Genealogy Resources

The following is a list of genealogy resources. Listed first are the resources provided by the Chelmsford Public Library for its patrons, and at the bottom of the page are additional suggested resources that are freely-available on the internet.

Resources Available from the CPL

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only American Ancestors (formerly New England Ancestry)
Access: [ In Library ]
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest genealogical society in the country. For over 150 years, NEHGS has helped new and experienced researchers trace their heritage in New England and around the world. Their databases contain a wide assortment of genealogical information, some overlapping what Ancestry Library provides.
  • Subjects: Genealogy

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only America’s Obituaries & Death Notices
Access: [ In Library ] [ At Home: ]
The largest and most comprehensive newspaper collection of obituaries and death notices. Search by name, date range, or text (e.g., residence, occupation, hobbies, family members, or other personal information).
  • Subjects: Newspapers - Genealogy

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only Ancestry Library
Access: [ In Library ]
Contains the U.S. Census Collection; U.S. Data Collection; U.K. and Ireland Collection; Birth, Marriage, and Death Records; Immigration Collection; Military Collection; Family and Local History Records; Court, Land, and Probate Records; and more.
  • Subjects: Genealogy

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only Chelmsford Library's Local History Webpage
Access: [ ]
A collection of links to the websites of organizations, agencies, information and materials related to the history of Chelmsford.
  • Subjects: Genealogy

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only Chelmsford Newspapers Obituary Search
Access: [ In Library & At Home ]
Search obituaries in the Chelmsford Newsweekly (6/20/1940 - 8/26/1993) and the Chelmsford Independent (1/2/1986 - present). When you locate the correct obituary, click the name to submit a request to Reference staff to retrieve if from our microfilm records for you.
Note: Obituaries not in this archive may have appeared in the Lowell Sun newspaper, which is available on microfilm at Lowell's Pollard Memorial Library. You can also contact the Lowell Sun's obituary department at or 978-970-4652.
  • Subjects: Genealogy - News & Newspapers

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library Chelmsford Town Annual Reports Archive
Access: [ In Library & At Home ]
Searchable archive of the Annual Reports for the Town of Chelmsford from 1874 to present. The reports are full-text searchable, and you can read them online or download them in a variety of formats. This archive was funded by a Boston Public Library grant and hosted by the Internet Archive, scanned from the collections of both the Chelmsford Historical Society and Chelmsford Library.
  • Subjects: Genealogy - History

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only Heritage Quest
Access: [ In Library ] [ At Home: ]
Over 20,000 Family and Local Histories; 1790-1930 U.S. Federal Census; Periodical Source Index (PERSI); Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files; Freedman's Bank Records; and more.
  • Subjects: Genealogy

Provided by the MBLC Special Collections Directory (Manuscripts
and Archives of Massachusetts)
Access: [ In Library & At Home ]
A guide and locator of collections residing in Massachusetts libraries, archives, historical societies and town clerk's offices.
  • Subjects: Books & Ebooks

Provided by the Chemlsford Public Library - Chemlsford Patrons Only Surname Research Request
Access: [ In Library & At Home ]
Members of the Chelmsford Genealogy Club have already done extensive research on certain family surnames, and are willing to provide assistance to anyone researching those same names. Just fill out the form, including which surname you are interested in, and a member of the Club with contact you with further research.
  • Subjects: Genealogy

Print Materials Available At The CPL

Local History Room
    Main Library, Lower Level
The Local History Room holds a valuable collection of books and other documents about the history of the Chelmsford area and people. A shelf listing of these materials is available through our catalog. These materials do not circulate, but are open for any library visitor to use. A few examples are:
  • Towns: Books of Towns - Birth, Marriage, Death up to 1849 for many MA towns; History of various towns in MA
  • General Information: How to start your genealogy; Research by country (Irish, French etc.)
  • Families: Genealogy of various families (i.e. Richardson, Foote, Spalding)
  • Early Ancestry: Examples include: Genealogy of New England Families; Genealogy of CT families; Mayflower Families
  • Colonial Life: Mill life in Lowell
  • Military: MASS Army and Navy - 1861-65 (2 vol.); MASS Soldiers and Sailors & Marines in Civil War (8 vol.); Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolution War (17 vol.); various military books by towns, regiments, and time-frames
  • Chelmsford Genealogies & Cemeteries: Located in white notebooks; Jane Drury and the Chelmsford Historical Society have been working on documenting all headstones in Chelmsford Cemeteries
  • Chelmsford High School Yearbooks: For the years 1944-1951, 1961, 1975, 1982, 1988-1992, 1996, 2004-2008 (donations for missing years are accepted)
  • Magazine Subscriptions: Everton's Genealogy Helper (not available to check out)
  • Chelmsford Annual Reports: 1878-current
  • Chelmsford Garden Club Archives: 1923-current
  • Chelmsford Organizations: sporatic years only; this publication was replaced by our website listing of Community Organizations
  • Chelmsford School Reports: mid- to late-1800s
  • Chelmsford Water District Commissioner's Report: 1921-current
  • Finance Committee Reports: 1937-current
  • List of Residents: 1975-current (the most current edition is held at the Reference Desk)

Additional Print Resources
    Main Library, Lower Level
These books are located on the Genealogy Subject Table outside the Local History Room. They include genealogy how-to guides, some research material, and circulating duplicate copies of items in the Local History Room.

Microfilm Periodicals
    Main Library, Lower Level
For those periodicals not held in print or available electronically, the Library has microfilm and a microfilm reader/printer located near the Local History Room. Our current holdings are:
  • Chelmsford Newsweekly: 1940-1993
  • Chelmsford Independent: 1986-present
  • Boston Globe: 1985-2004

FamilySearch History Library Affiliate for Microfilm Records
    Main Library, Lower Level
The Chelmsford Library is an Affiliate Library of the Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This affiliate status allows Chelmsford patrons to order microfilm directly from the LDS library in Salt Lake City ($7.50 for a 90-day loan), to be sent to the Chelmsford Library and used on our microfilm machine.

Start your search at the FamilySearch catalog. You will need to create a free account with FamilySearch, if you do not already have one, and order whichever films you'd like to view. When the film arrives, you will contacted to let you know it is available to be used at the Chelmsford Library. For more information, please contact the Reference Desk at or 978-256-5521.

FamilySearch resources:

Other Suggested Resources
  (many of these sources were identified through

Local Resources & Organizations Massachusetts Resources & Organizations Records, Newspapers, & Archives Searches Guides and General Resources