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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Researching the Early History of Black Lives in the Connecticut River Valley

Introduction and W.E.B. DuBois Library Resources

The Massachusetts Archives collection of 328 bound volumes of 17th and 18th century documents resides at the Massachusetts Archives in Boston and "is an important source of records for early Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire families." "The collection includes original records of the Governor, Council, the General Court, the Secretary and the Treasurer. These cover a wide range of topics of interest to genealogists: land grants; early records of divorces and contested estates; legislative papers, including petitions and remonstrances; military records from 1643 through 1775; records of mercantile affairs; and tax valuation lists, 1738-1786."

From 1836-1846, the Reverend Joseph Barlow Felt pasted these archival papers into volumes, the first 242 of which he arranged by subject ("Agriculture," "Commercial," "Hutchinson," "Indian," "Muster Rolls," etc.) and date. These documents are also known as the "Felt Collection" or "the scrapbook series."

Massachusetts Archives (1630-1799)
Call Number: Microfilm A180 Volumes 1-248, 251-255, 276-281, 283, 286-288, 295, 303, 313-315, 318-327

Massachusetts Archives - Kendall, John
Call Number: Microforms Guides CD 3294 K46
Lists rough subject areas, time periods covered, volumes microfilmed, and W.E.B. Du Bois Library's holdings.


Card file index to the general colonial court records from 1664-Revolution.
Call Number: Microfilm 5882 57 reels
An alphabetical card file by name, subject, place, etc. Each card lists the subject covered, a date, and the Massachusetts Archives volumes and page numbers.



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Massachusetts. Courts - History - Sources

Massachusetts - History - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 - Sources