This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Rockland. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries.
Rockland is a relatively recent town created from Abington. The area was formed as the Third or East Parish of Abington in 1813 and it was this part that became Rockland in 1874. The earlier history of this region will be that of Abington. The town is in Plymouth County.
The basic data is from the "Historical Data" publication series with additions from various sources.
Village or section names include Hatherly.
|9 Mar. 1874||Third or East Parish of Abington (formed in 1813) set off as new town of Rockland.|
|23 Mar. 1878||Border between Rockland and Hanover established with part of each town annexed to the other town.|
Works written on the town include:
- Charles F. Meserve, "History of Rockland" in D. Hamilton Hurd, ed., History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts ... (Philadelphia, 1884).
Digital version at Internet Archive.
- Elijah Shaw, History of the Parish and Church of the Third Congregational Society in Abington, now the First Congregational Church in Rockland, Mass. (S.l., 1890), 68 pp.
WorldCat (Other Libraries).
- Martha G. Campbell, Stories of Old Abington, Massachusetts: the research reporter in Old East Abington (Abington, Mass., 1965), 117 pp.
WorldCat (Other Libraries).
- Rockland Wikipedia page.
Vital RecordsThe town's vital records are available in many locations:
- Rockland Town Clerk's Office
242 Union Street
Rockland MA 02370
Phone 781-871-1874 x120
- Microfilm of the originals created by the Family History Library, Rockland vital records, 1874-1905, FHL films 2080575–2080576.
These records are browsable (i.e. not indexed as of Nov. 2012) on FamilySearch.
- Official state copy of vital records starting in 1841:
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston MA 02125
Hours and Directions
See the online guide for more information.
There are no published version of Rockland's vital records.
- Rockland vital records, 1874-1905, are browsable (i.e. not indexed as of Nov. 2012) on FamilySearch.
Rockland was published in 1875, 1878/9, 1882, 1884/5, 1887/8, 1888/9, 1890, 1892, 1896, 1898-1911/2, 1913-1919, 1922, 1927/8, 1930/1 (some with Brockton).
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.
- Ancestry ($) has 1875, 1882, 1888/9, 1892, 1896, 1898-1911/2, 1916, 1919, 1922, 1927/8, 1930/1.
- Boston Public Library has 1902-1916, 1919-1931.
- Family History Library (Salt Lake City) has 1888/9, 1896, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1907, 1909, 1911/2, 1916, 1919, 1922, 1927/8, 1930/1 on FHL various film records.
- fold3 ($) has 1896, 1898, 1904.
- Massachusetts State Library has 1884/5, 1888/9, 1892, 1896, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1911/2, 1916, 1919, 1922, 1927/8, 1930/1.
- New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston) ($) has 1878/9, 1882, 1884/5, 1887/8, 1888/9, 1890, 1892, 1896, 1898-1911/2, 1913-1919, 1922, 1927/8, 1930/1 (some with Brockton).
The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Rockland. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.
- Beal Family Cemetery, 18th century. (A, B)
- Nat Beal Cemetery, n.d.
- Ellis Family Burying Ground, 1778. (B)
- Holy Family Catholic Cemetery, 1907.
- Jenkins Family Burying Ground, 1778.
- Lane Family Cemetery, n.d. (A, B)
- Maplewood Cemetery, 1746. (A, B)
- Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 1849. (A, B)
- Old Town or Liberty Street Cemetery, 1770. (A, B)
- St. Patrick's Cemetery, 1848.
- Smallpox Cemetery, n.d. (A, B)
- Spring Lake or Samuel Reed Cemetery, 1805. (A, B)
- Spring Street or Evergreen or Abiah Reed Cemetery, 1834. (A, B)
- Stetson Family Burying Ground, n.d.
- Stoddard Family Burying, n.d.
- Torrey Tomb, n.d.
- Wilkes Cemetery, 1830. (A, B)
Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Abington, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1912). [See links on Abington page for various versions of this source.]
(B). New England Historic Genealogical Society, Manuscripts Dept., Mss A 352.
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.
- Congregational Church (now First Congregational Church in Rockland), 1813, records good (except one vol., 1853-1871, burned in Boston fire of 1872).
- Methodist Episcopal Church (now Hatherly United Methodist Church), 1832, records good.
- Rockland Baptist Church, 1856, records good.
- Holy Family Parish Catholic Church, 1883, records good.
Baptisms to 1905 and Marriages to 1907 are at the Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
- Unitarian Society of Rockland (now Channing Unitarian Universalist Church), 1884, records good.
- Trinity Episcopal Church, 1920.
- Calvary Chapel of Boston, 1989.
- Christian Science, n.d.
- Kingdom of Jehovah's Witnesses, n.d.
- Rockland Standard (name varied), 1874-2005.
- Rockland Independent, 1884-1933.
- Rockland Mariner, 1999-2006
Libraries and Historical Societies
The following is a list of research facilities in town: