FAQs

 
 
Thank you for your inquiry!
 
The Cambridge Historical Society holds specific records relating to the history of
Cambridge, Massachusetts.
 

PLEASE NOTE:

  •  Response time for requests is minimum a week, but can be variable depending on the inquiry’s nature/complexity
  •  Searches are limited by time, fees may apply

TO VIEW MATERIALS IN OUR COLLECTION:

  •  Please provide specific box and folder numbers for your request (finding aids are available on our website: http://www.cambridgehistory.org/library/specialcollections
  •  Suggest some days that work best for you. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5PM
  •  Because of our small staff, we cannot accommodate drop-in researchers

FOR IMAGE REQUESTS:

  •  Please make arrangements at least three weeks before your deadline. We cannot accommodate last minute requests.
FOR GENEALOGICAL REQUESTS: 
Unfortunately, we do not hold genealogical records. Here is a list of great resources for
your family history needs:
 
Middlesex County Registry of Deeds
Middlesex County Courthouse
208 Cambridge Street 
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 494-4500
The registry of deeds maintains all land ownership records for Middlesex County.
Searchers must do their own research; the registry does not answer phone or main
inquiries.
 
Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: (617) 727-2816
The State Archives contain vital statistics from 1841-1905, early census records, early
tax records, Port of Boston passenger lists, and some early land, military, and court
records. For vital statistics prior to 1841, contact individual city or town clerks.
 
Cambridge City Clerk
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617) 349-4260
The City Clerk will search city records for Cambridge births, deaths, and marriages
dating back to 1635. Write or phone for fee schedules. Researchers may do their own
research free during office hours.
 
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (Massachusetts)
Research Office
470 Atlantic Avenue (2nd floor)
Boston, MA 02210-2224
Phone: (617) 753-8600
The State Registry contains records of births, marriages, and deaths since 1906. There is
an index for divorces after 1950.
 
National Archives - New England Region
380 Trapelo Rd.
Waltham, MA 02154
Phone: (781) 647-8100
The National Archives contain United States census records, 1790-1920, naturalization
records, passenger arrival lists (New England ports only), some Revolutionary War
military and pension records, and access by microfilm to the holdings of the National
Archives in Washington, D.C. note: The National Archives do not contain any vital
records.
 
Middlesex County Probate Court
Middlesex County Courthouse
208 Cambridge Street, 2nd & 3rd floors
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 494-4545
The court maintains records of all wills probated in Middlesex County. Searchers must
do their own research; the court does not answer phone or mail inquiries.
 
Boston Public Library
Copley Square
666 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02117
Phone: (617) 536-5400
The Social Science Department contains published family histories. The Microtext
Department contains, on microfilm or microfiche: federal census records for New
England, ship passenger lists for New England ports, court and probate records for
Middlesex, Suffolk and Hampshire counties, many Massachusetts town records, city
directories from over 200 cities and towns in the U.S., including Cambridge, and the
largest collection of microfilmed newspapers in the state.
 
State Library of Massachusetts
341 State House
Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 727-2590
 
New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 536-5740
NEHGS contains copies of Massachusetts vital records up to 1895, and a large collection
of local and family histories of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Ireland.
Non-members are admitted to use the Society's collection for a daily fee. The Society also
provides a list of professional researchers.
 
Family History Center - Cambridge
2 Longfellow Park (off Brattle Street)
Cambridge, MA 02138
Family History Center - Weston
150 Brown St., Rte 30
Weston, MA 02193
The Family History Centers give access to the massive genealogical databases of the
Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latterday Saints in Salt Lake
City, Utah. The extensive national and international records collected by the church are
not limited to Mormons, and are of great value to all genealogists. Instruction in
searching the records is given at the local Family History Centers.

 

ONLINE RESOURCES:

  • Vital records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 : Cambridge (Mass.) : Free Download & Streaming 
              Internet Archive (01)
              Internet Archive (02)
 
  • The Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly New-towne) Massachusets: 1630 
             Google Book
 
  • Records of the Church of Christ at Cambridge in New England, 1632-1830, comprising the ministerial records of baptisms, marriages, deaths, admission to covenant and communion, dismissals and church proceedings 
              Internet Archive
 
  • Epitaphs from the old burying-ground in Cambridge. With notes – Internet Archive
             Internet Archive (01)
             Internet Archive (02)
 
  • History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of ...  (Vols. 1-5)
             Google Books
 
  • History of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1630-1877: With a Genealogical Register - Lucius Robinson Paige

             Google Books