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United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Plymouth Gotoarrow.png Norwell

This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of South Scituate and now Norwell. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries.

Contents

Brief History

The first settler was Robert Stetson, who received a land grant in this area in 1634. He built a mill in 1656 that was burned in the King Philip's War in 1676, but the dam's remains were still visible only a century ago. Shipbuilding was the major business along the North River. Other early settlers included the Copeland, Curtis, Delano, Foster, Taylor and Tilden families. This area of Scituate was in Plymouth Colony. The area was placed in Plymouth County when counties were formed in 1685. For a brief time, the town was part of the Dominion of New England from 1686 to 1689. The town is still in Plymouth County, though was in limbo, until the "Colony" was merged with Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691 that became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The southwestern part of Scituate was set off as South Scituate in 1849, later renamed Norwell, and still remains in Plymouth County.

Historical Data

The basic data is from the "Historical Data" publication series[1] with additions from various sources.

Associated names

Norwell at one time was called South Scituate.

Village or section names include Accord, Assinippi, Church Hill, Mount Blue, Norwell Center, Queen Anne's Corner, Ridge Hill, and West Scituate.

Border changes
Dates Events
14 Feb. 1849 South Scituate incorporated from the southwestern part of Scituate.
15 May 1857 Border between South Scituate and Hanover established.
11 Feb. 1878 Parts of South Scituate and Hanover annexed to each other and the border re-established.
27 Feb. 1888 Proposed name change to Norwell that the town adopted 5 Mar.
30 Apr. 1897 Border between Norwell and Hingham established.
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Town Histories

Works written on the town include:
Barnstable CountyBristol CountyPlymouth CountyNorfolk CountySuffolk CountyFalmouthMashpeeSandwichBourneFairhavenAchushnetNew BedfordDartmouthWestportFall RiverFreetownBerkleyTauntonRaynhamEastonStoughtonAvonHolbrookCantonRandolphWeymouthCohassetBraintreeQuincyMiltonBostonHullHinghamScituateNorwellRocklandAbingtonBrocktonWest BridgewaterWhitmanHanoverMarshfieldDuxburyPembrokeHansonEast BridgewaterBridgewaterHalifaxPlymptonKingstonPlymouthCarverMiddleboroughLakevilleRochesterWarehamMarionMattapoisett
Town of Norwell in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.


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Vital Records

The town's vital records are available in many locations:

Original records
Published records

There are no published vital records for Norwell.

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City Directories

Norwell was published in 1894, 1907, 1919.

The Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) has one of the largest collections of city directories

in the country. They are likely to own most of the years listed above. Their collection is in microfiche, microfilm, and books, but there is no online inventory of their holdings except for microfilm. See their guide online.

Other holdings:

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Cemeteries

The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Norwell. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject or the PlymouthColony website.

  1. Bowker Cemetery, 1812. (A)
    "Bowker Street and the Bowker Cemetery" in Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 41-43.
  2. Church Hill Cemetery, 1725. (A, B)
  3. Damon Cemetery, n.d. (A)
  4. First Parish of Norwell Cemetery, 1720. (B)
    South Shore Genealogical Society, An Index to the First Parish Cemetery of Norwell, Massachusetts (Norwell, Mass., 1988), 53 l.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries).
    "The First Parish Cemetery" in Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 28-31, 39-40, 46-47.
  5. Dr. Joseph Jacobs / Assinippi Cemetery, 1779. (B, C)
  6. Old Second Church Cemetery, 1680. (A, C)
    Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 1-5.
    "Gravestone Records from the Old Second Church Cemetery Norwell, Massachusetts" in the Mayflower Descendant, 32 [1934]: 107-111, that corrects errors in the published Scituate vital records.
  7. Otis Cemetery, n.d. (A)
  8. Pinehurst Cemetery, 1870.
  9. Quaker Cemetery, n.d. (A)
    Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 17-19.
  10. South Parish Cemetery, n.d. (A, C)
  11. Stockbridge Cemetery, 1700. (A)
  12. Washington Street Cemetery, n.d. (A)
  13. Wilson Hill Cemetery, 1691.
    "Another of the Wilson Hill Gravestones Found" in Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 22-23.

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1909). [See the Scituate town page for various versions of this source.]
(B). Charles M. Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts (Middleborough, Mass., 1995). WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 V3
(C). New England Historic Genealogical Society, Manuscripts Dept.

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Churches

The following is a list of churches established in town in order of organization date (if known) and condition of records in the 1889 survey if listed.

  1. Second Church of Scituate (later First Unitarian Church, and now First Parish Norwell Unitarian Universalist Church), 1644, records good after 1796.
    Harold Field Worthley, An Inventory of the Records of the Particular (Congregational) Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), 451-452, list church records to 1689, 1751-1754, 1798, 1810-present survive and parish records from 1642-1922 survive.
    "Ancestral Pews" in Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 9-16.
    "Baptisms by Rev. William Wetherell" [covering 1645-1657] in Historia, 1 [1899-1900]: 20-21, 31, 37-38, 47.
    Records from 1645-1689, 1697-1704 (these are requested re-entries at a later date), adult baptisms, 1704-1720 published in Bangs' Scituate book (see Scituate Town Histories and Records), vol. 3, p. 527-550.
    George C. Turner, Sarah R. Damon, Ella Bates (variously), but mainly Wilford Jacob Litchfield, "Records of the Second Church of Scituate, now the First Unitarian Church of Norwell, Mass." [1645-1834] in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 57 [1903]: 82-86, 178-184, 318-324, 398-403; 58 [1904]: 82-90, 168-176, 260-267, 387-391; 59 [1905]: 74-79, 134-140, 308-315, 387-392; 60 [1906]: 61-66, 175-182, 271-274, 335-340; 61 [1907]: 56-59, 172-177, 288-292, 372-375.
  2. Scituate Society of Friends Meeting (in South Scituate), 1679 (extinct), records with the New Bedford Monthly Meeting.
  3. Methodist Episcopal Church (now Church Hill United Methodist Church), 1852, records good.
  4. Universalist Church, 1863, records good.
  5. St. Helen church (Roman Catholic), 1950.
  6. United Church of Christ, 1965.
  7. Assinippi Universalist Church, n.d.
  8. New Hope Chapel, n.d.
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Newspapers

  1. Norwell Mariner, 1981-2005.
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Libraries and Historical Societies

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Norwell Public Library
64 South Street
Norwell MA 02061
Phone 781-659-2115
Email noref@ocln.org

Norwell Historical Society
328 Main Street (behind Sparrell School)
PO Box 693
Norwell MA 02061
Phone 781-659-1888
Email info@norwellhistoricalsociety.org

References

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 87. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co: Hanover | Hingham | Marshfield | Pembroke | Rockland | Scituate


 

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  • This page was last modified on 9 September 2013, at 15:33.
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