How to Find Out the History of Your House and Lot

The following article was originally published on the Jamaica Plain Historical Society and being republished with permission from JPHS. A Guide to Boston Information Sources
Since records for your house and lot go by city and county respectively, any JP resident checking on these topics must be aware of our area’s history. Jamaica Plain has never been a separate political entity but rather a part of the Town of Roxbury from its founding in 1630 until 1851, when it became a part of the Town of West Roxbury during its existence from 1851 until 1874. When that town was annexed by Boston in 1874, all the municipal records of West Roxbury were taken over by the City of Boston, which had already annexed Roxbury in 1868. In the matter of counties also Jamaica Plain has gone back and forth—a rarity in Massachusetts cities and towns.


Remarkable Photos of Leon Abdalian

Rescheduled from spring 2020, this Jamaica Plain Historical Society talk will now be held virtually. The photographer Leon Hampartzoum Abdalian was born in 1884 in what was Cilician Armenia, then located in the Ottoman Empire (now modern Turkey). He migrated with his family to the United States in April of 1896 and they eventually settled in Jamaica Plain. It is believed that he was largely self-taught as a photographer. For most of the time he was photographing (1913 -1967) he also worked full-time as a conductor on the Boston Elevated Railway.

The History of 101 Carolina Avenue

At the corner of Carolina Avenue and Lee Street in Jamaica Plain sits a charming cottage on an unusually large parcel of land for the surrounding neighborhood. This house, at 101 Carolina Avenue, was the first to be built on the street. Though significant for its age, also important is the role it played in the history of Jamaica Plain and the development of the field of social work. Between 1853, when the house was constructed, and 1913, most of the owners and occupants of 101 Carolina Avenue were related by marriage, blood, or business ties. In 1913, the house transformed from a single-family home into the home of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood House Association, a settlement house that served the working people of Jamaica Plain and the influx of immigrants moving into the neighborhood.


Jamaica Plain Historical Society Annual Members’ Event

This year the annual Jamaica Plain Historical Society members’ event will be a virtual meeting held on Zoom. We won’t be able to share our usual repast with the members, but we will provide the report on the past year’s activities and, of course, conduct the annual JP history trivia quiz. The event will provide a time to socialize (virtually) with your fellow JPHS members. Members, please look for your invitation in the mail which will include the details on how to participate. This event is only open to active members of the Jamaica Plain Historical Society.

JPHS: Immigration & Naturalization – Online Webinar

This is a Jamaica Plain Historical Society event
For many family historians, a time comes when they need to research their ancestor’s country of origin. Knowing what resources exist and how to find them can be particularly challenging when first beginning this search. Naturalization records are important resources for these family historians. Often these records provide the immigrant’s origins, age or birth date, and approximate arrival to the U.S. In this lecture, Rhonda R. McClure, Senior Genealogist at American Ancestors and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, will go over what records exist, how to search them, and where to locate essential resources when researching your immigrant ancestor. Rhonda R. McClure, Senior Genealogist, is a nationally recognized professional genealogist and lecturer.