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The area was first seen by two messengers from the Plymouth settlement in 1621 to Massasoit. They lodged with their Indian guide at Namasket. It was noted that it was the site of an Indian village where many died quickly a few years ago. This was the place that almost a half century later became the first white settlement in the modern town. The sixteen families there had to evacuate during the King Philip's War in 1675. This large land mass was divided and the southwest part became the second precinct in 1719. The third precinct was designated in 1743 from the northwest part of town called Titicut. This land all first part of Plymouth Colony. The town 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.
Abington at one time has been called Assowamsett Neck, Cotuckticut, Ketiticut, Middleberry, Namaskett, Quittaub, Quittaquas, and Titicut.
Village or section names include Barden Hills, Bull's Eye Crossing, Court End, East Middleborough, Eddyville, Fall Brook, Four Corners, Highlands, Mount Carmel, Muttock, North Middleborough, Namasket, Neck, Peaseville, Puddingshire, Purchade, Putnams Rock, Rocky Meadow, South Middleborough, Star Mill Village, Tack Factory, The Green, Thomastown, Titicut, Walnut Plains, Wappanucket, Waterville, and West End.
|1 June 1669||Established Namassakett shall be the town of Middleberry. [Ply. Col. Rec., 5: 19]|
|1 June 1675||Border between Middleberry and Bridgewater established. [Ply. Col. Rec., 11: 241]|
|28 Sept. 1680||Certain lands called Assowamsett Neck and places adjacent granted to Middleborough.|
|4 July 1734||Part included in the new town of Halifax.|
|11 Dec. 1734||Part annexed to Plympton.|
|24 Mar. 1849||Bounds between Middleborough and Carver established.|
|13 May 1853||Part established as Lakeville.|
|7 Mar. 1921||Border between Middleborough and Carver established.|
]]Works written on the town include:
- Isaac Backus, "An Historical Account of Middleborough" in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 3 : 148-153.
Digital version online at Google Books.
- Isaac Thompson, "Bills of Mortality for Middleborough" in the Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 8 : 79; 9 : 235; 10 : 188; 2&supnd; Series: 2 : 261-263.
- "Sketches of the Early History of the Town of Middleborough, in the County of Plymouth" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 3 : 213-220, 330-344.
- Book of the First Church of Christ, in Middleborough, Plymouth County, Mass., with notices of other church in that town (Boston, 1852 [i.e. 1854]), 124, 53 pp.
Digital versions from Internet Archive and Google Books.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/M2 K2b
- Israel W. Putnam, First Church in Middleborough, Mass.: Mr. Putnam's Century and Half Discourses, An Historical Account: and a Catalogue of Members (Boston, 1854), 52, 124 pp.
Digital versions at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Hathi Trust.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL fiche 6081404.
- Thomas Weston, History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts (Boston, 1906-1969), 2v.
Digital versions for volume one online at Internet Archive and Google Books.
WorldCat (Other Libraries) - vol. 1 and WorldCat (Other Libraries) - vol. 2; FHL book 974.482/M2 H2w v.# and digital link for vol. 1.
- George Ward Stetson, "History of Middleborough Churches" in the Middleborough Antiquarian, 11 [Dec. 1969]: 2-4.
No online digital version available, but it is available electronically at the Middleborough Public Library computer.
- Kenneth C. Leonard, The Beechwoods Confederacy 1709-1809: The Colonial History of Beechwoods: Middleboro-Taunton Precinct Massachusetts (Bowie, Md., 2003), xvii, 228 pp.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482 H2L.
- Middleborough Wikipedia page.
The town's vital records are available in many locations:
- Middleborough Town Clerk's Office
20 Centre Street, 1&supst; Floor
Middleborough MA 02346
- Microfilm of the originals created by the Family History Library, Proprietors' Records, 1661-1887 (includes some town meetings and vital records), FHL film 945018 Items 3-7; Vital records and indexes, 1674-1854, FHL films 945014–945016, Vital records and other records, 1757-1850, FHL film 1059954, and Vital records, 1847-1905, FHL films 2079623–2079624.
- Microfiche of the originals created by Archive Publishing covering town records that included vital records and a few other town records, 1666-1915, on 211 fiche. Part of Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620–1988 at Ancestry ($); Index
- Official state copy of vital records starting in 1841. See the guide to the state for more information here.
