USGenWeb Genealogical Site for the City of

Link to Taunton City Web Site Taunton
Bristol County
Link to USGenWeb

Including the Villages of East Taunton, Elliots Corner, Oakland, Wades Corner, Weir Village, Westville and Whittenton

Lighting of the Green

The Lighting of the Green:
A Taunton tradition since 1914

What's New Resources Families Books Newspapers Records Cemeteries
Societies History Census Photographs Government Web Sites USGenWeb

New Information on This Site

March 20, 2008 — We have a new address!   Many USGenWeb sites have relocated, and we have, too.   Please bookmark our new address.

April 6, 2004 — I've added links to some historic photographs in the Library of Congress.

March 21, 2004 — Welcome to the brand new Taunton USGenWeb page.   I'll be posting notices here as new resources are added to the site.

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Lookups and Resources


If you have any Taunton material and would like to volunteer for lookups please send email to Dale H. Cook.



1659 Tax Rate List from Jane Devlin's Web Site.

1675 Householders from Jane Devlin's Web Site.

1908 Taunton City Directory — Images of the scanned pages with an electronic index, from

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Family Researchers and Websites

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Books, Newspapers and Records

Books and Journal Articles About Taunton

You can find copies of books for sale by using the search engine at

Books that are no longer in copyright can often be found online at Internet Archive Text Archive, Family History Books or Google Books. Additional books are available through two sites that many libraries offer access to - and Heritage Quest Online.

Henry Edwards Scott, Vital Records of Taunton, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 3 vols. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1929-29).

Samuel Hopkins Emery, History of Taunton, Massachusetts From Its Settlement to the Present Time (Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1893).

Karen Callan, Anonymous Among Us: Images from a New England Potter's Field (Bridgewater, MA: The Author, 2011). A scholar's photo essay about the potter's cemetery which is part of Mayflower Cemetery. Her photographs used in this volume were exhibited in a number of museums and galleries.

Karen Callan, "Anonymous Among Us: Images from a New England Potter's Field" (Bridgewater Review, 32:2:16-24). A 2013 article exerpted from the title above, and available online at the Bridgewater State University Virtual Commons.

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A newspaper often had a succession of titles on its masthead during the course of its publication. Some libraries list newspapers by the last title used, followed by previous titles. Other libraries list all holdings under the most common, most familiar or most recent title. For each title the library's holdings are given.


Boston Public Library - Microtext Department

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Vital Records

Published Vital Records 1639 to 1850:

Henry Edwards Scott, Vital Records of Taunton, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, 3 vols. (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1929-29).

Vital Records 1639 to present:
Note that the Taunton Town Books were destroyed in an 1838 fire.

City Clerk
Taunton City Hall
15 Summer St.
Taunton, MA 02780
Fax: 508-821-1098
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Vital Records 1841-1920:
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
Fax: 617-288-8429
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Vital Records 1921 to present:
Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Or order online:  Births  Marriages  Divorces  Deaths

Massachusetts Vital Records Information from


Deeds and Probate

Bristol County Registry of Deeds - Northern District
11 Court St.
Taunton, MA 02780
Fax: 508-880-4975
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Bristol County deed images are online at Note: Looking for deeds in this collection can be confusing as this collection contains deed images from the Taunton, New Bedford, and Fall River courthouses. I have prepared A Brief Guide to the Bristol County Deeds (1686-1900+) to help you to find the deed images that you need.

Bristol Probate and Family Court
40 Broadway St., Suite 240
Taunton, MA 02780
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Order Probate Records Online

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Genealogical and Historical Societies and Libraries

Taunton Public Library
12 Pleasant St.
Taunton, MA 02780
Fax: 508-821-1414
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. except July and August

Old Colony History Museum
66 Church Green
Taunton, MA 02780
Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed on holidays and on Saturdays preceding Monday holidays
Museum Admission: Adults - $4.00, Children 12-18 and Seniors - $2.00
Genealogical Research: $7.00 per day

Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215-3695
Hours: Mon. - Weds. 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Thurs. 9:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.; Fri. 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Closed Sunday.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116-3007
Fax: 617-536-7307
Library Hours: Tues. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Weds. 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Thurs. - Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Closed Sun. and Mon.
The library is closed for some holidays - call or see the website for details.
For non-members there is a daily admisssion fee for the research library.

