Research guide

This page is dedicated to helping you conduct local historical research, with or without our assistance. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. To navigate within this page, click on the desired heading below:

1. The WHS archive database
2. The WHS library
3. Local genealogy
4. Conducting your own local research
5. Other online resources and links

1. THE WHS ARCHIVE DATABASE

The WHS archive database is accessed on a separate webpage: Click here to access the WHS archive database.

2. THE WHS LIBRARY

For the many books and DVDs published by the Worthington Historical Society, please click here to visit our Publications & DVDs page.

WHS has other books about Worthington and neighboring communities, along with state and federal documents and a number of titles on searchable CDs. Links are provided for some items listed below. Please contact us if you wish to see any other items.

Books and CDs about Worthington, in part or in full

—The ABC’s of Pioneer Valley, Western Massachusetts. Pioneer Valley Association, 1976.
The Edgerton Papers. Scans of original documents related to the founding and early settlement of Worthington. 5 CDs.
—The Hampshire History: Celebrating 300 Years of Hampshire County Massachusetts. Compiled by Lawrence Wikander, Helen Terry, and Mark Kiley. Northampton, MA: Hampshire County Commissioners, 1964.
—Hilltown Business Directory. Hilltown Community Development Corporation, 1984.
—Historic Hampshire in the Connecticut Valley. By Clifton Johnson. Springfield, MA: Milton Bradley Co., 1932.
History of the Town of Worthington, From Its First Settlement to 1874. Springfield, MA: Clark W. Bryan & Co., 1874. The volume includes Secular History of Worthington to 1854, by James C. Rice; Ecclesiastical History of Worthington to July 1, 1853 and Continuation of the Ecclesiastical History of Worthington From 1853 to 1874, by J. H. Bisbee; and Secular History of the Town of Worthington from 1853 to 1874, by C. K. Brewster.
The South Worthington Parish. By the Rev. George Reed Moody, 1899-1905.
Vital Records of Worthington Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911.
The Western Hampshire Highlands Massachusetts. Western Hampshire Board of Trade, 1912.

Periodical Articles about Worthington, in part or in full

Colton, John W., “Golden Opportunities in Our Hill Towns,” Western New England 1/6-7, May and June 1911.  This magazine was published by the Springfield Board of Trade.
—Hitchcock, Theron B., “Our Home Towns, Worthington,”  Western Massachusetts Hi-Lines 12/1 (June 1956). This magazine was published by the Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

