Immigrant Boston
Neighborhood History
Walk Historic Boston
Plan A Trip
Genealogical Resources
Family History for Kids
Home Search Guest Book Contact Us Boston History Collective
Organizations

Home > Genealogical Resources > Organizations

Below, in alphabetical order, are organizations that hold information which may be of use to your family research. For each organization, we've attempted to list the contact information and holdings. We have also included links to their websites, when available.

American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 0609-1634; phone (508) 755-5221; Hours Mon.- Fri. 9 AM - 5 PM; Email mel@MWA.org. Holdings include: Three million books, pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, prints, maps, directories, and newspapers; the largest single collection of printed source material relating to the history, literature, and culture of the first 250 years of what is now the United States; specializes in the printed record of the American experience prior to 1877; files of 18th and 19th century newspapers; and extensive collection of family and local histories.

American-Canadian Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 6478, Manchester, NH 03108-6478; phone (603) 622-1554. The American-Canadian Genealogical Society maintains a library facility at 4 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03108-6478.

American-French Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 830, Woonsocket, RI 02895-0870; phone & fax (401) 765-6141; Hours Mon. 12 PM - 5 PM, Tues. 1-10 PM, 1st & 3rd Sat. 10 AM-4 PM; Email address afgs@ids.net; The American-French Genealogical Society maintains an extensive library facility at 78 Earle Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895-0870.

American Jewish Historical Society Library
160 Herrick Road. Newton Center, MA 02459; Tel: (617) 559-8880; Fax: (617) 559-8881; Hours Mon - Thurs 9 AM - 4 PM. Friday, 9 AM to 12:30 PM Email ajhs@ajhs.org. Holdings include: several hundred family histories and genealogies; over 500 manuscript collections on individuals or families; histories of Jewish communities, synagogues and communal groups; over 900 manuscript collections, including the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society of Boston (with arrival records, arranged alphabetically, for immigrants landing in Boston or Providence, Rhode Island between 1882 and 1929, and incomplete chronological lists of ship arrivals and passenger lists between 1904 and 1953); fully indexed Mayorís Court (pre-1860), Naturalization (pre-1860), Insolvent Debtors (pre-1860), and Incorporation Papers of New York City (1848-1920) covering all Jewish or Jewish-related organizations incorporated in New York City during this time frame.

American Portuguese Genealogical and Historical Society
P. O. Box 644, Taunton, MA 02780. Phone number, 508-822-5664.

Archdiocese of Boston Archives (Roman Catholic)
2121 Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton, MA 02135; phone (617) 746-5797 or 5798 for appointments) fax (617) 783-5642; (617) 746-5797; Research by appointment only. Holdings include: more than 3,000 cu. ft. of records pertaining to the beginning and continued operations of the Archdiocese from 1789 to present (records after 1920 are closed for research); records of closed Catholic churches in the Boston Archdiocese and older records for some active churches (inventory of holdings available at Archives Office and NEHGS) which may contain baptism, marriage, first communion, confirmation, death and sick call records (cemetery records are usually limited to business records rather than actual burials).

Armenian Library and Museum of American, Inc. (ALMA)
65 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472; Gary Lind-Sinanian, Curator; phone (617) 926-2562, fax (617) 926-0175; Email ALMAInc@aol.com. Holdings include: virtually all areas of artifacts and records (sound recordings, maps, photos, family histories, passports, postcards, textiles, etc.). The records are not open to researchers at this time, pending registration and cataloguing. Tours of an on site exhibit can be arranged by contacting the organization.

Association of Professional Genealogists
Contact this organization to help you find a professional researcher in your area.

Avotaynu
P. O. Box 99, Bergenfield, NJ 07621; phone (201) 387-7200, fax (201) 387-2855. Largest publisher of information and products of interest to persons who are researching Jewish genealogy and Jewish family history.

