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''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Norfolk County, Massachusetts|Norfolk]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Dorchester'''  
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''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide|Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Norfolk County, Massachusetts|Norfolk]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Dorchester'''  
  
 
This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Dorchester. 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 is a detailed guide for the town and city of [[Boston, Massachusetts|Boston]] that annexed Dorchester.  
 
This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Dorchester. 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 is a detailed guide for the town and city of [[Boston, Massachusetts|Boston]] that annexed Dorchester.  
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Dorchester at one time was called Mattapan, Mennens Moone, and Squantums Neck.  
 
Dorchester at one time was called Mattapan, Mennens Moone, and Squantums Neck.  
  
Village or section names include Commercial Point, Dorchester Heights, Dorchester Neck, Harrison Square, Hyde Park, Lower Mills, Meeting House Hill, Neponset, Pine Garden, Port Norfolk, and Upper Mills.  
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Village or section names include Commercial Point, Dorchester, Dorchester Heights, Dorchester Neck, Field's Corner, Four Corners, Glover's Corner, Harrison Square, Hyde Park, Jones' Hill, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Meeting House Hill, Mount Bowdoin, Neponset, Pine Garden, Port Norfolk, Savin Hill, Upham's Corner, and Upper Mills.  
  
 
City neighborhoods include Adams Village, Annapolis, Ashmont Hill, Cedar Grove, Clam Point, Codman Hill, Codman Square, Columbia Point, Everett Square, Fields Corner, Five Streets, Four Corners, Franklin Field, Freeport, Harbor Point, Jones Hill, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Meeting House Hill, Melville Park, Mount Bowdoin, Neponset, Peabody Square, Pope's Hill, Port Norfolk, Savin Hill, and Uphams Corner.  
 
City neighborhoods include Adams Village, Annapolis, Ashmont Hill, Cedar Grove, Clam Point, Codman Hill, Codman Square, Columbia Point, Everett Square, Fields Corner, Five Streets, Four Corners, Franklin Field, Freeport, Harbor Point, Jones Hill, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Meeting House Hill, Melville Park, Mount Bowdoin, Neponset, Peabody Square, Pope's Hill, Port Norfolk, Savin Hill, and Uphams Corner.  
 
<center>'''Border changes''' </center>  
 
<center>'''Border changes''' </center>  
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| Dorchester annexed to [[Boston, Massachusetts|Boston]] by act of 4 June 1869 [Mass. Acts 1869, [http://archive.org/stream/actsresolvespass1869mass#page/646/mode/2up ch. 349, sec. 1, p. 646]].
 
| Dorchester annexed to [[Boston, Massachusetts|Boston]] by act of 4 June 1869 [Mass. Acts 1869, [http://archive.org/stream/actsresolvespass1869mass#page/646/mode/2up ch. 349, sec. 1, p. 646]].
 
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<div style="width:147%"><center>[[Dorchester, Massachusetts#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
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<div style="width:147%"><center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
 
== Town Histories  ==
 
== Town Histories  ==
  
 
Works written on the town include:{{MASufDorMap}}  
 
Works written on the town include:{{MASufDorMap}}  
  
*James Blake, ''Annals of the Town of Dorchester by James Blake. 1750'' (Boston, 1846), being pages 7-95 of the ''Collections of the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society'', no. 2.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/annalsoftownofdo00blak Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=DFwVAAAAYAAJ Google Books].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1577366 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|209765|item|disp=FHL book 929.273 C53d or film 897269 Item 3}}.<br>
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*James Blake, ''Annals of the Town of Dorchester by James Blake. 1750'' (Boston, 1846), being pages 7-95 of the ''Collections of the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society'', no. 2.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/annalsoftownofdo00blak Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=DFwVAAAAYAAJ Google Books].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1577366 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|209765|item|disp=FHL book 929.273 C53d or film 897269 Item 3}}.<br>  
*Ebenezer Clapp Jr. et al., ''History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts'' (Boston, 1851-1859; rep. Boston, 1859), xii, 672 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/historyoftownofd00dorc Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=sT0OAAAAIAAJ Google Books].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/33372955 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|1943846|item|disp=FHL book at Logan Regional Family History Center}}.<br>
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*Ebenezer Clapp Jr. et al., ''History of the Town of Dorchester, Massachusetts'' (Boston, 1851-1859; rep. Boston, 1859), xii, 672 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/historyoftownofd00dorc Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=sT0OAAAAIAAJ Google Books].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/33372955 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|1943846|item|disp=FHL book at Logan Regional Family History Center}}.<br>  
*[http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1079643~S0 Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society collection, 1635-1874 (bulk: 1720-1870)], a manuscript collection at the New England Historic Genealogical Society that includes town records, marriage intentions, church records (First Church and Second Parish), other original and published material, 8.5 linear ft.<br>
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*[http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1079643~S0 Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society collection, 1635-1874 (bulk: 1720-1870)], a manuscript collection at the New England Historic Genealogical Society that includes town records, marriage intentions, church records (First Church and Second Parish), other original and published material, 8.5 linear ft.<br>  
*David Clapp, ''The Ancient Proprietors of Jones's Hill: including brief sketches of the Jones, Stoughton, Tailer, Wiswall, Moseley, Capen and Holden families, the location and boundaries of their estates, etc.'' (Boston, 1883), vi, 68 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/ancientpropriet00clapgoog Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=OSwWAAAAYAAJ Google Books], [http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008651278 Hathi Trust], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=23052 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/13392454 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|230494|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 D3c or film 873530 Item 4}} (with digital link).<br>
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*David Clapp, ''The Ancient Proprietors of Jones's Hill: including brief sketches of the Jones, Stoughton, Tailer, Wiswall, Moseley, Capen and Holden families, the location and boundaries of their estates, etc.'' (Boston, 1883), vi, 68 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/ancientpropriet00clapgoog Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=OSwWAAAAYAAJ Google Books], [http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008651278 Hathi Trust], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=23052 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/13392454 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|230494|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 D3c or film 873530 Item 4}} (with digital link).<br>  
*William Dana Orcutt, ''Good Old Dorchester. A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893'' (Cambridge, Mass., 1893; 2nd ed. 1908), xv, 496 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/goodolddorcheste00orcu Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=davty16_aRgC Google Books], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=23958 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1036358 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>
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*William Dana Orcutt, ''Good Old Dorchester. A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893'' (Cambridge, Mass., 1893; 2nd ed. 1908), xv, 496 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/goodolddorcheste00orcu Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=davty16_aRgC Google Books], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=23958 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1036358 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
*Maude Pinney Kuhns, ''The "Mary and John;" a story of the founding of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630'' (Rutland, Vt., [1943]; rep. Rutland, Vt., 1971), xii, 254 pp.<br>Contains the passenger list of the "Mary and John," a brief account of the passengers, and genealogical tables of their descendants.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/163451 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|209765|item|disp=FHL book 974 W2k}}.<br>
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*Maude Pinney Kuhns, ''The "Mary and John;" a story of the founding of Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630'' (Rutland, Vt., [1943]; rep. Rutland, Vt., 1971), xii, 254 pp.<br>Contains the passenger list of the "Mary and John," a brief account of the passengers, and genealogical tables of their descendants.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/163451 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|209765|item|disp=FHL book 974 W2k}}.<br>  
*Rodney L. Clark, "Dorchester: An English Plantation 1630-1640. A report on the first English inhabitants of Dorchester Plantation" (S.l., 2004).<br>Manuscript at the [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1082089~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/56483461 WorldCat (Other Libraries)].<br>
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*Rodney L. Clark, "Dorchester: An English Plantation 1630-1640. A report on the first English inhabitants of Dorchester Plantation" (S.l., 2004).<br>Manuscript at the [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1082089~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/56483461 WorldCat (Other Libraries)].<br>  
 
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorchester,_Massachusetts Dorchester Wikipedia page].
 