Books about the Hilltowns and nearby

Becket Sons in a Massachusetts Settlement of New Connecticut. By Cathaline Alford Archer. Northford, CT: L. W. Gibbons, 1954.
—A Bicentennial History of Becket, Berkshire County, Massachusetts (incorporated June 21, 1765), by Cathaline Alford Archer and Mitchell J. Mulholland and others, Becket Historical Society. Pittsfield, MA: Eagle Publishing, 1965.
—Early Vital Records of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden & Hampshire Counties, Mass. to about 1850, vital records for many towns. Hampshire towns are Cummington, Middlefield, Pelham and Plainfield. The Berkshire towns are Adams, Alford, Becket, Dalton, Great Barrington, Hinsdale, Lanesboro, Lee, Lenox, New Marlboro, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge Tryringham, W. Stockbridge, Washington, WEilliamstown, Windsor and New Ashford. The Franklin towns are Ashfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Greenfield, Heath, Montague, New Salem, Shelburne and Whately and the Hampden towns are Agawam, Brimfield, Chester, Chicopee, E. Longmeadow, Granville, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Montgomery, Palmer, Springfield, W. Springfield and Wilbraham. CD.
—A Gift from the Past, Nellie E. Haskell’s History of Otis, Massachusetts, edited by Lynn Humason Wood, 1st edition, K & R Printers, Ellington, Conn, 1974. 104 pp, brown on cream, with photographs, map of Otis in 1849. Includes newspaper article about the book.
—A History of Cummington, Massachusetts, 1779-1979, by Olive Thayer, signed by Olive Thayer. spiral bound, Quality Printing Company, Pittsfield, 1979, 61 pages of text, lots of black and white photos.
—A History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts, 1762-1962, by Town of Chesterfield, Bicentenniel Genealogy Committee, 1962. Includes a variety of short clippings about the publication and article from 12/29/86 about Stanton Hall and proposed oral history porject. 427 pp plus names index.
—A History of Leverett Massachusetts, 1774-1974, Leverett Bicentennial Committee, 1974. Gazette Printing Company, 1974.
—A History of the Town of Middlefield Massachusetts, by Edward Philip and Theodore Smith, 1924, private publication.
—History of the Town of Plainfield, Hampshire County, Mass., From its Settlement to 1891, including a genealogical history of twenty-three of the original settlers and their descendents, with anecdotes and sketches, by Charles N. Dyer, Press of Gazette Publishing Co., Northhampton, MA, 1891.
—History of the Town of Sunderland Massachusetts, 1899-1954″, Vol. II, by Arthur W. Hubbard, Ruth C. Warner and Benjamin J. Toczydlowski and genealogies by Fred C. Warner, no date, pre-1966. Includes genealogical index.
—The 150th Anniversary of the Town of Dalton, Massachusetts, 1784-1934, Eagle Press, Pittsfield.
—Lanesborough Massachusetts, The Story of a Wilderness Settlement, 1765-1965, by Framces S. Martin, 1965, Eagle Printing, Pittsfield, signed by author. 
—Lenox, Massachusetts Shire Town, by David H. Wood, published by Town, 1969.
—”A Little History of Indian Hollow near Huntington, Massachusetts” by Elizabeth Hartley, Orlando, Florida, 1934. Typewritten manuscript
—Map of the County of Berkshire, 1858. Copy of wall map, with homeowner names next to house location. Each town has its own page. CD
—Middlefield History, A sequel to ‘A History of the Town of Middlefield, Massachusetts’ published in 1924 by Edward Church Smith and Philip Mack Smith, by Mary E. Sternagle and Henry S.C. Cummings, Jr., privately printed, 1985.
—Picturesque Hampshire, supplement to the Quarter-Centennial-Journal, 1890, Northampton.
—Richmond, Massachusetts, The Story of a Berkshire Town and Its People, 1765-1965, by Katharine Huntington Annin, Richmond Civic Association, 1964.
—Southampton, Newtown on the Manhan, An history of the Town called Southampton, in the County of Hampshire, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, formerly the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, compiled and published under the direction of William F. Czelusniak, edited by Dorothy Andrews and Amellia Malanson, illustrations edited by Theodore L. Hendrick,” 1975, published by the Southampton Bicentennial Committee.
—Tracing the Telephone in Western Massachusetts 1877-1930, edited and compiled by Clark M. Wilson, 1959, self published.
—Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Incorporation of Chesterfield, Mass., 1762-1962, by the Bicentennial Commmittee, Gazette Printing Company, 1962.
—The Vital Records of Cummington Massachusetts, 1762-1900, by William W. Streeter. Daphne H. Morris, self published, 1979.
—200th Anniversary Celebration – Town of Windsor, Compliments of Mr. and Mrs. W. Henry Estes, Windsor, MA.

Periodical articles about the Hilltowns and nearby

“The Hope of the Hill Towns: What Trolly Extension into this Section Will Mean.” By John Dayton Willard. In Western New England 2/1 (Jan 1912).

