Difference between revisions of "Bridgewater, Massachusetts"

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''[[United States of America|United States]] > [[Massachusetts|Massachusetts]] > [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth County]] > [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts Populated Places|Populated Places ]] > Bridgewater''  
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''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] '''Bridgewater''' ''  
  
== Town Hall ==
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=== Brief History ===
  
[http://www.bridgewaterma.org/ http://www.bridgewaterma.org/]<br> 64 Central Square<br>Bridgewater, MA 02324<br>508-697-0919<br>
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This area was established as a part of Duxbury in 1645 by purchase from the Native Americans by 54 proprietors - most who did not settle there. Bridgewater was created on 3 June 1656 from Duxbury in 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.
  
== Quick History ==
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== Historical Data<ref>William Francis Galvin, ''Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts'' (Boston, new ed., 1997), 25. [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/37416784 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|677425|item|disp=FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997}}</ref> ==
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<center>'''Associated names''' </center>
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Bridgewater at times has been called Duxburrow Plantation, Foords Farm, Hockomock, Ketiticut, New Plantation, Nunketest, and Titicut.
  
==== Establishment and former town name(s) <ref name="MaTowns">[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/49562661 ''Historical data relating to counties, cities, and towns in Massachusetts''] (Boston, Massachusetts : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1997), [FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997].</ref> ====
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Village or section names include Bridgewater Iron Works, Bridgewater Junction, Dublin, Japan, Nippenicket Park, Paper Mill Village, Pratt Town, Scotland, South Bridgewater, Sprague's Hill, Stanley, State Farm, and Titicut.
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<center>'''Border changes''' </center>
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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
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|-
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! width="100" scope="col" | Dates
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! width="500" scope="col" | Events
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|-
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| 3 June 1656
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| Bridgewater established from Duxbury. "Ordered, that henceforth Duxborrow New Plantation bee allowed to bee a townshipe of yt self, destinct from Duxburrow, and to bee called by the name of Bridgewater ...." [Plymouth Colony Record, 3: 101]
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|-
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| 3 June 1662
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| Certain land granted to Bridgewater.
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|-
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| 1 June 1675
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| Boundary line established between Bridgewater and Middleborough. [Plymouth Colony Record, 11: 241]
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|-
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| 11 Feb. 1691
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| Annexed land between Bridgewater and Weymouth called "Foords Farms" and adjacent lands.
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|-
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| 10 June 1712
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| Part included in the new town of Abington.
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|-
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| 20 Nov. 1770
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| Part of Stoughton annexed.
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|-
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| 8 Feb. 1798
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| Part of Stoughton annexed.
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|-
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| 15 June 1821
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| Part included in the new town of North Bridgewater [now Brockton].
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|-
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| 16 Feb. 1822
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| Part included in the new town of West Bridgewater.
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|-
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| 14 June 1823
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| Part included in the new town of East Bridgewater.
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|-
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| 20 Feb. 1824
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| Part annexed to Halifax.
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|-
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| 23 Feb. 1838
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| Border between Bridgewater and East Bridgewater established.
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|-
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| 20 Mar. 1846
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| Border between Bridgewater and East Bridgewater established and part of each annexed to the other.
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|-
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| 21 Apr. 1931
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| Border between Bridgewater and East Bridgewater established.
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|}
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<div style="width:147%"><center>[[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Top of Page]]</center><br>  
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== Town Histories  ==
  
'''3 June 1656:''' Established as a town. "Ordered, that henceforth Duxburrow New Plantation bee allowed to bee a township of yt selfe, destinct from Duxburrow, and to bee called by the name of Bridgewater ..." (Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. III, page 101)
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[[Image:MA Plymouth Co Hanover map.png|right|400px|File:File:MA_Plymouth_Co_Bridgewater_map.png]]Works written on the town include:
  
