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Massachusetts Civil Service
1775 - 1783




In addition to military and patriotic service, the DAR also accepts civil service for establishing an ancestor as a Revolutionary War patriot.  Thousands of men in Massachusetts served in some type of civil capacity during the American Revolution.  Town meeting minutes from 1775-1783 for the majority of Massachusetts towns are now online.  In addition, officials for 175 towns from 1775-1783 have been documented in the DAR Genealogical Records Committee (GRC) reports.  Thus, if the meeting minutes for your ancestor's town have not been digitized, you can look up your ancestor in the GRC reports.  This page provides instructions on how to identify whether your Massachusetts ancestor is listed as having served in a civil capacity.




The first step is to identify the name of the Massachusetts town(s) where your ancestor resided from 1775 to 1783.  

Next, click here to look up your town. Towns with online records will have a link.  NOTE:  If there is a link for your ancestor's town, search the online records rather than the GRC reports as the online records often have many more town officials and committee members listed than the GRC reports. 

Annual elections in most towns took place in March.  Because the official start date for eligible service is 19 Apr 1775 and because most men elected in March 1775 would have been serving in their elected positions in late April 1775, the online records are linked to the page containing the minutes for March 1775.  Review the town meeting minutes from March 1775 - 26 November 1783 for your ancestor's name.  Be sure to check for committee assignments and other types of civil service in addition to service as an elected town official.

If your ancestor's town is listed but it does NOT have a link, you will need to write down the GRC series, volume, and page numbers associated with your ancestor's town.  For example, the town of Amesbury is listed as s1 v33 pages 17-28, and the town of Beverly is listed as s1 v25 pages 56-71

After identifying the GRC series, volume, and page numbers for your ancestor's town, the next step is to search the DAR GRC Index.  
Click here for a demonstration. 

The instructions for searching the DAR GRC Index are below.  Click here to search the DAR GRC Index.

  1. Click the drop down arrow next to All States and Countries and select Massachusetts.

  2. Type the surname (last name) of your ancestor in the Surname box.  
  3. Type the first name of your ancestor in the First Name box.

  4. Type  s1  in the Series box.

  5. Type the volume number (e.g.,  v35, v37, etc. ) in the Volume box.

  6. Click the Search button.

  7. Review your results.  If your ancestor's name appears, verify that the page number(s) listed for him in the results are the same as the page numbers listed for his town of residence.

If you locate one or more GRC reports of interest, you may order up to 10 pages of records from the DAR Library. The fee for DAR members is $10.00.  For nonmembers, the fee is $15.00.  Click here for the form for ordering a GRC report.  Be sure to provide the entire citation for the record/records of interest. This would include the name in the index, the state (Massachusetts), series number (s1), volume number and pages of interest.  For more information on ordering records, click here and scroll to "Photocopy Service" near the bottom of the page.

NOTE:  Because some of the GRC pages do not state the name of the town, it is recommended that you order all the pages for your ancestor's town up to and including the page where your ancestor's name appears.  For example, if your ancestor's name appears on page 15 for the town of Adams (pages 12-16), it is recommended that you order pages 12, 13, 14, & 15.


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