Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for Charlestown and Dorchester

Old map
1885 Map of Charlestown by G.W. Bromley & Co. (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL / Public domain)

Today we have added 15 new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. Today’s additions include two parishes: St. Mary in Charlestown, and St. Peter in Dorchester. This update includes 14 volumes, over 3,600 pages, and nearly 122,000 searchable names.

St. Mary’s was the first parish established as a separate parish from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, in 1828. The Boston Public Library has a Charlestown Flickr page with images of St. Mary’s interior, repairs to the roof, and a fire that occurred in the building. Scroll about three quarters of the way down the page to view these images.

St. Peter (Dorchester) began in 1872 as an offshoot of St. Gregory in Dorchester. In James Sullivan’s One hundred years of progress, Joseph Byrne enthusiastically describes the appearance of the church which was dedicated in 1884, “No technical description can do more than faintly suggest the grandeur of St. Peter’s church which is a poem of architectural beauty” (175). The Dorchester Athenaeum’s history of the church has a very helpful paragraph (the sixth on the page) that explains the evolution of the Catholic parishes in Dorchester.

We thank our dedicated volunteer Sam Sturgis for his work on this release. If you would like to become part of the team working on rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at

There are 5 volumes that were updated in this release:
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1897-1904
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Marriages, 1869-1907
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1895-1908
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Confirmations, 1882-1920
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Marriages, 1897-1920

The 9 new volumes are listed below:
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1904-1908
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1908-1914
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1914-1918
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Baptisms, 1918-1920
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Confirmations, 1908-1910
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Confirmations, 1913-1920
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Marriages, 1907-1909
• St. Mary (Charlestown) Marriages, 1908-1920
• St. Peter (Dorchester) Baptisms, 1908-1920

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.