Massachusetts Church Records

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Before 1900 the major religious groups in Massachusetts were:
+
''[[United States|United States ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[Massachusetts|Massachusetts ]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[Massachusetts_Church_Records|Church Records]]''
  
* Congregationalists
+
Before 1900 the major religious groups in [[Massachusetts|Massachusetts]] were:
* Roman Catholics
+
* Baptists
+
* Methodists
+
* Episcopalians<br>
+
  
The Congregational Church was the predominant church until the end of the 18th century. Many church records were published with the town [[Massachusetts Vital Records|vital records]].
+
*[[Congregational Church in the United States|Congregationalists]]
 +
*[[Roman Catholic Church in the United States|Roman Catholics]]
 +
*[[Baptist Church in the United States|Baptists]]
 +
*[[Methodist Church in the United States|Methodists]]
 +
*[[Episcopal Church in the United States|Episcopalians]]
  
'''1889 Church Records'''. There is a list of the churches in each town, the date of organization, kinds of records kept, years covered, and condition of the records as of 1889 in Wright's Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records (see [[Massachusetts Archives and Libraries]]).
+
The [[Congregational Church in the United States|Congregational Church]] was the predominant church until the end of the 18th century. Many church records were published with the town [[Massachusetts Vital Records|vital records]].  
  
The Family History Library has many published and manuscript records of Baptist, Congregational, and Society of Friends congregations. A useful index of marriages recorded by early churches is:
+
Perry Miller's classic book ''The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century'' (New York: Macmillan, 1939), provoked a great deal of interest in the religious origins of the Massachusetts colony.
  
Bailey, Frederic W. ''Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800''. Three Volumes in one, 1897–1914. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. (FHL book 974.4 V2b; film 874200; fiche 6051393.) This book has records of marriages for more than 111 towns.
+
'''1889 Church Records'''. There is a list of the churches in each town, the date of organization, kinds of records kept, years covered, and condition of the records as of 1889 in Wright's Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records (see [[Massachusetts Archives and Libraries|Massachusetts Archives and Libraries]]).  
  
Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:
+
The [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] has many published and manuscript records of Baptist, Congregational, and Society of Friends congregations. A useful index of marriages recorded by early churches is:  
  
=== Baptist ===
+
*Bailey, Frederic W. ''Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800''. Three Volumes in one, 1897–1914. 1968 Reprint: {{FHL|24602|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 V2b}}; {{FHL|24602|item|disp=FHL film 874200}} and {{FHL|24602|item|disp=FHL fiche 6051393}}. 1991 Reprint: {{FHL|609579|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 V2b}} 1991. This book has records of marriages for more than 111 towns. Digital versions:
 +
**'''Vol. I:''' [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48585 Ancestry] ($),&nbsp;[http://data.genealogytoday.com/search/Early_Massachusetts_Marriages_Prior_to_1800_First_Book.html Genealogy Today], [http://www.archive.org/details/earlymassachuse00unkngoog Internet Archive], [http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/indexinfo.aspx?ix=gpc0806300086_fredericwbailey World Vital Records] ($)&nbsp;
 +
**'''Vol. II:''' [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48190 Ancestry] ($), [http://books.google.com/books?id=NdEUAAAAYAAJ Google Books], [http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/indexinfo.aspx?ix=gpc0806300086_fredericwbailey World Vital Records] ($)&nbsp;
 +
**'''Vol. III:''' [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48586 Ancestry]&nbsp;($), [http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/indexinfo.aspx?ix=gpc0806300086_fredericwbailey World Vital Records] ($)&nbsp;
 +
**'''Vol. IV:''' [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=48191 Ancestry] ($)
  
'''American Baptist Historical Society'''<br>The Library in Rochester is now closed to researchers, with interim director Betsy Dunbar working full-time, preparing collections for packing. We are not accepting any more research requests "by mail" in 2007 nor are we scheduling appointments to our Rochester Library at this time. We will also close the Valley Forge Archives Center to visitors beginning in mid-June. We are inviting researchers to plan to visit us in 2008 at our new location on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University.
+
Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:
  
Internet: http://www.baptisthistory.us/
+
=== Baptist  ===
  
An informative history is:
+
[http://www.abhsarchives.org/ American Baptist Historical Society]<br>The Library in Rochester is now closed to researchers, with interim director Betsy Dunbar working full-time, preparing collections for packing. We are not accepting any more research requests "by mail" in 2007 nor are we scheduling appointments to our Rochester Library at this time. We will also close the Valley Forge Archives Center to visitors beginning in mid-June. We are inviting researchers to plan to visit us in 2008 at our new location on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University.
  
