From the introduction to the CD-ROM: "When Annie Haven Thwing (1851-1940), the daughter of a Boston coal merchant, reached her mid-thirties, she became curious to know "where my ancestors lived, who were their neighbors, and what the neighborhood was like." She found it impossible, however, to contain her project, and she spent the next thirty years researching the geographic and built environment of Boston from 1630 to 1822. Tracing people and their properties through deed, probate, and the recently printed town records, enlisting church records, diaries, and graveyard epitaphs, Thwing painstakingly built an index consisting of some 125,000 catalog cards. These she used to publish, in 1920, her classic The Crooked and Narrow Streets of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822. Four years before, she had given her card index to the Massachusetts Historical Society, where it occupied seventy-four library drawers in the catalog room. Although arranged only by subjects' names, the index has proved a valuable resource for historians and genealogists."
Additional information about this collection, which contains more than 73,000 records, can be found in an article Lynn Betlock wrote for The Daily Genealogist blog.
Download a PDF version of the Introduction to the CD-ROM version of this database, with an explanation of the various field names.
Download a PDF version of Annie Thwing's The Crooked and Narrow Streets of the Town of Boston - 1622-1822.
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Search the Thwing Collection: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822.