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorchester,_Massachusetts Dorchester Wikipedia page].
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== Vital Records  ==
 
== Vital Records  ==
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*Sanford Charles Gladden, ''An index to the Vital Records of Dorchester, Massachusetts through 1825'' (Boulder, Colo., 1970), ii, 148 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/132150 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|229541|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 V2g}}.  
 
*Sanford Charles Gladden, ''An index to the Vital Records of Dorchester, Massachusetts through 1825'' (Boulder, Colo., 1970), ii, 148 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/132150 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|229541|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 V2g}}.  
 
*''Vital Records of the Town of Dorchester from 1826 to 1849'' (Boston, 1905), [7], 288 pp., being volume 36 of the Boston Record Commissioners' series.<br>This volume was microfiched by the Family History Library, {{FHL|1209385|item|disp=FHL fiche 6014407-6014410}} and in digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/vitalrecordsofto1905dorc Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=sz4OAAAAIAAJ Google Books], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=10152 Ancestry] ($). In a database at [http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=344&Da=190&Co=191&Rg=218&Ci=Dorchester American Ancestors] ($) [for both volumes].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/4407621 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|570850|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 V2v}} (with digital link).<br>
 
*''Vital Records of the Town of Dorchester from 1826 to 1849'' (Boston, 1905), [7], 288 pp., being volume 36 of the Boston Record Commissioners' series.<br>This volume was microfiched by the Family History Library, {{FHL|1209385|item|disp=FHL fiche 6014407-6014410}} and in digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/vitalrecordsofto1905dorc Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=sz4OAAAAIAAJ Google Books], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=10152 Ancestry] ($). In a database at [http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=344&Da=190&Co=191&Rg=218&Ci=Dorchester American Ancestors] ($) [for both volumes].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/4407621 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|570850|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 V2v}} (with digital link).<br>
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<center>'''Other Manuscript Records''' </center>
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*Deaths in the town of Dorchester [Mass.] [1844-1846], [http://library.nehgs.org/record=1075648~S0 Mss C 2740, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston, with image ($).<br>
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== City Directories  ==
 
== City Directories  ==
  
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*[http://www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/oversight-agencies/lib/ Massachusetts State Library] has 1848 and 1868/9.  
 
*[http://www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/oversight-agencies/lib/ Massachusetts State Library] has 1848 and 1868/9.  
 
*[http://library.nehgs.org/search~S0?/ddorchester/ddorchester/25%2C92%2C290%2CB/exact&FF=ddorchester+boston+mass+directories&1%2C4%2C New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston)] ($) has 1850 and 1868/9.
 
*[http://library.nehgs.org/search~S0?/ddorchester/ddorchester/25%2C92%2C290%2CB/exact&FF=ddorchester+boston+mass+directories&1%2C4%2C New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston)] ($) has 1850 and 1868/9.
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== Cemeteries  ==
 
== Cemeteries  ==
  
The following is a list of cemeteries within the old borders of the town of Dorchester. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.<br>  
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The following is a list of cemeteries within the old borders of the town of Dorchester. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.<br><br>The city's Parks and Recreation Department runs a public / private cooperative program called the [http://www.cityofboston.gov/parks/hbgi/ 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.<br>  
  
 
:#Cedar Grove Cemetery, 1867.<br>Robert Baynard Severy is the author of several books:<br>''Guide to section 5 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2010).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/794078292 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 6 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2009).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/518379887 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 7 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2007).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/174964044 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 9 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2009).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/433646019 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 10 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2010).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/682621262 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL..<br>''Guide to section 11 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2008).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/299152585 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 12 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2008).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/264715038 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to the Oak Hill Section 18 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2011).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/741786431 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to the Oak Hill Section 19 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2012).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/794379348 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to the Maple Lot section 21 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2007).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/219600984 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.  
 
:#Cedar Grove Cemetery, 1867.<br>Robert Baynard Severy is the author of several books:<br>''Guide to section 5 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2010).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/794078292 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 6 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2009).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/518379887 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 7 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2007).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/174964044 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 9 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2009).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/433646019 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 10 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2010).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/682621262 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL..<br>''Guide to section 11 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2008).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/299152585 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to section 12 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2008).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/264715038 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to the Oak Hill Section 18 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2011).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/741786431 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to the Oak Hill Section 19 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2012).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/794379348 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Guide to the Maple Lot section 21 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2007).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/219600984 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.  
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:#Dorchester South Cemetery / South Burying Ground, 1771.<br>Manuscript at the [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1052498~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.  
 
:#Dorchester South Cemetery / South Burying Ground, 1771.<br>Manuscript at the [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1052498~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.  
 
:#St. Mary's Cemetery, 1851.
 
:#St. Mary's Cemetery, 1851.
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== Churches  ==
 
== Churches  ==
  
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This list is for churches that fell within the old town borders of Dorchester that include the current neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park (above Readville), though these modern divisions do not exactly match the old town borders.  
 
This list is for churches that fell within the old town borders of Dorchester that include the current neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park (above Readville), though these modern divisions do not exactly match the old town borders.  
  
:#'''First Church''' (in England, 1630), reorganized / new church '''First Parish''' of Dorchester [first Congregational and then Unitarian] (now [http://www.firstparishdorchester.org/ '''First Parish Church in Dorchester'''] Unitarian Universalist), 1636, records good.<br>Note: Memorandum in the records reads "Second Church of Dorchester." The fifth building was burned in 1896.<br>First Parish Church in Dorchester Records, 1636-1981, held at the [http://www.masshist.org/findingaids/doc.cfm?fa=fa0041 Massachusetts Historical Society].<br>Church records, 1636-1845, {{FHL|277727|item|disp=FHL film 856696 Item 1}}.<br>Records of the First Church at Dorchester, in New England, 1636-1734 (Boston, 1891), xxvi, 270 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/recordsoffirstch00first Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=0-xzW5V-AzoC Google Books].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/2104155 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|179271|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 K2r or film 833385}}.<br>  
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:#'''First Church''' (in England, 1630), reorganized / new church '''First Parish''' of Dorchester [first Congregational and then Unitarian] (now [http://www.firstparishdorchester.org/ '''First Parish Church in Dorchester'''] Unitarian Universalist), 1636, records good.<br>Note: Memorandum in the records reads "Second Church of Dorchester." The fifth building was burned in 1896.<br>First Parish Church in Dorchester Records, 1636-1981, held at the [http://www.masshist.org/findingaids/doc.cfm?fa=fa0041 Massachusetts Historical Society].<br>Church records, 1636-1845, {{FHL|277727|item|disp=FHL film 856696 Item 1}}.<br>First Parish Church record book, 1848-1865, held by [http://rfi.bostonhistory.org/boston/default.asp?IDCFile=detailsG.IDC,SPECIFIC=13047,DATABASE=GROUP, The Bostonian Society, MS0126].<br>This is the record of William Davenport, the sexton for the church. It includes the records of burials and their related activity, pew rentals, and a genealogy of the Davenport family.<br>[Burials at Dorchester, Mass., 1806-1850], by Daniel Davenport, sexton of the First Church, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1077181~S0 Mss A 3266, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>[Baptisms at Dorchester, Mass., 1748-1781], by Samuel Withington, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1077176~S0 Mss A 3271, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>[Deaths at Dorchester, Mass., 1732-1781], by Samuel Withington, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1077180~S0 Mss A 3267, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>Restricted, use transcription or [http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=0344&Da=69 online database].<br>Records of the First Church at Dorchester, in New England, 1636-1734 (Boston, 1891), xxvi, 270 pp.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/recordsoffirstch00first Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=0-xzW5V-AzoC Google Books].<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/2104155 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|179271|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 K2r or film 833385}}.<br>  
 
