Wednesday, December 07, 2005

1630-1855 Records

The Middlesex North Registry of Deeds opened its doors in July of 1855. Prior to that all records for our ten communities (Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford, Wilmington) were held in the Middlesex Registry of Deeds in Cambridge (we now call this registry Middlesex South). When Middlesex North opened, these records were copied by hand and sent to the new registry here in Lowell. These old “Middlesex South” records contain documents from 1630 to 1855. Recently we began to explore possible ways of digitizing these records and making them available both on the Internet and CDs. Their value to genealogists and historians particularly can’t be overstated. They are organized in an unconventional manner for registry records. The records consist of thirty-eight index books (Grantor & Grantee) and 244 “record books". The record books are organized and labeled according to “town”. So if you were looking for a deed from John Trull to John Kittredge on a parcel of land in Tewksbury you look in the main index for the title reference but would find the deed in a “Tewksbury Record Book”. Each town’s books start with “one” and the series usually contains about twenty books. Lowell is the exception; it has eighty books. We estimate that these records consist of approximately 150,000 images. We will keep you informed on developments regarding scanning these historical records.

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