House History Research

Medway, Massachusetts

For Locals

If you are local to Medway, take advantage of these resources at the Medway Public Library. They provide “one-stop shopping” for all your house history research!


You can access for free by using the computers in the Medway (MA) Library. You can also access the other resources in the Local History Room.

Local History Room

The Local History Room at the Medway Public Library contains many resources for Medway and Massachusetts. You’ll vital record books, annual reports, yearbooks, residents lists, maps, military references, and much more. Check in with the library staff to get access to the room. And bring a sweater – it’s generally cold!

Online From Home

These other databases you can access from home after signing into your library account: The Boston Globe (1980-present), The Boston Herald Collection (1848-present), The New York Times (1985-present) and HeritageQuest Online which includes U.S. Census records, family and local history books, Revolutionary War records and Canada Census records.

Deed Research

Deed research is the first step in your house history research project.


Grantor – the person selling the property
Grantee – the person buying the property

You want to start with the current deed to your house. The one created when you purchased your house. On that deed you are listed as the grantee. The person who sold you the property is the grantor. You can look up the book and page number on the Medway Assessors Database or by searching for your name in Norfolk County Registry of Deeds (online).

Deed research is easiest when you create a deed chart to keep track of each deed for each owner of your house. You can create your own or use these: Deed Template in MS Word and Deed Template pdf.

You can search for deeds online at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds from 1794 to present. If your house was built before 1794 you can search the earlier deeds in the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds.

You can also find Massachusetts deeds from 1900 and earlier on (you will need to create a free account). These typically have better image quality than the one at the Registry of Deeds.

Medway Maps


The Medway Historical Society has old photos of many houses in town. Contact us to see if we can find an old photo of your house.

Also, here’s a list of “The Top 10 Places to Find Old Photos of Your House

Census Records

Once you have the names of the owners you can start searching for them in the US Census.

The U.S. Federal Census records were created every 10 years starting in 1790 and are currently accessible through 1950 (with the exception of 1890 which got destroyed). Census records will give you details about who lived in your house as well as information such as where/when they were born, their occupation, and much more.

Access census records here:

Massachusetts also has two state censuses for 1855 and 1865 providing further information.

MA 1855 State Census: and

MA 1865 State Census: and