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Children's Friend and Family Services Records, 1839-2007

Identifier: MSS 447

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the business of the Children's Friend and Family Services of Salem, Massachusetts, and is divided into six series.

Series I. History series includes the historical documentation about the Woodbridge House, where the organization is located, membership information, and photographs. There are also a number of scrapbooks which document the presence of the organization as covered by the media, which spans nearly a century.

Series II. Administrative records include meeting minutes for different committees and the Board, Secretary and annual reports, and plans for the future of the organization.

Series III. Financial records consist of accounts for the expenses of running the organization, fundraising events, statistics, and a large number of ledgers documenting the flow of money. Treasurer's reports are also included here.

Series IV. Case Files contains homemaker service applications and intake sheets. Due to the sensitive nature of the material and to protect the privacy of individuals, this series has been restricted. This material includes personal information such as names, addresses, financial information and health information.

Series V. Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and Associated Charities and Series VI. Haverhill Branch document the organization's association with the CWLA and other charities, and the day-to-day business of the branch in Haverhill.


  • Creation: 1839-2007


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Box 17A folders 1-2 are restricted due to mold. Series IV. Subseries B. Homemaker Services (Boxes 70-73) are restricted due to privacy concerns.

Historical Sketch

The Children's Friend and Family Services organization has a varied history comprised of several organizations which eventually merged into one. The Seaman's Widow and Orphan Association, was founded on May 1, 1883 to help the "fatherless and widoes of Salem." The Salem Children's Friend Society, founded February 27, 1839, was an orphanage and home for rescued children. Originally located on Briggs Street, the orphanage moved to Charter Street in 1840. In 1844, the two institutions merged to become the Salem Seaman's Orphan and Children's Friend Society (SSOCFS), with a mission to "raise poor above the need for alms." In 1949, the SSOCFS changed its name to the North Shore Children's Friend Society (NSCFS) and moved to the Woodbridge House when it was given to them in 1955. The Family Service Association of Salem (FSAS) began in 1891 and served as a central registry of all families receiving help and assistance from any organization, church, or individual in Salem. The FSAS changed its name in 1925 to the Family Welfare Society of Salem (FWSS) and, in addition to its previous services, began offering homemaker services, marital and budget counseling and emergency relief grants. In 1963, the NSCFS and the FWSS merged into one organization, which is now the Children's Friend and Family Service Society of the North Shore (CFFSSNS).


33.5 Linear feet (54 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection documents the business of the Children's Friend and Family Services of Salem, Massachusetts, and is divided into six series.

Series List

SERIES I. History

  • A. Woodbridge House
  • B. Membership
  • C. Photographs
  • D. Miscellaneous
  • E. Scrapbooks
SERIES II. Administration

  • A. Annual Reports
  • B. Board Minutes and Notes
  • C. By-Laws
  • D. Committees
  • E. Meeting Minutes
  • F. Plans
  • G. Secretary's Reports
  • H. Social Legislation Bulletins
  • I. Miscellaneous

  • A. Accounts
  • B. Fundraising
  • C. Funds
  • D. Receipts and Disbursements
  • E. Registers
  • F. Statistics
  • G. Treasurer's Reports
  • H. Miscellaneous
SERIES IV. Case Files

  • A. Adoption Records (returned to CFFS)
  • B. Homemaker Services – All Restricted
  • C. Published Material
SERIES V. Child Welfare League of America and Associated Charities

  • A. Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)
  • B. Charities and Services
  • C. Associated Charities
SERIES VI. Haverhill Branch

  • A. History
  • B. Annual Reports
  • C. Bequests
  • D. Board Meetings and Minutes
  • E. By-Laws
  • F. Committees
  • G. Correspondence
  • H. Personnel
  • I. Publicity
  • J. Miscellaneous

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was donated by the Children's Friend and Family Service Society of the North Shore in 2011 (acc #2011.004 and 2011.011). In September 2016 certain folders and boxes (folders 5, 6, and 15 in box 25, boxes 41 through 69 and 73A, and folder 10 in box 73) were returned to the organization.

Related Collections

Seamen's Widow and Orphan Association (Salem, Mass.) Records, 1833-1960. Acc. 2011.008.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Amanda M. Martinson and Melanie Leung, October 2011. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, September 2016.

Processed by: Amanda M. Martinson and Melanie Leung; Updated by: Tamara Gaydos; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA