6 cubic ft. (32 v.)..
In three subseries (as indicated below after each descriptive section): (1) Commissions, etc., 1734 (1713)-1919. 23 v. (Vol. 23 formerly: Record of commissions, 1916-1919 ((M-Ar)2038X)) (2) Proclamations, 1888-1945. 3 v. (3) Pardons and requisitions, 1839-1862. 6 v.;. arranged within each subseries chronologically.
Following the destruction of public records by fire in the Court House (Old State House) in 1747, the Massachusetts General Court directed the provincial secretary to record in his office the 1629 and 1691 charters, with the commissions of the governor, lieutenant governor, justices of the Superior Court, and his own, per Orders 1747-48, c 182 (Dec. 11, 1747). Starting with these transcriptions, the state secretary (known as such from 1780), as part of his responsibility as record keeper for Massachusetts, continued to maintain a running record of copies of official documents that were the responsibility of his office, including those he attested, those part of administration of oaths, and those recording information on public appointees. As record keeping became more voluminous and the secretary's office more specialized over time, specific types of records were maintained in their own series, as indicated below.
Contents include the following--but note that holdings for related/subsequent series may extend beyond dates stated here.
RECORDS OF COMMISSIONERS FOR SETTLING THE MASSACHUSETTS/CONNECTICUT BOUNDARY, 1713-1714 (Subseries 1).
COMMISSIONS, 1734-1919 (Subseries 1).
Official commissions were granted to a variety of civil officeholders, such as sheriffs, coroners, justices of the peace and notaries (see below), judges, registers of probate and deeds, commissioners of sewers, and military officers. Over time, offices increased in type to include court clerks, pilots, trustees of state institutions, state and federal representatives, commissioners to qualify civil officers (see below), inspectors, bank commissioners, members of various state boards, special commissioners, managers of warehouses, and others. Arranged chronologically by date of appointment, the earlier entries reproduce the whole commission, later entries summarize in paragraph form, with information including appointee name, residence, legislative citation establishing the position, office, and term of office. Late 19th-century entries indicate the number of the printed form used, samples being included within the volume. Mid 19th-century entries also include commission withdrawals. Records end mid-volume on Oct. 15, 1919. Related series.
((M-Ar)181): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Qualification certificates of appointed officials, 1776-2012 (bulk 1935-2012): Signed oaths of office--in some cases originals of above records, up to the present. Also.
((M-Ar)184X): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Register of civil commissions, 1775-1975: arranged by county.
(M-Ar)598): Massachusetts. Governor's Personnel Office. Appointment files, 1800-2007.
((M-Ar)2206X): Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Commissions delivered, 1807-1872 (bulk 1832-1858).
((M-Ar)182): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Registers of qualification, 1807-2012: signed by qualifier.
((M-Ar)179): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Governor's appointment nomination list book 1807-2005. (See also letters for civil appointments, 1861-1884 in: Massachusetts. Governor. Executive Department letters ((M-Ar)567X)).
((M-Ar)200): Massachusetts. Elections Division. Certificates of qualification of governor and lieutenant governor, 1851-2007.
((M-Ar)185X): Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Registers of civil officers classified, 1855-1948: by office.
((M-Ar)237X): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Abstracts of qualifications, 1902-1987: Index to ((M-Ar)181) above.
((M-Ar)180): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment of county officials, 1922-1985.
((M-Ar)1289): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment of city and town clerks, 1933-1985.
((M-Ar)1286): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment to housing authorities, 1935-1987.
((M-Ar)187): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Files of recess appointments, 1938-1979.
((M-Ar)203): Massachusetts. Elections Division. Certificates of qualification of state officials, 1941-2007: elected.
((M-Ar)1291): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of miscellaneous appointments, 1945-2012.
((M-Ar)1287): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment to redevelopment authorities, 1955-1987.
((M-Ar)1194): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, 1964-1982.
((M-Ar)1290): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment to fire, water, and sewer districts, 1965-1982.
((M-Ar)1288): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Notices of appointment to area boards, 1967-1995.
((M-Ar)2541): Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Administrative and non-gubernatorial appointment files, 1973-2012 (bulk 1983-2012).
See also various Treasury series containing bonds submitted by holders of state offices.
COMMISSIONERS TO QUALIFY CIVIL OFFICERS, 1789-1919 (Subseries 1).
