Picture courtesy National Archives
State Census Background & History
State census records of Massachusetts were taken every ten years from 1855 to 1945, but only the original population schedules for the 1855 and 1865 census still exist.
All other state census years are lost or destroyed.
The originals, as well as microfilmed copies, are now located at the Massachusetts Archives.
Both state series have similar information as the 1850 and 1860 federal census. In addition, both the 1855 and 1865 state census records contain categories for deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict. The 1865 also has information about whether a man is over the age of 16 and owns taxable property. It also has recorded columns for a legal voter or a naturalized voter.
State Census Indexes
Both state census records, transcriptions in their original order and complete with indexes, are published for some towns by the Massachusetts author and genealogist, Anne Smith Lainhart. A former reference librarian at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston and professional genealogist for almost 20 years, Ms. Lainhart is both author, teacher and speaker at genealogical conferences across the country. She specializes in New England research.
Completed towns and cities:
Acton, Bedford, Billerica, Boxboro, Boxford, Boxford (West), Bradford, Bridgewater, , Brighton, Burlington, Cambridge (West), Charlestown, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groton, Groveland, Hamilton, Halifax, Hull, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Ipswich, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marlboro, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Medford, Melrose, Middleboro, Middleton, Nahant, Natick, Newbury, North Andover, North Bridgewater, Pembroke, Plympton, Rochester, Rockport, Saugus, Sherborn, Shirley, South Reading, Stoneham, Stow, Sudbury, Swampscott, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wayland, Wenham, West Bridgewater, Westford, Weston, Wilmington, West Newbury, Wareham, Winchester, Watertown.
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probate file, such as a will, a name change, a guardianship file or an administration file.
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