:#'''Church in the South Precinct''' of Dorchester, 1717.<br>Note: This church became part of Stoughton when it was created as a town in 1736, see [[Stoughton, Massachusetts#Churches|Stoughton]].<br>  
 
:#'''Church in the South Precinct''' of Dorchester, 1717.<br>Note: This church became part of Stoughton when it was created as a town in 1736, see [[Stoughton, Massachusetts#Churches|Stoughton]].<br>  
 
:#'''Second Congregational Church''' [split off from the First Church and sometimes called the '''South Meeting House'''] (now [http://www.secondchurchnaz.org/ '''Second Church''' in Dorchester], a Church of the Nazarene), 1808-1987, records good.<br>Second Church, records, 1922-1987 (gaps), at the [http://www.congregationallibrary.org/sites/all/pdf/efg-dsc.pdf Congregational Library], Boston.<br>Janet L. Robertson, ''Puritan Heritage: A Brief History of Second Church in Dorchester'' (Boston, 1955), [18] pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32961595 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#'''Second Congregational Church''' [split off from the First Church and sometimes called the '''South Meeting House'''] (now [http://www.secondchurchnaz.org/ '''Second Church''' in Dorchester], a Church of the Nazarene), 1808-1987, records good.<br>Second Church, records, 1922-1987 (gaps), at the [http://www.congregationallibrary.org/sites/all/pdf/efg-dsc.pdf Congregational Library], Boston.<br>Janet L. Robertson, ''Puritan Heritage: A Brief History of Second Church in Dorchester'' (Boston, 1955), [18] pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32961595 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#'''Third Religious Society''' in Dorchester [split off from the Second Congregational Church and called the '''New South Meeting House''' or '''Dorchester South Church'''] (by 1817 '''Third Congregational Church''' of Dorchester, now Unitarian), Lower Mills, 1813-1946, records good.<br>Church records, 1815-1946, held at the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00020.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>''Memorial of the Proprietors of the New South Meeting-House in Dorchester'' (Boston, 1813).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/15452437 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>William Irvin Lawrance, ''History of the Third Religious Society of Dorchester, 1813-1888'' (Boston, 1888).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/14250855 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#'''Third Religious Society''' in Dorchester [split off from the Second Congregational Church and called the '''New South Meeting House''' or '''Dorchester South Church'''] (by 1817 '''Third Congregational Church''' of Dorchester, now Unitarian), Lower Mills, 1813-1946, records good.<br>Church records, 1815-1946, held at the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00020.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>''Memorial of the Proprietors of the New South Meeting-House in Dorchester'' (Boston, 1813).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/15452437 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>William Irvin Lawrance, ''History of the Third Religious Society of Dorchester, 1813-1888'' (Boston, 1888).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/14250855 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
:#'''Dorchester First Methodist Episcopal Church''', 1816-1965 [the Fourth Parish], records good.<br>Note: Merged with Stanton Avenue and Parkman Street to form [http://www.neumc.org/churches/detail/138 '''Wesley United Methodist Church'''] in 1965.<br>John R. Chaffee, ''The History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' (Boston, 1917), 247 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/6637667 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Twenty-five Years of Methodism in Dorchester First Church, 1916-1941'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1941).<br>  
+
:#'''Dorchester First Methodist Episcopal Church''', 1816-1965 [the Fourth Parish], records good.<br>Account book of Rev. Luman Boyden, 1829-1875, Methodist minister, including marriages, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1081778~S0 Mss A 4900, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>Note: Merged with Stanton Avenue and Parkman Street to form [http://www.neumc.org/churches/detail/138 '''Wesley United Methodist Church'''] in 1965.<br>John R. Chaffee, ''The History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' (Boston, 1917), 247 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/6637667 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>''Twenty-five Years of Methodism in Dorchester First Church, 1916-1941'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1941).<br>  
 
:#'''Village Congregational Church''', Mattapan, 1829-1966, records good.<br>Note: Members from the Second Church were dismissed to for this new church in the south part of town. Merged with First Congregational Church of Milton in 1968.<br>''History of the Village Congregational Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1929), 32 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/85776376 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#'''Village Congregational Church''', Mattapan, 1829-1966, records good.<br>Note: Members from the Second Church were dismissed to for this new church in the south part of town. Merged with First Congregational Church of Milton in 1968.<br>''History of the Village Congregational Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1929), 32 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/85776376 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#[http://www.firstbaptistchurchindorchester.com/ '''First Baptist Church''' in Dorchester] (later '''Neponset Avenue Baptist Church''' and discontinued name), Neponset, 1837, records good.<br>  
 
:#[http://www.firstbaptistchurchindorchester.com/ '''First Baptist Church''' in Dorchester] (later '''Neponset Avenue Baptist Church''' and discontinued name), Neponset, 1837, records good.<br>  
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:#'''Third Unitarian Society''' (by 1852, '''Harrison Square Society''', by 1894, '''Christ Church of Dorchester'''), 1848-extinct, records good.<br>Christ Church, Dorchester, Cash book, 1848-1850, held by the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00019.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>  
 
:#'''Third Unitarian Society''' (by 1852, '''Harrison Square Society''', by 1894, '''Christ Church of Dorchester'''), 1848-extinct, records good.<br>Christ Church, Dorchester, Cash book, 1848-1850, held by the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00019.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>  
 
:#'''Second Methodist Episcopal Church''', 1850-1858.<br>Re-organized in 1860 (see below).<br>  
 
:#'''Second Methodist Episcopal Church''', 1850-1858.<br>Re-organized in 1860 (see below).<br>  
:#'''Church of the Unity''' [Unitarian], Neponset, 1859-1924, records good.<br>Church of the Unity, Neponset, parish records, 1859-1924, held by the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00021.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>  
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:#'''Church of the Unity''' [Unitarian], Neponset, 1859-1924, records good.<br>Church of the Unity, Neponset, parish records, 1859-1924, held by the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00021.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>Record of marriages by George H. Hosmer, 1867-1899, Unitarian minister of the Church of the Unity (1887-1899), [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1066916~S0 Mss A 1506, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>  
 
:#'''Trinity Congregational Church''' (federated with the '''Second Methodist Episcopal Church''' to form the '''Community Church of Neponset''' in 1927 [current, no website]), Neponset, 1859, records good.<br>  
 
:#'''Trinity Congregational Church''' (federated with the '''Second Methodist Episcopal Church''' to form the '''Community Church of Neponset''' in 1927 [current, no website]), Neponset, 1859, records good.<br>  
 
:#'''Second Methodist Episcopal Church of Dorchester''' (after 1870, '''Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church''', then federated with the '''Trinity Congregational Church''' to form the '''Community Church of Neponset''' in 1927 [current, no website]), Neponset, 1861, records poor.<br>  
 
:#'''Second Methodist Episcopal Church of Dorchester''' (after 1870, '''Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church''', then federated with the '''Trinity Congregational Church''' to form the '''Community Church of Neponset''' in 1927 [current, no website]), Neponset, 1861, records poor.<br>  
 
:#'''Washington Union Village Church''', by 1861.<br>Note: This church was said to be later called the '''Channing Church''' in Dorchester. It is not listed in the Dorchester City Directory, 1868/9.<br>Church records, 1836-1935, held at the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00141.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>  
 
:#'''Washington Union Village Church''', by 1861.<br>Note: This church was said to be later called the '''Channing Church''' in Dorchester. It is not listed in the Dorchester City Directory, 1868/9.<br>Church records, 1836-1935, held at the [http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/bms00141.html Andover-Harvard Theological Library], Harvard Divinity School.<br>  
:#'''Church of Jesus Christ''' [non-denominational] (changed to '''Cottage Street Congregational Church''' in 1871, named changed to '''Pilgrim Church''' in 1877, moved to Upham's Corner in 1890 and now called the [http://www.pilgrimchurch1862.org/home.html '''Pilgrim Trinitarian Congregational Church''']), 1862, records good.<br>Note: The '''Romsey Street Congregational Church''' was an offshoot of this church from 1893 to 1930.<br>''Manual of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, Dorchester, Boston, Mass.'' [various titles] (Boston, various dates).<br>No digital version available.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=Manual+of+the+Pilgrim+Congregational+Church%2C+Dorchester WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
+
:#'''Church of Jesus Christ''' [non-denominational] (changed to '''Cottage Street Congregational Church''' in 1871, named changed to '''Pilgrim Church''' in 1877, moved to Upham's Corner in 1890 and now called the [http://www.pilgrimchurch1862.org/home.html '''Pilgrim Trinitarian Congregational Church''']), 1862, records good.<br>Pilgrim Congregational Church records, 1921-1926, 1929-1942, by C. W. Dunham, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1071479~S0 Mss A 1902, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>Note: The '''Romsey Street Congregational Church''' was an offshoot of this church from 1893 to 1930.<br>''Manual of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, Dorchester, Boston, Mass.'' [various titles] (Boston, various dates).<br>No digital version available.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=Manual+of+the+Pilgrim+Congregational+Church%2C+Dorchester WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#[http://www.stgregoryparish.com/ '''St. Gregory's Catholic Church'''], 1863, records good.<br>Michael Parise, ''The History of Saint Gregory's Parish, Lower Mills, Dorchester and Milton, 1862-1987'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1987), 142 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/17278210 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#[http://www.stgregoryparish.com/ '''St. Gregory's Catholic Church'''], 1863, records good.<br>Michael Parise, ''The History of Saint Gregory's Parish, Lower Mills, Dorchester and Milton, 1862-1987'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1987), 142 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/17278210 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#'''Methodist Episcopal Church''' (renamed '''Greenwood Memorial Church''' in 1913, now called [http://www.greenwoodmemorialumc.org/ '''Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church''']), 1869. [not in 1889 survey]<br>Lawrence F. Berry, ''Greenwood Memorial Church (Methodist Episcopal), Dorchester, Massachusetts: Its Ancestry and Growth with the Neighborhood'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1936), 120 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/6855382 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
 
:#'''Methodist Episcopal Church''' (renamed '''Greenwood Memorial Church''' in 1913, now called [http://www.greenwoodmemorialumc.org/ '''Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church''']), 1869. [not in 1889 survey]<br>Lawrence F. Berry, ''Greenwood Memorial Church (Methodist Episcopal), Dorchester, Massachusetts: Its Ancestry and Growth with the Neighborhood'' (Dorchester, Mass., 1936), 120 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/6855382 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL.<br>  
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:#'''Congregation Agudath Israel''' (sometimes called the '''Woodrow Avenue Shul''' or '''Russian Shul'''), ca. 1916.<br>Note: The building burned in 1970 and the property was sold in 1972. What little is know about this congregation is on the [http://www.dorchesteratheneum.org/page.php?id=142 Dorchester Atheneum]. A Jewish publication announced their 25th anniversary in 1946, but the congregation was listed in the 1920 city directory.<br>  
 
:#'''Congregation Agudath Israel''' (sometimes called the '''Woodrow Avenue Shul''' or '''Russian Shul'''), ca. 1916.<br>Note: The building burned in 1970 and the property was sold in 1972. What little is know about this congregation is on the [http://www.dorchesteratheneum.org/page.php?id=142 Dorchester Atheneum]. A Jewish publication announced their 25th anniversary in 1946, but the congregation was listed in the 1920 city directory.<br>  
 
:#'''Our Saviour's Lutheran Church''' (sometimes called the '''Swedish Lutheran Vasa Church''' and now '''The Mission at Our Saviour's'''), 1919.<br>Note: This church is predominately African American now (2009) and has no website.<br>
 
:#'''Our Saviour's Lutheran Church''' (sometimes called the '''Swedish Lutheran Vasa Church''' and now '''The Mission at Our Saviour's'''), 1919.<br>Note: This church is predominately African American now (2009) and has no website.<br>
<center>[[Dorchester, Massachusetts#top|Top of Page]]</center>  
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>  
 
== Town Records  ==
 
== Town Records  ==
 
<center>'''Originals''' </center>  
 
<center>'''Originals''' </center>  
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''Fourth Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston: Dorchester Town Records'' (Boston, 1880; 2nd ed., 1883; 3rd ed., 1896), vi, 329 pp. (varies with ed.).<br>Note: The first volume of Dorchester Town Records in manuscript is 636 pages. This printed version covers up to page 282 (March 1686/7). The Commission planned to published the rest but never did.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/dorchestertownre00dorc Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=PZad_vQzUagC Google Books], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=28259 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=Fourth+Report+of+the+Record+Commissioners+of+the+City+of+Boston&qt=owc_search WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|229653|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 N2d or film 1425621 Item 4}} (with digital link).  
 
''Fourth Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston: Dorchester Town Records'' (Boston, 1880; 2nd ed., 1883; 3rd ed., 1896), vi, 329 pp. (varies with ed.).<br>Note: The first volume of Dorchester Town Records in manuscript is 636 pages. This printed version covers up to page 282 (March 1686/7). The Commission planned to published the rest but never did.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/dorchestertownre00dorc Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=PZad_vQzUagC Google Books], and [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=28259 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=Fourth+Report+of+the+Record+Commissioners+of+the+City+of+Boston&qt=owc_search WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|229653|item|disp=FHL book 974.46/D1 N2d or film 1425621 Item 4}} (with digital link).  
 
<center>'''Publications online''' </center>  
 
<center>'''Publications online''' </center>  
Annual reports (1838-1870), tax lists (1849-1850, 1853, 1855, 1861, 1865), and links to the published vital records and First Church records (also listed above) are found on a page of links at [http://www.bpl.org/online/govdocs/dorchester_town_documents.htm Boston Public Library].  
+
Annual reports (1838-1870), tax lists (1849-1850, 1853, 1855, 1861, 1865), and links to the published vital records and First Church records (also listed above) are found on a page of links at [http://www.bpl.org/online/govdocs/dorchester_town_documents.htm Boston Public Library].<br>
<center>[[Dorchester, Massachusetts#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
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<center>'''Other Manuscript Records''' </center>
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*Dorchester, An account of some abatements granted, 1770-1779, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1075840~S0 Mss C 2504, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston, with image ($).<br>
 +
*Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society collection, 1635-1874 (bulk: 1720-1870), [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1079643~S0 Mss 624, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston:<br>Box 4, folder 35 - Intentions of marriage, 1733-1736, 1744-1748, kept by town clerk James Blake<br>Box 4, folder 36 - Intentions of marriage, 1763-1799, kept by Noah Clapp<br>Box 4, folder 37-41 - Intentions of marriage, 1793-1825<br>The above restricted, see [http://www.americanancestors.org/search.aspx?Ca=0344&Da=81 online database] ($)<br>Other material of interest:<br>Box 5, folder 45 - Records of the first Precinct, 1721-1726<br>Box 5, folder 47 - Town minutes, 1736-1739, 1742, 1745, 1747<br>Box 5, folder 48 - List of voters, 1738, 1747<br>Box 5, folder 52 - Town clerk's list of those who arrived between 1767 and 1789 who have not obtained approbation<br>Oversize flat - List of persons qualified to vote, 1840, 1842, 1845-1846<br>
 +
*Account book of Noah Clap, 1766-1773, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1075753~S0 Mss C 2506, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>
 +
*Dorchester, Mass., Warnings out, 1725-1745, 53 items, [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1075589~S0 Mss C 2695, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society], Boston.<br>Transcribed version published as "Dorchester, Mass., warnings from the town, from original papers" in the ''New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 50 [1896]: 68-70.<br>''
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
 
== Newspapers  ==
 
== Newspapers  ==
  
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:#''The Dorchester Reporter'', 1983-present.  
 
:#''The Dorchester Reporter'', 1983-present.  
 
:#''The Curbstone'', 1989-1991.
 
:#''The Curbstone'', 1989-1991.
<center>[[Dorchester, Massachusetts#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
 
== Libraries and Historical Societies  ==
 
== Libraries and Historical Societies  ==
  
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[http://www.umb.edu/library/ '''Healey Library''']<br>University of Massachusetts - Boston<br>100 Morrissey Blvd.<br>Dorchester MA 02125<br>Phone 617-287-5940  
 
[http://www.umb.edu/library/ '''Healey Library''']<br>University of Massachusetts - Boston<br>100 Morrissey Blvd.<br>Dorchester MA 02125<br>Phone 617-287-5940  
 
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
 
== References  ==
 
== References  ==
  

Latest revision as of 15:21, 9 September 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Norfolk Gotoarrow.png Dorchester

This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Dorchester. 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 is a detailed guide for the town and city of Boston that annexed Dorchester.

Dorchester (1630-1870)

Dorchester was a town in Norfolk County before it was annexed to Boston in Suffolk County. This guide discusses the records created by this town and includes references to material of present-day Dorchester (the neighborhood of Boston) as well. Be careful of the time period you are researching here as the records you need may be in one of two counties or one of two towns.

Contents


Brief History

Members of the Dorchester Company set sail on the Mary and John and arrived at Mattapan in 1630 where all her 140 passengers settled. The place was soon renamed Dorchester. The settlement was granted several large tracts of land that would later become the towns of Milton in 1662 and Stoughton in 1726, but the concentration of the population was always near the shore. Many notable events happened here, including the first town meeting in America in 1633 and the introduction of chocolate in 1765. The town became a place for the Boston Elite to summer in the late nineteenth century and Columbia Point was still a pasture. The town became intertwined with Boston and was annexed in pieces until it was all one with Boston. The first to go was Dorchester Heights in 1804 and then renamed South Boston. The bulk of the town was annexed in 1870 and the remaining parts that became Hyde Park were annexed in 1912. This section of the city is home to the oldest house, the James Blake House in Edward Everett Square, built around 1650.

Historical Data

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

Associated names

Dorchester at one time was called Mattapan, Mennens Moone, and Squantums Neck.

Village or section names include Commercial Point, Dorchester, Dorchester Heights, Dorchester Neck, Field's Corner, Four Corners, Glover's Corner, Harrison Square, Hyde Park, Jones' Hill, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Meeting House Hill, Mount Bowdoin, Neponset, Pine Garden, Port Norfolk, Savin Hill, Upham's Corner, and Upper Mills.

City neighborhoods include Adams Village, Annapolis, Ashmont Hill, Cedar Grove, Clam Point, Codman Hill, Codman Square, Columbia Point, Everett Square, Fields Corner, Five Streets, Four Corners, Franklin Field, Freeport, Harbor Point, Jones Hill, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Meeting House Hill, Melville Park, Mount Bowdoin, Neponset, Peabody Square, Pope's Hill, Port Norfolk, Savin Hill, and Uphams Corner.

Border changes
Dates Events
7 Sept. 1630 The name was changed from Mattapan to Dorchester [Mass. Bay Rec., 1: 75].
4 Mar. 1635 Thompson's Island granted to Dorchester.
28 Mar. 1636 Border between Dorchester and Boston established.
17 May 1638 Border between Dorchester and Dedham established.
2 June 1641 Squantums Neck and Mennens Moone annexed.
12 Nov. 1659 Granted 1000 acres of land.
7 May 1662 Part set off to create the new town of Milton.
22 Dec. 1726 Part set off to create the new town of Stoughton.
1 Aug. 1728 Land belonging to Dorchester annexed to Lunenburg.
7 June 1739 Part of Dedham annexed.
22 Feb. 1792 Part of the section called Squantum and the farms annexed to Quincy.
6 Mar. 1804 Dorchester Heights / Neck annexed to Boston and became known as South Boston.
10 Feb. 1814 Another part of the section called Squantum and the farms annexed to Quincy.
12 Feb. 1819 Part annexed to Quincy.
21 Feb. 1820 Border between Dorchester and Quincy established and another part of Squantum annexed to Quincy.
17 June 1831 Part of Dedham annexed.
25 Mar. 1834 Thompson's Island annexed to Boston.
2 May 1855 The remaining part of Squantum annexed to Quincy.
21 May 1855 Part annexed to Boston.
22 Apr. 1868 Part included in the new town of Hyde Park.
3 Jan. 1870 Dorchester annexed to Boston by act of 4 June 1869 [Mass. Acts 1869, ch. 349, sec. 1, p. 646].
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Town Histories

Works written on the town include:
MassachusettsSuffolk CountyNorfolk CountyPlymouth CountyMiddlesex CountyEssex CountyNorfolk CountyBostonChelseaRevereWinthropNeedhamBrooklineDedhamWestwoodNorwoodCantonRandolphBraintreeWeymouthHinghamHullQuincyMiltonNewtonWatertownWalthamLexingtonWoburnWinchesterArlingtonBelmontCambridgeSomervilleMedfordStonehamMelroseMaldenEverettSaugusLynnNanhantCharlestownBrightonRoxburyWest RoxburyDorchesterHyde Park
Dorchester was annexed by Boston in 1870. This shows Dorchester in Boston on a map of Suffolk County, Massachusetts.


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Vital Records

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

Original records
Published records
Other Manuscript Records
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City Directories

Dorchester was published in 1848 and 1850 (business only), and 1868/9.

The Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) has one of the largest collections of city directories in the country. They are likely to own most of the years listed above. Their collection is in microfiche, microfilm, and books, but there is no online inventory of their holdings except for microfilm. See their guide online.

Other holdings:

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Cemeteries

The following is a list of cemeteries within the old borders of the town of Dorchester. 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.

