Genealogy Resources

  • Massachusetts Soldiers And Sailors: Both Revolutionary War and Civil War – dates of enlistment, death or discharge, and other related information can be found through the State of Massachusetts. Please click here to learn more.
  • Shrewsbury Annual Town Reports: The Annual Reports of the Town of Shrewsbury contain much information about the town, including government officials, town meeting decisions, school data, social programs, etc. Reports through the early 1900s often contain lists of births, marriages, deaths and burials, and other useful information for genealogists.
    • Town reports from 2006 to present are available online through the Town of Shrewsbury.
    • For printed reports for the years 1851 – 1868, and 1879 – 2020, inquire at the Reference Desk on the second floor. These volumes are located in our Reference area under the call number: R 352 S, and in our Microfilm collection in Box Number 11. Printed reports are also available through the Town Clerk's Office at 508-841-8507.
  • Ward Family Publications: from descendants of William Ward, who settled in Sudbury, Mass., in 1639.
    • History of the Town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, from its Settlement in 1717 to 1829 - Ward, Andrew Henshaw. Published in 1847. Find it in the library: 974.43 W21
    • Old Times in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - Ward, Elizabeth. Published in 1892; Find it in the library: 974.43 WARD

Shrewsbury Public Library Ward Room Resources

The Ward Room, located on the second floor and named after the family of General Artemas Ward, is our local history and rare books room. It contains many useful resources of both historical and genealogical materials, including histories of a large number of Massachusetts towns and counties. Many area authors, past and present, have donated copies of their books to our Ward Room. The room is climate controlled, and is generally locked, but access is available by contacting the Reference Librarian for assistance.

Our general book collection contains a large selection of genealogy guides and information: how to use online resources, how to write your family history, other "how to" resources including help for beginners, and specific books for different ethnic research, such as African-American, Canadian, English, French, German, Irish, Scandinavian, Scottish, and more. Most of these books can be found under call number 929.1 in the general collection. As well, all titles are listed in our online library catalog.

Online Resources

Shrewsbury Genealogy Club logo with tree and family names inside circle

Online Resources provides access to the resources listed below. Note: you must be using a library computer to access

  • New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820 – 1957
  • Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
  • Birth, marriage, and death records for the United States, Canada, the British Isles, and elsewhere
  • U.S. Federal Census records, 1790 – 1940
  • World War I and II draft registration cards
  • and much, much more

Cyndi's List
One of the most comprehensive listings of online genealogical websites, including tutorials for both beginners, and more experienced researchers.

Fold3 provides access to original military records, including service records, registers, rosters, stories, photos, and personal documents. Many of the records come from the U.S. National Archives, The National Archives of the U.K., and other international records. Note: You must be using a library computer to access Fold3.


Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1704 – today. HeritageHub helps you easily identify relatives, uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes deep coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid 1900’s, and original obituary images. Access is available 24/7.

HeritageQuest Online provides web access to:

  • Birth, marriage and death records
  • City directories
  • Family genealogies
  • Genealogical and local history serials
  • Land and probate records
  • Local histories
  • Tax lists
  • U.S. Federal Census records
  • and much more

Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston offers monthly programs, special interest groups, individual help with research, and a comprehensive beginner’s course. We have an extensive collection of research materials and publish an award-winning journal, Mass-Pocha. Presently, all JGSGB programs are offered via Zoom.

Massachusetts National Guard Museum and Archives
Access to historical information for the Massachusetts National Guard Museum and Archives is now provided by the Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Archives and Commonwealth Museum
Located at 220 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125, is adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and the University of Massachusetts Columbia Point campus. The archive and museum houses an interesting archaeological museum of early Massachusetts artifacts. The Massachusetts Archives preserves and makes accessible the essential historical records of state government, and provides assistance to researches.

Church of Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch
One of the largest genealogical database in the world, created and maintained by the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is free to search and use the database, but you will need to create an account to access this resource.

National Archives (NARA)
The official U.S. Government archives repository. The main archive is in Washington, DC, but there are 7 regional branches of NARA around the United States. The Northeast Regional NARA branch is located at 380 Trapelo Road in Waltham, MA. They have the complete US Census records for the entire country; other resources that are available in Waltham are restricted to the northeast region of the US. They are presently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Call 781-663-0144, toll-free 1-866-406-2379, or email with your requests for information. They state that their policy is to ‘respond to all requests within ten (10) business days of their receipt.’

New England Historic Genealogical Society
The oldest such organization in the country, founded in 1845, houses a vast collection of records dating back to Colonial times. Despite the name, it includes data from throughout the United States. is the largest online newspaper archive consisting of 708 million+ pages of historical newspapers from 22,400+ newspapers from around the United States and beyond. Search for obituaries, marriage announcements, birth announcements, social pages, national and local news articles, sports, advertisements, entertainment, fashion and lifestyle pages, comics, and more. Note: You must be using a library computer to access

Shrewsbury Historical Society
Has many documents and artifacts pertaining to Shrewsbury history and families.

TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association)
The Irish Ancestral Research Association is a non-profit organization, promoting the growth, study and exchange of ideas among people and organizations interested in Irish genealogy, historical research, and education. Monthly meetings, conferences, newsletter, and website educate and entertain TIARA members. They also foster interaction with other Irish researchers.

Worcester Public Library
The Worcester Public Library contains a large genealogy collection and research space that is open to the general public. It is also an official Church of Latter Day Saints, FamilySearch Affiliate Library, which gives it access to limited-access FamilySearch databases.