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United States Massachusetts
Massachusetts Research Guide
Introduction to Massachusetts Research
This is a genealogical guide to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its state-level records. You will find help with state vital records, histories, church archives, newspaper collections, genealogical libraries, understanding the court system, military records, and immigration and naturalization records.
Get Started with These Resources
|* Birth Records||* Census Records|
|* Marriage||* Probate|
|* Death||* Military Records|
|* Church Records||* Migration|
|* Land and Property||* Local Resources|
Try These Records Next
Biographies and Family Histories
Newspapers were first published in Massachusetts in 1690. The Commonwealth has a rich history documented within these pages. Most all libraries have copies of their local newspapers and research / university libraries include more. There are two libraries whose collection rivals all others:
- American Antiquarian Society, Worcester (see details below under Libraries), collects all things in print before 1876. They hold the largest single collection of original newspapers in the country.
- Boston Public Library, Boston (see details below under Libraries), is the repository for Massachusetts part of the national effort to microfilm all known existing copies of newspapers called the Massachusetts Newspaper Program. For their holdings, see the online guide for newspapers.
Massachusetts History and Geography
For a list of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the dates of when they were settled, when incorporated as a town and, if applicable, when incorporated as a city, as well as the county in which there are located, see Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates.
New England Historic Genealogical Society · American Antiquarian Society · Massachusetts State Archives · Massachusetts Historical Society · State Library of Massachusetts · Berkshire Athenaeum · Boston Public Library · Dedham Historical Society Library · Haverhill Public Library · Houghton Library Harvard University · Jones Library · Onondaga Historical Association Library · Peabody Essex Museum · Plymouth Public Library · Springfield History Library and Archives · University of Massachusetts Amherst Library · Vermont Historical Society · Weston Massachusetts Family History Center · National Archives Northeast Region (Boston) · Pittsfield Federal Records Center · New York Public Library
Migration RoutesBay Road · Catskill Road · Coastal Path · Greenwood Road · Kennebunk Road · King's Highway or Boston Post Road · Massachusetts Turnpike · Mohawk Trail · Old Connecticut Path · Old Roebuck Road · Connecticut River · Atlantic Coast Ports
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts entered the Union on February 6, 1788, as the sixth state. It is governed under its original constitution, which was adopted in 1780. Boston (also known as "The Hub" and "Beantown") became the capitol city of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1632. It has served as the state capitol since 1780. For more information about the history of Massachusetts, see the Massachusetts History article.
Research Tools and Resources
- The Massachusetts GenWeb Project provides county information about formation date, parent county, county seat, bibliography, cemeteries, census, churches, towns, history, look ups, obituaries, queries, repositories, surname registry, and many Internet links.
- Massachusetts Land Records provides access to indexes and search tools to find recorded records. Some counties have records, with images, available back to 1900.
- County Creation Dates and Divisions showing dates they were created or renamed and counties created from older counties.
Wiki articles describing these collections are found at:
- Massachusetts Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetta Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts 1855 Census (FamilySearch Historical Records
- Massachusetts 1865 Census (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts, Naturalization Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts Springfield Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Massachusetts, State Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Training and Help
- Call or chat with an experienced researcher
- Join a Facebook Group
- Consult a Professional Genealogist
Help Wanted on the Massachusetts Wiki pages
In order to make this wiki a better research tool, we need your help! Many tasks need willing volunteers. You can help:
- Expand county articles
- Check links on pages
- ...and more
To add your knowledge and help expand the wiki click here: