Author Archive

Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for Boston, Cambridge, and West Roxbury

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sepia photograph of large stone church
Holy Trinity, from One Hundred Years of Progress, page 137

Today we have added 11 new volumes, and 6 extended volumes, to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. Today’s additions include the parishes of Holy Trinity in Boston, St. Anthony of Padua in Cambridge, and St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury. This update includes over 3,000 pages, and over 100,000 searchable names.

Holy Trinity was the heart of the German Catholic community in Boston. The parish was established in 1836; the first Mass in their church building was said in 1844. Read more about the history of the parish in our late volunteer Michael Hager’s American Ancestors magazine article. You can learn more about the Monatsbote, their parish newsletter in Thomas Lester’s article in the Pilot..

St. Anthony of Padua was established in 1902, serving the Portuguese immigrants of East Cambridge. The history of the church specifies the congregants came from mainland Portugal, the Azores, and Madeira. Boston College’s Global Boston project provides a helpful overview of Portuguese immigration to the Boston area including East Cambridge.

St. Theresa of Avila was opened as early in about 1869, and the first building was a small wooden church dedicated October 28, 1871. This church burned down in 1874 and school-chapel building was constructed on Spring Street and opened in 1875. The then small parish was attached to Dedham, and then Roslindale before it became an independent parish again on January 1, 1896.

The eleven new volumes are:
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1902-1908
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1908-1920
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Burials, 1907-1920
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Marriages, 1914-1920
• St. Anthony of Padua (Cambridge) Baptisms, 1902-1913
• St. Anthony of Padua (Cambridge) Baptisms, 1913-1918
• St. Anthony of Padua (Cambridge) Baptisms, 1918-1920
• St. Anthony of Padua (Cambridge) Marriages, 1902-1920
• St. Theresa of Avila (West Roxbury) Baptisms, 1920
• St. Theresa of Avila (West Roxbury) Confirmations, 1902-1920
• St. Theresa of Avila (West Roxbury) Marriages, 1910-1920

The five expanded volumes have records added beyond 1900 and are:
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Baptisms, 1894-1902
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Deaths, 1878-1907
• Holy Trinity (Boston) Marriages, 1893-1914
• St. Theresa of Avila (West Roxbury) Baptisms, 1896-1920
• St. Theresa of Avila (West Roxbury) Marriages, 1896-1910

We’d like to thank our dedicated team of volunteers for their work on this project, especially Bob Rainville and Sam Sturgis. 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 rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

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

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New Database: General Society of Mayflower Descendants Membership Applications, 1620-1920

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Picture of a GSMD Application
GSMD Application on the John Howland family from 1900

We are very excited to announce a new database in time for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower: General Society of Mayflower Descendants Membership Applications, 1620-1920.

In 1620, a brave group of 102 men, women and children sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, searching for a life of religious and civic freedom. To honor Pilgrim ancestors and keep their story alive, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants was created in 1897. Membership requires proof of lineage from one of the passengers who traveled to America on this historic voyage in 1620.

Through the years, the Mayflower Society has established a network of more than 150,000 descendants all over the world who form lifelong bonds, cherish the sacred memory of our ancestors and continue on their legacy through purpose, preservation, and education. For more information about this society you can visit the General Society of Mayflower Descendants website.

This database includes all applications and supplemental applications to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) starting from their founding in 1897 and including only applicants who were born before January 1, 1920. The database index includes; the applicant, their ancestral Mayflower passenger, and the indexed birth, marriage and death information for each generation of descendants on the application. In addition, the membership number for the general society is provided. The dates of 93% the genealogical records indexed from these applications fall between 1620 and 1920. You may find marriage and death records for dates well after 1920.

The database is organized into 14 volumes, one for each family of passengers, and contains over 165,000 pages of applications with 4.5 million searchable names. Please note that all names are indexed to the first page of the application, and you can page forward to see the lineage details.