Boston City Archives
30 Millstone Road, Hyde Park, MA 02136; John McColgan, Deputy Archivist; phone (617) 364-8679. Hours Mon.-Fri. 9 AM to 5 PM by appointment only; facility is free and open to the public (by appointment at least 24 hours in advance). Holdings include: City censuses; tax records from 1822 -1895 and 1945 to 1973; voter registration records 1857-1920; selected record series for Boston and annexed towns 182-1990, including the Mayor, City Council, City Clerk, Schools, Assessor, Building Inspector, Retirement, Treasurer and Auditor.

Bostonian Society
206 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02109; Doug Southard, Librarian; Steven Hill, Director of Collections; phone (617) 720-1713, fax (617) 720-3289; Hours Tues. - Fri. 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM (appointments are strongly recommended.) E-mail library@bostonhistory.org or museum@bostonhistory.org. Holdings include: artifacts on Boston history (in Museum Collection), historical information and images on Boston history and its neighborhoods.

Boston Police Archives
1555 Hyde Park Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136-2486; Margaret R. Sullivan, Records Manager & Archivist; phone (617) 343-5166; fax (617) 343-9756. Holdings include historical department files, photographs, Records of the Police Commissioners 1878 - 1961, and personnel information on individuals who were employed as Boston police officers. The information in any given file might include: date of appointment; transfers; promotions; rewards, awards, and/or medals received; date of retirement or death, etc.  While the Archives' primary responsibility is to manage day to day records for the Department, they are happy to assist with historical inquiries as time permits.  This is a secure facility and is not open to the general public.

Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116; phone (617) 536-5400; Hours Mon.-Thur. 9-9, Fri.-Sat. 9-5. Holdings include: microfilm copies of all New England US Federal census records through 1920; comprehensive collection of colonial US and Massachusetts newspapers from 1704; indexes to obituaries contained in selected Boston and New England newspapers (1740-1840, 1875 to present); card indexes to Boston Evening Transcript genealogical columns (1901-1935); indexes and genealogical columns for the Hartford (CT) Times (1940-1967); Jewish Genealogical Consolidated Index; extensive collection of US city directories (through 1935); probate records for Suffolk County (through 1852, indexes to 1909), Middlesex County (through 1871, indexes to 1909), and Hampshire County (through 1820); Boston passenger lists (1818-1918, with indexes for 1848-1891 & 1899-1920); partial arrivals for Gulf and Atlantic ports, including New York (1820-1874, with indexes); passenger arrivals at New York (1820-1897, with indexes 1820-1847); passenger arrivals at Portland, Maine (1893-1943, with indexes 1893-1954); New Bedford passenger arrivals (1902-1920, with indexes 1902-1954); index to passenger arrivals for Providence, Rhode Island (1911-1954); some naturalization petitions for the New England states.

Boston, City of, Registry Archives
Room 201, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA 02136; Judy McCarthy, City Registrar. phone (617) 635-4175; Hours: Open only one day per month, usually the last Tuesday of the month (10 AM to 2 PM), please call to verify date; $10 research fee. Holdings include: Vital records from 1630s to 1869 (Boston began complying with state registration in 1848) and after; manuscript copies of most early Boston church records (all pre-1800 registers are indexed)

Congregational Library
14 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108; phone (617) 523-0470; fax (617) 523-0491; Hours, Mon.-Fri. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM (appointment preferred); E-mail blwhfw@aol.com. Holdings include: 225,000 books and pamphlets, including local church histories, town histories and theological works of five centuries of sermons, Bibles, etc.

Episcopal - The Diocesan Library and Archives
of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, 138 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02111; phone (617) 482-5800 ext. 504; Hours Mon.-Fri. 8:30-4:30 (by appointment). Holdings include: records of pre-1905 parish registers of 104 active and closed parishes in the Diocese of Massachusetts (includes baptisms, marriages, burials and communicant listings) and copies of registers of eleven of the thirteen colonial parishes in the diocese.

