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Massachusetts: 1855 State Census

(New Databases) Permanent link

Massachusetts took state censuses in 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, 1935, and 1945. General summaries have been published for most of these censuses, but the actual town-by-town census schedules exist for only 1855 and 1865. The original schedules for 1855 and 1865 are currently held by the Massachusetts State Archives. The original schedules for the other years appear to have been lost.

The 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state censuses provide a complementary resource to the United States federal censuses, allowing researchers to trace a family every five years between 1850 and 1870. The state census can also occasionally provide additional information not present in the federal census, such as town or county of birth.  For the 1855 census, an individual’s town of birth was recorded for most residents in the towns of Abington, Andover, Brimfield, Brookline, Carlisle, Dennis, Enfield, Harwich, Holland, Ipswich, Marshfield, New Ashford, North Attleboro, Pembroke, Provincetown, Shutesbury, Wayland, Wellfleet, Westport, Wilmington, and Yarmouth. This database holds more than 1.1 million records.  

If you have any questions about this, or any other database on the AmericanAncestors.org website, please contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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NEHGS NEXUS: New England Across the United States

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Published between 1983 and 1999, NEXUS (New England Across the United States) was the bimonthly newsletter of the New England Historic Genealogical Society that later evolved into New England Ancestors (now American Ancestors) magazine. NEXUS featured a variety of articles pertaining to genealogical research, including Gary Boyd Roberts' "Notable Kin" column. Other topics covered matrilineal studies, interviews with industry professionals, news of the society, and research queries. 

This database is searchable by first and last name; volume and page; article title and keyword. Currently, Volumes 13-16 (publication years 1996-1999) are available. Earlier volumes will be uploaded throughout the year. The database currently holds more than 36,000 records.   

Other periodical databases available through our digital collections include New England Historical and Genealogical Register; The American Genealogist; and The Mayflower Descendant.

If you have any questions about this, or any other database on the AmericanAncestors.org website, please contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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Rhode Island Vital Records 1636-1850

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In 1891, James N. Arnold began publishing a series of vital records books for the towns of Rhode Island. The series would go on to include church records and newspaper records, ultimately filling twenty-one volumes with information. This re-indexing of our original 2002 database includes records from Volumes 1-6. Together, these volumes contain more than 185,000 records. These records are indexed by name, date, location, and event type. Names of parents and spouses have also been indexed, when available.

All 21 volumes are available for viewing at the NEHGS Research Library, call number F78.A75. Additional volumes will be added to this online collection throughout the year.

Other Rhode Island databases available through our digital collections include Rhode Island Roots; Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Database Index; and Members of the Artillery Company of Newport, Rhode Island.

If you have any questions about this, or any other database on the AmericanAncestors.org website, please contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org.

Search Rhode Island Vital Records, 1636-1850 -- Town Records.

The Maine Genealogist Vol. 28-31

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Published since 1977, The Maine Genealogist is a quarterly journal that features scholarly articles, often written by members of the Maine Genealogical Society, founded in 1976. Beginning as a newsletter for the society, the publication evolved into The Maine Seine, published until 1990, and became a notable source of surname queries, transcriptions from original records and manuscript materials, articles, and book reviews. The title was changed to The Maine Genealogist in 1991, and each issue, now 48 pages, continues the mission of preserving the genealogical record of Maine towns and families.

This database is searchable by first and last name; volume and page; author, article title and keyword. Currently, Volumes 28-31 (publication years 2006-2009) are available. Earlier volumes will be uploaded throughout the year. The database currently holds more than 24,000 records.   

Other journal databases available through our digital collections include New England Historical and Genealogical Register; The American Genealogist; and The Mayflower Descendant.

If you have any questions about this, or any other database on the AmericanAncestors.org website, please contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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Pioneer Irish of Onondaga (About 1776-1847)

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 New York Map OutlineThis week we have added a new database, Pioneer Irish of Onondaga, which contains more than 3,500 names of individuals from more than 690 families of early Irish settlers of Onondaga County, New York, covering the years 1776-1847. The work was written by Dr. Theresa Bannan and published in 1911. Due to the scarcity of records for the region during this time period, Dr. Bannan's notes were largely compiled from oral interviews with members and descendants of the pioneer families. There are sections for the towns of Salina, Syracuse, Onondaga, Geddes, DeWitt, Lysander, Spafford, Skaneateles, Marcellus, LaFayette, Camillus, Elbridge, Otisco, Tully, Pompey, Fabius, Clay, Cicero, Manlius, and Van Buren.

The book is also available to read at the NEHGS Research Library, call number F127.O6 B17 1911.

Other Onondaga County, New York resources available through our digital collections are Onondaga County, NY: Abstracts of Wills, 1796-1841 and Onondaga County, NY: Guardianship Records, 1815-1849.

If you have any questions about this, or any other database on the AmericanAncestors.org website, please contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org.

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Thwing Collection: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822

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MassachusettsFrom 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.

If you have questions about this or any other database collection offered through our website, you may contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org

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Boston, MA: Taking Records, 1800

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MassachusettsSince the 1800 Boston census records do not survive, the 1800 Boston tax lists, or "taking books," are particularly valuable. Additional information may include: occupation or employment status; mental or physical disability; whether "at sea"; and, sometimes, race or ethnicity. The original 1800 tax lists are held at the Boston Public Library's Rare Book Department. The database includes 4,648 records.

Other Massachusetts tax records databases include Boston, MA: Tax List of Boston, 1821; Boston, MA: Tax List of Boston, 1831; and Massachusetts and Maine 1798 Direct Tax.

If you have questions about this or any other database collection offered through our website, you may contact us at webmaster@nehgs.org

Search the Boston, MA: Taking Records, 1800.

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