Resources

If you would like to research the history of Newton or of your house on your own, here are some great resources.

Newton Historical Society

Town Hall Inspectional Services – go to the counter and ask to see the folder for your house.  Old permits will be in there with the owner’s name.  They will let you make copies for a fee.

I am told the City of Newton had a fire in the Town Hall about 100 years ago and a lot of the town’s records burned in that fire which is why there is not much info in most folders.

Middlesex South Registry of Deeds – Look up old Deeds

First, look up your house by address. Find the line item for the most recent deed.  Make note of the Book and Page of the previous deed, which will be mentioned near the end of the deed.  Then switch the search criteria to Book/Page and look up that deed.  Keeping going back this way until the trail runs dry. It will in the early 1900s because at that time, they start saying things like ‘at the end of book….’ or ‘refer to plan created my J.S. Smilie dated May 17, 1926’  At that point, you will have to physically go to the Registry of Deeds to keep following the trail.

Archive of Old Yearbooks and City Directories – Go to Advanced Search  and search on Newtonian for old Yearbooks.  You can search through them online if you want to look for an address or a name.  Some of the older and newer yearbooks don’t have the people’s addresses in them.   Starting in 1961, there are two yearbooks per year – Regulus for Newton South and Newtonian for Newton North so you will have to search on both keywords.

This site also has old City directories.  Most are like the yellow pages, they just list businesses not home addresses.