'''Archiac name:''' Duxburrow Plantation, Foords Farm, Hockomock, Ketitcut, Nunketest, Titicut
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*Nahum Mitchell, ''History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, including an extensive Family Register'' (Boston, 1840; rep. Bridgewater, Mass., 1897).<br>This is an important early work on town history and genealogy. The latter is three-quarters of the 400-page book. Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/historyofearlyse00mitc Internet Archive], [http://books.google.com/books?id=KIc-AAAAYAAJ Google Books], and on [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=19218 Ancestry] ($).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/10195132 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|316580|item|disp=FHL film 599265 Item 4}} (orig. book) or {{FHL|288316|item|disp=FHL book 974.482/B2 D2m}} (var. rep.).<br>
  
'''Section/Villages within the town:''' Bridgewater Iron Works, Bridgewater Junction, Dublin, Japan, Nippenicket Park, Paper Mill Village, Pratt Town, Scotland, Sprague's Hill, Stanley (former R.R. station), State Farm, Titicut.<br>  
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::The family sketches include the families: Alden, Aldrich, Alger, Allen, Ames, Angiers, Bacon, Bailey, Barber, Barrell, Barrett, Bartlett, Bass, Bassett, Bates, Battles, Beal, Bearce, Belcher, Benson, Bessee, Bicknell, Bisbee, Blanchard, Blossom, Bolton, Bonney, Bowditch, Bosworth, Bradley, Brett, Brown, Bryant, Buck, Bowker, Burr, Butterfield, Byram, Carr, Carver, Cary, Caswell, Chamberlain, Chandler, Cheesman, Chipman, Churchill, Cleveland, Clift, Cobb, Cole, Colwell, Conant, Cook, Copeland, Corthrell, Cowing, Crafts, Crane, Crocker, Crooker, Cross, Curtis, Daniels, Davenport, Dawes, Dickerman, Dike, Downie, Drake, Dumphrey, Dunbar, Dyer, Eaton, Eddy, Edson, Egerton, Erskin, Faxon, Fearing, Field, Fillebrown, Fitzgerald, Flynn, Fobes, Freelove, French, Fuller, Fullerton, Gannett, Gay, Gilbert, Gilmore, Godfrey, Gould, Groves, Gurney, Haines, Hale, Hall, Hanks, Hamlin, Hanmer, Harden, Hamlin, Harlow, Harris, Hartwell, Harvey, Hatch, Hathaway, Hayden, Hayford, Hayward, Hearsey, Heiford, Hegene, Henry, Hewett, Higgins, Hill, Hobart, Holden, Holloway, Holman, Holmes, Hooper, Horton, How, Howard, Hudson, Hyde, Inglee, Jackson, Jacob, Jameson, Jenkins, Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Joslyn, Keen, Keith, Keyser, Kiff, King, Kingman, Kinsley, Knapp, Knowlton, Landers, Latham, Lathrop / Lothrop, Lawrence, Lawson, Lasell / Lazell, Leach, Lendall, Leonard, Lincoln, Lindsay, Littlefield, Loring, Lovell, Loveridge, Lowden, Manly, May, McBride, Mehurin, Mitchell, Monro / Munroe, Moore, Morse, Morton, Muxam / Maxim, Nash, Newbury, Newell, Newhall, Niles, Norton, Noyes, Orcutt, Orr, Osborne, Packard, Parris, Perkins, Perry, Pettingill, Phillips, Phinney, Pierce, Pinson / Pincin, Pool, Pope, Porter, Powers, Pratt, Price, Prior / Pryor, Ramsdell, Ratchford, Rathburn, Read / Reed, Rea, Reynolds, Richards, Richardson, Rickard, Rider / Ryder, Ripley, Robbins, Robinson, Rogers, Russell, Ryon, Sanger, Sawin, Seabury, Sealy / Seeley, Sears, Sever, Shaw, Shelly, Sherman, Shepard, Shurtliff, Silvester / Sylvester, Skinner, Smith, Snell, Snow, Soper, Sorein, Soule, Southworth, Sprague, Standish, Staples, Starr, Stetson, Storrs, Sturtevant, Swift, Taylor, Thaxter, Thayer, Thomas, Thompson, Tilden, Tilson, Tirrell, Tolman, Tompkins, Torrey, Trask, Tribou, Trow, Turner, Vail, Vaughn, Vickery, Vinton, Wade, Waldo, Wales, Ward, Warren, Washburn, Waterman, Wentworth, Wesley, West, Weston, Wharton, White, Whiting, Whitman, Whitmarsh, Wilbor, Williams, Willis, Wilmarth, Winslow, Wood, Woodward, Woodwiss, Wormal, and Young.<br>Next is more brief family sketches of some original proprietors of Bridgewater, but were never residents. These sketches include Allerton, Barnes, Bartlett, Bonney, Bradford, Brewster, Brown, Carver, Chandler, Church, Clark, Collier, Cushing, Cushman, Delano, Eaton, Faunce, Ford, Hall, Hobart, Howland, Hunt, Irish, Loring, Merrick, Morton, Nash, Partridge, Paybody / Peabody, Pierce, Prince, Sampson, Simmons, Soule, Wadsworth, West, Weston, and Winslow.<br>
  
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgewater,_Massachusetts Wikipedia]  
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*''Records of John Cary, the first town clerk of Bridgewter, Mass., from 1656 to 1681'' (Brockton, Mass., 1889), 14 pp.<br>Digital version at [http://archive.org/details/recordsofjohncar00brid Internet Archive].<br>
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*''Bridgewater Normal Association, Brief Sketch of the Pioneers in Establishing the First State Normal School in America [and] A Brief Sketch of the First Principals of the State Normal Schools, 1839-'40'' (S.l., 1907), unpaginated.<br>No digital version.<br>
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*''A Coppying Out of ye Olde Recordes Beginning With ye 4th Chh of Christ in Bridgewater - 1740'' ([Brockton, Mass.], 1980), 837 + [80] pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/43541919 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|390518|item|disp=FHL book 974.482/B1 K2c}}.<br>These are the verbatim transcript of the Fourth Parish Church of Bridgewater that became the First Parish Church of North Bridgewater in 1821 when that part of town broken off to form a separate town and that town was renamed Brockton in 1874.
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgewater,_Massachusetts Bridgewater Wikipedia page].
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<center>[[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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== Vital Records  ==
  
==== Boundary Changes <ref name="MaTowns">[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/49562661 ''Historical data relating to counties, cities, and towns in Massachusetts''] (Boston, Massachusetts : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1997), [FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997].</ref> ====
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The town's vital records are available in many locations:
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<center>'''Original records''' </center>  
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*[http://www.bridgewaterma.org/Government/Depts/TownClerk/ Bridgewater Town Clerk's Office]<br>64 Central Square<br>Bridgewater MA 02324<br>Phone 508-697-0921<br>
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*Microfilm of the originals created by the Family History Library, 1656-1853, {{FHL|400609|item|disp=FHL films 910359-910364}}; 1843-1905, {{FHL|679984|item|disp=FHL film 2079745}}.
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*Microfiche of the originals created by Archive Publishing covering town records that included vital records and a few other town records, 1641-1908, on 176 fiche. Part of [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2495 ''Massachusetts, Town Vital Collections, 1620–1988''] at [http://www.ancestry.com/ Ancestry] ($); Index
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*Official state copy of vital records started in 1841. See the guide to the state for more information here.
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<center>'''Published records''' </center>
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*''Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, to the year 1850'' (Boston, 1916), 2 v.<br>These volumes were microfilmed by the Family History Library, {{FHL|232357|item|disp=FHL films 164691-164692}}; abstracted online at [http://www.rays-place.com/town/bridgewater/index.htm Ray's Place]; and in digital versions at Internet Archive ([http://archive.org/details/vitalrecordsofbr01brid v. 1] and [http://archive.org/details/vitalrecordsofbr021916brid v. 2]) and Google books ([http://books.google.com/books?id=baN4AAAAMAAJ v. 1] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=jKt4AAAAMAAJ v. 2]).<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/7434225 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|232357|item|disp=FHL book 974.482/B2 V2v}}.<br>
  