  1. Cedar Grove Cemetery, 1867.
    Robert Baynard Severy is the author of several books:
    Guide to section 5 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2010).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to section 6 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2009).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to section 7 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2007).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to section 9 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2009).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to section 10 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2010).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL..
    Guide to section 11 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2008).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to section 12 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2008).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to the Oak Hill Section 18 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2011).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to the Oak Hill Section 19 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2012).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guide to the Maple Lot section 21 Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts ([Dorchester, Mass.], 2007).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  2. Codman Burial Ground, 1848.
    Manuscript at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
    Manuscript at the NSDAR Library.
  3. Dorchester North Cemetery, 1634.
    Daniel Davenport, The Sexton's Monitor, and Dorchester Cemetery Memorial (Roxbury, Mass., 1826; rep. Boston, 1838), x, 38 pp. (for 1826) and 35, [1] pp. (for 1838). [Note: A transcript by the sexton of the inscriptions that are almost worn away together with some of curious note.]
    Digital versions of the 1826 edition at Internet Archive and the Hathi Trust.
    Harlow E. Woodward, Epitaphs from the Old Burying Ground in Dorchester, Massachusetts (Boston Highlands, Mass., 1869), 21 pp. [Note: Not complete]
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and the Hathi Trust.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Annual Report of the Cemetery Department for the year 1904-1905 (Boston, 1905), p. 30-266, "Historical Sketch of The First Burying Place in Dorchester [Dorchester North Ground] including town records, records of all tombs, all epitaphs now in ground and of many stones now missing, and record of many of those buried in the ground with no gravestones standing."
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  4. Dorchester South Cemetery / South Burying Ground, 1771.
    Manuscript at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
  5. St. Mary's Cemetery, 1851.
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Churches

The following is a list of churches established in town in order of organization date (if known) and condition of records in the 1889 survey if listed. It is a record of churches up to 1920 only. For a list of churches of Boston in 2000, see the Emmanuel Gospel Center's Boston Church Directory (Millennium Edition) or the history of churches at the Dorchester Atheneum website.

This list is for churches that fell within the old town borders of Dorchester that include the current neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park (above Readville), though these modern divisions do not exactly match the old town borders.

