Skip to main content

0300. City Clerk, Office of the

 Record Group
Identifier: 0300
The first mention of a Town Recorder is the following action of the Selectmen, July 5, 1641: “Our brother John Oliver (a selectman) is chosen Treasurer for the Towne, and to keep the Towne’s booke.” From 1693 to 1822, the custodian of the Town records was called the Town Clerk. Section 10 of Chapter 110 of the Acts of 1821 stated that the City Clerk shall have all the powers, and perform all the duties belonging to the Town Clerk of the Town of Boston. As provided by the City Charter, the City Clerk of Boston is elected by the City Council for a term of three years. The Office of the Clerk, under the direction of the City Clerk, accepts, files, records, and maintains all municipal records. The City Clerk publishes the agenda for all City Council meetings, records all Council and related Mayor actions, and edits and compiles the minutes of Council meetings. The Department also maintains the City Council document system database and publishes, on a yearly basis, all ordinances and amended codes. The City Clerk is also responsible for overseeing the work of the Archives Commission. Services to the public include the sale of various licenses and permits, notarizing and attesting to documents and filing, recording and copying papers in the custody of the Clerk. Services to City government consist of providing informational resources and technical assistance, administration of the state's open meeting law, administration of oaths of office, attestation of various legal papers and custody of records. The Archives Commission oversees the protection of City records, files and other items of historic interest.

Found in 81 Collections and/or Records:

Record of active militia and venires

 Item — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001234]
Identifier: 0300.029
Scope and Contents

Chapter 313 of the Acts of 1873 sections 17 and 112 (an Act Concerning the Militia) provided that no soldier or officer shall be liable to jury duty while in the active militia service and ordered the ancient and honorable artillery company to furnish annually to the Mayor and Aldermen with sworn rolls of all active members belonging to the company for this purpose. Includes one volume of active militia and venires exempt from jury duty, 1874-1884.

Dates: 1874-1884

Record of Army and Navy enlistments from Boston

Identifier: 0300.017
Scope and Contents

Army and Navy enlistments on Boston's quota, 1861-1865 and re-enlistments and transfers of soldiers, seamen and officers, 1861-1865.

Dates: 1861-1865

Record of confirmation and removal of officeholders

 Item — Volume 1
Identifier: 0300.020
Scope and Contents

An ordinance passed 28 December 1854 required appointments by the Mayor and Aldermen or by the Mayor on advice and consent of the Aldermen be sent to the City Clerk to record in a book. Includes name, office, date confirmed and date removed.

Dates: 1855 January-1876 January

Record of fees

 Item — Box SB - 040: [Barcode: 00001249]
Identifier: 0300.031
Scope and Contents

Record of fees received by the City Clerk's office, 1858-1893: also includes list of property found, 1885-1901, at end of volume.

Dates: 1858-1901 with gaps

Record of forms of notice

 Item — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001185]
Identifier: 0300.021
Scope and Contents

City Clerk's record book of forms of notifications relating to lists of voters, elections etc. Also includes transcriptions of oaths administered by City Clerk.

Dates: circa 1850s

Record of liens on vessels

Identifier: 0301.020
Scope and Contents

According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 255 Section 15, liens on vessels must be filed in the City Clerk's office within thirty days after the vessel departs from the port at which she was when the debt was contracted. Includes 8 volumes of recorded liens, 1874 1940 and 3 index volumes, 1874-1982.

Dates: 1874-1982

Record of names, marks and devices

Identifier: 0301.022
Scope and Contents note

According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 110, Sections 17 and 21, names, marks or devices on cans, bottles, milk bottles etc. may be registered by filing with the City Clerk. Includes index volume for 1893-1900, index cards for 1924-1941 and applications filed chronologically.

Dates: 1893-1941

Records of joint stock companies

Identifier: 0301.023
Scope and Contents

Includes two volumes of corporation records filed with the City Clerk, 1865-1871 and three index volumes, 1851-1871.

Dates: 1851-1871

Records of qualifications (oaths of office)

Identifier: 0300.002
Scope and Contents note This collection includes records of oaths sworn by Elected Officials, Major Officers, Minor Officers and Police Officers. The volumes include the oath sworn on the conditions expressed by the Statutes of the Commonwealth and the Ordinances of the City along with the signatures of those taking the oath. The Elected Officials volumes include the Mayor and City Council members. School committee members and the Suffolk County Register of Deeds are included in the 1938-2004 Elected Officials...
Dates: 1858-2004

Register of tax notice

 Series — Volume 1
Identifier: 0301.025
Scope and Contents

Massachusetts General Laws chapter 60, sec. 39, states if a mortgagee or an owner of land causes a notice, designating a place in the town where such land lies at which all papers relative to taxes on such land which are to be served on him may be left, is to be recorded in January of any year in the office of the clerk of such town and, during said month, to be delivered to the collector. Includes one volume of notices filed with the City Clerk's Office from 1903-1936.

Dates: 1903-1936

Registration of cropped dog ears

 Series — Box SB - 016
Identifier: 0301.027
Scope and Contents

Chapter 347 of the Acts of 1928 required filing with the City Clerk's Office of dogs whose ears were cropped or cut off prior to September 1, 1928 or amputated by a veterinarian. Includes notices filed 1928-1941.

Dates: 1928-1941


Identifier: 0301.017
Scope and Contents

According to Sections 8, 21, and 70 of Chapter 12 of the Massachusetts General Laws, physicians, chiropodists and optometrists are required to register with the City Clerk. Includes Physician certificates, 1917-1998; Chiropodist certificates, 1917-1946; and Optometrist certificates, 1920-1958.

Dates: 1917-1998

Religious Societies filings

Identifier: 0301.010
Scope and Contents

Articles of incorporation of Religious Societies filed with the City Clerk. Filing with the City Clerk was discontinued by Section 15 of Chapter 291 of the Acts of 1918.

Dates: 1841-1916

Requests for exclusion of property from pesticide application

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001244]
Identifier: 0301.052
Dates: circa 1984-1986

Residence affidavits

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 0301.040
Dates: 1973-1990

Returns of votes cast

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 0301.026
Scope and Contents

Returns of votes cast for presidential electors, county offices, amendments and city offices filed with the City Clerk's Office.

Dates: 1822-1860 with gaps

Rules and regulations filed with the City Clerk

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001169]
Identifier: 0301.047
Dates: circa 1979-1996

Street railway locations

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001265]
Identifier: 0301.018
Scope and Contents

Includes printed copies of street railway locations granted, 1869-1942 and one index volume of location plans filed with the City Clerk's Office, 1835-1960.

Dates: 1835-1960

Testimonial to Capt. R. B. Forbes from Citizens of Cork, Ireland

 Item — Box 1
Identifier: 0300.009
Scope and Contents On 18 February 1847, a meeting of citizens in Faneuil Hall passed a resolution of sympathy with the people of Ireland suffering from the famine and appointed a committee to receive contributions. The Secretary of the Navy placed the naval vessel the Jamestown at the disposal of the Committee. On 27 March 1847, the vessel under the command of Capt. R. B. Forbes of Boston and loaded with provisions sailed for Ireland. The document is a testimonial to Capt. R. B. Forbes from the Citizens of...
Dates: 1847

U.S. Service Men's discharges

Identifier: 0301.016
Dates: 1920-1996

Warrants issued for General Meetings

Identifier: 0300.007
Scope and Contents note

Warrants issued for General Meetings, 1825-1836. Includes warrants, petitions, notifications and copies of acts.

Dates: 1825-1836