40 Byam Rd.
South Chelmsford, MA
Chelmsford Historical Society
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Voicemail: 978-256-2311
Explore Chelmsford's genealogical resources:
Annual Reports 1875 to 2016
(PDF, 142 books)
Historical Commission website
Births and Baptisms to 1699
(PDF, 17 pages)
Historical Commission website
Cemetery Records to 2007
(PDF, 189 pages)
Historical Commission website
High School Yearbooks to 2017
(PDF, 92 books)
Waters' History of Chelmsford
(PDF, 900 pages)
Digitized by Google Books
Search Newspaper Obituaries
(PDF, 502 pages)
Public Library website
Oral History
(Audio interviews, 61)
Search Burial Records
(Name search page)
Town of Chelmsford
Town Directories
(PDF, 40 books)
Vital Records to 1849
(Surname index page)
Mass. Vital Records Project

Genealogy notes for some of our earliest families:


Henry Adams was the progenitor of the Adams family in America. He was born in Barton David, England and died October 6, 1646 in Braintree, Massachusetts. Henry married Edith Squire and they had nine children. Three of his sons also emigrated, and later moved to Chelmsford: Thomas (1612-1688), Samuel (1616/17-1690), and John (1622-1706).
The Adams obelisk stands at the top of the hill in the center of the burying ground and numerous descendants of Henry Adams are buried in the Forefathers Burying Ground.
This links to information on Thomas Barrett and his descendants (external site WikiTree.com) and was contributed by Brian S. Barrett.
The Brackett family was said to be from Wales. Capt. Richard Bracket, born 1610, was a member of the Boston Church in 1631/2, dismissed to the Braintree Church, Oct. 5, 1641. He is also mentioned in the petition for land, Oct. 1, 1645, along with Edward Spalding. Richard's brother, Peter, born in 1612, Deputy & Magistrate, also lived in Braintree. See also, The Pioneers of Massachusetts, Pope, 1900 and the Brackett Genealogy, by H. I. Brackett.
In 1835, Ezekial Byam was the first to commercially produce Lucifer matches in this country, replacing the flint and tinder method of lighting fires. One hundred matches sold for 25. One lit the match by drawing it through a piece of bent sandpaper. His son, Ezekial, continued the business of manufacturing matches, which is still known as the Diamond Match Company. The following verse was printed on the wrapper:
For quickness and sureness the public will find
These matches will leave all others behind;
Without further remarks we invite you to try 'em,
Remember all good that are signed by E. Byam

George Adams Parkhurst compiled a book, Nights at the Round Table, that contains a short sketch entitled the "Matchmaker." This publication is available through our Museum Shop, along with the Civil War diary of Daniel Byam.


Samuel Fletcher was the son of William Fletcher and Lydia Bates, born in 1656 in Chelmsford. William was one of the proprietors of the town and the first town meeting was held at his house on Crosby Lane, Nov. 22, 1654. The society has genealogical data on the Fletcher family and the two histories of Chelmsford contain considerable information on the early Fletchers.


Richard Hildreth, the ancestor of the New England Hildreths, was born in the north of England in 1605, the year of the Gunpowder Plot, a date fixed by the inscription on his gravestone in Chelmsford, Mass. He was therefore fifteen years
old at the sailing of the Mayflower. The Early Hildreths of New England, written by Arthur Hildreth, was originally privately printed in 1894. It was read before the reunion of the Hildreth family at Chelmsford on June 16th, 1894.
John Kidder of Chelmsford, MA, was born in Cambridge, MA in 1655/6 and died at Chelmsford before Oct. 7, 1731. Additional information was provide by members of this family.
Ezekial Richardson was a follower of Anne Hutchinson and John Wheelwright in 1637 along with many members of the Boston Church during the Antinonmian Controversy. His name was included on the remonstrances in Wheelwright's favor, but was later "erased" when the Court found him guilty of sedition.  Although we do not currently have a copy of this document, it is likely that other persons from Chelmsford also supported Wheelwright.


George Robbins was one of the first settlers of Chelmsford. George Robbins' farm was in the southern part of Chelmsford near Great Brook Farm is located. He owned a mill on Curve Street in Carlisle, MA.


Edward Spalding was progenitor of this family and was residing in Braintree on May 13, 1640. On this day, he became a freeman, meaning he was a member of the established church, entitling him to serve in some governmental capacity, to be a magistrate, to receive land grants, and to serve on a jury. In 1645, his name appeared on the petition for the Chelmsford land grant and he was present at the first town meeting on Nov. 22, 1654.

If you have family information you would like to share with us, please feel to contribute!
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