Free Online Massachusetts City Directories

City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:​

And here are various places where you can find other city directories online: 

Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.

(Updated September 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Statewide

Amherst

Andover

Athol

Attleboro

Berkley

Berkshire

Berkshire County

Beverly

Boston

Bristol County

Cambridge

Canton

Charlestown

Chelmsford

Chelsea

Chicopee

Cohasset

Danvers

Dartmouth, Westport and Acushne

Dunstable

Essex County

Fall River

Fitchburg

Foxboro

Foxborough

Franklin

Franklin, Bellingham, Wrentham and Plainville

Gloucester

Greenfield

Hampden and Hampshire County

Hampshire County

Haverhill

Hingham

Holyoke

Lakeville

Lee

Leominster

Lowell

Malden

Mansfield

Mansfield, Foxboro and Sharon

Middleboro

Middleboro’ and Lakeville

Monson

Nantasket

Natick

New Bedford

Newburyport

Newport

Newton

North Adams

Palmer

Peabody

Pepperell

Pittsfield

Plymouth

Rochester

Roxbury

Salem

Somerset

Somerset, Dighton and Swansea

Somerville

South Berkshire

Springfield

Stoughton

Taunton

Waltham

Waltham and Watertown

Ware

Watertown

Wellesley

Westfield

Weymouth

Woburn

Worcester​

Worcester County

​Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

For other Free Massachusetts Links, click on the category of interest:​​

Newspapers
Obituaries
BMD Records
Photos
Yearbooks
Directories
Divorce Records
Naturalizations
Church Records
School Records
Coroner Records
Voter Records
Probate and Wills
Immigration
Mortuary Records
Alumni Records
Cemetery Records

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1 Comment

  1. A super-helpful resource! I’ve been turning to city directories a lot lately and this will really save me some time. Thanks so much for putting it together!

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