City Guide: Boston
12/22/2010
Whether your ancestors contributed to the city’s growth as Irish laborers or “Boston Brahmin,” you’ll find them in records charting the rise of this City on a Hill.
Boston was just a tiny peninsula when Puritans settled there nearly 400 years ago. Over time, Bostonians tripled the land area by leveling rocky hills and filling in the shoreline to create new neighborhoods where water once stood. Whether your ancestors contributed to the city’s growth as Irish laborers or "Boston Brahmin," you’ll find them in records charting the rise of this City on a Hill.

Beantown backstory
In fall 1630, a group of Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans claimed the site of Boston for their ideal city. Protected from Indian attacks by land and welcoming to visitors by sea, Boston soon overtook the nearby Pilgrim settlement of Plymouth as the colony’s dominant port.