This database was created through a partnership of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, AmericanAncestors, and FamilySearch, and has taken more than a year to assemble. We thank the employees and volunteers of all three organizations for amazing work to make this information available online.

In addition to the searchable database of membership applications, there is a family tree constructed for each Mayflower Passenger that can be viewed in AmericanAncesTREES. The trees contain individuals from any application where the person was born before January 1, 1920.You must be signed into AmericanAncestors to view the trees. The links for each available tree appear in the database description at the bottom of the search page. A sample for Richard More appears below.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership. GSMD members may access this database free of charge through the GSMD website.

Diagram of a family tree

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Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for St. Joseph of Wakefield

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Picture of church with high steeple
St. Joseph’s in Wakefield, from James S. Sullivan’s One Hundred Years of Progress page 598.

Today we have added 8 new volumes, to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. Today’s additions are for the parish of St. Joseph in Wakefield, and the update includes over 900 pages, and over 66,000 searchable names.

As early as 1854, Catholics were worshipping in Wakefield. In the 1870s, the congregation was expanding and a new church was built on Albion Street. During this time period, St. Agnes in Reading was also a mission of this parish.

We’d like to thank our dedicated team of volunteers for their work, particularly Sam Sturgis. 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 rachel.adams@nehgs.org.


The new volumes are:
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Baptisms, 1873-1902
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Baptisms, 1903-1917
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Baptisms, 1917-1920
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Confirmations, 1879-1920
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) First Communions, 1881-1920
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Marriages, 1873-1902
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Marriages, 1903-1908
• St. Joseph (Wakefield) Marriages, 1908-1920

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

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American Ancestors Magazine Volume 20 (2019) Added

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Cover of Vol. 20.4 featuring the Mayflower American Ancestors website

We have updated our American Ancestors Magazine database to include volume 20 covering the year 2019. This update contains over 280 pages and 2,800 searchable names.

The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

A 64-page magazine published by NEHGS beginning in 2010, American Ancestors contains a wealth of information for family historians. American Ancestors features a wide range of article topics and styles, and is designed to appeal to family historians of all levels. Topics include coverage of a particular region or group of people; case studies; descriptions of particular record sets; “how-to” articles; compelling historic accounts that illuminate the past; research strategies and methodology; and accounts of migration and immigrant groups.The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteer David Anderson. If you have some time and would like to get involved in the database digitization and indexing process please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.
The entire run of New England Ancestors is available at our NEHGS Boston research library, call number F1.N49.
Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.

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Expanded Database Boston, MA: Provident Institution for Savings, 1817-1882

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Drawing of old Court House
Stone Court-House, also called Johnson Hall; Court-Square, Boston MA, where the Provident first kept offices in 1817. Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Today we are announcing an update to a database that comes through a partnership with the Boston Athenaeum; Boston, MA: Provident Institution for Savings, 1817-1882. We have added one new Waste Book volume which adds nearly 260 pages and 2,500 searchable names.
When complete, the database will contain 6 signature books and 6 “Waste” (Transaction) books. The volumes currently available are:


• Signature Book 10, 17 May 1854 – 9 Jun 1858
• Waste Book 1D, 1 Mar 1821 – 5 Jun 1822


For more an excellent presentation on how to take advantage of bank records, register for a webinar today, October 15th, by Eileen Pironti on Using Bank Records in Family History Research. A recording of the webinar will be available later on American Ancestors if you cannot join.

picture of page describing webinar
Webinar on using bank records in family history.


The Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston was the first savings bank to be incorporated in the United States. In 1817 the bank was founded by James Savage, and other prominent Bostonians including William Elery Channing, Josiah Quincy, Elisha Ticknor, Thomas Dawes, Samuel Elliot, and Thomas Handasyd Perkins among others.
The institution was predicated on the idea that savings banks would encourage thrift and self-improvement of the poor of Boston without subjecting them to the so-called moral corruption associated with outright charity. By offering their customers dividends on savings, the Provident would encourage them to keep their money in the bank for longer periods of time, rather than spend as they earned it.

Over the course of the 19th century, the Provident expanded, investing in industries such as textiles, as well as real estate. The Provident became a subsidiary of Hartford National Corporation in 1986 and continued to operate as the Provident Institution until it was merged with Shawmut Bank in 1992, which subsequently donated the Provident’s records to the Boston Athenaeum.

About 80% of the records are for immigrants to Boston. This is particularly valuable for Irish immigrants as the native county is provided which is critical information for additional research in Ireland. All records will be of type residence and will be for the location of Boston, Massachusetts.
This database is the result of partnership with the Boston Athenaeum. The Boston Athenaeum has the original books for Provident and performed the digitization of all the images. The full collection at the Boston Athenaeum is Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston Records. They have partnered with NEHGS to index these books and make them available online.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our interns; Amanda Opalenik, Kate Pozgay, Kennedy Smith, and Annie Tucker. If you would like to become part of the team working on this or other rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

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

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New Database Boston, MA: Provident Institution for Savings, 1817-1882

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Picture of a three-story brick building.
Former house of Thomas Handasyd Perkins, Temple Place, Boston, occupied by Provident Savings beginning in 1856. Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

We are very happy to announce a new database today that comes through a partnership with the Boston Athenaeum; Boston, MA: Provident Institution for Savings, 1817-1882 .

This database currently contains a single volume; Signature Book 10, 1854-1858. When complete, the database will contain 6 Signature books and 6 “Waste” books. This volume contains 380 pages and over 54,000 new searchable names. The additional books are actively being indexed, and new volunteers are welcome. Email Rachel.Adams@nehgs.org for more information.

The Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston was the first savings bank to be incorporated in the United States. In 1817 the bank was founded by James Savage, and other prominent Bostonians including William Elery Channing, Josiah Quincy, Elisha Ticknor, Thomas Dawes, Samuel Elliot, and Thomas Handasyd Perkins among others.

The institution was predicated on the idea that savings banks would encourage thrift and self-improvement of the poor of Boston without subjecting them to the so-called moral corruption associated with outright charity. By offering their customers dividends on savings, the Provident would encourage them to keep their money in the bank for longer periods of time, rather than spend as they earned it.

Over the course of the 19th century, the Provident expanded, investing in industries such as textiles, as well as real estate. The Provident became a subsidiary of Hartford National Corporation in 1986 and continued to operate as the Provident Institution until it was merged with Shawmut Bank in 1992, which subsequently donated the Provident’s records to the Boston Athenaeum.

About 80% of the records are for immigrants to Boston. This is particularly valuable for Irish immigrants as the native county is provided which is critical information for additional research in Ireland. All records will be of type residence and will be for the location of Boston, Massachusetts.
This database is the result of partnership with the Boston Athenaeum. The Boston Athenaeum has the original books for Provident and performed the digitization of all the images. The full collection at the Boston Athenaeum is Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston Records(https://catalog.bostonathenaeum.org/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=365780). They have partnered with NEHGS to index these books and make them available online.

This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteers; Dan Breen, Loretta Brown-Aldrich, George Carter, Susan Dickinson, Jeff Lovell, Barbara Macken, Katie McCarver, Liz Odell, Blaine Parker, Julie Roffo, Wendy Sheppard, Gayle Smalley, Chris Soohoo, Gale Stevenson, Sam Sturgis, and Judy Welna. If you would like to become part of the team working on this or other rewarding genealogical projects, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

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

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Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for Our Lady of Pompeii

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View of Fanuel Hall in Boston
Fanuel Hall in Boston, 1903. From A Guide to Metropolitan Boston, Boston, Mass., G. H. Walker & Co. Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Today we have added 6 new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. Today’s addition provides the parish of Our Lady of Pompeii in Boston. This update includes over 1,800 pages, and over 102,000 searchable names.

Father Pasquale Di Milla was one of the first active Italian priests in Boston. In 1901, he was in charge of the Italian communicants of St. James Parish on Harrison Ave. Within three years he was able to build the Our Lady of Pompeii church which was dedicated on 25 October 1903.

Boston College’s Global Boston project describes Our Lady of Pompeii: “Moving out from the North End, many immigrants from southern Italy lived in the New York Streets and worshipped at Our Lady of Pompeii on Florence Street, founded in 1902.” The New York Streets were one of Boston’s first areas targeted for urban “renewal” and most of the neighborhood was razed in the 1950s.


The new volumes are:
• Our Lady of Pompeii (Boston) Baptisms, 1903-1911
• Our Lady of Pompeii (Boston) Baptisms, 1912-1914
• Our Lady of Pompeii (Boston) Baptisms, 1914-1918
• Our Lady of Pompeii (Boston) Baptisms, 1918-1920
• Our Lady of Pompeii (Boston) Confirmations, 1909-1920
• Our Lady of Pompeii (Boston) Marriages, 1903-1920

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

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Vital Records from The NEHGS Register Volumes 11-13 Updated

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NEHGR Vol 13 cover
Volume 13 of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register

Today we are releasing volumes 11, 12 and 13 (1857-1859) of the in-depth re-indexing of all the genealogical records in the database Vital Records from The NEHGS Register. This update includes 25,000 records and 54,000 searchable names and has about four times the number of records previously indexed for these volumes.

This ongoing project will unlock the value of all the information captured in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register since the first publication in 1847. We are reviewing every published article add extracting a broad set of records for those articles that are genealogical in nature. So, in addition to birth, marriage, and death records there are now records of type; residence, immigration, military records, church dismissals, and more. The indexing we create is at the same level we have used for the Archdiocese of Boston and the Mayflower Silver Books. It includes spouses, parents, and locations.

Users of American AncesTREES will also benefit by being able to get hints from the newly indexed volumes in their family trees.

We will release each re-indexed volume of the register as it is completed. If you would like to become part of the team working on this rewarding project to revamp the index to the NEHGS Register, please contact Rachel Adams, Database Services Volunteer Coordinator via email at rachel.adams@nehgs.org. This update is made possible by the efforts of our volunteers: Emma Patricia Alvarez Reyes, Diane Arbuckle, Tim Belgrad, Ria Bhandarkar, Nancy Borman, Carol Botteron, Tom Clements, Pat Dalpiaz, Fran Danico, Greta Gaffin, Randy Hube, Karen Jarret, Toni Lattimer, Tate Lehmann, Kit Loomis, Jennifer Lozano, Ginny Marshall, Paula Muggleton, Julie Nathanson, Ida Nystrom, Margaret Parker, Karen Ristic, Ray Ristic, Julie Roffo, Kay Sencabaugh, Renda Smith, Olga Tugarina, Rich Turnblom, Susan Van Allen, Charlie Watson, Jaimie Williams-Peterson, and Rich Wood.

Published quarterly since 1847, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest journal in the field. The Register has featured articles on a wide variety of topics since its inception, including vital records, church records, tax records, land and probate records, cemetery transcriptions, obituaries, and historical essays. Authoritative compiled genealogies have been the centerpiece of the Register for more than 150 years. Thousands of New England families have been treated in the pages of the journal and many more are referenced in incidental ways throughout. These articles may range from short pieces correcting errors in print or solving unusual problems to larger treatments that reveal family origins or present multiple generations of a family. The indexing for these records includes full names, Publication year (not the year of the record), and article titles and authors.

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

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Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for Boston & East Boston

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Images of St. Cecilia and St. john the Baptist.
St. Cecilia and St. John the Baptist Churches from: One hundred years of progress : a graphic, historical, and pictorial account of the Catholic Church of New England, Archdiocese of Boston. Courtesy of Archive.org.

