Local History: Getting Started


Curious about the history of Middleborough, but don’t know where to start?  Here are some suggested places to begin your search.


1. History of the Town of Middleborough Massachusetts

Volume One, by Thomas Weston: early settlement to 1905 

Volume Two, by Mertie Romaine: 1905 to 1965. 

(Both volumes can be checked out of the library or purchased from the library.  In addition, a digitized version of  volume one is available on Google Books at http://books.google.com.)


2. Middleborough Through the Ages, by Marilyn Thayer

The former Children’s Librarian at the Middleborough Public Library, Thayer wrote this history of the town in 2012.  It was in response to elementary school-aged children looking for information on their town’s history, as part of their school curriculum, who needed something other than the lengthy histories written for adults. Available for borrowing from the library or library or purchased for $20 at the main circulation desk. 


3. Town of Middleborough Vital Records

Digital: Records of local births, deaths and marriages for people

from 1649 – 1945 can be found online in the “Local History” tab at Vital Records Index

Print:  Also available in print form in a two-volume set at the library, and include records up to 1850.



4. Middleborough Gazette

Digital: An online index to the paper is available under the "Local History" tab on our Middleborough Gazette Index for 1852-1868, and 1905-1973. Searchable by keywords, including family names, events and places.  Patrons may search the index and make copies of articles from our microfilm collection, or, for a nominal fee, may have the reference librarian make copies for them. (Issues of the newspaper from 1960 to the present also are available on microfilm, but there is no index for them.)

Print: Print copies of the weekly newspaper (from 1975 to the present) are available in the Genealogy Room.


5.  Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts

 Includes records of burials in more than 200 cemeteries in 15 towns in Plymouth and Bristol counties through the mid-1800s.  If unsure of a burial location, we can help locate a plot with our index of names.  Copies of the book are available to check out or purchase.


6. Friends of  Middleborough Cemeteries webpage

 Includes maps and links to the 27 cemeteries found in Middleboro.


7. Town of Middleborough Annual Reports (1849 – present)

 General information about town government, departments and finances can be found in these reports.  Available in the Genealogy Room or at the Reference desk.


8. Town of Middleborough Annual Street Lists (1924 – present)

 Contains addresses of local residents.  There also are commercial street directories covering selected years between 1895 and 1911 on microfiche, as well as several print copies. See the Reference desk for help with these.


9. Middleborough: A Pictorial History (Thompson Slide Collection)

 A CD that contains photographs of the town’s historic buildings, people and events.  Copies available for checkout or purchase.  The entire two-volume set also is available on our "Middleborough in Pictures" page. 

10. Middleborough Antiquarian

 Includes pictures and essays on historic Middleborough, published by the Middleborough Historical Association.  We have the complete collection, from February 1959-Spring 1998.  Ask for help with this at the Reference desk. 

11. Middleboro Historic House Survey

 Contains information about selected houses and historic buildings in town, and indexed by street address.

Digital: Thanks to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, this is now available online at the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) website: http://mhc-macris.net/.

Print: Ask at the Reference desk for access.

12. Middleborough Memorial High School Yearbooks

Digital: Thanks to the Boston Public Library and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners every volume from 1929 to 2015 is available on the library’s website at our Middleborough Highschool Yearbook Archive.

Print: Available to look at in the library only, for 1931-present. Available in the Genealogy Room and at the Reference desk.  

13. The Sachem (Middleboro Memorial High School’s student magazine)

 Available in the Genealogy Room.  Issues from 1924-1950. 

14. Cranberry Collection

 Photographs, news clippings, weather maps, historic pamphlets and periodicals, and an assortment of unpublished materials about the history of the cranberry industry.

Digital: A sample of the items is available online through the Middleborough Public Library Cranberry Collection page.

Print:  The entire special collection is located in the Genealogy Room. See the Reference Librarian for access.  

15. General Genealogy Resources (Print)

a.    The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (1847-1927,  April 1940 – October 1950, January 1957,  January 1978- July 1979, April 1986 - current)

b.    Family History Books

c.     Vital records for many Massachusetts towns

d.    War History

e.     Geographical Histories

f.      Mayflower Descendants:

          Mayflower Families Through Five Generations (22 volumes)

          Mayflower Marriages

          Mayflower Quarterly (1961-2010)


16. General Genealogy Resources (Electronic Databases)

     a.  Massachusetts History Online

b.    American Ancestors (formerly known as the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)  database)

c.     Ancestry.com

d.    Heritage Quest

 (Please note: Ancestry.com and the NEHGS databases can only be accessed from a computer at the library.)  

17. Miscellaneous Middleboro Information

Information on Middleboro, including bylaws, census, building projects, schools, maps, statistics, etc., is located in file cabinets at the Reference desk (current topics) and in the Genealogy Room (historic topics).

 Click here for a full list of contents.