Boston, 1670-1700 (p. 55-82); (3) town deeds and agreements (p. 83-87); (4) males in Maj. Townsend's Camp, 1698 (p. 88-89); (5) abatements of taxes, 1700 (p. 90-104); (6) abatements of taxes, 1702 (p. 105-110); (7) Muddy River petition, 1704 (p. 111); (8) Poor fund, 1704 (p. 112); (9) Warnings out of town, 1707 (p. 113); (10) census of 1707 (p. 114-126); (11) agreement for a drain, 1685 (p. 127-128); (12) tax list, 1691-1693 (p. 129-135); (13) shop under the Town House, 1696 (p. 136-137); (14) abatements, 1701-2 (p. 138-150); (15) apprentice's indenture, 1701 (p. 151-152); (16) out-wharves, 1708 (p. 153-156); (17) Wood Lane, 1709 (p. 157); (18) fortifications on the Neck, 1711 (p. 158); (19) vessels entered in 1714 (p. 159-161); (20) index to first part (p. 161a-k-162); (21)Boston Directory for 1789 with map (p. 163-212); (22) Boston Directory for 1796 with map (p. 213-302). Internet Archive
11
1884 Boston Selectmen's records, 29 Sept. 1701 to 17 Mar. 1715/6. Internet Archive
12
1885 Boston town records, 10 Mar. 1728/9 to 27 Dec. 1742. Internet Archive
13
1885 Boston Selectmen's records, 20 Mar. 1715/6 to 8 Sept. 1736. Internet Archive
14
1885 Boston town records, 14 Mar. 1742/3 to 1 Nov. 1757. Internet Archive
15
1886 Boston Selectmen's records, 15 Sept. 1736 to 29 Dec. 1742. Internet Archive
16
1886 Boston town records, 13 Mar. 1758 to 13 Dec. 1769. Internet Archive
17
1887 Boston Selectmen's records, 1 Jan. 1742/3 to 31 Dec. 1753. Internet Archive
18
1887 Boston town records, 6 Mar. 1770 to 23 Jan. 1778. Internet Archive
19
1887 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 28 Jan. 1754 to 2 Jan. 1764. Internet Archive
20
1889 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 2 Jan. 1764 to 28 Dec. 1768. Internet Archive
21
1891 Dorchester births, marriages, and deaths to the end of 1825. Internet Archive
22
1890, 1910 Direct Tax of 1798 and U.S. Census for 1790 (with corrections fro the first town directory of 1789). Internet Archive
23
1893 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 4 Jan. 1769 to 19 Apr. 1775 [record is suspended due to the British occupation]. Internet Archive
24
1894 Boston births, 1700-1817 [Note: The record after 1745 is notably diminished]. Internet Archive
25
1894 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 20 May 1776 to 27 Dec. 1786. Internet Archive
26
1895 Boston town records, 5 Mar. 1778 to 24 Dec. 1783. Internet Archive
27
1896 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 3 Jan. 1787 to 31 Dec. 1798. Internet Archive
28
1898 Boston marriages, 1700 to 1751 [Note: This volume includes church marriages in the city clerk's archives that are not part of the town records plus a similar list from 28 June 1695 to 4 Mar. 1696/7]. Internet Archive
29
1900 Miscellaneous papers: (1) Great Fire of 1760 (p. 1-132); (2) Lists of freemen, 1630-1691 [includes other Suffolk County towns] (p. 133-180); (3) Timber building book, 1707-1727 [i.e. 1729] (p. 181-225); (4) Inhabitants of Capt. Allen's Company, 1698 (p. 226-228); (5) Port arrivals, 1715-1716 (p. 229-242); (6) List of scholars, 1753 (p. 243); (7) Port arrivals, 1762-1775 (p. 243-332). Internet Archive
30
1903 Boston marriages, 1752 to 1809 (includes intentions and church records) [with addenda sheet]. Internet Archive
31
1903 Boston town records, 23 Feb. 1784 to 20 May 1796. Internet Archive
32
1903 William Aspinwall notarial records, 1644 to 1651. Internet Archive
33
1904 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 9 Jan. 1799 to 26 Dec. 1810. Internet Archive
34
1905 Francis S. Drake, The Town of Roxbury its memorable persons and places its history and antiquities, with numerous illustrations of its old landmarks and notes personages (with map). Internet Archive
35
1905 Boston town records, 4 July 1796 to 10 Nov. 1813. Internet Archive
36
1905 Dorchester births, marriages, and deaths, 1826 to 1849 (including deaths from the First Burying Ground not in town records). Internet Archive
37
1906 Boston town records, 14 Mar. 1814 to 1 Apr. 1822. Internet Archive
38
1908 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 2 Jan. 1811 to 25 Aug. 1818. Internet Archive
39
1909 Boston Selectmen's minutes, 1 Sept. 181 to 24 Apr. 1822. Internet Archive
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Resources

