Holmes Ammidown History Room

The Ammidown History Room contains the Ammidown Collection, the local history and genealogy collections, and various collections of photographs identified as the Pease, Tucci, Eaton, and Hebert collections. The Ammidown Collection is an 18th century gentleman's library. It belonged to Holmes Ammidown, a prominent early citizen of Southbridge.

Patrons wishing to access the collections in the Ammidown Room are welcome to browse the online catalog. Library staff will retrieve specific items from the Ammidown Room for patron use in the reference area of the library. Patrons will need photo identification. Decisions to photocopy Ammidown materials will be made by the staff based on the condition and conservation needs of the material. Patrons are welcome to take a photograph.

Library staff will try to accommodate all reasonable requests. It may be necessary in some instances to consult with the Reference Librarian for assistance with some research and genealogical requests. Patrons are invited to set up an appointment with the Reference Librarian, who may not be available on a walk-in basis. Please call the library at 508-764-5426 x105 or email refjel@cwmars.org for more information.

A number of local history resources, including maps, are available online in digital format. For a bibliography of these items, as well as other resources that may be helpful to you, see here.

Obituary Searches

Patrons may search for obituaries through our newspaper archive, available in microfilm format, during normal library hours. A charge of $0.20 per paper copy is applied, if needed. You may also create a PDF at no charge. Please note the newspaper archives are not indexed, so having an exact date of death is recommended.

If you are unable to come to the library to search yourself, you may submit an obituary request. As the archived newspapers are not indexed, the exact date of death must be submitted with search requests. Please also include the full name of the deceased, and any other relevant information. Due to limited staff time, please limit to no more than three obituaries per request, and allow 2-3 weeks for a response.

Please email requests to refjel@cwmars.org, or call the Reference Department at 508-764-5426 x105.

Local Newspaper Collection

Microfilm access is provided to the following Southbridge newspapers:

  • Southbridge Journal: Feb. 22, 1861 - Dec. 1900 (Also available online here)
  • Southbridge Herald: Jan. 1902 - Mar. 7, 1929
  • Southbridge Press: Oct. 1853 - May 1858; Jan. 1904 - Dec. 1940
  • Southbridge News: Aug. 27, 1923 - Present

Current copies the Southbridge Evening News are available at the Information Desk on the Main Level; back issues are maintained until a microfilm record is created.  The Library maintains six weeks of back issues of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Genealogy Databases

The Library provides access to Ancestry Library Edition. This database can only be accessed at the Library. You may use our public computers, or your own laptop to access. Please see library staff with questions.

Ancestry Library Edition provides the following information:

U.S. collections deliver hundreds of millions of names from sources such as federal and U.S. censuses; birth, death, and marriage records including the Social Security Death Index; and U.S. border crossing and trans-ocean ship records.

Canadian collections provide nearly 60 million records from the Census of Canada; and key vital records, such as the Drouin Collection (1621-1967), which includes nearly 30 million baptism, marriage, and burial records from Quebec.

U.K. collections offer censuses for England, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and Scotland, with nearly 200 million records; Births and Baptisms (1834-1906), Marriage Licenses (1521-1869), Deaths and Burials (1834-1934), and Poor Law Records (1840-1938) in London; and more.

Other international collections continue to grow with more than 46 million records from German census, vital records, emigration indexes, ship lists, phone directories, and more; Chinese surnames in the large and growing Jiapu Collection of Chinese lineage books; Jewish family history records from Eastern Europe and Russia; and more.

Military collections deliver over 150 million records containing information often not found elsewhere; and includes records from the colonial to the Vietnam era.

Multimedia collections deliver millions of files ranging from family and gravestone photos to postcards and newsreels.

Local Cemeteries

Morse Cemetery (1787)
Crops Road, on corner of Tipton Rock Rd and North Woodstock Rd., Route 169

St. Mary's Cemetery
Charlton Street, at the side of the Elementary School
Tel:(508) 764-3226 - Rectory

Sacred Heart Cemetery
Charlton Street, at the side of the Elementary School

The cemetery on Charlton Street is shared by three parishes; Sacred Heart, St Mary's and Old Notre Dame. Sacred Heart has the section of the graveyard to the back at the extreme left of the cemetery. In this section, the headstones are flat and not visible from a distance.

Oak Ridge Cemetery (1801)
Main Street - access is from Oak Ridge Street and Cohasse Street. Managed by the Town of Southbridge: Dept. of Public Works
Tel: (508) 765-5403 - Ron Trudeau, Operations Manager

St Hedwig's Cemetery
North Woodstock Road (Rt. 169)
Tel:(508) 764-6947 - Rectory at 29 Summer Street

New Notre Dame Cemetery
North Woodstock Rd (Rt. 169) - see below*

Old Notre Dame Cemetery
Charlton St, at the side of the Elementary School - see below*

St. George's Cemetery
Paige Hill Road - see below*

St. Anne's (Fiskdale) - see below* Prior to 1955, burials took place in a cemetery on the Brimfield line but after the flood the remains were exhumed and buried at the cemetery on Arnold Road, Sturbridge. 

*These four cemeteries are managed by the Diocesen Cemetery System, whose office is located at St. John's Cemetery, 206 Cambridge Street, Worcester, MA 01603. They can be reached at 508-757-7415.

Veteran Burials in Southbridge - List of Veterans buried at Oak Ridge, Morse Neighborhood, & Pratt Cemeteries. Includes Veterans of Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish American War, and World War I.

Vital Records

Microfilm access to the index cards for Southbridge vital records is provided through the Jacob Edwards Library.  Please contact the Adult Reference Services Department at refjel@cwmars.org or 508-764-5426 for further information.

The Town Clerk of the Town of Southbridge maintains official vital records. In order to access a record in Southbridge, the birth, death or marriage had to occur in the Town of Southbridge. A certified copy of any record held by the Town of Southbridge may be obtained from the Town Clerk's office at the cost of $5.00 per record. 

Town Clerk Office
Town Hall
41 Elm Street
Southbridge, MA  01550

For state-wide certified copies, use of public indices, examining records, record restrictions, and genealogical research facilities:

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics collects, processed, correct and issues copies of birth, death and marriage records that occur in Massachusetts. Information about divorces is also collected.

Massachusetts Department of Health & Human Services
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Fl.
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Main Telephone: (617) 740-2600

E-mail: vital.recordsrequest@state.ma.us