French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut
P. O. Box 928, Tolland, CT 06084-0928; phone (860) 872-2597; Hours Mon. & Wed. 4-8 PM, Sat. 9 AM-4 PM, Sun. 1-4 PM Maintains a library facility at 53 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT.

Italian Genealogical Society of America, Inc.
P. O. Box 3572, Peabody, MA 01961-3572

Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (JGSGB)
P. O. Box 610366, Newton Heighlands, MA 02461-0366; phone (617) 796-8522.

Massachusetts Department of Vital Statistics
(1906 -current)150 Mount Vernon St., Dorchester, MA 02125; phone (617) 740-2600; window hours Mon.-Fri. 8:45-4:45; research hours Mon.-Fri. 9-12 and 2:00-4:30 ($3 per hour fee); holds Massachusetts copies of vital records submitted by the towns (1906-the present); divorce indexes (1952-present); indexes to statewide births, marriages, and deaths (1906-present).

Massachusetts Military Division History Research and Museum
44 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609; Stephen T. Seames, Archivist; phone (508) 797-0334; Hours Tues.- Fri. by appointment only (3 days to one week in advance); Email mrarchives@aol.com. Holdings include: early militia records (1776-1820); Massachusetts militia period (1820-1840); pre-Civil War period (1840-1860); Civil War (1861-1865); Reconstruction period after Civil War (1866-1897); Spanish American War/Philippines Insurrection (1898-1917); World War I period (1917-1919) including World War I State Guard records; National Guard records (1920-1940)

Massachusetts State Library
The State House, Room 341, Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133; phone (617) 727-2590; Hours Mon.-Fri. 9 AM - 5 PM. Holdings include: Massachusetts town and county histories; publications of Massachusetts state agencies; numerous maps and atlases for Massachusetts communities; index to Massachusetts newspapers (ca 1878-1937; legislative bibliographical files (1780 - date). (See Special Collections listed below)

Massachusetts State Library - Special Collections
The State House Room 55, Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133; phone (617) 727-2595. Hours Mon - Fri. 9 AM - 5 PM. Holdings include: City Directories (names, addresses, occupations of residents, business listings, charitable organizations and societies, etc.); PSP directories (listings by street and telephone numbers only); voting lists (lists of persons eligible to vote arranged by wards and precincts); miscellaneous information (a few foreign language directories); maps.

Massachusetts State Archives
Columbia Point, 20 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125; Hours Mon.- Fri. 9 AM to 5 PM; Sat. 9 AM to 3 PM (closed on holiday weekends); phone (617) 727-2816. Holdings include: non-current records of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including state returns of vital records, 1841-1905 (including indexes; indexes ONLY for current (1906-1971) vital records; lists of alien passengers arriving in the Port of Boston, 1848-1891 (with surname index); Federal census records, 1840-1900, including supplemental schedules 1850-1870. State copies of Federal census returns for 1850-1880; state census returns for 1855 and 1865; Massachusetts Archives collection consisting of 328 volumes of colonial and revolutionary-era documents, including land grants by the General court, military records (1643-1787) and tax valuations; first series of Massachusetts probate records for the counties of Suffolk (original papers to 1894), Middlesex (original papers to 1871), Plymouth (original papers to 1881 and films of copy books to 1903), Worcester (copy books on microfilm to 1881), Essex (original papers to 1840 and films of copy books to 1881)and Dukes (films of probate data to 1938)counties; naturalization and court records for several Massachusetts counties.

Methodist Episcopal -Boston University School of Theology Library
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 0215; phone (617) 353-1323; Hours Mon-Fri 9-4; Holdings include: records of closed Methodist Episcopal churches and older records of current United Methodist Churches in the New England Conference Commission on Archives and History Collections. Mostly MA, some eastern CT, RI, and NH included.

National Archives, New England Region
380 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02154; phone (781) 647-8100; Hours Mon. ñ Fri. & 1st Sat. of each month 8 AM - 4:30 PM. Holdings include: microfilm copies of all US Federal census records (far all states); naturalization records (with index, which is incomplete for NH and RI) for all pre-1906 New England naturalization records, New England naturalization records for Maine (1790-1970), New Hampshire (1873-1977), Vermont (1801-1972), Rhode Island (1842-1950), and Connecticut (1842-1973); some naturalization records for non-Federal courts in Connecticut (1790-1974); passenger lists for Boston (1820-1874, 1883-1890), New Bedford (1826-1852, 1902-1942), Portland, Maine (1820-1868, 1893-1943), Providence, Rhode Island (1820-1867, 1911-1943), Galveston Texas (1896-1948), St. Albans, Vermont, including all pre-1925 Canadian/US border crossings (1895-1984); Revolutionary Pension (all of the US) and military records; Civil War Pensioners Index (all of US); indexes to passport applications (1810-1906).

National Archives, Northeast Region
100 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield, MA 01201; phone (413) 445-6885; Hours Mon., Tues, Thurs. & Fri. 8 AM - 4 PM; Wed. 8 AM - 9 PM. Email address archives@pittsfield.nara.gov . Holdings include: Port of New York Passenger Arrival Records (1820-1957); Port of Boston, MA (1820-1943); New Bedford, MA (1902-1942); Philadelphia, PA (1880-1882); Portland, ME (1893-1943); Misc. Atlantic, Gulf and Great Lakes Ports (1820-1873); St. Albans, VT [all Canadian border crossings] (1895-1954).

NEHGS, New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116; phone (617) 536-5740; fax (617) 536-7307; Hours Tues., Fri. & Sat., 9-5, Wed. & Thur. 9-9, closed Mondays. Holds large collection for Canada and the US including: Canadian census records through 1901; vital records from Maritime Provinces of Canada; New England U.S. Federal census records through 1910 (1920 for New Hampshire); most U.S. states through 1850, misc. states 1850-1900; index to New England naturalization records through 1906; Boston passenger lists index (1848-1891, 1899-1920); large microfiche collection of Massachusetts city directories; Massachusetts vital records (1841-1905, including indexes), misc. Massachusetts birth, marriage, and death indexes (1906-1976); town and county records for many New England states; vital records for New Hampshire (through 1900); Vermont (through 1954; 1980-89; divorce index 1861-1979; 1981-89; name changes 1801-1870); Connecticut (through 1850); Rhode Island (births & marriages to 1894; deaths to 1900), Maine (births to 1940s; marriages and deaths to 1960s).

Northeastern University - Snell Library
92 Snell Library, Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA 02115; phone (617) 373-8318, fax (617) 373-5409; Joan D. Krizack, University Archivist and Head, Special Collections Dept. Contact for hours and availability of records. Holdings include: historical records pertaining to Northeastern University and/or the topic of social justice.

Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut
8 Lyle Road, New Britain, CT 06053; Jonathan D. Shea, President; phone (860) 23-5596; Hours Mon. 10 AM-2:30 PM (other times by appointment); Email NE@mailcity.com. Maintains a research and Archives facility at 278 Broad Street, New Britain, CT 06053-2104.

The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA)
2120 Commonwealth Ave. Aburndale, MA 02466-1909.

Unitarian Universalist - Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138; phone (617) 496-5153; Hours Mon-Fri 9-5 (by appointment); holds a large collection of Unitarian and Universalist records and archives, including the Library of the Universalist Historical Society (the major repository of Universalism in the world) as well as records of numerous closed Unitarian and Universalist churches and some records for still active churches (includes minute books, financial records, membership, birth and death records as well as records for womenís and youth groups, Sunday schools, some ministers vital records, etc.)

 

 
   

 

Copyright © 2001-2002 Boston History & Innovation Collaborative. All rights reserved.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Credits