- Barbara Lambert Merrick and Alicia Crane Williams, Middleborough, Massachusetts, Vital Records (Boston, 1986-1990), 2 v.
[Note: Volume One missed original v. 4, pt. 1, p. 50-61, can be found in Mayflower Descendant, 33 : 39-46. Also missing are three marriages from county court records for 1693 and 1694 published in Pilgrim Notes and Queries, 3 : 120-122 at 122]
Digital version at American Ancestors ($).
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/M2 V29m.
The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Middleborough. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.
- Benson Cemetery, n.d.
- Central Cemetery, 1819. (A)
- Drake Cemetery, n.d. (A)
- East Cemetery, n.d.
- Eaton Cemetery, n.d. (A)
- Ewer Cemetery, n.d.
- Fall Brook Cemetery, 1819. (A)
- Gammons Cemetery, n.d. (A)
- Green Cemetery, n.d.
- Highland Cemetery, n.d.
- Hope's Rest Cemetery, 1884. (A)
- Indian Burial Site, n.d.
William B. Taylor, "An Indian Burial Site in North Middleboro" in the Middleborough Antiquarian, 10 [Apr. 1969]: 2-4.
- Marion Road - Neck Cemetery, 1985. (A)
- Middleboro Infirmary Cemetery, 1933.
- Nemansket Hill Burial Ground, 1662. (A)
- Parish Burial Ground at the Green, 1717. (A)
- Gilbert Peirce Cemetery, 19th century.
- Poor House Cemetery, 1832. (A)
- Purchase / Alden Cemetery, 1728. (A)
- Reed Cemetery, 1813.
- Rock / Thomas Cemetery, 1745.
- Sachem Street / Gammons Cemetery, 1828.
- St. Mary's Cemetery, 1891.
Diocesan Archives, Lot sales, 1891-1913, 1932.
- Smallpox Cemetery, 1777. (A)
"Small Pox Cemetery, Brook Street, 1777" in the Middleborough Antiquarian, 13 [Apr. 1972]: 5-6.
- South Middleboro Cemetery, 1768. (A)
- Tack Factory / Leonard Cemetery, 1819. (A)
- Thomas Cemetery, n.d.
- Thomastown Cemetery, 1806. (A)
- Tispequin Street Cemetery, 1838.
- Titicut Parish Cemetery, 1750. (A, B)
- Vernon Street Smallpox Burial Ground, 1778. (A)
- Wall Street Gravesite, n.d. (A)
- Wappanucket Cemetery, 1832. (A)
- Warrentown Cemetery, 1744. (A)
- Wood / Thomas Wood Cemetery, 1796. (A)
Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Charles M. Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts (Middleborough, Mass., 1995). WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 V3
(B). New England Historic Genealogical Society, Manuscript Dept.
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. To learn more about church history, see the page of online links.
- First Congregational Church of Middleborough, 1694, records good.
See books in the history section above. "Baptismal records of the First Congregational Church, 1710-1820, FHL film 945018 Item 1.
- North Middleborough Congregational Church (now North Congregational Church - United Church of Christ), 1748, records "complete."
- First Baptist Church (now First Baptist Church of North Middleboro), 1756, records good.
- United Brethren Church, later Second Baptist Church, and finally Fourth Baptist Church (extinct), n.d., records survive for 1795-1867.
- Third Baptist Church (now Rock Village Church), 1761, records good.
- Central Baptist Church, 1828, records incomplete.
- Central Congregational Church, 1847, records good.
- South Middleborough Methodist Episcopal Church (Now South Middleborough United), 1858, records good.
- Middleborough Methodist Episcopal Church, 1865, records good.
- Sacred Heart Parish, 1885.
- First Unitarian Universalitst Society of Middleboro, 1889.
- Advent Lutheran Church, n.d.
- Church of Our Saviour Episcopal, n.d.
- LifeHouse Church, n.d.
- Namasket Gazette, 1852-1857.
- Middleboro Gazette (title varies), 1857-1868.
- Middleboro Gazette, 1905-1977.
- Nemasket River Journal, 1977-1978.
- Villager-Journal, 1978-1980.
- Middleboro Gazette, 1980-2006.
Libraries and Historical Societies
The following is list of research facilities in town:
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