Massachusetts has developed an immense amount of genealogical source material, including probate records, church records, cemetery records, and vital records. Coupled with genealogical societies within the Commonwealth, published journals, and ongoing study projects, there are many options for research.
American Ancestors offers a massive collection of records on Massachusetts from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Their free guide will introduce you to some of the most useful online records to help you with your genealogical quest.
The Massachusetts’s State Archives covers local communities from the inception of the colonies through the last Boston directory published in 1981. Their holdings include city and town directories, voting lists, town reports, tax valuations, vital records (to 1950), and probate records. An overview of their collection is available on their website. A searchable database of their vital records is online at American Ancestors.
Resources from the National Society
- The Society’s Genealogical Research Library maintains a collection of genealogical and historical materials for research by members and the general public. It acquires and preserves records of the period and foster and encourage historical research in the period.
- The SAR Patriot Research System (PRS) is a database that includes the previous SAR Patriot Record Index, the SAR Revolutionary War Graves Registry, and information from the SAR Patriot Index CD (2002) with updates from state grave registries and sketches on the stories of our patriot ancestors.
- The Genealogical Research Service is an hourly-based service of the SAR Genealogical Research Library. Their sources available may include applications to the society, vital records, family Bible records, online services, and material from other genealogical societies. Please contact them at (502) 588-6135 for additional information and/or a cursory review of your needs.
- The SAR Genealogy Assistants offers hands-on help for applicants and potential new members who seek additional guidance during the application process. Assistants take an active role in researching and compiling documentation for SAR applicants, who may have limited or no experience in genealogical research or in preparing an application for the society. The degree to which assistance can help vary based on the applicant’s needs.
- Policies and materials of the Genealogy Committee set the standards for evidence to prove a lineal connection to the Revolutionary War. The committee provides research methods for proving a patriot’s Revolutionary War service and how to document the lineage to that ancestors. The committee offers several resources on genealogical sources and procedures.