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Medford Municipal Records Collection

Since the Spring of 2021, over 100 books from the reference collection of the Medford Historical Society and Museum have been scanned, digitized, converted to searchable PDF format, and are now made available to the public for research purposes.

The original printed versions of these documents did not have indexes, making searching for specific information difficult. These scanned volumes now can be searched for a name, a street, an occupation, or any other search criterion.

Please note: This is an on-going project. Additional files will be added as they are prepared.

DIRECTORIES in the MHSM Collection
Directories of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Societies, Etc. Etc. in Medford.

For the years 1838-1892, these documents consist of Municipal expenses, receipts, annual reports, and lists of taxpayers. A few years (1875, 1880, 1885, and 1890) also include extensive lists of the properties owned — including locations, square footage, basic descriptions — and the taxes paid by each taxpayer. Starting with the establishment of the City form of government in 1892, taxpayers were listed in a separate annual volume (“Persons Assessed a Poll Tax”), first listed by Precinct, and then by Ward. Also included here is one separate Annual Report of the School Committee for 1846-47.

When Medford became a City in 1892, a separate annual report was made listing the names of those paying a “poll tax” or “head tax,” a standard minimum tax which was levied on every adult male resident. It had nothing to do with the ability to vote. Poll tax payers were listed by Precinct in 1892 and by Ward starting in 1893. Some volumes missing from the MHSM collection can be found at the Medford Public Library. These books are sometimes known as the “Medford List of Persons” books. Starting in 1921 they also listed female residents.

Handwritten lists of Medford taxpayers, by street. Only 3 volumes exist in the MHSM Collection and, being handwritten, are not searchable.