Earlier this week, we received an exciting email from Drew Bartley, a local professional genealogy researcher, who has been hard at work compiling extensive resources about the chaning landscape of the Boston area on familysearch.org.
The online guides for Boston and Suffolk County that many of you helped me create are now ready for prime time. [...] Please feel free to use these guides and link to them from your institutions if appropriate. The more links provided ensure the continuation of the project across Massachusetts.
Each of these town/city guides include a brief history, border changes, histories, vital records, city directories, cemeteries, church, town records, newspapers, and local libraries and historical societies. There are many links for each topic to digital books, online databases, and free transcriptions when found. This is especially helpful with the cemeteries and churches. If records were found in local repositories, links were added to their entry.
The guides links are:
Towns annexed to Boston:
The crown jewel of them all is the Boston Massachusetts genealogy guide. It covers Boston proper, East Boston, South Boston, and the Harbor Islands. Additional features for the Boston guide include street guides, ward boundaries with contemporary maps, extremely detailed list of the 108 churches established by 1846, first-ever inventory of town and city records, and a chronological guide of Boston newspapers. Many of these topics contain links where books, databases, or more information can be found online.
This guide would not have been possible without the help of archival and librarian staff at:
City of Boston Archives
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Boston Public Library – Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Microtext
Archdiocese of Boston Archives
Massachusetts Historical Society
Andover Newton Theological School
Harvard Divinity School through their detailed online guides
Boston University School of Theology through their detailed online guides
Of course, we're interested in promoting these resources because Drew conducted some of his research here at the library, and we hold some of the records he references, but if you're at all curious about these topics, go take a look at his amazing guides.
Many of our researchers will be particularly interested in the section on Boston's numerous churches and the locations of their extant records. So many churches have changed locations, denominations, and names over the centuries that it can be difficult to track down the information you're looking for. The detail contained in the Boston page makes these evolutions much clearer. Do you know what became of the 28th Congregational Church? Did you even know there was one? Now you can find out about that and more.