Genealogy Resources

Local History Resources

Family Genealogies in Local History

Browse our catalog for the family genealogies we have in our collection. 

 

Gloucester City Directories

Gloucester City Directories dating from 1860 – 1999 are available upon request from the Information Services desk. These directories provide a listing of residents, streets, businesses, and organizations, and give their location in Gloucester at the time of publication.

 

Gloucester High School Year Books

Copies of the Flicker, Gloucester High School's yearbook, are available upon request from the Information Services desk. Hard copies include volumes from 1923 to the present. Digital copies are also available online. 

 

Records on Microfilm

Our state of the art microfilm reader is located on the Mezzanine level near the Local History collection. The Information Services staff will be happy to assist you with getting started. The following are resources available:

  • List of passengers arriving in Gloucester 1820-1870. Copies of passenger lists for arrivals at 11 Eastern ports including Gloucester, Marblehead and Hingham 1820-1973
  • Babson Papers (Gloucester in the Civil War). Articles published in Cape Ann Advertiser concerning Gloucester’s role in the Civil War. Compiled by John J. Babson for Massachusetts Historical Society
  • * Early Massachusetts Records Vol 1-35 (beginning in 1642): Minutes to town meetings and miscellany of town items including lists of inhabitants, copies of contracts, impounded animals, etc.
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance maps (Gloucester) (no dates given)
  • Massachusetts Census information from 1790 – 1930
  • Gloucester City Engineers’ Maps (Engineering and Topographical Surveys), 1956?
  • Gloucester Vital Records from 1851-1911

 

Selected Guide to Our Genealogical Resources

A selective guide to the collections and resources available at the Sawyer Free Library.  This list details the newspapers, magazines, vital records, maps, yearbooks, biographies, and genealogies in the library’s collection along with date ranges of the collection. It also includes links to State archives and other repositories that you might find useful.

Getting Started + Tips

National Archives: Resources for Genealogists

Explore your family's ancestry with tools from the National Archives. These include free databases, resources for getting started, vital records, and more. 

Library of Congress: Local History and Genealogy Reference Services 

The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. Here you will find helpful tips for getting started as well as many online resources. 

Researching + Locating Your Ancestors 

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition makes family research easy for beginners while still providing in-depth tools for even the most advanced genealogists.(No Remote Access)

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

Find historical information about Essex and other counties, including shapefiles, chronologies, and metadata.

BillionGraves

BillionGraves is the world′s largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data, and is growing bigger and better every day. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds

Search records from 1640 to the present. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Vital Records Search 

Search vital records from 1841 to 1910. 

Family Search

FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations. 

Find A Grave

Look for burial and other final disposition information for your family, friends and famous people.

JewishGen

This free genealogy website features tens of millions of records, research tools, and other resources to help those with Jewish ancestry research and find family members.

Library of Congress: Chronicling America 

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789 to 1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690 to the present.

Library of Congress: Digital Collections

National Archives

National Archives: Military Records

Research United States military records. 

National Archives: Veterans Service Records

Find a variety of service records online. 

New England Historic Genealogical Society: American Ancestors

Research family history through a wealth of online records. 

U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: General Land Office Records

This site provides live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. It also has images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records. 

Gloucester + Cape Ann Resources 

Down to Sea in Ships

Down to the Sea in Ships chronicles the loss of life that is ever present in making a livelihood from fishing. Included are the family stories, history of the industry and a yearly index of lost ships and men from 1830 to the present.

Gloucester City Archives Department

Gloucester Archives is the repository of the town and city municipal records. Located in City Hall, the department contains one of the most complete collections of municipal records in the U.S., beginning before the town’s 1642 incorporation. The collections cover but are not limited to Engineers' maps, military records dating from the Revolutionary War, Overseers of the Poor records (including children's indentures), and property records. 

Gloucester City Archives: Vital Records Search 

Search birth records from 1850 to 1873, marriage records from 1849 to 1869, and death records from 1838 to 1883.

Gloucester High School Yearbooks

The Flicker, Gloucester High School's yearbook is fully digitized and available online from 1923 through 2013. 

Lost at Sea Register

The City Archives Department has compiled a list of fishermen lost at sea and other drownings based on the work done by Roberta Sheedy for the Memorial Plaques at the Fisherman’s Statue on the Boulevard at Gloucester Harbor. This list has been expanded and updated, and no longer is restricted only to fishermen from Gloucester or on a Gloucester boat. It now includes not only those Gloucester people lost at sea while fishing, but any death by drowning, whether at sea, in the Harbor, or rivers or lakes, and also deaths of fishermen on shore if their death was caused at sea. Therefore, while there were no women on the original list, there are some on this list. There are also children and vacationers, engineers and dockworkers. A cross-hatch # after the name indicates that the person had no connection at all with a death by fishing or drowning in the sea.

Gloucester + Cape Ann Genealogy Books