Winthrop, Suffolk County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Winthrop. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, deeds (i.e. land records), town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries. There are detailed guide for the parent towns of Revere and Chelsea.

Town Clerk[edit | edit source]

1 Metcalf Square
Winthrop, MA 02152
Phone: 617-846-1742
Fax: 617-539-5814

Brief History[edit | edit source]

This area was first called Winnisimmet by the Native Americans. The peninsula was annexed by Boston in 1632 and settled by 1635 as Pullen Point. What is now Winthrop was divided into 15 plots of land in 1637. This became the farm land and grazing place for Boston men's cattle. Rural and difficult to get to Boston (a mere 1.5 miles by water but 20 miles by land), this area incorporated as the new town of Chelsea in 1739. Later, the northeastern two-thirds was set off as North Chelsea in 1846, though renamed Revere in 1871. This new town quick divided and the southern part became Winthrop in 1852. The modern map of Winthrop at first glance will appear odd. The expansion of Noodle Island (East Boston) with landfill connected several islands, it included water that was part of Winthrop thus today part of the northeast corner of Logan Airport belongs to Winthrop. Likewise, in the 1930s, Deer Island (Boston) was connected to the southeastern point of Winthrop by landfill. This part of Boston, once an internment camp for Native Americans during King Philip's War, a quarantine station for arriving sick immigrants, and the county jail, is now a park with an old cemetery and home to a large waste water treatment facility. It is only reached by land through Winthrop. Snake Island is part of Winthrop.

Historical Data[edit | edit source]

The basic data is from the "Historical Data" publication series[1] with additions from various sources.

Associated names

Winthrop at one time was called Pullen Point.

Village or section names include Battery, Belle Isle, Cottage Hill, Cottage Park, Great Head, Ingalls, Ocean Spray, Playstead, Point Shirley, Snake Island, Thornton, Winthrop Beach, Winthrop Center, and Winthrop Highlands.

Border changes
Dates Events
27 Mar. 1852 Incorporated as a town from a part set off from North Chelsea (now Revere).
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Town Histories[edit | edit source]

Works written on the town include:
MassachusettsSuffolk CountyNorfolk CountyPlymouth CountyMiddlesex CountyEssex CountyNorfolk CountyBostonChelseaRevereWinthropNeedhamBrooklineDedhamWestwoodNorwoodCantonRandolphBraintreeWeymouthHinghamHullQuincyMiltonNewtonWatertownWalthamLexingtonWoburnWinchesterArlingtonBelmontCambridgeSomervilleMedfordStonehamMelroseMaldenEverettSaugusLynnNanhant
Town of Winthrop in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

  • Charles W. Hall, Historic Winthrop, 1630-1902; a concise history of Winthrop (Boston, 1902), 43 pp.
    No digital version found.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Mellen Chamberlain, A Documentary History of Chelsea: including the Boston precincts of Winnisimmet, Rumney Marsh, and Pullen Point, 1624-1824 (Boston, 1908), 2 vols.
    This is a history of the area before it became a separate town.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive (v. 1 and v. 2), Google Books (v. 1 and v. 2), and Ancestry ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL film 1035580 Item 4.
  • Madeleine Littlefield, History of the Town of Winthrop: 1614-1943 ([Winthrop, Mass., 1940?]).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Channing Howard, Our Streets: How we got them and their names (Winthrop, Mass., 1950), 12 pp.
    Listed in bibliography as being at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, but not found in their catalog or anywhere else online.
  • William H. Clark, The History of Winthrop, Massachusetts; 1630-1952 (Winthrop, Mass., 1952), 313 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46/W2 H2c or film 1440415 Item 4.
  • Winthrop Wikipedia page.

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Vital Records[edit | edit source]

The town's vital records are available in many locations:

Original records
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City Directories[edit | edit source]

Winthrop was published in 1882, 1884, 1886-1890, 1892, 1893, 1895/6, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1902/3, 1904, 1906, 1908 [all previous published under Chelsea], 1911, 1913, 1916/7, 1918, 1921, 1924, 1929/30, 1931.

The Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) has one of the largest collections of city directories in the country. They are likely to own most of the years listed above. Their collection is in microfiche, microfilm, and books, but there is no online inventory of their holdings except for microfilm. See their guide online.

