Worcester Free Public Library

Genealogy Resources

Local History & Genealogy Collection


Where In Worcester (a directory for finding historical records in Worcester area).

Local History


This special collection includes all types of material on the city of Worcester and Worcester County. It also includes information about the state of Massachusetts and history of the other five New England states. Genealogy is included as it is so closely entwined with history. The library collects primarily print and microformat items. Manuscripts, archives and objects are not collected.

Top

Genealogy Resources


The library has a good collection of materials to help anyone doing genealogical research. We collect printed items and microfilms and have started to build a collection of genealogy CD-Roms. When you come to the library you will find the following:

  • City and town histories for Massachusetts, with a good selection for the other New England states
  • Worcester city material, such as yearbooks, church histories, business histories, annual reports and more
  • Directories for the city of Worcester (and some for other cities also)
  • Most of the newspapers published in Worcester
  • The federal manuscript census for Massachusetts,1790 - 1920
  • The soundex for the 1880, 1900, and 1920 censuses
  • The federal manuscript census for New England(except Massachusetts), 1790 - 1860
  • Passenger lists for the port of Boston,1820 -1920
  • Indexes for the passenger lists for the port of Boston
  • Index to naturalization applications, New England, 1793 - 1906
  • The 1890 Veterans census for Massachusetts
  • Vital Records for the cities and towns in Massachusetts, to 1850 (print series); or as far up as 1905 in the microfiche set.(end dates vary a great deal; you must check each town)
  • Many books which will help you learn how to do all phases of genealogy

Please ask our Reference Librarians if you need help in locating and using any of these materials.

Top

Genealogy Resources:


I.   PASSENGER AND IMMIGRATION LISTS

United States. Immigration and Naturalization Service Book Indices, Boston passenger lists, 1899-1920

Index to passenger lists arriving at Boston, 1848-1891Index to passenger lists arriving at Boston, Jan. 1, 1902-June 30, 1906

Index to passenger lists arriving at Boston, Jan. 1, 1907-1920

Passenger lists arriving at Boston, 1820-1920

Top


II. THE CENSUS


1. Microforms

U.S. Bureau of the Census
    Census enumerations of geographic subdivisions and enumeration districts--for Massachusetts, 1910.

U.S. Bureau of the Census
    Population scheduled of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th census of the United States for Massachusetts,   1800-1860.

U.S. Bureau of the Census
   Population schedules of the 2nd-14th census of the United States for Massachusetts (except 1890) (1800-1920)

U.S. Bureau of the Census
    Index (Soundex) to the 1880 Population Schedules for Massachusetts
   Index (Soundex) to the 1900 Population Census Schedules for Massachusetts
    Index (Soundex) to the 1920 Population Census Schedules for Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Census of Massachusetts, 1855 and 1865

2. Book Form

Accelerated Indexing Systems
    Census indexes 1800-1850 for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Dilts, Bryan Lee
    1890 Massachusetts Census index of Civil War Veterans or their widows. (Salt Lake City: Index pub., 1985).

U.S. Census
    Heads of families at the first Census of the United States in the year 1790 for Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.

Top


III. MAPS AND ATLASES


1. Massachusetts

Micro
912.744
M4142m
1794-1830
Massachusetts Archives
        Maps and plans of the towns, 1794 (microfilm)
        Maps and plans of the towns, 1830 (microfilm)

Walling and Gray
      Official topographical atlas of Massachusetts
      Boston: Stedman, Brown & Lyon, 1871 (small map file)

912.744
fM4
    Atlas of Massachusetts from topographic surveys.
    1884-1888. Boston: Commonwealth of Mass. Commissioners, 1890.

Micro
912.744
S1985
Sanborn Map Co.
    Sanborn fire insurance maps of Massachusetts, 1884-1951 (48 rolls of microfilm)

912.744
fW174m
Walker, O. W.
    Atlas of Massachusetts. Boston: Geo. H. Walker Co., 1904.

912.744
fW174m3
    Atlas of Massachusetts. Boston: Walker Lithograph & Publishing Co., 1909.

912.744
fW174m4
    Atlas of Massachusetts. Boston: Walker Lithograph & Publishing Co., 1922.

