Massachusetts Family History Societies (O-Q)

This section lists county associations from Old Colony to Quincy giving details about each one and what resources and publications they offer.

Old Colony Historical Society

The Plymouth Colony was New England's first British Settlement and is to what the Old Colony refers.  This Colony is now the Counties of Bristol, Barnstable and Plymouth.

The association was founded in 1853 and specialises in the city of Taunton and surrounding towns. 

Many archives can be accessed in the library, which include Genealogical information regarding families from South-eastern Massachusetts before 1850, over 700 volumes in their non-circulating Library and over 12000 images.

Numerous publications are available for sale, which incorporate:

  • A History of Taunton
  • Heirloom Genealogical Charts
  • Lincoln's Other White House: The Untold Story of the Man and his Presidency
  • Wish You Were Here: A Picture Postcard History of Taunton

Orleans Historical Society

The association was established in 1958, its aims being to preserve the heritage of Orleans and to make its history publicly available.

Their archives include:

  • Lectures and Presentations on DVD
  • Oral Histories
  • Orleans Cemetery Inventory which is a transcript of Burials and Gravestones
  • Photographs
  • Records regarding the War of 1812

Many books are sold by the society, which incorporate:

  • American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England
  • Chatham, the Lifeboat Men
  • The Finest Hours: The True Story of U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue

Peabody Historical Society and Museum

The association was founded in 1896, and is dedicated to preserving, studying and enjoying the heritage of Peabody.  Many archives, covering over 300 years, are accessible in Ruth Hill Library and Archives, located in Osborne-Salata House, which include:

  • Directories
  • Genealogical Materials
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Vital Records

They also have a big collection of china, textiles, furniture and fine and decorative arts.


Quincy Historical Society

The society was established in 1893 and is dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of Quincy.  Their Museum can take you back over 400 years of America's history. 

Many archives can be accessed in their Research and Reference Library, which include:

  • Audio and Moving-Image Recordings
  • Books
  • Images
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Pamphlets

Their collections include Adams Family Ephemera, the Quincy Granite Industry, Quincy Shipbuilding and Genealogy.   Many other historical archives and artefacts are held by the society.

Guides available on the site include Residents, Immigrants and Heritage in Quincy and Quincy's Historic Hancock Cemetery.


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