Historical Documents

Resources in Town Departments

Board of Assessors

Plat maps. A map representing a piece of land subdivided into lots with streets, boundaries, easements, property dimensions and placement, and parcel ID. Property ownership is usually recorded on the plat maps and made part of the public record. The Board of Assessors has the responsibility to maintain the plat maps of the Town. Available: WPL: Reference Room, data up to 1999. Assessor's Office, Current data.

See also Online Mapping

Assessors Current Property Database

The Board of Assessors contracts with Patriot Properties, Inc to provide an online comprehensive current property listing service as a public service to the Town. Properties can be searched by street name, owner name, or parcel ID. Updated annually with current values and assessments.

Current records and plat maps are in the Assessors' office in Town Hall. For real estate transactions and deeds see also the Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds described in the next entry. Available: Online at http://winchester.patriotproperties.com/default.asp

Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds

208 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA.
The Middlesex South Registry of Deeds is the recording office for documents affecting title to real estate located in the southern district of Middlesex County. Documents that are in compliance with Massachusetts law are accepted for recording at the Registry and become permanent public records. The recording of documents, such as deeds and mortgages, allows the public, including prospective purchasers of real estate, a method to determine the status of the title to that property.

The South Middlesex Registry District includes the following cities and towns: Acton, Arlington, Ashby, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Concord, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Pepperell, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stoneham, Stow, Sudbury, Townsend, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Weston, Winchester, Woburn. Available: Search Online, Index 1974 to present, Images of Documents, 1986 to present. 

Building Department

The primary function of the Building Department is to assist the general public and to ensure their health and safety, enforcement of the State building code and the Town's zoning by law, as well as plumbing, gas, electrical, housing, sign, and other codes and by-laws pertaining to properties and structures.

This department maintains records, organized by street, that record construction, demolition, and work permits. Permits often identify architects for new construction and additions. For more information consult the Building Department. Available: Building Department, Town Hall.

Engineering Department

The Engineering Department maintains plans of subdivisions, street layouts, and utility hookups. These are often labeled with additional information, especially helpful for documenting the architectural history of the town. The department also maintains a card file that records water hook-up dates, often the best way to date a building and to identify the original owner. The department can also provide copies upon request for a small fee. For more information consult theEngineering Department. Available: Engineering Department, Town Hall.

Office of the Town Clerk

A primary provider of information and services to the community, the Town Clerk serves as chief election official, official recording officer, public records officer, licensing official, clerk of Town Meeting, Town Hall records administrator, registrar of vital statistics, and registrar of voters. The Town Clerk maintains records of amendments to the Code of By-Laws, Zoning By-Laws, and the Home Rule Charter. For information on obtaining vital records of marriages, births, and deaths consult the Town Clerk's web site.

The current List of Residents Seventeen Years of Age and Older can be purchased at the Office of the Town Clerk in Town Hall for $15.

Winchester Home Rule Charter. [Winchester, Mass.: Town of Winchester "Originally adopted by the Voters of the Town of Winchester at the Town Election March 3, 1975; reprinted with the language of all amendments inserted." Available: WPL, Local History, 974.44W Home, online at the Town Clerk’s web site.

Code of By Laws Enacted at Town Meeting March 4, 1976, reprinted with the language of all amendments through 2006 Spring Town Meeting, September 2006. Available: Online at the Town Clerk’s web site.