Welcome to the History of Massachusetts Blog! This site is dedicated to the history of the Bay state.

Massachusetts is a truly historic state. Although it was first colonized in the 17th century, indigenous people have lived in Massachusetts for over ten thousand years.

The 17th century brought a wave of Puritan immigrants into the area while the preceding centuries brought new waves of immigrants. Each century brought more and more change to Massachusetts until it finally evolved into the state that you see today.

The following is an overview of the History of Massachusetts, categorized by century. Each section includes numerous articles about the Massachusetts people, places and events of that century:

17th Century Massachusetts

Massachusetts was colonized in the 17th century. The beginning phase of this colonization was very difficult for the colonists and they suffered many hardships such as disease epidemics, starvation, war, political struggles and a witch hunt brought on by mass hysteria. Although the colonies began as separate, privately-run colonies, by the end of the century the British government took them over and turned them into one large royal colony heavily regulated and ruled by the crown.

This section includes articles on Captain John Smith, the Mayflower, Plymouth Colony, the First Thanksgiving, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Slavery in Massachusetts, the New England Confederation, the Dominion of New England and the Salem Witch Trials.

18th Century Massachusetts

In the 18th century, Massachusetts was still plagued by war, disease epidemics and political strife. The colonies in Massachusetts had become very successful but the colonists continued to struggle with the British government over control of them. This struggle came to a head in the late 18th century and turned into an outright war with Britain.

This section contains articles on the French and Indian War, Salutary Neglect and the American Revolution.

19th Century Massachusetts

The 19th century was a century of growth and change for Massachusetts. Wars raged on in various parts of the country and although many Massachusetts citizens fought in these wars, they did not take place in the state. The industrial revolution brought many factories and manufacturing jobs to Massachusetts and it quickly became the manufacturing hub of the country. State of the art hospitals and medical facilities were established in the state and it soon became the medical mecca of the country as well. With the abundance of ivy league universities and an emphasis on education and literacy, the state also became home to an impressive literary scene which produced a number of notable authors. Various public works projects during this time period also changed the shape, size and the infrastructure of the state permanently. New waves of immigrant also began to pour into Massachusetts during this century, which helped shape the culture.

This section includes articles on the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, Massachusetts writers, immigration history and Massachusetts public works projects, hospitals and etc.

In addition, the site also features a helpful resource page, a library corner, reviews of popular historical attractions in Massachusetts and product recommendations for history books, costumes and more in each related section.

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History of Massachusetts

Thank you for visiting!

13 thoughts on “

  1. Virginia

    Was anyone living in Massachusetts in 1577? I have some genealogy here that says one of my ancestors was born in 1577 in Scituate, MA. Is that possible???

  2. MA DJ Kellogg

    Virginia, did you try ancestry.com? I’ve used them and I was able to trace my family back to the 1700s here in Massachusetts.

  3. Geoff

    Many years ago, i found a website that showed two brothers having my surname were recorded as signing an Oath of Allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I think in the 18th century. Can anyone suggest a web site that might allow me find this information again?

    1. Rebecca Beatrice Brooks Post author

      Perhaps it was J.L. Bell’s blog: Boston 1775. Or maybe it was a site belonging to one of the local historical organizations like the Massachusetts Historical Society.

  4. Janet Turner

    This is not a comment. It’s an inquiry:

    My grandfather was born in Northampton,Ma. in 1884. I was trying to find the schools he might have gone to. He later beame a pharmacist and had a rug store in Springfield,Ma. I wondered where he might have gotten his education.

  5. Martha

    I would like to determine which of the Browns who have been present in Massachusetts since Peter on the Mayflower, are my ancestors. How do I begin to ascertain this? Thanks for any suggestions.

    1. Rebecca Beatrice Brooks Post author

      Hi Martha, the best way to do that is to check out one of the genealogy sites like ancestry.com. Start by looking up your parents and grandparents and then go from there.


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