Historical Room Materials

 Genealogy | Local History | Military Histories

The Historical Room at the downtown library carries more than 3,500 books, photographs and other historical records. Below are our favorites for local genealogical and historical research. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are located in the Historical Room.

Unfortunately, we do not carry birth, death, or marriage records except in a few instances noted below. Please contact the City Clerk's office for information on acquiring these records.

You may also want to take a look at our favorite online genealogy resources.


Vital Records of Brockton - Birth, death, and marriage records in Brockton from 1630 to 1850 - *929.3 B86

Brockton Directories - These street lists, dating back to 1869, provide names, home addresses, sometimes work addresses, and often occupations of Brockton residents. Children are not listed. The 1905 directory has births and marriages; the 1906 directory has births, marriages, and deaths; and the 1907 directory has births, marriages and deaths. - * 917.44 B86

Poll Taxes and City of Brockton Street List - These sources, dating back to 1896, are arranged by ward and precinct, with only the current volumes listing names and streets alphabetically. They do, however, provide both the age and occupation of the registered voter. Remember, women did not have the right to vote before 1920 and therefore are not listed in early records of Poll Taxes. - *336.2 BRO

Genealogy of the Families Who Have Settled in the North Parish of Bridgewater - The first 88 families are listed, with information on where the paterfamilias came from, the names, births, marriages and deaths of his wife and children, and if they moved elsewhere.- *974.48 N87.1

Death Registers - We have the ledgers with deaths recorded on a daily basis for the following years: 1897-1904, 1907-1920, 1924-1941. Listed are name, sex, age at death, cause of death, sometimes occupation, parents' names, sometimes parents' birthplace, and residence and/or place of burial.

Poor Department Registers - These ledgers date from 1887-1939 and can give some information regarding those who required assistance. The United Sates suffered a Great Depression in the thirties, but there were other economic depressions as well as the assortment of economic tragedies many people suffered through fire, illness, flood, and unemployment. These ledgers are also a good source of information for deaths.

North Bridgewater Annual Reports - For the years Brockton was a town, annual reports for years 1851-1874 listed vital statistics of death and marriages. City of Brockton documents did not include this information in subsequent years.

Lineage Book: National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution - This 140-volume set is located in the Deborah Sampson Chapter DAR bookcase of the Historical Room. 

Heads of Families, First Census of the United States, 1790 - Each New England state is a separate volume with an index of family names listing the page where you will find the head of household. Each state is organized into counties and then municipalities with the family names listed in each town or city. The names are listed alphabetically in the index, but not the towns or cities. - *312.7 +U58

A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came before May 1692 on the Basis of the Farmer's Register - Often called "Savage's" for its author, Joseph Savage - * 974 S26

Brockton High School Yearbooks - The Brockton High School yearbooks can yield personal information and pictures about family members. The years since 1960 are kept behind the main desk in the lobby. Earlier editions, dating back to 1907, are titled Brocktonia and are shelved in the Historical Room, *061 B86. Earlier still are the Brockton High School and North Bridgewater High School graduation programs, dating back to 1864. They are stored in a box and catalogued at *379.744 B86g.

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Local History

History of North Bridgewater by Bradford Kingman - First published in 1866, before Brockton became a city or changed its name, later editions up to 1895 were published as History of Brockton. Kingman's history is packed with names, for soldiers in the Revolutionary War to masonic members. Beyond the biographical section at the back of the book, there are many notable citizens of Brockton mentioned who are not listed in the index. Careful reading can yield a lot of information. - *974.48 B86a

You can also read this history on the Internet at:
Google Books

Brockton 1881-1981: A Pictorial History by Robert A. Kane - We also keep a copy of this book behind the main desk and own  a copy that patrons can borrow from the library. - *974.48 B86ka

A History of the Brockton Irish by Robert A. Kane - This two-volume set is also available in the main collection for borrowing.  - 325.7448 K16h

The Story of Brockton's Fight against Influenza by Ernest A. Burrill - A thorough telling of the impact of the 1918 influenza epidemic on Brockton. - *917.448 B96

History of the Brockton Relief Fund in Aid of Sufferers from the R. B. Grover & Co. Factory Fire, Brockton, Mass., March 20, 1905. - *917.448 B86.1

Resolutions Adopted by the Mayor and City Council of Brockton, Massachusetts on the Tragedy at Moosehead Lake, Maine, on Sunday, May the thirteenth, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight. - *974.48 +B86.9

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Military Histories

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War - This multi-volume set lists the names of revolutionaries in alphabetical order, the regiment each one joined, period of service, sometimes the location of service, and, when appropriate, their commisions. - *973.3 M41

Records of the Massachusetts Militia in the War of 1812-1814 - The index provides an alphabetical list of names leading one to the page containing the name in a roster of men belonging to a regiment. The dates of service per regiment, where they served, and where they were first organized are among the chief facts given. - *973.5 +M41

The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies - Using the index, one can find the soldiers listed alphabetically with references to volumes and chapters. Rank, regiment, and tour of duty are among some of the information which may be gleaned from this source. - *973.7 U58

Record of the Massachusetts Volunteers, 1861-1865 - Again, the index of soldiers will refer back to the exact regiment, date of muster, and best yet, residence and age. These New England state listings are often the most helpful and complete. Also, many recent immigrants in the 1860's were drafted, providing a solid genealogical lead. - *973.7 +BM41

Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Massachusetts, Personal War Sketches of the Members of the Fletcher Webster Post No. 13., Brockton - Anyone lucky enough to have a family member listed here will gain wonderful details about that person's experience in the Civil War. This set is stored in Cabinet 8.

Some Vital Statistics for Brockton veterans of World War I - Listed alphabetically by name, this source leads one to marriage announcements, death notices, and other news stories of interest for those Brockton residents serving in World War I. -  OV 974.48 BRO 

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Web Site Last Updated 08/07/11