When it comes to researching family history, maps can be valuable tools. 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 their particular region’s past.
As with most New England states, an F.W. Beers Atlas for each Massachusetts county was published in the 1870s. Major research libraries have 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.
Interactive Map of Massachusetts County Formation History
List of Every Massachusetts County
Located on Cape Cod, Barnstable County was established in 1685 and has a population of around 215,000. It is known for its beautiful beaches and tourism industry.
Situated in the western part of the state, Berkshire County was established in 1761 and has a population of around 125,000. It is much loved for its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Located in southeastern Massachusetts, Bristol County was founded in 1685 and is home to around 560,000 people. It is famous for its historic landmarks, including Battleship Cove and the Fall River Historical Society.
Comprising the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Dukes County was established in 1683 and has around 17,000 residents. It is acclaimed for its picturesque towns and beaches.
Located in northeastern Massachusetts, Essex County was founded in 1643 and has a population of approximately 800,000. It is valued for its historic sites, including the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the House of Seven Gables.
Situated in the northwestern part of the state, Franklin County was established in 1811 and has a population of around 70,000. It is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking and skiing.
Hampden County was established in 1812 and is situated in western Massachusetts. It is home to around 470,000 people. It is celebrated for its urban centers, including the city of Springfield and the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Located in western Massachusetts, Hampshire County was founded in 1662 and has a population of around 160,000. It is known for its college towns, including Amherst and Northampton.
Situated in eastern Massachusetts, Middlesex County was established in 1643 and has around 1.6 million residents. It is the most populous county in the state and is notable for its historic sites, cultural attractions, and thriving economy.
Comprising the island of Nantucket, Nantucket County was established in 1695 and has a population of around 11,000. It is known for its historic homes, cobblestone streets, and scenic beaches.
Norfolk County is located in eastern Massachusetts and was founded in 1793. It is home to around 700,000 people. It is famous for its suburban towns and historic landmarks, including the Adams National Historical Park.
Situated in southeastern Massachusetts, Plymouth County was established in 1685 and has around 550,000 residents. It is well-known for its historic sites, including Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II.
Located in eastern Massachusetts, Suffolk County was founded in 1643 and has a population of around 800,000. It is acclaimed for its urban centers, including the city of Boston and the historic Freedom Trail.
Worcester County was established in 1731 and is situated in central Massachusetts. It is home to around 830,000 people. It is notable for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, including the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.
Old Antique Atlases & Maps of Massachusetts
Disclaimer: All Massachusetts maps are free to use for your own genealogical purposes and may not be reproduced for resale or distribution.
1776 New England Map
1776 Province of Massachusetts
1776 Provinces of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island Atlas Map. (Southern section)
1776 Massachusetts Map
1776 Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Map
1795 Map of Massachusetts
1804 Massachusetts Map
1814 Map of Massachusetts
1822 Map Of Massachusetts
1822 Geographical, Historical, And Statistical Atlas Map Of Massachusetts
1827 Map of Massachusetts
1827 Map of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island
1836 Map Of Massachusetts
1836 Map Of Massachusetts And Rhode Island: (with) Boston
1845 Massachusetts Map
1845 Massachusetts and Rhode Island Map
1856 Massachusetts Map
1856 Massachusetts And Rhode Island. (with) Vicinity of Boston
1856 Map Of Boston And Adjacent Cities
1880 Map of Massachusetts
1880 County and township map of the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
1880 Plan of Boston
1880 Plan of Boston. (with) Map of the country around Boston showing also its harbor and islands
Massachusetts Map Links
- Massachusetts State Park Map (mapofus.org)
- Massachusetts Lakes and Rivers Map (mapofus.org)
- 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)