'''3 June 1662:''' Certain land granted Bridgewater  
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::This includes, in part, church records from the Unitarian Church (C.R.1), Trinity Church (C.R.2), Central Square Congregational Church (C.R.3), Scotland Trinitarian Congregational Church (C.R.4), and Church of the New Jerusalem (C.R.5). Deaths are included from Mt. Prospect Cem. (G.R.1), Pratt-town Cem. (G.R.2), Cherry Street or Harlow Cem. (G.R.3), Conant Street Cem. (G.R.4), Hillside Cem. (G.R.5), Scotland Graveyard (G.R.6), Old Graveyard (G.R.7), Alden or Vernon Street Graveyard in Titicut (G.R.8), Keith or South Street Graveyard in Titicut (G.R.9), Trinity Church Graveyard (G.R.10), Japan Graveyard (G.R.11), Great Woods Graveyard (G.R.12), and Small Pox Graveyards (G.R. 13).
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<center>[[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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== Cemeteries  ==
  
'''1 June 1675:''' Boundary line established, Court ordered "... to Run the line between Bridgewater and Middlebury (probably Middleborough)". (Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. XI, page 241)
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The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Bridgewater. Remember that the "old" town included present-day East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, and Brockton. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.<br>
  
'''11 February 1691:''' Lands between Bridgewater and [[Weymouth, Massachusetts|Weymouth]], called "Foords Farms", and parts adjacent annexed
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#Alden's Bridge Cemetery, 18th century.
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#Auburn Street Cemetery, 18th century.
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#Benson Town Cemetery, 19th century.
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#Cherry Street / Harlow Cemetery, 1826. (B)
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#Conant Street Cemetery, 1821. (B)
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#First / South Parish Cemetery, 1716. (A)
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#Hillside Cemetery, 1813. (B)
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#Japan Graveyard, 1766. (B)
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#Jennings Hill Cemetery, 1750. (A, B [as Old Graveyard])
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#Mount Prospect Cemetery, 1842. (B)
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#Orange Street Cemetery, n.d.
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#Pine Street Cemetery, 1833.
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#Pratt Town Burial Ground, 1828. (B)
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#Roman Catholic Cemetery, 1867.
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#St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Burial Ground, 1854.
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#Scotland Burial Ground, 1753. (A, B)
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#Small Pox Cemetery, 1785. (A, B)
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#South Street / Keith Cemetery, 1756. (A, B)
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#Titicut / Great Woods Cemetery, 1793. (A, B)
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#Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, 1748. (A, B)
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#Vernon Street / Alden Cemetery, 1751. (A, B)
  
'''10 June 1712:''' Part included in the new town of [[Abington, Massachusetts|Abington]].
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Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:<br> (A). William Latham, ''Epitaphs in Old Bridgewater, Massachusetts'' (Bridgewater, Mass., 1882) -- a digital version at [http://books.google.com/books?id=W_gOAAAAYAAJ Google Books].<br> (B). ''Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, to the year 1850'' (Boston, 1916) [see links above under Vital Records].
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<center>[[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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== Churches  ==
  
'''20 November 1770:''' Part of [[Stoughton, Massachusetts|Stoughton]] annexed.  
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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.  
  
'''8 February 1798:''' Part of [[Stoughton, Massachusetts|Stoughton]] annexed.
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#First Congregational Church (now [http://firstparishbridgewater.org/ First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church]), 1716, records good.
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#[http://www.trinitybridgewater.com/ Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church], 1747, records good.
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#Bridgewater Congregational Church (now [www.csccuccbridgewaterma.org Central Square Congregational Church] [United Church of Christ]), 1821, records good.
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#[http://www.bridgewaternewchurch.org/ New Jerusalem Church] [Swedenborgian], 1833, records good.
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#Scotland Congregational Church (now Scotland Trinitian Church), 1836, records good.
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#Saint Thomas Aquinas's Roman Catholic Church, 1855, older records to 1908 at [http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Archives.aspx Archdiocese of Boston Archives].
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#Methodist Episcopal Church (now Gammons Memorial United Methodist Church), 1874, records good.
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#Christian Science Church, no date.
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#Faith Chapel Assemblies of God, no date.
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#First Baptist Church, no date.
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#[http://www.southshorecommunitychurchma.com/ South Shore Community Church], 1994.
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#[http://trinitycovenant.net/ Trinity Covenant Church], 1983.
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<center>[[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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== Newspapers  ==
  