Today we have added 8 new volumes, and 2 extended volumes, to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920. Today’s additions include the parishes of St. Cecelia in Boston, and St. John The Baptist in East Boston. This update includes over 1,700 pages, and over 66,000 searchable names.

St. Cecilia was established in 1888 in Back Bay on the corner of Belvidere and Bothnia streets with Rev. Richard J. Barry as the first pastor. Many of the congregants were Irish immigrants who worked as servants for the wealthy Protestant families who lived in that neighborhood.

St. John the Baptist in East Boston ministered to Boston’s Portuguese Catholics. In 1872 the archdiocese bought church on North Bennett Street in the North End, and in 1874 this parish became the home of the Portuguese Catholics with Rev. John Ignatius as the first pastor.

We’d like to thank our dedicated team of volunteers for their work on this, including Mirca Sghedoni, Diana Beltrao de Macedo, Debbie Lansing, Franck Bili, and Sam Sturgis. 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 rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

The new volumes are:
• St. Cecilia (Boston) Baptisms, 1919-1920
• St. Cecilia (Boston) Confirmations, 1901-1920
• St. Cecilia (Boston) Marriages, 1911-1919
• St. Cecilia (Boston) Marriages, 1919-1920
• St. John the Baptist (East Boston) Baptisms, 1893-1905
• St. John the Baptist (East Boston) Baptisms, 1873-1888
• St. John the Baptist (East Boston) Baptisms, 1888-1893
• St. John the Baptist (East Boston) Marriages, 1873-1902

The two expanded volumes have records added beyond 1900 and are:
• St. Cecilia (Boston) Baptisms, 1889-1919
• St. Cecilia (Boston) Marriages, 1888-1911

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

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Archdiocese of Boston: New searchable records for St. Joseph of Haverhill

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Postcard image of Haverhill
Street Scene of Haverhill, Massachusetts circa 1910. Public Domain courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Today we have added six new volumes to Massachusetts: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records, 1789-1920 , for the parish of St. Joseph in Haverhill. This update includes over 1,500 pages and over 135,000 searchable names.

In 1876 Rev Gather Casgrain, of Fall River, was instructed by the Archbishop to go to Haverhill and erect a church for the people who spoke the French language. In March of 1877, St. Joseph’s Church was dedicated by Archbishop Williams, Bishop de Goesbriand, of Burlington, Vermont, and Bishop La Fleche of Canada. In 1885, Father Bouche, who succeeded Father Casgrain, enlarged the church and a school was added. For more history of the church, see One hundred years of progress : a graphic, historical, and pictorial account of the Catholic Church of New England, Archdiocese of Boston, pages 420-423.

We’d like to thank our dedicated team of volunteers for their work on this, including; Liz Barnett, Tim Belgrad, Mouna Blila, Kiera Breitenbach, Holly Caughlan, Eileen Convey, Pauline Cusson, Lisa Elvin-Staltari, Janet Essency, Patrick Henehan, Kate , Maureen Keillor, Arlys LaFehr, Debbie Lansing, Eileen McCarthy, Paul McCool, Stacey-Rae McCue, Gig Moineau, Matt Murphy, Christohe Semamz, Maddy Silberman, Frederique Van Moortel, and Laura Versmee. 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 rachel.adams@nehgs.org.

The new volumes are listed below:

St. Joseph (Haverhill) Baptisms, 1899-1904
St. Joseph (Haverhill) Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1880-1887
St. Joseph (Haverhill) Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1894-1898
St. Joseph (Haverhill) Marriages, 1894-1906
St. Joseph (Haverhill) Mixed, 1871-1879
St. Joseph (Haverhill) Mixed, 1887-1893

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

Images of St Joseph Church
Early images of St. Joseph of Haverhill pages 420 and 421 of One Hundred Years of Progress. Public Domain.

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