2. Counties

912.744
fH22r
Richards Map Co.
    New topographical atlas of the County of Hampden. Springfield: L.J. Richards & Co., 1894.

912.744
fW22r2
    Atlas of Hampden County Springfield, 1912.

912.7443
fB415a
1871
Beers, Frederick W.
    Atlas of Worcester County, New York: F.W. Beers, 1870. Reprinted Charles F. Tuttle, 1974.

912.7443
fR5
Richards Map Co.
    Atlas of Worcester County. Springfield, 1898.

3. Cities and Towns

912.744
fB8w
Craig, George A.
    Atlas of Brookfield, West Brookfield & North Brookfield towns, Massachusetts. Boston: Geo. H. Walker & Co., 1885.

912.7443
fG2
    Atlas of Gardner town, Massachusetts. Boston, Oscar W. Walker & Co., 1886.

912.744
fS7
Craig, George A.
    Atlas of Spencer Town, Massachusetts. Boston: Geo. H. Walker Co., 1884.

912.744
fW1
    Atlas of Winchendon Town, Massachusetts. Boston: Oscar C. Walker & Co., 1886.

MAPS
912.74431
B788t
Bowring, Larry A.
    The Town Of Worcester, Massachusetts, circa 1776. Worcester: N.P., 1975.

MAPS
912.74431
B636p2
Blake, Francis E.
    Plan of the Town of Worcester, 1795. Copied from the original in the State Archives by F.E.Blake, Jan. 1883.

MAPS
912.74431
P538m
1829
Phelps, Ed. E.
    Map of the Village of Worcester. Worcester: C. Harris, 1829.

MAPS
912.74431
S811w
1831
Stebbins, A.
    Worcester Map. 1831. Boston: Massachusetts Archives, 1983.

912.74431
B416a
Beers, F. W.
    Atlas of the City of Worcester. New York: F.W. Beers, 1870. Reprinted by Charles F. Tuttle, 1971.

Sanborn Insurance Map co.
    Worcester, Massachusetts, 1876.

912.7443
fW92h
Hopkins, G. M.
    Atlas of the City of Worcester, Massachusetts. Philadelphia: G.M. Hopkins, 1886.

Sanborn Insurance Map Co.
    Worcester, Massachusetts. 1892. (Microfilm only).

912.744
W9r
Richards, L.J. & Co.
    Atlas of the City of Worcester, Massachusetts. Springfiled, L.J. Richards Co., 1896.

912.74431
qI38w
    Worcester Index. A Bureau of Information showing in detail the official plan of real estate maps from the latest surveys. Worcester: Index Pub. Co., 1901.

912.74431
S198i
1910
Sanborn Insurance Map Co.
    Insurance Maps of Worcester 1910, 3 vols.

912.744
fW9r2
Richards, L.J. & Co.
    Atlas of the City of Worcester, Massachusetts. Springfiled: L.J. Richards Co., 1911.

912.74431
fR579i
Richards Map Co.
    Richards standard atlas of the City of Worcester, Massachusetts. 1922.

Sanborn Insurance Map Co.
    Insurance Maps of Worcester, 1936. 4 vols. (microfilm only)

912.74431
S198w
1969 & 1978
Sanborn Insurance Map Co.
    Worcester, Massachusetts 1969, 4 vols. Worcester, Massachusetts 1978, 4 vols.

Top


IV. CITY DIRECTORIES IN THE WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY COLLECTION

Worcester City Directories
(irregular after 1977)
1928-1929, 1842-present

Worcester House Directories
(irregular after 1977; combined with city directories 1997)
1850, 1860, 1872, 1888-1993

Worcester Suburban Directories
(issued on an irregular basis; covers only towns immediately surrounding Worcester)
1899-present

Skandinavisk adresskalender
1904, 1907, 1910

Worcester Canadien
(issued on an irregular basis)
1892-1908

Worcester society blue book
(issued on an irregular basis)
1902-1950

The directories for the rest of the state are primarily on microform. Those published before 1861 are on microfiche; after that date they are on microfilm. Boston is on paper after 1935. The dates shown are the beginning and ending dates. There may be some town directories for every year in the period. There maybe some town directories in paper in the Worcester Room catalogued collection.

