... Census ...Tax Lists ...
... Military ...
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... Paupers ...
...Obscure Documents ...
Dog Owners ...
Pew Deeds ...
Town Record Book
Breathe Life into Your
with Town Records
Surprisingly, copies of cemetery records sometimes show up in a
town hall. Better still, an entire collection of Hingham
Cemetery Records 1600-1989, Quabbin Park 1741-1984, Warwick
1785-1979, and Blandford records found their way to the town
These books provide lists of members, baptisms, marriages, and
burials; sometimes confessions, too.
Visualize from this graphic census of residents what a person’s
"mark" looked like on his cow–a red-hot lost-and-found system.
Usually found with vital records, this census-like list of
residents shows a picture of the mark each household used on
The "Rebellion Records" qualify as the best source of a
town's Civil War involvement. Besides name, age and/or birth date of
the soldier or sailor, the Rebellion records identify next of kin,
dates of mustering in and out, places of service, and details of
injury, imprisonment, death, or discharge.
Besides Rebellion Records, the GAR (Grand Old Army of the
Republic) records identify Civil War veterans who remained living
many years after the Civil War, along with some details about them.
that identify and list all men aged 16-60 for many towns. In a few
instances, you will even find a few Revolutionary War records.
Finally, town record books contain militia records
Mortgages & Deeds:
Sometimes called "bargains and sales", or chattels, these
books describe and value personal property; such as pots, pans,
wagons, animals, clothing, bedding, and machinery.
These books identify paupers by name, birth date, birth places,
parents, age, marital status, and date of admission to the
almshouse; as well as some death dates.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Proprietors were the first
purchasers of land in a town. Many of these proprietors became the
first settlers. These books record their names and the location of
Learn names of students, and their ages, in the middle and late
As a substitute colonial census, these lists give names, property
holdings, and valuations for all inhabitants. With these lists of
rates you can determine if a person lived in the town you always
thought, and if not, recognize that absence from the list suggests
removal from town or a recent death. Most towns have lists in the
1800's and some in late 1700's.
Discover from the minutes of town meetings, lists of people, actions
of town, payments for services, and other items of interest.
Starting in 1884, these lists usually give age, occupation,
residence, and registration date. Sometimes you will find the
applicant’s place of birth and even naturalization data and/or
remarks about migration or death plus an occasional signature. These
lists, where available, can be used as a substitute source for
the missing US 1890 Census.
In Summary, in the original Town records you will
discover lists of
dog owners, census records
before 1850 with names of all household heads, and
veterans. These town records will also allow you to characterize
residents by activity in town affairs, inventories of belongings,
for beasts, religious dissent, objections to proposed marriages, and
signatures on voting registers. Even
church and cemetery records
sometimes show up in a town hall.
The birthplace of
Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin
Birthplace of Johnny
Birthplace of Cecil B.
DeMille, famed movie director
Birth in 1744 of
Elbridge Gerry who served as governor of Massachusetts in 1812
when the practice of gerrymandering was introduced. He served the
following two years (1813-1814) as Vice President to James Madison
What towns did the Quabbin
Vital Record Collections
Genealogical Records: Births, Marriages, Deaths 1747-1843. Vol
1. The Town clerk gathered family records from 1747 to 1843 into a
huge genealogical volume alphabetized and on fiches 1-5.
Genealogical Records, pp 1-41, Abbott-Cowles Fiche 1
Genealogical Records, pp 42-83, Collier-Dickinson Fiche 2
Genealogical Records, pp 84-123, Dickinson-Hastings Fiche 3
Genealogical Records, pp 124-164, Hastings-Kellog, Smith Fiche 4
Genealogical Records, pp 165-181, Smith, Kellog-Murray Fiche 5
Genealogical Records, pp 182-188, Vinton, Montague-Parker Fiche 5
Genealogical Records, p 188, Holland, Palmer Fiche 5
BLANDFORD: Strangely, few deaths
appear in the town records. In 1947, Doris W. Hayden, recognizing
this deficiency, began compiling names and dates from the various
cemeteries in Blandford. Hayden, Doris W. 1957. Blandford
Cemetery Records. (A typed manuscript of 217 pages that includes
nine cemeteries plus home site burials. The map of Hill Cemetery
included at the end of the collection was also compiled by Doris W.
Hayden.) FICHES 48-51. 4 fiches.
DIGHTON: Louis Carr's five
volumes of Dighton vital records from 1700-1899 arranged
alphabetically by births, married women, married men and deaths.
Fiches 34-54. 21 fiches.
EASTHAMPTON: Randall Loomis'
three volumes of Easthampton, Massachusetts Vital Records 1785-1850
on fiches 7-12. 6 fiches.
GILL: Ralph Stoughton's two
volumes of Gill genealogies. In 1960 Ralph M. Stoughton compiled two
volumes of Gill genealogies that were part of a set entitled History
of the Town of Gill, Massachusetts. These alphabetically arranged
genealogies date back to the Pilgrims, some of whose descendants
settled in Gill. Also included are vital events of Gill residents
and their posterity that occurred out of town or out of state. 18
WALES: Absalom Gardner's 1873
Compendium of the History, Genealogy, and Biography of the Town of
Wales. Arranged alphabetically, the volumes fits on fiches 13-24. 12
WEYMOUTH: Gilbert Nash copied
births 1633-1844, marriages 1656-1840, deaths 1639-1844. They are
WILBRAHAM: Chauncey E.
Peck compiled the Vital Records of Wilbraham to the Year 1850. A
typewritten copy arranged alphabetically by family on fiches 37-40.