'''15 June 1821:''' Part established as North Bridgewater (now [[Brockton, Massachusetts|Brockton]]).
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#''Plymouth County Republican'' (first as ''We, the People and Old Colony Press'', then ''Bridgewater Republican and Old Colony Press''), 1832-1837.
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#''Bridgewater Banner'', 1862-aft. 1866.
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#''Bridgewater Independent'', 1884-present, available at [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives/?p_action=keyword&s_search_type=keyword&p_product=NewsLibrary&p_theme=newslibrary2&d_sources=location&d_place=BIMI&p_nbid=& NewsLibrary] ($) from 13 June 2007 to present (search free, pay for articles).
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#''Bridgewater Townsman'', 1985-present.
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<center>[[Bridgewater, Massachusetts|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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== Libraries and Historical Societies  ==
  
'''16 February 1822:''' Part established as [[West Bridgewater, Massachusetts|West Bridgewater]].
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The following is list of research facilities in town:  
  
'''14 June 1823:''' Part established as [[East Bridgewater, Massachusetts|East Bridgewater]].  
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[http://www.bridgewaterpubliclibrary.org/ Bridgewater Public Library]<br>15 South St.<br>Bridgewater MA 02324<br> Phone 508-697-3331
  
'''20 February 1820:''' Part annexed to [[Halifax, Massachusetts|Halifax]].
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[http://www.bridgew.edu/library/ Maxwell Library]<br>Bridgewater State College<br>10 Shaw Rd.<br>Bridgewater MA 02324<br>Phone 508-531-1394
 
 
'''23 February 1823:''' Bounds between Bridgewater and [[East Bridgewater, Massachusetts|East Bridgewater]] established.
 
 
 
'''20 March 1838:''' Bounds between Bridgewater and [[East Bridgewater, Massachusetts|East Bridgewater]] established and part of each town annexed to the other town.
 
 
 
'''21 April 1931:''' Bounds between Bridgewater and [[East Bridgewater, Massachusetts|East Bridgewater]] established.
 
 
 
==== Neighboring Communities  ====
 
 
 
[[East Bridgwater, Massachusetts|East Bridgewater]] | [[Halifax, Massachusetts|Halifax]] | [[Middleborough, Massachusetts|Middleborough]] | [[Raynham, Massachusetts|Raynham]] | [[West Bridgewater, Massachusetts|West Bridgewater]]
 
 
 
== Resources  ==
 
 
 
==== Biography  ====
 
 
 
==== [[Bridgewater, Massachusetts Cemeteries|Cemeteries]] (off page, due to long list)  ====
 
 
 
==== Church History and Records  ====
 
 
 
;Unspecified Church
 
;Congregational
 
 
 
#First Congregational (United Church of Christ)
 
#North Congregational
 
 
 
==== Directories  ====
 
 
 
==== Genealogy  ====
 
 
 
==== History  ====
 
 
 
==== Land and Deeds Records  ====
 
 
 
==== Maps  ====
 
 
 
#[http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:::NO::P3_FID:613482 USGS GNIS FID 613482]  
 
#[http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Bridgewater,+Massachusetts Google]
 
#[http://massachusetts.hometownlocator.com/ma/plymouth/bridgewater.cfm Homelocator]
 
 
 
==== Military History and Records  ====
 
 
 
==== Newspapers  ====
 
 
 
==== Occupations  ====
 
 
 
==== Schools  ====
 
 
 
==== Social Life and Customs  ====
 
 
 
==== Societies, Libraries and Museums  ====
 
 
 
==== Taxation  ====
 
 
 
==== Town Records  ====
 
 
 
==== Vital Records  ====
 
 
 
==== Websites  ====
 
  
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[http://www.oldbridgewater.org/ Old Bridgewater Historical Society]<br>162 Howard St.<br>West Bridgewater MA 02379<br>Phone 508-559-1510
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<center>Thanks to the [http://www.massmayflower.org/ Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants] for their contributions to this page</center>
 
== References  ==
 
== References  ==
  
<references />  
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{{reflist}}
 
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<center>'''Adjacent towns: ''' '''''Plymouth Co:''''' [[East Bridgewater, Massachusetts|East Bridgewater]] | [[Halifax, Massachusetts|Halifax]] | [[Middleborough, Massachusetts|Middleborough]] | [[West Bridgewater, Massachusetts|West Bridgewater]] | '''''Bristol Co:''''' [[Easton, Massachusetts|Easton]] | [[Rayham, Massachusetts|Rayham]]</center><br>{{Towns in Plymouth County in Massachusetts}} <!--Designed by Scott Andrew Bartley in conjunction with the Mass. Wiki Team on 7 May 2012--> </div>
[[Category:Plymouth_County,_Massachusetts]] [[Category:Towns in Massachusetts]]
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[[Category:Plymouth_County,_Massachusetts]]

Revision as of 13:20, 15 May 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Plymouth Gotoarrow.png Bridgewater

Brief History

This area was established as a part of Duxbury in 1645 by purchase from the Native Americans by 54 proprietors - most who did not settle there. Bridgewater was created on 3 June 1656 from Duxbury in 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.

Historical Data[1]

Associated names

Bridgewater at times has been called Duxburrow Plantation, Foords Farm, Hockomock, Ketiticut, New Plantation, Nunketest, and Titicut.

Village or section names include Bridgewater Iron Works, Bridgewater Junction, Dublin, Japan, Nippenicket Park, Paper Mill Village, Pratt Town, Scotland, South Bridgewater, Sprague's Hill, Stanley, State Farm, and Titicut.

Border changes
Dates Events
3 June 1656 Bridgewater established from Duxbury. "Ordered, that henceforth Duxborrow New Plantation bee allowed to bee a townshipe of yt self, destinct from Duxburrow, and to bee called by the name of Bridgewater ...." [Plymouth Colony Record, 3: 101]
3 June 1662 Certain land granted to Bridgewater.
1 June 1675 Boundary line established between Bridgewater and Middleborough. [Plymouth Colony Record, 11: 241]
11 Feb. 1691 Annexed land between Bridgewater and Weymouth called "Foords Farms" and adjacent lands.
10 June 1712 Part included in the new town of Abington.
20 Nov. 1770 Part of Stoughton annexed.
8 Feb. 1798 Part of Stoughton annexed.
15 June 1821 Part included in the new town of North Bridgewater [now Brockton].
16 Feb. 1822 Part included in the new town of West Bridgewater.
14 June 1823 Part included in the new town of East Bridgewater.
20 Feb. 1824 Part annexed to Halifax.
23 Feb. 1838 Border between Bridgewater and East Bridgewater established.
20 Mar. 1846 Border between Bridgewater and East Bridgewater established and part of each annexed to the other.
21 Apr. 1931 Border between Bridgewater and East Bridgewater established.
Top of Page

Town Histories

File:File:MA_Plymouth_Co_Bridgewater_map.png
Works written on the town include:
The family sketches include the families: Alden, Aldrich, Alger, Allen, Ames, Angiers, Bacon, Bailey, Barber, Barrell, Barrett, Bartlett, Bass, Bassett, Bates, Battles, Beal, Bearce, Belcher, Benson, Bessee, Bicknell, Bisbee, Blanchard, Blossom, Bolton, Bonney, Bowditch, Bosworth, Bradley, Brett, Brown, Bryant, Buck, Bowker, Burr, Butterfield, Byram, Carr, Carver, Cary, Caswell, Chamberlain, Chandler, Cheesman, Chipman, Churchill, Cleveland, Clift, Cobb, Cole, Colwell, Conant, Cook, Copeland, Corthrell, Cowing, Crafts, Crane, Crocker, Crooker, Cross, Curtis, Daniels, Davenport, Dawes, Dickerman, Dike, Downie, Drake, Dumphrey, Dunbar, Dyer, Eaton, Eddy, Edson, Egerton, Erskin, Faxon, Fearing, Field, Fillebrown, Fitzgerald, Flynn, Fobes, Freelove, French, Fuller, Fullerton, Gannett, Gay, Gilbert, Gilmore, Godfrey, Gould, Groves, Gurney, Haines, Hale, Hall, Hanks, Hamlin, Hanmer, Harden, Hamlin, Harlow, Harris, Hartwell, Harvey, Hatch, Hathaway, Hayden, Hayford, Hayward, Hearsey, Heiford, Hegene, Henry, Hewett, Higgins, Hill, Hobart, Holden, Holloway, Holman, Holmes, Hooper, Horton, How, Howard, Hudson, Hyde, Inglee, Jackson, Jacob, Jameson, Jenkins, Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Joslyn, Keen, Keith, Keyser, Kiff, King, Kingman, Kinsley, Knapp, Knowlton, Landers, Latham, Lathrop / Lothrop, Lawrence, Lawson, Lasell / Lazell, Leach, Lendall, Leonard, Lincoln, Lindsay, Littlefield, Loring, Lovell, Loveridge, Lowden, Manly, May, McBride, Mehurin, Mitchell, Monro / Munroe, Moore, Morse, Morton, Muxam / Maxim, Nash, Newbury, Newell, Newhall, Niles, Norton, Noyes, Orcutt, Orr, Osborne, Packard, Parris, Perkins, Perry, Pettingill, Phillips, Phinney, Pierce, Pinson / Pincin, Pool, Pope, Porter, Powers, Pratt, Price, Prior / Pryor, Ramsdell, Ratchford, Rathburn, Read / Reed, Rea, Reynolds, Richards, Richardson, Rickard, Rider / Ryder, Ripley, Robbins, Robinson, Rogers, Russell, Ryon, Sanger, Sawin, Seabury, Sealy / Seeley, Sears, Sever, Shaw, Shelly, Sherman, Shepard, Shurtliff, Silvester / Sylvester, Skinner, Smith, Snell, Snow, Soper, Sorein, Soule, Southworth, Sprague, Standish, Staples, Starr, Stetson, Storrs, Sturtevant, Swift, Taylor, Thaxter, Thayer, Thomas, Thompson, Tilden, Tilson, Tirrell, Tolman, Tompkins, Torrey, Trask, Tribou, Trow, Turner, Vail, Vaughn, Vickery, Vinton, Wade, Waldo, Wales, Ward, Warren, Washburn, Waterman, Wentworth, Wesley, West, Weston, Wharton, White, Whiting, Whitman, Whitmarsh, Wilbor, Williams, Willis, Wilmarth, Winslow, Wood, Woodward, Woodwiss, Wormal, and Young.
Next is more brief family sketches of some original proprietors of Bridgewater, but were never residents. These sketches include Allerton, Barnes, Bartlett, Bonney, Bradford, Brewster, Brown, Carver, Chandler, Church, Clark, Collier, Cushing, Cushman, Delano, Eaton, Faunce, Ford, Hall, Hobart, Howland, Hunt, Irish, Loring, Merrick, Morton, Nash, Partridge, Paybody / Peabody, Pierce, Prince, Sampson, Simmons, Soule, Wadsworth, West, Weston, and Winslow.
  • Records of John Cary, the first town clerk of Bridgewter, Mass., from 1656 to 1681 (Brockton, Mass., 1889), 14 pp.
    Digital version at Internet Archive.
  • Bridgewater Normal Association, Brief Sketch of the Pioneers in Establishing the First State Normal School in America [and] A Brief Sketch of the First Principals of the State Normal Schools, 1839-'40 (S.l., 1907), unpaginated.
    No digital version.
  • A Coppying Out of ye Olde Recordes Beginning With ye 4th Chh of Christ in Bridgewater - 1740 ([Brockton, Mass.], 1980), 837 + [80] pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/B1 K2c.
    These are the verbatim transcript of the Fourth Parish Church of Bridgewater that became the First Parish Church of North Bridgewater in 1821 when that part of town broken off to form a separate town and that town was renamed Brockton in 1874.
  • Bridgewater Wikipedia page.
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Vital Records

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

Original records
Published records
This includes, in part, church records from the Unitarian Church (C.R.1), Trinity Church (C.R.2), Central Square Congregational Church (C.R.3), Scotland Trinitarian Congregational Church (C.R.4), and Church of the New Jerusalem (C.R.5). Deaths are included from Mt. Prospect Cem. (G.R.1), Pratt-town Cem. (G.R.2), Cherry Street or Harlow Cem. (G.R.3), Conant Street Cem. (G.R.4), Hillside Cem. (G.R.5), Scotland Graveyard (G.R.6), Old Graveyard (G.R.7), Alden or Vernon Street Graveyard in Titicut (G.R.8), Keith or South Street Graveyard in Titicut (G.R.9), Trinity Church Graveyard (G.R.10), Japan Graveyard (G.R.11), Great Woods Graveyard (G.R.12), and Small Pox Graveyards (G.R. 13).
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Cemeteries

The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Bridgewater. Remember that the "old" town included present-day East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, and Brockton. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.

  1. Alden's Bridge Cemetery, 18th century.
  2. Auburn Street Cemetery, 18th century.
  3. Benson Town Cemetery, 19th century.
  4. Cherry Street / Harlow Cemetery, 1826. (B)
  5. Conant Street Cemetery, 1821. (B)
  6. First / South Parish Cemetery, 1716. (A)
  7. Hillside Cemetery, 1813. (B)
  8. Japan Graveyard, 1766. (B)
  9. Jennings Hill Cemetery, 1750. (A, B [as Old Graveyard])
  10. Mount Prospect Cemetery, 1842. (B)
  11. Orange Street Cemetery, n.d.
  12. Pine Street Cemetery, 1833.
  13. Pratt Town Burial Ground, 1828. (B)
  14. Roman Catholic Cemetery, 1867.
  15. St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Burial Ground, 1854.
  16. Scotland Burial Ground, 1753. (A, B)
  17. Small Pox Cemetery, 1785. (A, B)
  18. South Street / Keith Cemetery, 1756. (A, B)
  19. Titicut / Great Woods Cemetery, 1793. (A, B)
  20. Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery, 1748. (A, B)
  21. Vernon Street / Alden Cemetery, 1751. (A, B)

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). William Latham, Epitaphs in Old Bridgewater, Massachusetts (Bridgewater, Mass., 1882) -- a digital version at Google Books.
(B). Vital Records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1916) [see links above under Vital Records].

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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. First Congregational Church (now First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church), 1716, records good.
  2. Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, 1747, records good.
  3. Bridgewater Congregational Church (now [www.csccuccbridgewaterma.org Central Square Congregational Church] [United Church of Christ]), 1821, records good.
  4. New Jerusalem Church [Swedenborgian], 1833, records good.
  5. Scotland Congregational Church (now Scotland Trinitian Church), 1836, records good.
  6. Saint Thomas Aquinas's Roman Catholic Church, 1855, older records to 1908 at Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
  7. Methodist Episcopal Church (now Gammons Memorial United Methodist Church), 1874, records good.
  8. Christian Science Church, no date.
  9. Faith Chapel Assemblies of God, no date.
  10. First Baptist Church, no date.
  11. South Shore Community Church, 1994.
  12. Trinity Covenant Church, 1983.
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Newspapers

  1. Plymouth County Republican (first as We, the People and Old Colony Press, then Bridgewater Republican and Old Colony Press), 1832-1837.
  2. Bridgewater Banner, 1862-aft. 1866.
  3. Bridgewater Independent, 1884-present, available at NewsLibrary ($) from 13 June 2007 to present (search free, pay for articles).
  4. Bridgewater Townsman, 1985-present.
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Libraries and Historical Societies

The following is list of research facilities in town:

Bridgewater Public Library
15 South St.
Bridgewater MA 02324
Phone 508-697-3331

Maxwell Library
Bridgewater State College
10 Shaw Rd.
Bridgewater MA 02324
Phone 508-531-1394

Old Bridgewater Historical Society
162 Howard St.
West Bridgewater MA 02379
Phone 508-559-1510

Thanks to the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants for their contributions to this page

References

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 25. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co: East Bridgewater | Halifax | Middleborough | West Bridgewater | Bristol Co: Easton | Rayham