Other holdings:

  • Ancestry ($) has 1882, 1884, 1886-1890, 1892, 1893, 1895/6, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1902/3, 1904, 1906, 1908 [all previous published under Chelsea], 1911, 1913, 1916/7, 1918, 1921, 1924, 1929/30, 1931.
  • Boston Public Library has 1911, 1913, 1916/7, 1918, 1929/30, 1931.
  • Family History Library (Salt Lake City) has 1902/3, 1904, 1906, 1908 [all previous published under Chelsea] on FHL various film records; 1911, 1913, 1916/7, 1929/30, 1931 on FHL various film records.
  • fold3 ($) has none.
  • Massachusetts State Library has 1882, 1884, 1886-1890, 1892, 1893, 1895/6, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1902/3, 1904, 1906, 1908 [all previous published under Chelsea], 1911, 1913, 1916/7, 1918/9, 1921, 1924, 1929/30, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1939, 1942, 1947.
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston) ($) has 1882, 1884, 1886-1890, 1892, 1893, 1895/6, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1902/3, 1904, 1906, 1908 [all previous published under Chelsea], 1911, 1916/7, 1918/9, 1921, 1924, 1929/30, 1931 [all under Winthrop].
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Maps[edit | edit source]

  • Whitman & Howard, Winthrop - anciently Pullin Point, our peninsula in 1624 (S.l., 1930).
    Digital version at Boston Public Library.
    Not in WorldCat or at FHL.
  • Thomas W. Davis, Plan of Winthrop Farm in the Town of Winthrop belonging to the City of Boston (Boston, 1882).
    Digital version at Boston Public Library.
    Not in WorldCat or at FHL.
  • George W. and Walter S. Bromley, Atlas of the city of Chelsea and the towns of Revere and Winthrop: from actual surveys and official plans (Philadelphia, 1896).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Map of Chelsea, Everett, Revere & Winthrop (Boston, 1897)
    Digital version at Boston Public Library.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  • Atlas of the City of Chelsea and the Towns of Revere & Winthrop Massachusetts (Philadelphia, 1914).
    Not in WorldCat or at FHL.
  • G. David Hubbard, Winthrop: then & now; historical mapping of Winthrop Massachusetts ([Winthrop, Mass., 2005]), 52 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
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Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of cemeteries in Winthrop. Remember that this was part of North Chelsea (now Revere), earlier Chelsea, and first Boston.

  1. Belle Isle Cemetery, 1993.
  2. Cross Street Cemetery, 1940.
  3. New or Middle Cemetery, 1919.
  4. Winthrop Cemetery, 1835. (A)

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Chelsea, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1916) [see links above under vital records of Chelsea].

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Churches[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of churches established in town in order of organization date (if known) and condition of records in the 1889 survey if listed.

  1. Methodist Episcopal Church (now called First Church of Winthrop), 1835, records good.
  2. Baptist Church, 1871, records good.
    This may be the Evangelical Baptist Church of Newton's Teaching Center in Winthrop.
  3. Point Shirley Catholic Church, n.d. (attached to St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church, East Boston in 1889)
  4. St. John the Evangelist's Catholic Church, 1907.
  5. Temple Tifereth Israel, 1912.
  6. Congregation Tifereth Abraham Anshei Lubavitch, 1923.
  7. Chevra Thillim, bef. 1925 (not extant).
  8. Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1953.
  9. Comunidade Evangelica de Boston, n.d.
  10. St. John's Episcopal Church, n.d.
    St. John's Church, Records, 1922-1932, bound copies of parish books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL.
  11. Union Congregational Church (United Christ of Christ), n.d.
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Town Records[edit | edit source]

There are no town records microfilmed or published. The town assessor's office has online valuations from 2005 to present with links to town maps (property) and to an online database.

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Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  1. Winthrop Visitor, 1882-1905.
  2. Winthrop Gazette, 1885.
  3. Winthrop Sun (title varied), 1892-1999.
  4. Winthrop Independent, 1909.
  5. Winthrop Review, 1919-1944.
  6. Winthrop Transcript, 1944-1959.
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Libraries and Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Winthrop Public Library & Museum
2 Metcalf Square
Winthrop MA 02152
Phone 617-846-1703

Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association
40 Shirley Street
Winthrop MA 02152
No phone

References[edit | edit source]

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 130. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Suffolk Co.: Boston | Dorchester (Boston) | Revere | Essex Co.: Lynn | Nahant | Plymouth Co.: Hull