Data Collections


Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Census & Voter Lists
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Massachusetts, State Census, 18651,273,140
Massachusetts, State Census, 18551,138,563
Massachusetts, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-189018,744
Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Massachusetts365
Index to the 1800 Census of Massachusetts315
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Birth, Marriage & Death
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Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-198823,159,800
Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-19158,857,072
Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-19157,077,279
Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1901-1955 and 1966-19705,803,967
Massachusetts, Birth Index, 1860-19704,616,482
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Military
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U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942Updated15,293,445
U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-193912,889,432
Massachusetts, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-189018,744
Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War (Images Online)17,026
Chelsea, Massachusetts, Navy General Register of Patients, 1872-191713,154
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Immigration & Emigration
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Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-19636,850,802
U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)Free5,823,338
Massachusetts, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-19503,113,455
Book Indexes to Boston Passenger Lists, 1899-19401,498,736
Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts, Crew Lists and Shipping Articles, 1797-1934215,124
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Newspapers & Periodicals
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U.S., Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930Free833,843
The Boston Jewish Advocate Wedding Announcements, 1905-2007Free54,810
Massachusetts, Marriage Index, 1784-184031,687
Genealogical Advertiser: A quarterly Magazine of Family History, Vol. I-415,616
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Pictures
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There are no Pictures collections unique to Massachusetts
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Directories & Member Lists
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Massachusetts City Directories698,391
New England, Select United Methodist Church Records, 1787-1922374,894
Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990336,033
U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970210,144
U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Vital Records, 1856-197052,945
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Court, Land, Wills & Financial
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Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991607,798
Mayflower Deeds and Probates, 1600-1850Free18,601
Massachusetts, Name Changes, 1780-18927,975
Massachusetts, Applications of Freemen, 1630-16914,826
Genealogies of Mayflower Families, Vol. I927
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Reference
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Mayflower Source Records844
A gazetteer of the state of Massachusetts : with numerous illustrations on wood and steel576
List of persons whose names have been changed in Massachusetts, 1780-1892521
A biographical dictionary520
Memorial encyclopedia of the state of Massachusetts480
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
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A gazetteer of the state of Massachusetts : with numerous illustrations on wood and steel576
A gazetteer of Massachusetts, 1849457
Early maps of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts13
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Data Collections
Sorted by Massachusetts Stories, Memories & Histories
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The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, 1847-2011300,569
Colonial Families of the USA, 1607-1775Free119,305
New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-163562,840
Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, Vols I-VIII6,852
Western Massachusetts : a history : 1636-19252,249
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A Genealogical History

Massachusetts in brief

Statehood:  February 6, 1788
Capital: Boston
Largest City: Boston   
Counties: 14 (seven of which have no county-level government)
State motto: Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)
State nickname: The Bay State,
Neighboring states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York


City of Boston from Dorchester Heights, by Robt. Havell, c. 1841

Interesting Facts

  • It's estimated that 20,000 people emigrated from England to Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1620 and 1643, during the "Great Migration." In 1691 the two colonies merged to become the Province of Massachusetts.
  • Massachusetts was a hotbed of political dissent before and during the American Revolutionary War, as the birthplace of the Sons of Liberty, the site of the Boston Massacre in 1770, the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and of course the "shot heard around the world" on Lexington Green, as well as other Revolutionary War engagements.
  • During the Irish Potato Famine, 100,000 Irish refugees immigrated to Boston, making the Irish the largest immigrant group in that city.

Featured Massachusetts Data Collections

Massachusetts, Boston Archdiocese Roman Catholic Sacramental Records, 1789-19004,429,575
U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 194215,293,445
Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts, Crew Lists and Shipping Articles, 1797-1934215,124
Massachusetts, Compiled Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1700-18502,873,554
Massachusetts Army & Navy, 1861-18657,886

Famous People

Help and Advice

Resources

Massachusetts Census Research

Federal censuses for Massachusetts exist from the first census in 1790, and are available through 1920 with the exceptions of the mostly destroyed census of 1890. The 1800 census does not include enumerations for Boston and much of Suffolk County; however, the 1798 U.S. Direct Tax list serves as a partial substitute.

Massachusetts State censuses were taken in 1855 and 1865, and are available at FamilySearch.org. Original state copies and microfilm copies of the federal population, mortality, industry, and agriculture schedules are held by the Massachusetts State Archives.

 

Massachusetts Vital Records

No state in the Union can boast the depth and breadth of vital records sources that is available in Massachusetts. Starting with the arrival of the Pilgrims, vital events have been diligently, although not completely, recorded, preserved, and published. Vital records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide data collection began in 1841. Of 364 towns, 206 had published vital records to 1850.

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics in the Department of Public Health has the records of births, deaths and marriages for Massachusetts from 1906 to the present. Every five years the earliest five years of records maintained at the Registry are transferred to the custody of the State Archives.

Records from 1841-1905 are located at The State Archives. The city or town clerk in the city or town where the event occurred has all records prior to 1841. Copies of records since 1841 are available at the city or town where the event occurred.

 

Massachusetts Research Resources

The organizations listed below provide information about Massachusetts history and genealogy. In addition to these state-level resources, many counties and towns maintain important genealogical collections in local libraries, genealogical societies, or historical societies, so check for a local resource when researching.