Boston Massachusetts genealogy

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''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Suffolk County, Massachusetts|Suffolk]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Boston'''  
 
''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Suffolk County, Massachusetts|Suffolk]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Boston'''  
  
This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town and city of Boston. You will find help town histories, vital records, city directories, 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, Massachusetts|Brighton (1807-1874)]]; [[Charlestown, Massachusetts|Charlestown (1630-1874)]]; [[Dorchester, Massachusetts|Dorchester (1630-1870)]]; [[Hyde Park, Massachusetts|Hyde Park (1868-1912)]]; [[Roxbury, Massachusetts|Roxbury (1630-1868)]]; and [[West Roxbury, Massachusetts|West Roxbury (1851-1874)]]<br>  
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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, 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, Massachusetts|Brighton (1807-1874)]]; [[Charlestown, Massachusetts|Charlestown (1630-1874)]]; [[Dorchester, Massachusetts|Dorchester (1630-1870)]]; [[Hyde Park, Massachusetts|Hyde Park (1868-1912)]]; [[Roxbury, Massachusetts|Roxbury (1630-1868)]]; and [[West Roxbury, Massachusetts|West Roxbury (1851-1874)]]<br>  
  
 
== Brief History  ==
 
== Brief History  ==

Revision as of 15:48, 16 November 2012

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, 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 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), 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

[[Image:
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.

]]Works written on the town include:

Boston - General
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Bay Back
  • 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

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

Original records
Published records - primary
Published records - secondary
  • 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 became annual (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 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 Library in Boston. Online copies of theses Boston directories can be found on Internet Archive and Google Books and searching for the year. 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 years available are:

1789, 1796, 1798
1800, 1803, 1805-1810
1813, 1816, 1818, 1820
1821-1823
1825-1861
1864, 1867, 1869
1871, 1873-1975, 1981

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 listing of all the streets, wharves, ward boundaries, public building, stage coach tables, societies and institutions, newspapers, and other handy information. The contents can change annually. The title changed over time:

Boston Almanac for the year XXXX
from 1836 (v. 1, no. 1) to 1871 (v. 26, no. 31)
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL film 1421639 Item 2 (1849 only)
Boston Almanac and Business Directory
from 1872 (v. 37) to 1894 (v. 59)
WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL
Boston Register and Business Directory
from 1895 (v. 60) to 1926 (v. 89)
WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.

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.

Wards of Boston

There were divisions of the town of Boston, but the ward became important 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).

Boston Wards in 1822
[Plan of Boston (1826) with ward boundaries - colored section were proposed new wards for 1832]
Ward 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]


Boston Wards in 1838


Boston Wards in 1850


Boston Wards in 1865


Boston Wards in 1895


Boston Wards in 1914


Boston Wards in 1924



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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.]

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
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