Guides to Plymouth Colony Records

 

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     These are guides to the records of New Plymouth Colony, available as page images in the
Historical Records Collections at FamilySearch.org, and published in a number of works.

Overview of the Plymouth Colony Records
(From Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum Foundation)

Plymouth Colony Records Manuscript Images Online at FamilySearch.org
(Images of original Plymouth Colony Probate Records and published versions)

Published Plymouth Colony Records Online at the Internet Archive
(Images of original Plymouth Colony Probate Records and published versions)

A Guide to Old Colony Wills
(Images of original Plymouth Colony Probate Records and published versions)

Index to Published Records of the Colony of New Plymouth In New England
(Published 1855-1861 and 1996)

 

An Overview of the Plymouth Colony Records

     Mayflower scholar Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum Foundation, has long been working on transcriptions of the unpublished Plymouth Colony records, some of which he has already published. I highly recommend his Overview of the Plymouth Colony Records Project, the most succinct introduction to the Colony records.

 

Plymouth Colony Records Online at FamilySearch.org

     FamilySearch.org has been adding images of the original Plymouth Colony manuscript records, which were disbound, repaired, interleaved, and rebound in 23 volumes in the nineteenth century. Two manuscript indices were then created. As of this writing 17 of the 23 records volumes, plus the two index volumes, are available online. Some of the volumes are in two parts. The two parts of Wills volumes 2-4 were bound together, the two parts of Deeds volumes were bound individually. They are:

     SPECIAL NOTE - The URLs for some of the FamilySearch image collections have been known to change from time to time. If any of the links below are incorrect please send me email. Be aware that there is a limit to how many images of records you can download in a single session.

Old Colony Wills (4 Volumes)
Volume 1 - 1633-1654 - Images 5-137
Volume 2, Part 1 - 1654-1659 - Images 142-199
Volume 2, Part 2 - 1659-1669 - Images 200-296
Volume 3, Part 1 - 1669-1676 - Images 301-394
Volume 3, Part 2 - 1676-1678 - Images 395-464
Volume 4, Part 1 - 1678-1682 - Images 469-536
Volume 4, Part 2 - 1681-1686 - Images 537-614

Old Colony Deeds (11 Volumes)
Volume 1 (Published in PCR 12)
Volume 1, Part 1 - 1620-1645 - Images 3-128
Volume 1, Part 2 - 1644-1651 - Images 133-237
Volumes 2-4
Volume 2, Part 1 - 1651-1658 - Images 5-134
Volume 2, Part 2 - 1658-1663 - Images 139-215
Volume 3, Part 1 - 1664-1671 - Images 220-346
Volume 3, Part 2 - 1671-1674 - Images 353-430
Volume 4, Part 1 - 1674-1678 - Images 435-559
Volume 4, Part 2 - 1678-1681 - Images 564-675
Volumes 5-6
Volume 5, Part 1 - 1681-1684 - Images 5-130
Volume 5, Part 2 - 1684-1687 - Images 135-266
Volume 6 - 1686-1699 - Images 271-342

Marriages Births Deaths / Court Records 1636-1686
Images 1-211, Marriages Births Deaths published in PCR 8, Court Records published in PCR7

Indian Deeds / Treasurers Accounts / Lists of Freemen 1666-1682
Images 5-125, Indian Deeds published in PCR 12, Treasurers Accounts and Lists of Freemen published in PCR 8
This image set has pages out of order, and is missing page 1, which was bound at the end of the laws volume

Index Volumes
Volume 1 - Deeds / Court Orders, Laws and Wills, A-N - Images 6-186
Volume 2 - Court Orders, Laws and Wills, O-Y - 191-375

 

Published Plymouth Colony Records Online at the Internet Archive

     The twelve volumes of Plymouth Colony Records published in the nineteenth century were reprinted in six volumes, and scans of those are online free of charge at the Internet Archive.

Volumes 1 and 2
Volumes 3 and 4
Volumes 5 and 6
Volumes 7 and 8
Volumes 9 and 10
Volumes 11 and 12

 

A Guide to Old Colony Wills and to Other
Plymouth Colony Probate Records 1621-1692

     This PDF file is a guide to the images of the manuscript volumes of original Plymouth Colony probate records available online in the Historical Records Collection at FamilySearch.org (be aware that there is a limit to how many images of records you can download in a single session), along with miscellaneous probate records in other volumes of the Plymouth Colony Records, and published transcriptions, abstracts and images of those records. Following a suggestion from Nat Taylor, FASG, editor and publisher of The American Genealogist, this file was revised add towns.

View or download the PDF file

A Guide to Old Colony Wills
Revised 03-May-2017 (183 kb)

 

Index to Published Records of the Colony of New Plymouth In New England

Nathaniel B. Shurtleff (Volumes 1-8) and David Pulsifer (Volumes 9-12), Editors
Records of the Colony of New Plymouth In New England
12 Volumes, issued bound as 9 or 10
Boston: The Press of William White, Printer to the Commonwealth, 1855-1861
Reprinted in 6 Volumes - New York: AMS Press, 1968
and
Charles H. Simmons, Jr.
Plymouth Colony Records
Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1996
Vol. 1: Wills and Inventories, 1633-1669 (2 manuscript volumes in 1)

This PDF file contains a consolidated index to the original twelve volumes (1855-1861) plus the volume of probates (1996).
The hyperlinks lead to scans online of the first twelve volumes that you can read or download free of charge, as reprinted in six volumes in 1968.

Volume 1 (1855): Court Orders, 1633—1640
Volume 2 (1855): Court Orders, 1641—1651
Volume 3 (1855): Court Orders, 1651—1661
Volume 4 (1855): Court Orders, 1661—1668
Volume 5 (1855): Court Orders, 1668—1678
Volume 6 (1855): Court Orders, 1678—1691
Volume 7 (1857): Judicial Acts, 1636—1692
Volume 8 (1857): Miscellaneous Records, 1633—1689
Volume 9 (1859): Acts of the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, Vol. I, 1643—1651
Volume 10 (1859): Acts of the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, Vol. II, 1653—1678-9
Volume 11 (1861): Laws, 1623—1682
Volume 12 (1861): Deeds &c. Vol. I, 1620—1651; Book of Indian Records for Their Lands
and (as Volume 13, 1996) Wills and Inventories, 1633-1669

     Researchers have for more than a century faced a significant obstacle when working with Plymouth Colony Records.  Although each of the twelve volumes has an index, there has not, until now, been a consolidated index to all twelve volumes.  This index removes that obstacle by obviating the need to search as many as thirteen different indices for the records for one person.

     The index has three sections.  The first, and largest, is the index to persons, alphabetized by the primary, most common or best known spelling of each surname.  Alternate spellings of a surname are grouped with the primary spelling.  Within each surname entries for given names are alphabetized, followed by alphabetized titles such as Captain, Goodwife or Mr.  After each given name or title are listed vital records entries (births, marriages and deaths), followed by an alphabetized list of all other entries.  Note that I have standardized the spelling of given names under which entries are alphabetized, but have not standardized the spelling of other given names within entries.

     The second section is the index to places, and the third section is the index to subjects.  An alpabetical key to all three sections is provided on the bookmarks tab.

 

View or download the PDF file

Consolidated Index to Plymouth Colony Records
Revised 04-Apr-2016 (1.93 mb)

 

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