  1. First Church (in England, 1630), reorganized / new church First Parish of Dorchester [first Congregational and then Unitarian] (now First Parish Church in Dorchester Unitarian Universalist), 1636, records good.
    Note: Memorandum in the records reads "Second Church of Dorchester." The fifth building was burned in 1896.
    First Parish Church in Dorchester Records, 1636-1981, held at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
    Church records, 1636-1845, FHL film 856696 Item 1.
    First Parish Church record book, 1848-1865, held by The Bostonian Society, MS0126.
    This is the record of William Davenport, the sexton for the church. It includes the records of burials and their related activity, pew rentals, and a genealogy of the Davenport family.
    [Burials at Dorchester, Mass., 1806-1850], by Daniel Davenport, sexton of the First Church, Mss A 3266, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
    [Baptisms at Dorchester, Mass., 1748-1781], by Samuel Withington, Mss A 3271, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
    [Deaths at Dorchester, Mass., 1732-1781], by Samuel Withington, Mss A 3267, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
    Restricted, use transcription or online database.
    Records of the First Church at Dorchester, in New England, 1636-1734 (Boston, 1891), xxvi, 270 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46/D1 K2r or film 833385.
  2. Church in the South Precinct of Dorchester, 1717.
    Note: This church became part of Stoughton when it was created as a town in 1736, see Stoughton.
  3. Second Congregational Church [split off from the First Church and sometimes called the South Meeting House] (now Second Church in Dorchester, a Church of the Nazarene), 1808-1987, records good.
    Second Church, records, 1922-1987 (gaps), at the Congregational Library, Boston.
    Janet L. Robertson, Puritan Heritage: A Brief History of Second Church in Dorchester (Boston, 1955), [18] pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  4. Third Religious Society in Dorchester [split off from the Second Congregational Church and called the New South Meeting House or Dorchester South Church] (by 1817 Third Congregational Church of Dorchester, now Unitarian), Lower Mills, 1813-1946, records good.
    Church records, 1815-1946, held at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
    Memorial of the Proprietors of the New South Meeting-House in Dorchester (Boston, 1813).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    William Irvin Lawrance, History of the Third Religious Society of Dorchester, 1813-1888 (Boston, 1888).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  5. Dorchester First Methodist Episcopal Church, 1816-1965 [the Fourth Parish], records good.
    Account book of Rev. Luman Boyden, 1829-1875, Methodist minister, including marriages, Mss A 4900, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
    Note: Merged with Stanton Avenue and Parkman Street to form Wesley United Methodist Church in 1965.
    John R. Chaffee, The History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts (Boston, 1917), 247 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Twenty-five Years of Methodism in Dorchester First Church, 1916-1941 (Dorchester, Mass., 1941).
  6. Village Congregational Church, Mattapan, 1829-1966, records good.
    Note: Members from the Second Church were dismissed to for this new church in the south part of town. Merged with First Congregational Church of Milton in 1968.
    History of the Village Congregational Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts (Dorchester, Mass., 1929), 32 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  7. First Baptist Church in Dorchester (later Neponset Avenue Baptist Church and discontinued name), Neponset, 1837, records good.
  8. Mattapan Methodist Episcopal Church (renamed Methodist Episcopal Church in 1875), 1845-extinct.
    Note: No information regarding this church has been found.
  9. North Baptist Church of Dorchester (after 1870, Stoughton Street Baptist Church), 1845-aft. 1930 (extinct), records good.
    Note: No further details about this church or its records have been found.
  10. St. Mary's Protestant Episcopal Church (now St. Mary's Episcopal Church), 1847, records good.
    Fiftieth Anniversary of the Foundation of St. Mary's Parish, Dorchester, 1847-1897 (Dorchester, Mass., 1898), 152 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Guild H. Copeland [?], St. Mary's Church: Its Year Book of 1907 and Its History, 1847 to 1907 (Dorchester, Mass., 1907).
    No WorldCat entry; Not at FHL.
  11. Third Unitarian Society (by 1852, Harrison Square Society, by 1894, Christ Church of Dorchester), 1848-extinct, records good.
    Christ Church, Dorchester, Cash book, 1848-1850, held by the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
  12. Second Methodist Episcopal Church, 1850-1858.
    Re-organized in 1860 (see below).
  13. Church of the Unity [Unitarian], Neponset, 1859-1924, records good.
    Church of the Unity, Neponset, parish records, 1859-1924, held by the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
    Record of marriages by George H. Hosmer, 1867-1899, Unitarian minister of the Church of the Unity (1887-1899), Mss A 1506, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
  14. Trinity Congregational Church (federated with the Second Methodist Episcopal Church to form the Community Church of Neponset in 1927 [current, no website]), Neponset, 1859, records good.
  15. Second Methodist Episcopal Church of Dorchester (after 1870, Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church, then federated with the Trinity Congregational Church to form the Community Church of Neponset in 1927 [current, no website]), Neponset, 1861, records poor.
  16. Washington Union Village Church, by 1861.
    Note: This church was said to be later called the Channing Church in Dorchester. It is not listed in the Dorchester City Directory, 1868/9.
    Church records, 1836-1935, held at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
  17. Church of Jesus Christ [non-denominational] (changed to Cottage Street Congregational Church in 1871, named changed to Pilgrim Church in 1877, moved to Upham's Corner in 1890 and now called the Pilgrim Trinitarian Congregational Church), 1862, records good.
    Pilgrim Congregational Church records, 1921-1926, 1929-1942, by C. W. Dunham, Mss A 1902, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston.
    Note: The Romsey Street Congregational Church was an offshoot of this church from 1893 to 1930.
    Manual of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, Dorchester, Boston, Mass. [various titles] (Boston, various dates).
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  18. St. Gregory's Catholic Church, 1863, records good.
    Michael Parise, The History of Saint Gregory's Parish, Lower Mills, Dorchester and Milton, 1862-1987 (Dorchester, Mass., 1987), 142 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  19. Methodist Episcopal Church (renamed Greenwood Memorial Church in 1913, now called Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church), 1869. [not in 1889 survey]
    Lawrence F. Berry, Greenwood Memorial Church (Methodist Episcopal), Dorchester, Massachusetts: Its Ancestry and Growth with the Neighborhood (Dorchester, Mass., 1936), 120 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  20. Bethany Baptist Church, 1871-extant in 1930, but now extinct. [not in 1889 survey]
    Note: No further details about this church or its records have been found.
  21. Mount Pleasant Church (Dudley St. and North Ave.), 1871-1876, moved and renamed Howard Avenue Methodist Church, 1876-1888.
    Note: This area is now considered Roxbury, but then was within the old town borders of Dorchester.
    Note: There are no known records for the first church. The church continued as the Baker Memorial Methodist Church, 1889-1943, in Upham's Corner. See below for those records.
    Howard Avenue Methodist Church records, 1876-1890, held by the School of Theology Library, Boston University.
  22. St. Peter's Catholic Church, 1873, condition not stated.
    Baptisms to 1895, Marriages to 1897, and Confirmations, 1894-1915, held by the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
    S. L. Emery, A Catholic Stronghold and Its Making. A History of St. Peter's Parish, Dorchester, Massachusetts and of Its First Rector (Boston, 1910), 95 pp.
    No digital version available.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    St. Peter's Church, 1872-1972, A Centennial History (Boston, 1972), 51 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  23. All Saints' Protestant Episcopal Church (now All Saints' Ashmont Episcopal Church), 1874, records good.
    Church records, 1874-1915, FHL film 1289673 Items 2-3.
    Alice P. Floyd, The History of the Parish of All Saints (Ashmont) Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts (Dorchester, Mass., 1945), 89 pp., [32] p. of plates.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
    Douglass Shand Tucci, All Saints' Ashmont, Dorchester, Boston. A Centennial History of the Parish (Boston, 1974), 83 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  24. Parkman Street Methodist Episcopal Church, 1874-1965, records well kept.
    Note: Merged with First Methodist and Stanton Avenue in 1965 to form the Wesley United Methodist Church in Dorchester.
    Records held by the School of Theology Library, Boston University.
    Church records, 1874-1898, FHL film 1508945 Items 13.
    50th Anniversary, 1874-1924: History and Souvenir (Dorchester, Mass., 1924).
    75th Anniversary, 1875-1950 (Dorchester, Mass., 1950).
    Note: Neither history found in WorldCat and not at FHL.
  25. St. John's Universalist Church, Upham's Corner, 1874-extinct between 1910-1920, records good.
    Note: Further information regarding this church or its records has not been found. See 1891 for a possible continuation of this church or a duplicate entry.
  26. Mattapan Methodist Church, 1874-1926.
    Note: Not found in any guides and just mentioned in notes from collections at Boston University's School of Theology website. The church organized in 1874 on Norfolk Street and bought an Episcopalian church in 1875, though the former owners used it sporadically from 1879 to 1883. The Methodist society reorganized in 1884 and moved to Milton in 1926 where it became the Parkway Church.
  27. St. Ann's Protestant Episcopal Church, 1877, records good.
    Note: This was an offshoot of St. Mary's Church. The Dorchester Antheneum says "The mission of St. Anne's on Cottage Street, near Dudley, was begun in a barber shop in 1876 by the Rev. W. W. Silvester. In 1879, it was placed under the control of the parish of St. James, Roxbury, and later became a separate parish." Nothing more is known about this church except it was listed in the 1921 directory without a rector.
  28. Grove Hall Universalist Parish (changed to "Church" in 1913), 1877-1968, records good.
    Records, 1907-1968, held by the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
  29. Blaney Memorial Baptist Church, 1882-after 1930.
    Note: Not in the 1889 survey and the building was demolished in 1980s. Location of its records is unknown.
  30. Lower Mills Baptist Church, 1882.
    Note: No further record of this church, though perhaps it is the same as the entry above which was given its name in 1886.
  31. Protestant Episcopal Congregation in Mattapan (after 1896 and now Church of the Holy Spirit [Episcopal]), 1883.
  32. Dorchester Temple Baptist Church, 1886 (after 1993, changed its name to Global Ministries Christian Church).
    With the disastrous fire of 1908 in Chelsea, many Canadians from Nova Scotia moved from Chelsea to Dorchester; the church doubled as some of them joined. They remained the majority of the church for 50 years. In the 1970s, the church almost closed as the neighborhood demographics changed.
    Dorchester Temple Baptist Church, 670 Washington Street, Dorchester 24, Massachusetts. Seventy-fifth Anniversary (Dorchester, Mass., 1961).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  33. Stanton Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church (later called Stanton Avenue Methodist Church), 1886-1965.
    Note: This church suffered a major fire in 1911. Merged with First Methodist and Parkman Street in 1965 to form the Wesley United Methodist Church in Dorchester.
    Records, 1886-1962, held by the School of Theology Library, Boston University.
    Grace Olive Chapman, Stanton Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester (Boston) Massachusetts, 1886-1936 (Dorchester, Mass., 1937), 117 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  34. Harvard Congregational Church, 1887-bet. 1930-1940.
    Note: Information regarding this church and its records are unknown.
  35. Baker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, 1888-1943.
    Note: Formed from the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church (1871-1876) that moved and was called the Howard Avenue Methodist Church (1876-1888) that closed in 1888. See those records above. This congregation moved and started meeting in Upham's Corner where they built their church in 1891. The church tower was condemned in 1940 and the church closed in 1943.
    Records held by the School of Theology Library, Boston University.
    Church records, 1889-1943, FHL film 1508945 Items 10-12.
    Our Golden Jubilee, 1891-1941 (Dorchester, Mass., 1941).
    Note: This booklet is not in WorldCat and not at FHL.
  36. Bethany Congregational Church (after 1891, Central Congregational Church), 1888-19??.
    Note: Merged with Second Congregational Church after 1946 and disbanded in 1987.
  37. Norfolk Unitarian Church, 1889-before 1921.
    Note: Little is known about this church except for its beginning. It was listed in the city directory for 1915, but not in 1921. So it was either closed or merged with another congregation. The records have not been located.
  38. St. Ann's Catholic Church, Neponset, 1889. [not in 1889 survey]
    Note: It was a ward of St. Gregory's Catholic Church from 1881 to 1889.
    Baptisms to 1904 and Deaths, 1933-1942 (closed) are held by the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
  39. Upham's Corner Universalist Church, 1891.
    Note: Further information regarding this church or its records has not been found. This church is not listed in the 1910 city directory. See the 1874 entry for St. John's - is this a duplicate entry?
  40. Ashmont Universalist Parish of Boston, 1892-before 1915.
    Note: The little that is known about this church is from the Dorchester Atheneum website. It was listed in the 1910 city directory, but not the 1915 edition. Location of its records is unknown.
  41. St. John's Chapel, 1892.
    Note: The Archdiocese of Boston considers this chapel to be in Roxbury, though it is physically in Dorchester. What little is known of this chapel is from the Dorchester Atheneum website.
  42. St. Margaret's Catholic Church, 1893-2004.
    Note: It was part of the closures by the Archdiocese to pay legal expenses. This parish was merged with St. William under the name of Blessed Mother Teresa Parish. The latter uses the St. Margaret's Church and hold all the church records.
    Baptisms to 1918, Marriages to 1919, and Confirmations to 1915 are held by the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
  43. Harrison Square Protestant Episcopal Church, bet. 1889-1894 (not extant in 1898).
    Note: Nothing is known about this church beyond it being shown on the 1894 Bromley atlas. See the Dorchester Atheneum website.
  44. Romsey Congregational Church, 1893-1930.
    Note: This was an offshoot of the Pilgrim Congregational Church and was folded back into the parent church in 1930.
  45. Congregation Mishkan Israel, 1895 (in the South End, moved to Dorchester ln 1901).
    Some non-vital records held by the New England Hebrew Academy.
    Other non-vital records, 1925-1969 held by the American Jewish Historical Society, New York, N.Y.
  46. Mount Bowdoin Methodist Episcopal Church (merged with The Highlands Methodist Episcopal Church of Roxbury in 1898 and renamed Greenwood Memorial Church in 1913), 1895.
    Note: More information regarding this church's history can be found on the Dorchester Atheneum website. It appears this church merged with the another Methodist Episcopal Church (#19 above).
  47. Berean Temple [Baptist], 1897 (when called a Chapel), extant in 1918, gone by 1920.
    Note: This was first a mission of the Dorchester Temple Baptist Church (see #32) as a chapel for their school and then a temple. It lasted about twenty years and then was folded back into the parent church.
  48. Immanuel Baptist Church, 1897-closed by 1976.
    Note: This building was burned on 24 Feb. 1983 and demolished. See the information regarding this church on the Dorchester Atheneum website. Location of its records are unknown.
    John A. Fassett, Immanuel Baptist Church, 191 Adams Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts, 02122, a Church in a Changing Residential Neighborhood of the Dorchester Area of Boston which is Undergoing Continued Population Change and Loss (Boston, 1967), 53 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  49. Channing Unitarian Church, 1900-bet. 1946 and 1948 (extinct).
    Note: This church does not current exist, though it was listed in the 1946 city directory. It was called "former" in 1948. Its history is unclear. It is said this church was previously called Washington Union Village Church (see #16), but no proof of this has been found.
    Church records, 1836-1935, held at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School.
  50. St. Matthew's Catholic Church, Mattapan, 1900.
    Note: This church is linked with St. Angela's Catholic Church in Mattapan.
  51. Congregation Chevra Chai Yodim, 1902.
    Note: Name changed to Cherva Chai Odom. Their building was burned in 1970 and the congregation moved to Brighton.
  52. St. Leo's Catholic Church, 1902-1999.
    Note:The property sold in 2006 to the Bethel Tabernacle Pentecostal Church.
    Baptisms to 1949, marriages to 1922, confirmations to 1950, and sick calls from 1935 to 1961 (all post-1930 records closed to research) are held by the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
    All other records moved to St. Matthew Parish and then moved again to St. Angela Merici Parish of Mattapan.
  53. St. Mark's Catholic Church, 1905.
    Note: This Catholic Church is located at 1725 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Mass. The link to this church is also linked to the St. Mark's Episcopal Church. It is predominately Irish.
  54. Church of the Epiphany [Episcopal], 1906-aft. 1964 (extinct).
    Note:The building is now the Mt. Olive Temple of Christ (2003) that was established in 1966. No further mention of this church has been found or the location of its records.
  55. St. Mark's Church [Episcopal], 1906.
    Note: This Episcopal Church is located at 73 Columbia Road, Dorchester, Mass. The link to this church seems to connect to the St. Mark's Catholic Church.
  56. St. Angela's Catholic Church, Mattapan, 1907.
    Note: This church is linked with St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Mattapan.
  57. Congregation Hadrath Israel [also called the Lithuanian Shul], 1908.
    Note: Moved from Roxbury (where it was called Hadrath Kodesh) to Dorchester in 1914. About 1970, it merged with Temple Ada Israel in Hyde Park.
  58. St. Paul's Catholic Church, 1908-1995.
    This parish merged with St. Kevin Parish and named Holy Family Parish.
  59. Russian Orthodox Church of the Epiphany, by 1909-after 1965.
    Note: The building is now the Assemblea de Iglesias Cristianas. Is this the church of the same name in Roslindale?
  60. St. William's Catholic Church, 1909-2004.
    Note: The church was burned in 1980 and rebuilt. It was part of the closures by the Archdiocese to pay legal expenses. This parish was merged with St. Margaret under the name of Blessed Mother Teresa Parish. The latter uses the St. Margaret's Church and holds all the church records. Location of these records are unknown.
  61. St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Mattapan, 1911-aft. 1964 (extinct).
    Note: Nothing is known about this church other than its existence. No records of this church have been located.
  62. Temple Beth El, 1912.
    Note: This was the first temple in Dorchester. The congregation was moved to Newton in 1967 and the building razed in 1998.
  63. St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 1914.
    Note: This church was established to serve the rapidly growing Irish population in the area. It was burned in 1984 and rebuilt. The congregation is primarily Vietnamese-Americans and has a large Hispanic membership.
  64. Abraham of Boston [Jewish], ca 1915-by 1926 (extinct).
    Note: Nothing more is known about this temple except its existence.
  65. Congregation Agudath Israel (sometimes called the Woodrow Avenue Shul or Russian Shul), ca. 1916.
    Note: The building burned in 1970 and the property was sold in 1972. What little is know about this congregation is on the Dorchester Atheneum. A Jewish publication announced their 25th anniversary in 1946, but the congregation was listed in the 1920 city directory.
  66. Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (sometimes called the Swedish Lutheran Vasa Church and now The Mission at Our Saviour's), 1919.
    Note: This church is predominately African American now (2009) and has no website.
Top of Page