Brush, John Woolman. ''Baptists in Massachusetts''. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Judson Press, 1970. (FHL book 974.4 K2bj.)
+
An informative history is:  
  
=== Congregational ===
+
*Brush, John Woolman. ''Baptists in Massachusetts''. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Judson Press, 1970. {{FHL|114813|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 K2bj}}
  
'''The Congregational Library'''<br>14 Beacon Street<br>Boston, MA 02108 <br>Telephone: 617–523–0470<br>Fax: 617–523–0491 <br>E-mail: [mailto:jsteytler@14beacon.org <u>jsteytler@14beacon.org</u>]<br>Internet: http://www.14beacon.org/
+
=== Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)  ===
  
A historical perspective is found in:
+
Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for&nbsp;Massachusetts Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be locate through the [https://www.familysearch.org/#form=catalog Family History Library Catalog] . Or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. {{FHL|129780|item|disp=FHL book 979.2258 A3j}} and {{FHL|129780|item|disp=FHL fiche 6031507}}. These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.
  
Goodwin, John A. ''The Pilgrim Republic: An Historical Review of the Colony of New Plymouth, with Sketches of Other New England Settlements, the History of Congregationalism, and the Creeds of the Period''. Boston, Massachusetts: Tickner, 1888. (FHL film 1465570.)
+
=== Congregational  ===
  
=== Episcopal ===
+
[http://www.congregationallibrary.org/ The Congregational Library]<br>14 Beacon Street<br>Boston, MA 02108 <br>Phone: (617) 523–0470<br>Fax: (617) 523–0491 <br>E-mail: [mailto:jsteytler@14beacon.org <u>jsteytler@14beacon.org</u>]
  
'''The Diocesan Library and Archives'''<br>The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts<br>138 Tremont Street<br>Boston, MA 02111<br>Telephone: 617–482–4826, ext. 504<br>Fax: 617–482–8431 <br> E-mail: [mailto:mgardiner@diomass.org <u>mgardiner@diomass.org</u>]<br>Internet: http://www.diomass.org/diomass/index.cfm?objectID=68D52B01-F1FF-A620-9D037240DB467E00
+
A historical perspective is found in:  
  
For histories of the Episcopal church see:
+
*Goodwin, John A. ''The Pilgrim Republic: An Historical Review of the Colony of New Plymouth, with Sketches of Other New England Settlements, the History of Congregationalism, and the Creeds of the Period''. Boston, Mass.: Tickner, 1888. {{FHL|411502|item|disp=FHL film 1465570}}
  
Duffy, Mark J., ed. ''The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts 1784-1984''. [Boston, Massachusetts]: Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, 1984. (FHL book 974.4 K2e.)
+
=== Episcopal ===
  
Tyng, Dudley. ''Massachusetts Episcopalians, 1607-1957.'' [Boston, Massachusetts]: Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, [1960]. (FHL book 974.4 K2t.)
+
[http://www.diomass.org/content/archives The Diocesan Library and Archives]<br>The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts<br>138 Tremont Street<br>Boston, MA 02111<br>Phone: (617) 482–5800; (800) 696-6079<br>Fax: (617) 482–8431 <br>E-mail: [mailto:mgardiner@diomass.org <u>archivist@diomass.org</u>]
  
=== Society of Friends (Quakers) ===
+
For histories of the Episcopal Church see:
  
