This week’s database, launched several years ago, is a hidden gem and deserves to be featured. Essential for Massachusetts researchers, Historical Data provides summary information for counties and municipalities in the Bay State. The first edition of this book was published in 1920; the 1997 version was prepared by William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and published by NEHGS.
This database may be searched by the name of the municipality to find related section, village, or archaic names. Or searches of section, village, or archaic names can determine the name of the associated municipality. Pages of the original book may be viewed from the search results page. These pages include information on the dates of incorporation of the municipality and any legislated changes in territorial limits.
A useful map of Massachusetts, with county and town boundaries marked, was published by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and is reproduced on page 4 of Historical Data. Two versions of the map are available online on the Secretary’s website: cities and towns http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cispdf/City_Town_Map.pdf and counties, cities, and towns http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cispdf/County_Map.pdf.
Search: Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities, and Towns in Massachusetts, 5th edition