Sidney Perley
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Sidney Perley (1858 - 1928)

Sidney Perley
Born in Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died at age 70 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 18 Jan 2017
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Sidney Perley, lawer and historian who had lived in Salem for many years died at Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital on 9 Jun 1928 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was born 6 Mar 1858 in Boxford, Essex, Massachusetts, son of the late Humphrey Perley and Mrs. Eunice (Peabody) Perley.[1][2][3][4]

In 1885 Mr. Perley was graduated from the Boston University law school and was admitted to the Suffolk bar that same year. From 1881 to 1886 he acted as auditor of the town of Boxford. Soon after his graduation Mr. Perley moved to Salem, where he practiced law.[3][4]

From 1900-1903, Mr. Perley was a member of the Salem school board and again from 1902-1911. He was interested in the Prohibition and Republican parties and at one time was a candidate for attorney-general and for mayor of Salem.[3][4]

As an author and poet Mr. Perley was widely known. He wrote the “History of Medford,” History of Salem,” “Historic Storms of New England.” “Dwellings of Boxford.” Poets of Essex Country,” and several law publications. From 1890-1909 he was editor of the “Essex Aniquarium.”[3][4]

Mr. Perley belonged to the Essex Institute, which he joined in 1881. He was a member also of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society of Boston.[3][4]

On June 11, 1889, he married Miss Harriet Hood Spofford of Georgetown who survived him as did a daughter Miss Eleanor Perley and a son, Richard Perley, a Salem attorney.[3][4]

Sidney Perley at rocky crevice near Salem Witch Trials execution Site


  • Perley, Sidney. History of Salem, Massachusetts in Three Volumes.
  • Perley, Sidney. History of Boxford, Essex County, Massachusetts. Full images at 1880.
  • Perley, Sidney. Essex Antiquarian,Volume 1-8, 1897-1909.
  • Perley, Sidney. Historic Storms of New England: Its Gales, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Etc. Published 1891.
  • Perley, Sidney. Mortuary Law. Published by George B. Reed, Law Publisher 1896.
  • Perley, Sidney. Poets of Essex County Massachusetts. Published 1889.
  • Perley, Sidney. N.E.Historical Genealogical Register. Volume 62, 51, Obituary of Alfred Poore 1818-1907
  • Perley, Sidney. "Goodridge Memorials," 1884;
  • Perley, Sidney. "Dwellings of Boxford, Mass.," 1893;
  • Perley, Sidney. * Perley, Sidney. The Indian Land Titles of Essex County, Massachusetts. Published 1912.
  • Perley, Sidney. "Law of Interest," 1893; "Adjudicated Forms," 1895;
  • Perley, Sidney. "Mortuary Law," 1896; "Practice in the Probate Court of Massachusetts," 1898;
  • Perley, Sidney. "Practice in Personal Actions in the Courts of Massachusetts," 1902.
  • Perley, Sidney. "Principles of the Law of Interest as Applied by Courts of Law and Equity,"
  • 1893;"Practice in the Probate Court of Massachusetts," 1907;


  1. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.) 83:332 Link
  2. William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston Volume 2 (Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908) 1065 link
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Date: Sunday, June 10, 1928 Paper: Boston Heralds (Boston, Massachusetts) Page:5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Wikipedia

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Comments: 1

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Sidney's Antiquarian is on-line. His walk-abouts have been of tremendous help.

Note (09/21/2019) - The Antiquarian copies at Peabody disappeared. Our links now go to digital copies at Hathi Trust.

And, accurate. Comparison of one map with its modern equivalent: How close is close? II

It was wonderful to find Sidney's Profile. We'll be pointing to it frequently. He mentioned The Massachusetts Magazine which published writers like Col. Thomas Higginson, F. M. Thompson, R.A. Douglas-Lithgow, MD, LLD, and others.

posted by John M. Switlik

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