1789-1981 Boston (microfiche, microfilm, paper) Brighton & Brookline Business
1850Cambridge
1847-1860; 1902-1931Charlestown
1831-1860Chelsea
1847-1860Clinton
1856Dorchester
1850East Boston
1848/49, 1849, 1852Fall River
1853-1935Fitchburg
1847-1860Gloucester
1860Haverhill
1853-1860/61; 1902-1935Lawrence
1847-1860/61Lowell
1832-1835Lunenburg
1834Lynn
1832-1860Massachusetts
(a business directory, not individuals)
1850/51Massachusetts Register
(a business directory, not individuals)
1852-1859Medford
1849New Bedford
1836-1859Newburyport
1849-1860Pittsfield
1854-1860Plymouth
1846, 1860Roxbury
1847-1860Salem
1847-1860Springfield
1840-1860/61Somerville
1851South Boston
1852Taunton
1931-1932 Wakefield, Stoneham and Reading
1931 & 1935 Webster, Oxford and Grovernorsdale, CT
1930 Wellesley
1929-1930 Westfield, Blandford, and Chester
1929-1930 Weymouth
1932 Whitman
1929-1930 Winthrop
1932 Woburn and Winchester
1928 Woonsocket Suburban

Top


V. NEWSPAPER HOLDINGS


The Library has the following newspapers available for use at the
library. They are on microfilm and are not indexed unless noted with the entry.

Aegis (weekly, title varies), 1801 - 1860

Blackstone Valley News/Tribune Advertiser (Whitinsville, MA), 1970 - 1977

Boston Globe, 1960 - present. Indexed from approximately 1980 in paper or on Newsbank online.

Brookfield Weekly Times, Jan. 1882 - Dec. 1884

Brookfield Times, April 16, 1886 - Dec. 1888; Jan. 3, 1890 - Dec. 1916

Daily Morning Manuscript (Worcester, MA), 1851 - 1854

Massachusetts Spy (weekly), 1775 - 1820 (microcard); 1792 - 1865 (paper); 1821 - 1878 (microfilm)

The messenger 1893 - 1950

New York Times, 1851 - present. Indexed

North Brookfield Journal, 1875 - Dec.29, 1887

North Brookfield Journal, Jan.12, 1878 - Oct.30, 1914; 1916; 1919

Skandinanska Our Field/Good Templaren (Worcester,MA), (Swedish)1924 - 1928

Skandinavia (Worcester, MA), (Swedish) 1888 - 1918

Spencer Sun, Oct.31, 1872 - Dec. 30, 1887

Spencer Leader, Jan. 6, 1894 - Dec. 31, 1953

Svea (Worcester, MA), (Swedish), 1914 - 1966

Travailleur (French), 1879 - 1892 (paper); 1931 - 1978 (microfilm)

Uxbridge Compendium, Jan. 5, 1883 - June 27, 1913

Uxbridge & Whitinsville Transcript, Jan. 5, 1901 - Dec. 27, 1908

Worcester Daily Press, 1873 - 1876

Worcester Daily Spy, 1845 - 1904

Worcester Evening Gazette, 1866 - April 16, 1989

Worcester Evening Post, 1897- 1938, (being indexed on our homepage, 1897 - 1898 so far)

Worcester Palladium (weekly), 1834 - 1876

Worcester Telegram, 1884 (Sunday), 1886 (Daily) - April 16, 1989

Worcester Telegram and Gazette, April 17, 1989 - present. Indexed
in Newsbank Online

Worcester Transcript (daily), 1851 - 1854

Early American Newspaper Series


This is a collection of 100 New England newspapers published before 1821. They are primarily from Massachusetts but all the states are represented. The earliest is the Boston Newsletter from 1704. The bulk of the collection is on micro-opaque cards but some have been reproduced on microfilm.

Other Holdings:


The Worcester Collection has a number of papers from Worcester County towns that we keep for only one year.

They include papers from Auburn, Barre, Clinton, Grafton, Holden, Lancaster, Northbridge, Spencer, Webster, and Westborough.

We also keep indefinitely some specialized papers like the
Catholic Free Press, Jewish Chronicle Leader,Senior Advocate
and Hispano Vocero.

Top

Support The Library

Donate or Volunteer Today!

Ask A Librarian

Ask a question or send a comment - any way you like!