'''Rhode Island Historical Society'''<br>121 Hope Street<br>Providence, RI 02906<br>Telephone: 401–273–8107<br>Fax: 401–751–7930 <br>Internet: http://www.rihs.org/links.htm
+
*Duffy, Mark J., ed. ''The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts 1784-1984''. [Boston, Mass.]: Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, 1984. {{FHL|9314|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 K2e}}
 +
*Tyng, Dudley. ''Massachusetts Episcopalians, 1607-1957.'' [Boston, Massachusetts]: Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, [1960]. {{FHL|180862|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 K2t}}
  
An informative history of Quakers in Massachusetts is:
+
=== Society of Friends (Quakers)  ===
  
Hallowell, Richard P. ''The Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts''. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1883. (FHL book 974.4 K2h.) Illustrates the persecution the Quakers received from colonial authorities. Has examples of the strength and conviction of the Quakers' religious beliefs.
+
[http://www.rihs.org/links.htm Rhode Island Historical Society]<br>121 Hope Street<br>Providence, RI 02906<br>Phone: (401) 273–8107<br>Fax: (401) 751–7930
  
=== Jewish ===
+
Informative history of Massachusetts Quakers include:
  
'''American Jewish Historical Society'''<br>160 Herrick Road <br> Newton Centre, MA 02459 <br> Tel: 617-559-8880 <br> Fax: 617-559-8881<br>Internet: http://www.ajhs.org/
+
*Bowden, James. ''The History of the Society of Friends in America''. 2 vols. London: W. &amp; F.G. Cash, 1850-1854. Digital version of Vol. 1&nbsp;at [http://books.google.com/books?id=n1lCAAAAIAAJ Google Books]; {{FHL|207376|item|disp=FHL book 973 F2bj v. 1}} [Volume 1 includes New England.]
 +
*Hallowell, Richard P. ''The Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts''. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1883. {{FHL|619393|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 K2h}}; digital versions at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3200 Ancestry] ($); [http://books.google.com/books?id=Ikt5AAAAMAAJ Google Books].&nbsp;Illustrates the persecution the Quakers received from colonial authorities. Has examples of the strength and conviction of the Quakers' religious beliefs.
  
=== Lutheran ===
+
=== Jewish  ===
  
Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia<br>The Krauth Memorial Library<br>7301 Germantown Avenue<br>Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119-1794<br>Tel. (215) 248-4616 (800) 286-4616 <br> Fax. (215) 248-4577<br>E-mail: [mailto:mtairy@ltsp.edu mtairy@ltsp.edu]<br>E-mail: [mailto:mtairyarchives@ltsp.edu mtairyarchives@ltsp.edu]<br>Internet: http://www.ltsp.edu/krauth/archives.html
+
[http://www.ajhs.org/ American Jewish Historical Society]<br>160 Herrick Road <br>Newton Centre, MA 02459 <br>Phone: (617) 559-8880 <br>Fax: (617) 559-8881
  
=== Methodist ===
+
=== Lutheran  ===
  
'''Boston University School of Theology Library'''<br>745 Commonwealth Avenue<br>Boston, MA 02215<br>Telephone: 617–353–3034<br>Fax: 617–358–0699 <br>Internet: http://www.bu.edu/sth/library/
+
[http://www.ltsp.edu/lutheran-archives-philadelphia Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia]<br>The Krauth Memorial Library<br>7301 Germantown Avenue<br>Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119-1794<br>Phone: (215) 248-6383<br>Fax: (215) 248-6327<br>E-mail: [mailto:mtairyarchives@ltsp.edu mtairyarchives@ltsp.edu]
  
=== Presbyterian ===
+
=== Methodist  ===
  
'''Presbyterian Historical Society'''<br>425 Lombard Street<br>Philadelphia, PA 19147<br>Telephone: 215–627–1852<br>Fax: 215–627–0509<br>Internet: http://www.history.pcusa.org/
+
[http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/ Boston University School of Theology Library]<br>745 Commonwealth Avenue<br>Boston, MA 02215<br>Phone: (617) 353–3034<br>Fax: (617) 358–0699
  