Miscellaneous reference materials and CDs

—”1890 Union Veterans Special Census,” Hampshire County, Massachusetts, CD
—Early Maps of Massachusetts, assorted maps. CD.
—Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, 1874. CD
—Lyndon Vermont, Annual Report, 1974, softcover
—The Roots of Rural Capitalism: Western Massachusetts 1780-1860, by Christopher Clark, 1990, Cornell University Press, softcover

Books About Archives and Maintaining Archival Collections

—The Care of Prints and Drawings, by Margaret Ellis Holben, 1996, AltaMira Press.
—Caring for American Indian Objects: A Practical and Cultural Guide, edited by Sherelyn Ogden, 2004, Minnesota History Society Press.
—Caring for Your Family Treasures, by Jane Long and Richard Long, 2000, Heritage Preservation, Inc.
—Connecting to Collections: A Guide to Online Resources, Heritage Preservation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2007, CD
—Field Guide to Emergency Response, Heritage Preservation, Inc., 2006.
—Framework for Preservation of Museum Collections, Canadian Conservation Institute, 2004, Canadian Heritage.
—The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping, The National Trust, 2006, Elsevier Butterwork-Heinemann.
—The Nature of Conservation: A Race Against Time, by Philip Ward, 1986, The Getty Conservation Institute.
—Photographs: Archival Care and Management, by Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Diane Vogt-O’Connor, 2006, Society of American Archivists.

3. LOCAL GENEALOGY

The WHS has a growing amount of genealogical information about Worthington residents and their families throughout the town’s history.

A good first step is to click here for a PDF of Vital Records of Worthington, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, 1911.

Two other useful titles – both freely accessible to the public in PDF form – are Secular History of the Town of Worthington: From Its First Settlement to 1854, by James C. Rice, and The South Worthington Parish, by Rev. George Reed Moody, published in 1905.

If you would like assistance with genealogical research on Worthington family or friends, please email Pat Kennedy or Diane Brenner.

4. CONDUCTING YOUR OWN LOCAL RESEARCH

This is a work in progress; please check back with us later. Eventually we plan to include information on local library and archival collections; where to find vital records, land deeds, and other local public records; and so on.

5. OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES AND LINKS

Town of Worthington
Town of Worthington web site
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Worthington page
Wikipedia entry for Worthington
Jonathan Woodbridge House

Books about Worthington
History of the Town of Worthington, From Its First Settlement to 1874, by James C. Rice, the Rev. J. H. Bisbee, and C. K. Brewster)
The South Worthington Parish, by Rev. George Reed Moody, published 1905
Vital Records of Worthington, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850

Videos relating to Worthington
Russell H. Conwell “Acres of Diamonds” speech
1971 Eastern Snowmobile Race
1990 TV segment on Corners Grocery, starring Brad Fisk and Pete Packard (16:30 to 23:45)

The Hilltowns
Ashfield Historical Society
Chester Historical Society
Cummington Historical Commission
Huntington Historical Society
Plainfield Historical Society
Hidden Hills: Business, Real Estate, Tourism and Community Events in the Hilltowns
The Hilltown Community Development Corporation

Western Massachusetts
Amherst Historical Society
Berkshire Historical Society, Pittsfield
Berkshire Family History Association, Pittsfield
Historic Deerfield
Pioneer Valley History Network
Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Springfield

Massachusetts and New England
Historic New England
Massachusetts Historical Commission
Mass Home – unofficial state website with lots of links to helpful organizations
New England Historical and Genealogical Society ($)
UMass Department of History Blog
Preservation Massachusetts YouTube channel

Genealogy Sites
Ancestry.com ($)
Cyndi’s List of Genealogical Resoures
Department of Veterans Affairs, Burials & Memorials
Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty Foundation
Family Search
Find A Grave
Immigrant Ship Transcribers Guild
Cemetery Records Online
National Archives Genealogy
National Archives, Pittsfield
Obituary Links Page, state-by-state directory of obituary resources
RootsWeb genealogical site
U.S. GenWeb Project

Other Resources and Reference Sites
American Association for State and Local History
American Historical Association
Association for Gravestone Studies
Library of Congress
National Trust for Historic Preservation
New York Public Library Digital Library
Society of American Archivists
Society Hill Directory — Directory of US, Canadian and Australian historical societies

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