Massachusetts Genealogy Trails
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This Massachusetts state site is available for adoption!

If you are interested in joining Genealogy Trails as the host of this state site
or any of our county websites, view our
Volunteer Page
for all the ins and outs of becoming a host.
(Enough knowledge to make a basic webpage and a desire to transcribe data is required)
Check your attics!
Dust off your family scrapbooks!
We're looking for DATA for our sites!!!

We would very much like to make you part of this project.
If you have information that you'd like to share about any town, family, county or subject,
please send it to us and we'll make sure it gets posted to the right county.

Types of Data We're Looking to Post
Send transcribed biographies, obituaries, vital records, census records, newspaper gleanings,
military records, or if you have walked cemeteries and have transcribed those names and dates,
and any other type of data you think would be helpful to researchers
Email Us with your Data

Regretfully, we do not have time to do research for anybody.
All data we come across will be added to these sites.
We thank you for visiting and hope you'll come
back again to view the updates we make to our sites.


The Most Populous of the New England States 

Settlement of Massachusetts began when the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and landed in 1620 at a point they named Plymouth (after their port of embarkation in England). Their first governor, John Carver, died the next year, but under his successor, William Bradford, the Plymouth Colony took firm hold.

Other Englishmen soon established fishing and trading posts nearby Andrew Weston (1622) at Wessagusset (now Weym outh) and Thomas Wollaston (1625) at Mt. Wollaston, which was renamed Merry Mount (now Quincy) when Thomas Morton took charge. The fishing post established (1623) on Cape Ann by Roger Conant failed, but in 1626 he founded Naumkeag (Salem), which in 1628 became the nucleus of a Puritan colony led by John Endecott of the New England Company and chartered by the private Council for New England.

In 1629 the New England Company was reorganized as the Massachusetts Bay Company after receiving a more secure patent from the crown. In 1630 John Winthrop led the first large Puritan migration from England, which consisted of 900 settlers on eleven ships.

The early Puritans were primarily agricultural people, although a merchant class soon formed. Most of the inhabitants lived in villages, beyond which lay their privately owned fields.

Native American resentment of the Puritan presence resulted in the Pequot War of 1637, after which the four Puritan colonies (Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven) formed the New England Confederation, the first voluntary union of American colonies. In 1675-76, the confederation broke the power of the Native Americans of southern New England in King Philip's War. In the course of the French and Indian Wars, however, frontier settlements such as Deerfield were devastated.

Boston replaced Salem as capital of the colony.
[Source:  The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed; 2002]

Massachusetts was admitted to statehood  February 6, 1788



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