Emigration and immigration

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Newspapers

Notarial records - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775

Early notarial records for the city of Boston were published in volume 32 of the Boston Record Commissioners Reports.

  • Volume 32. A Volume Relating to the Early History of Boston, containing the Aspinwall Notarial Records from 1644 to 1651. Boston: Municipal Printing Office, 1903. (FHL book 974.461 H2b v. 32). Digital version at Internet Archive

Orphans and orphanages

  • Holloran, Peter C. Boston's Waywards Children: Social Services for Homeless Children, 1830-1930. Boston: Northeastern University Press, c1989. FHL book 974.461 J3h.

Poorhouses

  • Downer, Lawrence W. "The Indentures of Boston's Poor Apprentices: 1734-1805," The Colonial Society of Massachusetts (Mar. 1962):417-434. Digital version at Primary Research - free.
  • Nellis, Eric and Anne Decker Cecere. ed. The Eighteenth-Century Records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor. Boston: Colonial Society of Massachusetts, c2007. FHL book 974.4 B4cs v. 69.

Repositories

Archives

City of Boston Archives
201 Rivermoor Street
West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132
Telephone: 617-635-1195
Fax: 617-635-1194
Email: Archives@cityofboston.gov
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. by appointment only
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The National Archives at Boston
Frederick C. Murphy Federal Center
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, Massachusetts 02452-6399
Telephone: 781-663-0130
Fax: 781-663-0154
Email: boston.archives@nara.gov  

Libraries

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Telephone: 617-536-5400
Email: ask@bpl.org
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Congregational Library
14 Beacon Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Telephone: 617-523-0470
Fax: 617-523-0491
Email: circ@14beacon.org  

The Congregational Library has an impressive collection of records documenting the history of American Congregationalism for the last 300 years. Equally impressive is their collection of New England local, town, and family histories. They also have a strong collection of published Massachusetts vital records. Congregational church records include membership lists, dismissals, baptisms, marriages, minutes of meetings, etc.

Societies

New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116-3007
Telephone: 617-536-5740
Fax: 617-536-7307
Email: info@nehgs.org
Website: www.americanancestors.org

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has a substantial collection of published New England genealogies and local histories. They also have a strong microform collection that contains copies of original town, probate, land, and vital records; censuses; city directories; and immigration records for most of the New England states and neighboring Canadian provinces. Their manuscript department, which is open only to members, houses over 2 million manuscript items. Some of the items date to the late fourteenth century. Much of the collection emphasizes the New England area. Included in the collection are thousands of unpublished family histories and genealogies, bibles and bible records, church, cemetery, town, and vital records, maps, photographs, etc.

Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Telephone: 617-646-0532
Fax: 617-859-0074
Email: library@masshist.org

Websites

References

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 21-23. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
  2. First Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston (Boston, 1876), 1.
Adjacent towns: Suffolk Co.: Chelsea | Revere | Winthrop | Middlesex Co.: Cambridge | Everett | Medford | Newton | Somerville | Watertown | Norfolk Co.: Brookline | Canton | Dedham | Milton | Needham | Quincy | Plymouth Co.: Hull