Research

Many people who visit the archives are interested in their genealogy. They are generally looking to discover their own genealogy, although sometimes they are simply hoping to learn more about a prominent Malden family or figure. In order to help you make the most of your time in the archives, this pathfinder will highlight some helpful genealogical sources.

Genealogy

  • The American genealogical-biographical index. (2000). Middletown, CT: Godfrey Memorial Library.
This work, comprised of 206 volumes, seeks to index every American genealogy more fully than those individual genealogies are indexed. Not only do they index previously unindexed works, they reindex already indexed works. This results in a very comprehensive index. And since many genealogies are not fully/properly indexed, the AGBI allows users to find information in genealogies that they might not otherwise have found based on less thorough indexes. The titles of the texts being indexed are abbreviated and added to each entry. In order to find the titles, users must consult the AGBI key index. Also included in each entry is the page number where the person was mentioned in the genealogies. Although we don’t have all of the genealogies listed in the AGBI, this can be a helpful resource to figure out where you should look next.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 92 A5122
  • City of Malden List of Persons. (n.d.).
This resource, which begins in 1884, is essentially an annual census. It lists each person living in Malden in a given year. It is arranged by ward, then precinct, then street, and then house number. The names of the people are not listed alphabetically. However, in the back of each volume is an alphabetical list of the people included in the book. It covers people aged 17 and older, and in addition to giving their addresses, also lists their occupation, the year of their birth, and their voting status. These volumes are compiled by the Board of Registrars.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 336.2 M24
  • Corey, D. P. (Ed.). (1903). Births, Marriages, and Deaths in the Town of Malden, Massachusetts 1649-1850. Cambridge, MA: University Press.
These volumes cover births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths in the cities and towns of Massachusetts (and at least one Connecticut town). This series covers births, deaths, and marriages. The records cover up until 1850. They are produced by the New-England Historic Genealogical Society.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 929.3 M24c
  • Anderson, R. C. (1995). The great migration begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society.
This book lists the Europeans that settled in New England. It covers migration prior to the end of the year 1633. This book also abbreviates the titles of its sources and includes a key so that users can find the full titles. Additionally, it includes historic maps so that users may understand the town lines of the time, both in the countries that people came from, and in New England. Each entry includes origin (many of which are unknown), place of first residence, where and when they moved, and the year of their migration. Additional information includes marriage, children, death, education, occupation, religious affiliation, and miscellaneous comments (such as debts owed and encounters with the police).
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 929.374 A549g
  • Chamberlain, G. W. (Ed.). (1935-1936). Genealogical Records of Early Settlers in Malden: Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1640-1800 (Vol. 1-4). Malden Historical Society.
This book draws from probate records, estate records, the county register of deeds, vital records, town records, and church records. It lists people alphabetically and includes biographical information including occupation, immigration, employers, spouses and children. It also includes the birth and death years of spouses, the birth years of children, and the spouses and marriage dates of children.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 929.3 M24ch
  • Polk’s Malden City Directory. (n.d.). Boston, MA: R.L. Polk & Co., Publishers.
This resource, which begins in 1869, includes information on both adult residents of Malden and businesses. It also lists home/business owners and their addresses. It has a reverse lookup function so users can search by address. It includes the usual information such as marital status, occupation, etc. For businesses it includes personnel, etc. The collection begins in 1869.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 917.44 M24d
  • New England historical and genealogical register. (1946). Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society.
MPL’s collection is incomplete, missing several volumes from the 1800s, but is otherwise an excellent resource. This set includes information on individuals and their descendants, with many tables of the latter. Birth and death dates, marriage and spousal information, and birthplace and residences are listed. Additionally, inscriptions from gravestones are listed. Also included are memoirs of historical genealogical society members, proceedings from their meetings, and genealogical information from historical societies in England.
To use this source, give the librarian the title.
  • Bell Rock Cemetery Scrapbook. (n.d.).
This set of binders, the creation of a local Eagle Scout, is filled with photographs of all the headstones in Malden’s historic Bell Rock Cemetery. Also included below each photograph is a transcription of the epitaph on the headstone. It is alphabetized.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number:
  • Morgan, G. G. (2008). The official guide to Ancestry.com. Provo, UT: Ancestry Pub.
This handbook, written by a genealogist, helps users orient themselves to Ancestry.com. It teaches patrons how to use Ancestry.com to its fullest, how to create a family tree using Ancestry.com’s tools, and how to use databases that are included in Ancestry.com. Please note that this book is available in the library’s general collection, not the local history collection, and can therefore be checked out with your library card.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 929.1 M848o
  • Ancestry.com
This database allows users to find information about their ancestors (known and unknown) through the access of vital, census, and military records. There is a tool that allows you to keep track of your findings by building a family tree.
  • Maldonian. (1951-2009). Malden, MA: Malden High School.
This yearbook for Malden High School, the public high school in Malden, Massachusetts, contains information on students in each grade, teachers, school clubs, groups, and teams, and events including dances, pep rallies, and graduations.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 379.74 M24m
  • Lance. (1969-2005). Malden, MA: Malden Catholic High School.
This yearbook for Malden Catholic High School, the Xaverian High School in Malden, Massachusetts, contains information on students in each grade, teachers, school clubs, groups, and teams, and events including dances, pep rallies, and graduations.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 379.74 M24mL
  • Farmer, J., & Drake, S. G. (1964). A genealogical register of the first settlers of New England; containing an alphabetical list of the governours … to which are added various genealogical and biographical notes, collected from ancient records, manuscripts, and printed works. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub.
This record contains information on the first settlers of New England, focusing on the leaders and better known individuals who settled here. Information such as year of birth, year of death, place of residence, titles, and more are included in this text.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 929.3 F23g 1964
  • Stetson, O. F. (1936). The art of Ancestor hunting; a guide to ancestral research and genealogy. Brattleboro, VT: Stephen Daye Press.
This guide offers tips for the average person seeking to explore his or her ancestry on how to conduct genealogical research. An emphasis is made on how to conduct ancestral research without having to spend a lot of money. This is, of course, relative, but it is a welcome and important consideration.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 929 S84

Local History

  • Corey, D. P. (1899). The history of Malden, Massachusetts, 1633-1785. Malden.
This book is broken into chapters with topics including explorers, encounters with Native Americans, settlers and settlements, the relationship between church and town, pioneers, soldiers, and slavery in Malden, Massachusetts. It includes correspondence between Malden citizens and their friends or relatives in other towns, and much more in depth biographical information including where people traveled, why, and accounts of their interactions with each other.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 974.4 M24c
  • Colson, W. W. (1917). Malden, Massachusetts: Thirty-fifth anniversary, City of Malden, 1882-1917, twenty-fifth anniversary, Malden Evening News, 1892-1917. Malden, MA: Malden News.
This book contains a historical sketch of Malden’s cityhood. It also contains biographical information of important men and women in the city. This type of source would be ideal for an amateur historian who was writing a popular history book about Malden.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 974.4 M24maL
  • Corey, D. P. (1899). Malden past and present: Issued on the occasion of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Malden, Mass., May, 1899: Incorporated as a town in 1649. Malden, MA: Malden Mirror.
This book includes a history of Malden with a focus on prominent men and women in the town’s history as well as important buildings and businesses (the first hospital, bank, churches, etc.).
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 974.4 M24m
  • Randall, R. K. (1975). Malden, from primitive past to progressive present: In recognition of Malden’s 325th anniversary and Bicentennial celebration. Canaan, NH: Published for the Malden Historical Society by Phoenix Pub.
Another history of Malden, written in celebration of its 325th anniversary and bicentennial celebration. This focuses much more on the city and much less on the “Great Men” who made it.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: 974.4 M24ran
  • Atlas of Malden City, Massachusetts: Compiled from recent and actual surveys and records and private plans of A.F. Sargent. (1885). Boston: G.H. Walker.
This contains maps of Malden, its wards, lot numbers, railroads (steam and horse powered), city and church properties, buildings (brick/stone and then wooden), hydrants, water pipes, stables. Many maps are very detailed, including businesses, cemeteries, residences, etc.
To use this source, give the librarian the title and this call number: q912.74 M24wa

Further Research/Next Steps

It’s important to come to the archives prepared. Bring whatever information you already have about the research you want to conduct. Do you have names and birth/death dates? Bring a list!
Consider that D.P. Corey’s The History of Malden The History of Malden has been digitized and can be accessed online through Google Books so you may not want to spend as much time with this source while in the library. The local history librarians have also worked hard to digitize many of the sources housed in the archives for the library. While these digitized sources are not freely available online, the librarians are happy to load files onto a flashdrive for you. Just bring a flashdrive and ask!
Additional sources that you may wish to consult include the newspaper index which includes clippings as far back as the 1840s, the obituary index which begins in the 1970s, and a smaller newspaper index that spans the mid 1980s to the late 1990s. As always, if you have questions, ask the librarian! They are happy to help you in your research. Just because you only have a few hours in the archive that day, doesn’t mean your search has to end there. The librarians can utilize their more extended access to the archives to do some digging for you outside of local history hours.
And remember, studying history is a wonderful adventure, so have fun!