=== Roman Catholic ===
+
=== Presbyterian  ===
  
'''Archives of the Archdiocese of Boston'''<br>2121 Commonwealth Avenue<br>Brighton, MA 02135-3193<br>Telephone: 617–254–0100, ext. 108<br>Fax: 617–783–4564 <br>Internet: http://www.rcab.org/Archives/HomePage.html
+
[http://www.history.pcusa.org/ Presbyterian Historical Society]<br>425 Lombard Street<br>Philadelphia, PA 19147<br>Phone: (215) 627–1852<br>Fax: (215) 627–0509
  
=== Unitarian/Universalist ===
+
=== Roman Catholic  ===
  
'''Andover-Harvard Theological Library<br>'''Harvard Divinity School<br>45 Francis Avenue<br>Cambridge, MA 02138<br>Telephone: 617–495–5788<br>Fax: 617–496–4111<br>Internet: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/
+
[http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Archives.aspx Archdiocese of Boston]<br>66 Brooks Drive<br>Braintree, MA 02184-3839<br>Phone: (617) 254-0100
  
[[Category:Massachusetts]]
+
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: [[Essex County, Massachusetts|Essex]], [[Middlesex County, Massachusetts|Middlesex]], [[Norfolk County, Massachusetts|Norfolk]], [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth]] and [[Suffolk County, Massachusetts|Suffolk]]
 +
 
 +
[http://www.fallriverdiocese.org/index.asp Diocese of Fall River Archives]<br>362 Highland Avenue<br>P.O. Box 2577<br>Fall River, MA 02722<br>Phone: (508) 675-1311
 +
 
 +
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Barnstable County, Massachusetts|Barnstable]], [[Bristol County, Massachusetts|Bristol]], [[Dukes County, Massachusetts|Dukes]] and [[Nantucket County, Massachusetts|Nantucket]]
 +
 
 +
[http://www.diospringfield.org/index.html Diocese of Springfield]<br>65 Elliott St.<br>P.O. Box 1730<br>Springfield, MA 01102<br>Phone: (413) 732-3175
 +
 
 +
The diocese includes the counties of: [[Berkshire County, Massachusetts|Berkshire]], [[Franklin County, Massachusetts|Franklin]], [[Hampden County, Massachusetts|Hampden]] and [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire]]
 +
 
 +
[http://www.worcesterdiocese.org/bishop/tabid/36/Default.aspx Diocese of Worcester]<br>49 Elm Street<br>Worcester, MA 01609<br>Phone: (508) 791-7171
 +
 
 +
The diocese includes the county of: [[Worcester County, Massachusetts|Worcester]]
 +
 
 +
'''The Drouin Collection'''<br><br> [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1111 Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954] ($) (Ancestry). This database only contains the French Catholic parish records from the United States in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is the U.S. part of the U.S. and French-Canadian Drouin Collection. For more details see [[The Drouin Collection: Six databases|"The Drouin Collection: Six Databases"]]
 +
 
 +
The types of records include baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, and so on. They are written mainly in French, as well as English, Latin, and Italian.
 +
 
 +
=== Unitarian/Universalist  ===
 +
 
 +
[http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/bms/ Andover-Harvard Theological Library]<br>Harvard Divinity School<br>45 Francis Avenue<br>Cambridge, MA 02138<br>Phone: (617) 495–5788<br>Fax: (617) 496–4111
 +
 
 +
{{Massachusetts|Massachusetts}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Massachusetts|Church]]

Revision as of 16:58, 29 May 2012

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Massachusetts  Gotoarrow.png  Church Records

Before 1900 the major religious groups in Massachusetts were:

The Congregational Church was the predominant church until the end of the 18th century. Many church records were published with the town vital records.

Perry Miller's classic book The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (New York: Macmillan, 1939), provoked a great deal of interest in the religious origins of the Massachusetts colony.

1889 Church Records. There is a list of the churches in each town, the date of organization, kinds of records kept, years covered, and condition of the records as of 1889 in Wright's Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records (see Massachusetts Archives and Libraries).

