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Genealogy / Local History

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Press the Play button above to view our tutorial on using Ancestry Library Edition via Niche Academy.

Ancestry Library Edition is available for in-library use.

Press the Play button above to view our tutorial on using HeritageQuest via Niche Academy.

HeritageQuest can be accessed from anywhere with your library card number. Search Census records, city directories, books, Revolutionary War records, 1850 and 1860 slave schedules, U.S. Indian census rolls, mortality schedules, agricultural and industrial schedules, 1890 Veterans schedule, and more.

Local History Collection

The library’s local history reference collection is shelved in the general reference area and can be accessed during open library hours. The library also maintains a vertical file of clippings, which is not indexed online.

Recommended Topsfield History Resources

(All of these titles can also be read online – see links from the online catalog for “Electronic Access”)

  • The History of Essex County, Massachusetts: with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men / D. Hamilton Hurd (1888):   R 974.45/V.1+ 2
  • History of Topsfield Massachusetts / George Francis Dow (1940): R 974.45 DOW
  • Houses and Buildings of Topsfield, Massachusetts / Charles Lawrence Bond (1989 update): R 974.45 BOND
  • Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society Vols. I—XXXIV: R 974.45 TOPSFIELD
    The library has reference and circulating copies of all volumes, and reference copies of the index. All volumes have been digitized – see our individual listing.
  • Topsfield’s Annual Reports: the library has print reports going back to 1827. The library maintains an individual listing of reports which are available online.
  • The early history of Topsfield: adapted from the National Register of Historic places documentation for the Historic Farms and Rural Retreats of Topsfield, MA.  Prepared by Gretchen G. Schuler & Anne M. Forbes, Preservation Consultants, April 2005.  Posted on the excellent Historic Ipswich website.  (full pdf document can be accessed on the National Park Service site).
  • The Topsfield Times: the library’s local history wiki. 
  • Historic Ipswich: a very informative website, which includes a number of in-depth articles about Topsfield.
  • Vital Records of Topsfield, Massachusetts, Vol. I (to the End of the Year 1849) and Vol. II: 1850-1899:   929.3 TOPSFIELD/V. 1 + 2
  • See also:
The Parson Capen House, located close to the library and Topsfield Common, was built in 1694 and is a fine example of First Period

Other Local Resources

Pine Grove Cemetery
Pine Grove Cemetery in Topsfield.

Getting Started with Genealogy Research?

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