Town Records

Originals

City of Boston Archives and Records Management Division
201 Rivermoor Street
West Roxbury MA 02132
Phone 617-635-1195
Email Archives@cityofboston.gov
Link to the inventory that include town records, 1790-1869; Selectmen's records, 1806-1870; Treasurer's records, 1786-1869 (with gaps); Assessors' records, 1750-1869 (with gaps); Town Clerk's records [except vital records], 1818-1870; and town publications, 1839-1869.

These originals were microfilmed by the city. The guide to the microfilm is available in Government Documents and at the Microtext Reference Desk where the microfilm can be used.

Microfilm

Town records (1632-1870) and selectmen's records (1855-1870).
FHL films 478174-478189.

Published

Fourth Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston: Dorchester Town Records (Boston, 1880; 2nd ed., 1883; 3rd ed., 1896), vi, 329 pp. (varies with ed.).
Note: The first volume of Dorchester Town Records in manuscript is 636 pages. This printed version covers up to page 282 (March 1686/7). The Commission planned to published the rest but never did.
Digital versions at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Ancestry ($).
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46/D1 N2d or film 1425621 Item 4 (with digital link).

Publications online

Annual reports (1838-1870), tax lists (1849-1850, 1853, 1855, 1861, 1865), and links to the published vital records and First Church records (also listed above) are found on a page of links at Boston Public Library.

Other Manuscript Records
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Newspapers

  1. Mercury, 1855-1856.
  2. Dorchester News / Dorchester Beacon (title varied), 1873-1960.
  3. Dorchester Community News, 1974-2007.
  4. Dorchester Argus-Citizen, 1975-present.
  5. The Dorchester Reporter, 1983-present.
  6. The Curbstone, 1989-1991.
Top of Page

Libraries and Historical Societies

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Dorchester Atheneum
Private website using the name of a 19th century library in town.
This site has many helpful resources by topic.

Dorchester Historical Society
195 Boston Street
Dorchester MA 02125
Phone 617-293-3052
Home to the "Dorchester Descendants Project"
(passengers of the Mary and John that arrived in 1630)

Boston Public Library Has seven branches in Dorchester

Healey Library
University of Massachusetts - Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Dorchester MA 02125
Phone 617-287-5940

Top of Page

References

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 40-41. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997

Adjacent towns: Suffolk Co.: Boston | Hyde Park | Roxbury | West Roxbury | Norfolk Co.: Milton | Quincy | Plymouth Co.: Hull


 

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