When it comes to researching family history, maps can be valuable tools. Maps are critical to genealogical research. The Massachusetts Archives has published an eighteenth-century (1794–95) series of maps for the majority of Massachusetts towns, as well as a series originally done in 1831 that might be found in other libraries. Numerous town histories contain excellent maps that indicate dwelling places and owners at different points in town history.
As with most New England states, an F.W. Beers Atlas for each Massachusetts county was published in the 1870s. Major research libraries have generally printed copies of these folio-sized maps, which indicate residences, owners, schools, roads, churches, and cemeteries. The series has been reissued by Piper Publishing, 13 Church Rd., Easton, CT 06612 in CD-ROM format.
Excellent map collections of town lots and earlier land distribution exist at the Massachusetts Archives. Good printed maps are available for research at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and many town offices. Saco Valley Printing, 421 Main St., Fryeburg, ME 04037 has printed versions of nineteenth-century maps for New England, such as the Beers collection, many including structures and owners’ names.
Massachusetts 10 largest cities are Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge, New Bedford, Brockton, Quincy, Lynn and Fall River.
Learn more about Historical Facts of Massachusetts Counties.
Interactive Map of Massachusetts County Formation History
Old Antique Atlases & Maps of Massachusetts
- 1776 New England Map
- 1776 Provinces of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island Atlas Map. (Southern section)
- 1776 Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Map
- 1795 Map of Massachusetts
- 1804 Massachusetts Map
- 1814 Map of Massachusetts
- 1822 Geographical, Historical, And Statistical Atlas Map Of Massachusetts
- 1827 Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island
- 1836 Map Of Massachusetts And Rhode Island: (with) Boston
- 1845 Massachusetts and Rhode Island Map
- 1856 Massachusetts And Rhode Island. (with) Vicinity of Boston
- 1856 Map Of Boston And Adjacent Cities
- 1880 County and township map of the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
- 1880 Plan of Boston. (with) Map of the country around Boston showing also its harbor and islands
Massachusetts Map Links
- Massachusetts Digital Map Library (usgwarchives.net)
- Old Historical Maps of Massachusetts (alabamamaps.ua.edu)
- Massachusetts Maps – The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (lib.utexas.edu)
- Massachusetts Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers (ancestry.com)
- American Memory Map Collection: 1500-2004 (memory.loc.gov)
- U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 (ancestry.com)
- Historic USGS Maps of Massachusetts (docs.unh.edu)
- Old Maps of Massachusetts (old-maps.com)
- Massachusetts Map Books (amazon.com)