Resolves 1780, Oct Sess, c 58 authorized the governor and council to appoint persons empowered to administer oaths of office to public officials receiving commissions, called commissioners to qualify civil officers, dedimus justices, or, more recently, commissioners to qualify public officers. St 1829, c 125 authorized the governor to appoint commissioners residing in other states or U.S. territories to administer oaths and take depositions on behalf of the Commonwealth, and to take acknowledgment of deeds or contracts to be recorded in the Commonwealth. Such commissioners were to take oath of office before a justice of the peace, to be filed with the state secretary. St 1856, c 253 provided for appointment of such commissioners in other countries. Series includes records for in-state commissioners, 1789-1826, for those in other states, 1830-1919. Related series.
Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Register of commissioners to qualify civil officers, 1822-1961 ((M-Ar)183X).
Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Correspondence, 1790-1995 ((M-Ar)115): letters other states, 1834-1854.
Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Registers of commissioners in other states and countries, 1856-1959 ((M-Ar)186X). And from commissions series cited above.
((M-Ar)184X): by county, 1788-1824.
((M-Ar)181): certificates other states, 1844-1926, other countries, 1857-1948; applications and certificates, 2010-2012.
((M-Ar)185X): by office, 1855-1960.
((M-Ar)567X): letters other states, 1861-1889.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE AND NOTARY COMMISSIONS, 1747-1775, 1780-1799 (Subseries 1).
Justices of the peace and notaries public receive their commissions through the state secretary's office. Related series.
Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Justice of the peace and notary commissions, 1851-1909 ((M-Ar)2205X): by county until 1860, thereafter alphabetically.
Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Registers of notices of expiration of commission, 1865-1920 ((M-Ar)191X).
Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Certificates of notary name changes, 1908-2014 ((M-Ar)189).
Massachusetts. Commissions Section. Certificates of validation of acts, 1964-1990 ((M-Ar)190). And from commissions series cited above.
((M-Ar)184X): registers, 1775-1975.
((M-Ar)2206X): registers, 1807-1872 (bulk 1832-1858).
((M-Ar)115): letters, 1832-1854.
((M-Ar)567X): letters, 1861-1890.
((M-Ar)181): certificates, 1935-1999.
ELECTION CERTIFICATES, 1882-1889 (Subseries 1).
Contains samples of the various certificate forms used by state-appointed local supervisors of elections in examining election returns.
PROCLAMATIONS, 1747-1945 (Subseries 2).
Copies of official proclamations issued by the governor, including Thanksgiving and Fast Days, other state holidays, etc. By the late 19th century, printed newspaper copies of the proclamation, or the official printed version were included instead of a handwritten copy. From 1888-1945 a separate grouping of three volumes contains handwritten versions of the proclamations, arranged chronologically, although printed versions continue to appear in the main grouping of volumes.
For later proclamations, and originals of some of the above records, see: Massachusetts. Governor's Office of Constituency Services. Proclamations, 1807-1996 ((M-Ar)235X).
PARDONS, 1756-1861 (Subseries 3).
The state secretary, since 1919 through a unit currently known as the Public Records Division, keeps pardon and commutation books that serve as certification of pardons and commutations granted by the governor and council. Signed by the secretary, each entry includes name of individual, list of criminal offenses or sentences that are being pardoned or commuted, and any conditions attached to the decision. Related series.
For later pardons, see.
Massachusetts: Public Records Division. Pardon and commutation books, 1862-1990 ((M-Ar)332).
Massachusetts. Council. Council pardon files, 1784-2002 ((M-Ar)328).
Massachusetts. Council. Files of inactive pardons and pardons not granted, 1785-1998 ((M-Ar)771).
Massachusetts. Parole Board. Pardons, commutations, and respites, 1929-1983 ((M-Ar)330).
Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Petitions for pardon, 1939-1957 ((M-Ar)777X).
REQUISITIONS (RENDITIONS), 1788-1861 (Subseries 3).
The governor, upon application by the attorney general or district attorney, can issue a requisition on another state, demanding return of a fugitive to Massachusetts. He is also authorized, upon written demand by another state, to surrender a person who allegedly committed a crime in that state. Copies of requisitions on or from another state are filed in volumes by the secretary, and include certificates authorizing Massachusetts agents to receive the fugitives.
For subsequent records see.
Massachusetts. Public Records Division. Rendition books, 1862-1997 ((M-Ar)178).
Some originals of above records are in.
Massachusetts. Public Records Division. Rendition files, 1795-1870 ((M-Ar)176).
For other related records, 1861-1885, see.
Massachusetts. Governor. Executive department letters ((M-Ar)567X).
Most volumes include an index or table of contents arranged by topic or date.
Formerly known as: Transcripts of public documents.
Agency history record (CStRLIN)MASVAH0029-A/(OCoLC)145429236 describes the history and functions of the Office of the Secretary of State.