Woburn Public Library will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Where to Start?

Researching your family’s history is easy once you know where to begin.

  • Start with yourself and go back, one generation at a time.
  • Try to stick to the “one line at a time” rule to avoid any mix-ups.
  • Lastly, always double check that your sources are reputable.

We have a number of excellent resources to help you with your research:

  • Published Family Genealogies
    • Printed genealogies of local families.
    • Keyword search in the catalog for Woburn Special Collections – modify search to add a specific surname.

 

  • Vital Records
    • Printed version of births, marriages and deaths.
    • Covers the years 1640 to 1913.
    • For records after 1913, please visit the City Clerk’s office at Woburn City Hall.

 

Image of men in Puritan-style dress at an ordination ceremony.

The Ordination of Thomas Carter by Albert Thompson

  • City Directories
    • These were the precursor to the telephone book.
    • City Directories contain partial list of residents, their street addresses and occupations.
    • Includes list of businesses, churches, local organizations, names of streets, etc.

 

  • Lists of polls/persons
    • Ranges from the 1880s to present day.
    • We do not have every year – please inquire for details.

 

  • Telephone Books
    • Partial list of residents, their street addresses and telephone numbers.
    • Holdings range from 1952 to the present.

 

  • Yearbooks
    • Innitou, the yearbook for Woburn High School.
    • We have 1947-present.

 

  • Photographs
    • Woburn: Images of America (2000)
    • Woburn: A Past Observed (1999)
    • Historic images, drawings, and stereoscopic views are available in the Library’s Glennon Archives.
    • Photographs from the 1950’s -1970’s by Woburn Phototographer Patrick Farino, available in the Library’s Glennon Archives

 

  • 17th century hand-written deed decreeing the manumission of an enslaved person of color.

    Deed dated 6 July 1767, which decrees the eventual manumission of an enslaved person of color named Pomp Blackman from his servitude to Nathan Wyman. From the Nathan Wyman Collection (WY).

    Maps

    • Many maps are available digitally here.
    • “Waterfield (now Woburn and Winchester) in 1638 with the relative positions and boundaries of the original land-owners,” 1886. Shows landholdings, roads and topographical features.
    • “Woburn. Plan of the town of Woburn,” 1831. Shows a few buildings, roads and topographical features.
    • “Atlas of the town of Woburn,” Beers, 1875. Shows buildings, roads and topographical features.
    • Bird’s-eye view of Woburn, 1883. Shows buildings, roads and topographical features.
    • “Atlas of Middlesex County,” Walker, 1889/1906. Shows buildings, roads, ward boundaries and topographical features.
    • “Atlas of the boundaries of the city of Woburn,” 1899. Shows topographical features.
    • Map of the city of Woburn, 1915, with additions, 1924. Shows some buildings, roads, ward boundaries and topographical features.
    • “Map of Woburn, Massachusetts showing the location of many historic sites and places of interest,” 1930. Shows a few buildings and sites, roads and topographical features.
    • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1867-1971. Shows buildings, roads and topographical features. Also available digitally.

 

  • Federal Census Records
    • Microfilm of original census schedules for Woburn.
    • Holdings for the years 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920.
    • Schedules are organized by enumeration district, then street. Indexes are available at the National Archives, Waltham, MA.

 

  • Probate Records
    • The Woburn entries from the Middlesex County Probate Index, 1648-1909, are available at either:
      • Middlesex County Registry of Probate, 208 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141. (617) 679-6300)
      • Massachusetts State Archives, 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125 (617) 727-2816

 

 

  • The Woburn Genealogy Group takes place on the first Tuesday of each month from 3-4 pm in the Glennon Archives.
    • All are welcome, regardless of skill level or background.