The Family History Library has many published and manuscript records of Baptist, Congregational, and Society of Friends congregations. A useful index of marriages recorded by early churches is:

Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following addresses to learn where their records are located:

Contents

Baptist

American Baptist Historical Society
The Library in Rochester is now closed to researchers, with interim director Betsy Dunbar working full-time, preparing collections for packing. We are not accepting any more research requests "by mail" in 2007 nor are we scheduling appointments to our Rochester Library at this time. We will also close the Valley Forge Archives Center to visitors beginning in mid-June. We are inviting researchers to plan to visit us in 2008 at our new location on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University.

An informative history is:

  • Brush, John Woolman. Baptists in Massachusetts. Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: Judson Press, 1970. FHL book 974.4 K2bj

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)

Early church records, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for Massachusetts Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be locate through the Family History Library Catalog . Or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. FHL book 979.2258 A3j and FHL fiche 6031507. These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.

Congregational

The Congregational Library
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 523–0470
Fax: (617) 523–0491
E-mail: jsteytler@14beacon.org

A historical perspective is found in:

  • Goodwin, John A. The Pilgrim Republic: An Historical Review of the Colony of New Plymouth, with Sketches of Other New England Settlements, the History of Congregationalism, and the Creeds of the Period. Boston, Mass.: Tickner, 1888. FHL film 1465570

Episcopal

The Diocesan Library and Archives
The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
138 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: (617) 482–5800; (800) 696-6079
Fax: (617) 482–8431
E-mail: archivist@diomass.org

For histories of the Episcopal Church see:

  • Duffy, Mark J., ed. The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts 1784-1984. [Boston, Mass.]: Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, 1984. FHL book 974.4 K2e
  • Tyng, Dudley. Massachusetts Episcopalians, 1607-1957. [Boston, Massachusetts]: Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, [1960]. FHL book 974.4 K2t

Society of Friends (Quakers)

Rhode Island Historical Society
121 Hope Street
Providence, RI 02906
Phone: (401) 273–8107
Fax: (401) 751–7930

Informative history of Massachusetts Quakers include:

  • Bowden, James. The History of the Society of Friends in America. 2 vols. London: W. & F.G. Cash, 1850-1854. Digital version of Vol. 1 at Google Books; FHL book 973 F2bj v. 1 [Volume 1 includes New England.]
  • Hallowell, Richard P. The Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1883. FHL book 974.4 K2h; digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books. Illustrates the persecution the Quakers received from colonial authorities. Has examples of the strength and conviction of the Quakers' religious beliefs.

Jewish

American Jewish Historical Society
160 Herrick Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Phone: (617) 559-8880
Fax: (617) 559-8881

Lutheran

Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia
The Krauth Memorial Library
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119-1794
Phone: (215) 248-6383
Fax: (215) 248-6327
E-mail: mtairyarchives@ltsp.edu

Methodist

Boston University School of Theology Library
745 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 353–3034
Fax: (617) 358–0699

Presbyterian

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 627–1852
Fax: (215) 627–0509

Roman Catholic

Archdiocese of Boston
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839
Phone: (617) 254-0100

The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk

Diocese of Fall River Archives
362 Highland Avenue
P.O. Box 2577
Fall River, MA 02722
Phone: (508) 675-1311

The diocese includes the counties of: Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes and Nantucket

Diocese of Springfield
65 Elliott St.
P.O. Box 1730
Springfield, MA 01102
Phone: (413) 732-3175

The diocese includes the counties of: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire

Diocese of Worcester
49 Elm Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: (508) 791-7171

The diocese includes the county of: Worcester

The Drouin Collection

Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954 ($) (Ancestry). This database only contains the French Catholic parish records from the United States in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is the U.S. part of the U.S. and French-Canadian Drouin Collection. For more details see "The Drouin Collection: Six Databases"

The types of records include baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, and so on. They are written mainly in French, as well as English, Latin, and Italian.

Unitarian/Universalist

Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Harvard Divinity School
45 Francis Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495–5788
Fax: (617) 496–4111