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United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Plymouth Gotoarrow.png Wareham

This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Wareham. 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 section called Agawam was purchased from the Native owners in 1665. This area was leased for terms of seven years starting in 1678 bringing settlement to the region in this area of Plymouth Colony. That area was joined with the east side of Rochester to form the town of Wareham which placed in Plymouth County. For a brief time, the area 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.

Historical Data

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

Associated names

Wareham at one time was called Agawam Plantation, Cowesit, and Quansit.

Village or section names include Agawam, Center Village, Barney's Point, Cohasset Narrows, East Wareham, Fearing's Hill, Great Neck, Hamilton Beach, Indian Neck, Kenney Mills, Locke Bog, Long Neck, Narrow's Village, Oakdale, Onset, Onset Bay, Onset Junction, Parker Mills, Parkwood Beach, Parlowtown, Pinehurst Beach, Point Independence, South Wareham, Swift's Beach, Tempest Knob Station, Tihonet, Tremont, Wareham Center, Waters Bog, West End, West Wareham, and Yellow Town.

Border changes
Dates Events
10 July 1739 Established from part of Plymouth called Agawam Plantation and part of Rochester. [Prov. Laws, 2: 992]
20 Jan. 1827 Parts of Carver and Plymouth known as Tihonet annexed.
18 Feb. 1859 Border between Wareham and Marion established.
20 Apr. 1864 Border between Wareham and Rochester established.
13 Feb. 1866 Border between Wareham and Marion established.
15 Feb. 1866
3 June 1887
Border between Wareham and Rochester established.
14 Apr. 1897 Border between Wareham and Bourne established.
23 Apr. 1897 Border between Wareham and Marion established.
16 May 1901 Border between Wareham and Carver established.
1 Mar. 1909 Border between Wareham and Marion established.
12 June 1939 Border between Wareham and Rochester established.
Border between Wareham and Marion 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 Wareham in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.


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Vital Records

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

Original records
Published records
  • Richard W. Griffith,Abstracts of Vital Records of the Town of Wareham, Massachusetts from Town Books 1 and 2 (Wareham, Mass., 1996), 165 leaves
    These volumes were microfiched by the Family History Library (FHL fiche 6008368).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/W1 V28g.
  • Leonard H. Smith, Vital records, Sandwich, Mass. and Wareham, Mass. index : an index to the vital records of Sandwich, Mass. to approximately 1775 and Wareham, Mass. to approximately 1814, as published 1899-1934 in the Mayflower Descendant (Clearwater, Fla., 1975), [6], 34, 27 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 V2s.
  • Town of Wareham, Massachusetts Index of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, 1859-1900 (East Bridgewater, Mass., 1988)., 1 vol.
Online records
  • Wareham town and vital records, 1739-1876, vital records, 1738-1893, are browsable (i.e. not indexed as of Nov. 2012) on FamilySearch.
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City Directories

Wareham was published in 1903/4, 1907, 1910/1, 1916, 1919, 1924/5, 1926, 1928/9, 1935.

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 Wareham. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject. There is a manuscript in town listing all gravestones by James M. Lincoln, "All Inscriptions in Wareham Cemeteries to 1904," ms., 1904.

  1. Agawam Neck Cemetery, 1685. (A, B, C)
    Transcription of gravestones online.
  2. Briggs Lane or Pierce Mill Cemetery, n.d. (C)
  3. Centre or Parker Mills Cemetery, 1810. (A, B, C)
    Transcription of gravestones online.
  4. Long Neck Cemetery, 1823. (A, B, C)
    Transcription of gravestones online.
  5. Nickerson Family Cemetery, 1835. (C)
  6. Packard Family Cemetery, 1852. (C)
  7. St. Patrick's Cemetery, n.d. (A, C)
  8. Tobey-Fearing-Bliss Burial Ground, 1819. (B)

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Richard W. Griffith, Cemetery Gravestone Inscriptions, Wareham, Massachusetts (West Wareham, Mass., 2003), 1 vol.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/W1 V39g or film 1391969 Item 1.
(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. Congregational Church (now First Congregational Church of Wareham), 1739, records good.
    Records of the First Congregational Church in Wareham, 1739-1850, FHL film 482239 Item 3.
    Leonard H. Smith Jr., Records of the First Church of Wareham, Mass., 1739-1891 (Clearwater, Fla., [1974]), 150 leaves [reprint with index], FHL book 974.482/W1 K2s.
  2. First Christian Church, 1831-1848. [Also called The Baptist Society, their first and only minister left for Rhode Island in 1837 and they have never had another settled minister.]
    Records of the First Christian Church in Wareham, 1831-1848, photocopy of originals, FHL Q book 974.482/W1 K2f or film 1598371 Item 17.
  3. Methodist Episcopal Church, 1843, records good.
  4. St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, 1865, no condition given.
  5. Good Shepherd Protestant Episcopal Church (now Church of the Good Shepherd), 1883, no condition given.
    Church of the Good Shepherd Church records, 1882-1924 (Episcopal), FHL film 1290180 Items 5-6.
  6. Community of Christ, n.d.
  7. Emmaunuel A Church of the Nazarene, n.d.
  8. Evangelical Zion Church, n.d.
  9. Onset Foursquare Church, n.d.
  10. Tabernacle of Praise, n.d.
  11. Vineyard Crossroads, A Community Church, n.d.
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Newspapers

  1. Wareham Courier, 1905-1918, 1931-2006.
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Libraries and Historical Societies

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Wareham Free Library
59 Marion Road
Wareham MA 02571
Phone 508-295-2343

Wareham Historical Society
495 Main Street
PO Box 211
Wareham MA 02558
Phone 508-295-6839
Email info@dyerlibrary.org

References

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 120. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co.: Carver | Marion | Plymouth | Rochester Barnstable Co.: Bourne


 

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