You are here: Home » Locations »United
States Genealogy » Massachusetts Genealogy
Search Public Records Now!
genealogy lookups, MA genealogy & historical societies, genealogy
publications available from MA genealogical societies and individuals,lost female ancestors
queries, and related links for MA genealogy research in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Free Genealogy Look Ups
Free Genealogy Look Ups
from our generous volunteers in their offline resources.If you have offline Massachusetts
genealogy books or other resources, join our look up volunteers to help others! Volunteer
Like most states with a long history, Massachusetts genealogy records can be found in multiple locations depending on the time period you are researching. You can look back to the early 1600s, providing you know where to search.
Massachusetts Vital Records
Vital records are birth, death and marriage registrations that are usually kept by the state and/or county. These have been kept by the state since 1841, so any searches for material older than this will have to be located by contacting the individual county registrar's offices.
More recent than 1841 but still older than 1921 can be located at the State Archives (see below). After 1921, that's when you can make a document request from the Office of Vital Statistics in Dorchester. You just have to send a proper requisition form along with the current fee, and a certified copy of the record will be mailed back to you. On the other hand, if you visit the office in person, they will usually issue your desired records while you wait.
If you are not positive about the exact dates on the records you want, you can request that their staff do a 10 year search around an estimated date. Besides the date, you also have to provide full names and locations to identify your records.
The current fee for vital records is $28 if you send by mail, and $18 if you are at the counter personally. These fees are not refunded if the records you order can't be found. If you are going to be paying these fees by check or money order, it needs to be issued to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Massachusetts State Archives
As mentioned earlier, vital records between 1841 and 1921 are housed at the State Archives in Boston. Not only can you freely access and copy all vital records for these years, but the rest of their collection is of great importance to most Massachusetts genealogy pursuits.
In their research room, you can find passenger lists, military records, judicial archives, census records, military records, probate documents, adoption records, naturalization documents, photographs, maps and a lot more. You can visit the Archives Monday through Friday, during regular business hours. They also offer regular workshops for people interested in local history and genealogy.
Local Genealogy Groups
Another option when looking up Massachusetts genealogy is to get in touch with one of the local groups. They have their own collections of material and you can even learn quite a lot from personal knowledge of the other members.
Given the long history of the state, Massachusetts has a large number of genealogy and historical societies. Depending on where your research is taking you, you can gain from contact with any of them. The main group is the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists, which is involved in genealogy across the state. The Massachusetts Historical Society is another large group.
Smaller groups for counties, cities or regions are also plentiful. There are several groups for the Boston area alone, for example. There is also a group specifically involved in the descendants of the original Plymouth Colony (the National Society of Old Plymouth Colony Descendants).
Massachusetts Genealogy Databases
Massachusetts Genealogy on Other Sites
- William Appleton & Company
William Appleton was born in North Brookfleld, Mass., in 1786 and died in 1862. He began his career at the age of fifteen as clerk in the country store of Artemas Wheeler in Temple, N.H., being made a partner four years later.
- Captain John Codman, William D. Codman, John & Richard Codman
Captain John Codman was born in Dorchester in 1814, being the oldest son of the Rev. John Codman. His daughter was Mrs. F. V. Parker, his two brothers were William C. and Robert Codman, and his sisters were Mrs. Charles K. Cobb, Mrs. Otto Pollitz, and Mrs. William A. Peabody
- John Perkins Cushing
John Perkins Cushing, called "Ku-Shing" by the Chinese, sailed for China when only sixteen years old, to take the position of clerk in the counting-house of his uncle, Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins.
- Captain James Dalton
The earliest record of Captain James Dalton is found in a manuscript diary kept by himself and begun in the year 1736. Captain Dalton has written various entries and memoranda of the arrivals, departures, and discharges of cargo at Savannah in 1736, Charleston in 1737, and later at East Cowes and other ports.
- Captain Philip Dumaresq
Captain Philip Dumaresq of Boston was always known by his host of friends as "The Prince of Sea-Captains," and was so popular while in port that no other vessel could be loaded or unloaded until his ship had been taken care of.
- Captain Oscar G. Eaton
Of the many deep-sea captains of the early days, not more than a score now remain, and among, them is Captain Oscar G. Eaton of East Boston, who is one of the three captains in this city still alive.
- Nathaniel Goddard
Nathaniel Goddard had the distinction of being the last man in Boston to wear knee-breeches, which, of course, were accompanied by the customary black silk stockings in warm weather and by whitetopped boots in winter.
- The Exploits of Captain Augustine Heard
Captain Heard was a partner of the firm of Russell & Co., fifteen years after the firm was founded, later retiring and forming his own house, Augustine Heard & Co., then third largest American firm in the East.
- James and Thomas Lamb
Many American fortunes were made in the North West trade, and among those who shared in these successes was the well-known Boston house of James & Thomas Lamb. These two brothers formed a partnership in 1781, immediately after the death of James Lamb, Sr., who had been head of the house of James Lamb & Son for some years previous.
- Lee and Cabot
This house was composed of Captain Joseph Lee and Hon. George Cabot, his brother-in-law. Captain Lee, who was born in the year 1744, was an original character.
- John Ellerton Lodge
John Ellerton Lodge was one of the best-known ship-merchants of Boston, engaging in commerce chiefly with China.
- Photo Album
See if they are your MA ancestors.
- Genealogy Archives
Obituaries, newspaper articles, and other documents with Massachusetts connections submitted by visitors
- Marriage Records
marriage records with Massachusetts connections posted by visitors.
- Colonial Massachusetts
Find Massachusetts Societies & Biographies
Massachusetts Genealogy Links
Massachusetts genealogy including
free genealogy lookups, our databases with Massachusetts data, military
rosters as well as free and
paid online resources for your Massachusetts genealogy research.