NEHGS is nation's oldest genealogical society, founded in 1845. It offers unsurpassed resources for New England research including the Boston research library of over 200,000 volumes. Members not in the Boston area appreciate their extensive online resources including all issues of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the nation's oldest genealogical journal, published quarterly since 1847. Online resources also include member access to vital records through 1915, an ever-growing collection of online books, and databases derived from some of the Society's immense manuscript holdings.

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History, Census Data and Photographs

Taunton was established March 3, 1639, from common land called Cohannett.   The majority of the early settlers came from Dorchester in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.   By 1640 the 46 original purchasers had adopted the name Taunton.   The town expanded with the North and South Purchases, and eventually contracted as daughter towns became independent.

Perhaps the earliest industry here was the smelting of bog iron, which began in the mid-seventeenth century.   Among the notable products of the town's iron industry were anchors for ships including the U.S.S. Constitution.   Metalworking has long been a major area of industry here, including iron products from shovels to locomotives, and silversmithing has at times been especially prominent.

The town's locaion, at the head of navigable waters on the Taunton River, made it an inland seaport.   That made possible local industries such as shipbuilding, shipping and coastal trade, and fishing.   Water power from the river drove the growth of factories, including textile mills.   Clays found in the area spawned brick and stoneware industries.

Taunton played a prominent role in King Philip's War, and has distinguished itself in all American wars from the Revolution to this time.   In 1774 the Liberty and Union Flag, which some regard as the first American flag, was raised on the Green in defiance of the English crown, and still flies in many places in the city today.

The town became the seat of Bristol County in 1746, and became a city in 1864.   It has the largest land area of any city in the Commonwealth.   It has grown from a population of 3,804 in the 1790 census to 55,976 in 2000.

Population by Census

1765 (Prov.) 2,735     1776 (Prov.) 3,259     1790 (U.S.) 3,804     1800 (U.S.) 3,860
1810 (U.S.) 3,907     1820 (U.S.) 4,520     1830 (U.S.) 6,042     1840 (U.S.) 7,645
1850 (U.S.) 10,441     1855 (State) 13,750     1860 (U.S.) 15,376     1865 (State) 16,005
1870 (U.S.) 18,629     1875 (State) 20,445     1880 (U.S.) 21,213     1885 (State) 23,674
1890 (U.S.) 25,448     1895 (State) 27,115     1900 (U.S.) 31,036     1905 (State) 30,967
1910 (U.S.) 34,259     1915 (State) 36,161     1920 (U.S.) 37,137     1925 (State) 39,255
1930 (U.S.) 37,355     1935 (State) 37,431     1940 (U.S.) 37,395     1945 (State) 38,612
1950 (U.S.) 40,109     1955 (State) 41,281     1960 (U.S.) 41,132     1965 (State) 42,018
1970 (U.S.) 43,756     1975 (State) 42,148     1980 (U.S.) 45,001     1990 (U.S.) 49,832
2000 (U.S.) 55,976                              



Nathan Dean House Photographs and Drawings in the Library of Congress.

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Taunton City Government and Institutions

Taunton Home Page

School Department

First Parish Church In Taunton (Unitarian Universalist, established 1637)

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Other Taunton Websites

Commonwealth Communities page for Taunton

Taunton Daily Gazette (Daily Newspaper)

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USGenWeb Sites

Bristol County, MA - USGenWeb

Massachusetts Genealogy - USGenWeb

The USGenWeb Project - Home Page

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Please note that although I was born and raised about 15 miles from Taunton
I now live hundreds of miles away and do not have easy access to the city.

Email comments to Dale H. Cook.

Please visit the Plymouth Colony Pages

USGenWeb Taunton, MA, commenced 21-Mar-2004.
Created and maintained by Dale H. Cook.
Copyright © 2004-2018 by Dale H. Cook. All rights reserved.