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VITAL RECORDS OF THE TOWN OF AUBURN, (FORMERLY WARD), MASSACHUSETTSTo the Year 1850

Collected and arranged by
FRANKLIN P. RICE.

WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS;
PUBLISHED BY FRANKLIN P. RICE,
Trustee of the Fund.
1900.

IN MEMORY OF Major General Artemas Ward
IN WHOSE HONOR THE TERRITORY OF AUBURN WAS FIRST NAMED,
AND OF Reberend Issac Bailey
THE FIRST MINISTER OF THE TOWN.

"In this work of bringing original material
into form for quick reference and practical use, the
list of Births, Marriages and Deaths of a place
should first be secured and printed, as personal
records are the real and important foundation of
local history"

-Extract from letter conferring Trusteeship of Systematic History Fund.

PREFACE.

The Records of Auburn have a close and important relation to
those of Worcester, Leicester, Sutton and Oxford, towns promi-
nent in the history of the early settlement of central Massachu-
setts. Especially are these Records supplementary to the Town
Records of Worcester, which have been edited and printed in
full by the Trustee of the Systematic History Fund, and they may
be considered in reality a continuation of the work which was
comprehended in a plan formed by him for the practical develop-
ment of the original historical material of this section.

With the exception of brief sketches in narrative form, com-
prised in certain general works, nothing in the shape of a town
history of Auburn has been printed. Its Records are in a fair
state of preservation, but accessible only to those who are on the
ground. This first publication presents the full personal record
(which in every case is the true foundation of local history) so
far as it can be gathered from the town books, and added to this
are the inscriptions from the two older burial grounds in the
town, all in systematized form for reference.

Speaking in a general way, all local records of the early period
in New England are incomplete and imperfect, the degree vary-
ing to some extent in different places, but none have been found
entirely free from omissions, discrepancies and other errors. The
Records of Auburn afford about the average number of such
instances. But this statement should not carry the implication
that the value and practical usefulness of town and other records
are seriously impaired by the small percentage of inaccuracies
common in all human works, and of which a large proportion
can be rectified by effort and patience. The substantial ground-
work of the original entries in the Auburn town books is here •
supplied, and the addition of the burial ground inscriptions will
aid in completing the record of deaths.

In the work of collecting and copying this material I have had
the benefit of the services of Mr. George Maynard as a compe-
tent assistant. To Mr. Charles E. Prouty, the Town Clerk of
Auburn, and to Mrs. Prouty, my acknowledgments are due for
their courtesy, and for free access to the Records at all times.
F. P. R.
Worcester, March 31, 1900.


* * * ADDITION TO BIRTHS, PAGE 25.

CLARK: -The misplacing of the name of Mary-Lucinda, daughter of John,
Jr. and Sarah Clark, born Nov. 16, 1836, was discovered too late for its
insertion in regular order.

HISTORICAL NOTE.

THE Town of Auburn was originally set off from
Worcester, Sutton, Leicester and Oxford, and was
incorporated on the loth of April, 1778, with the
name of Ward, in honor of General Artemas Ward,
of Shrewsbury, a man of great prominence in this
region, active as a patriot during the difficulties
that caused the separation from the mother country,
and receiving on the eve of hostilities the appoint-
ment of First Major General in the Revolutionary
Army. He was at a later period Chief Justice of
the Court of Common Pleas, and afterwards served
in Congress. He died in 1800 at the age of seventy-
three.

A precinct was organized at this place July 27th,
1773, called the South Parish of Worcester, ,and
three years later the church was formed. In 1777
Rev. Isaac Bailey became the first pastor.

More or less opposition was manifested against
the formation of the new township in the several
places from which its territory was taken, and com-
mittees were chosen to contest the proposed action
in the General Court. It is probable that the in-
tention to separate from the older towns had been
cherished for several years by those who, though
nominally apart in corporate interests, were in their
isolated situation united for common convenience
and protection of material rights. This purpose
after it was divulged could not long be resisted,
but the event was postponed for several years by a
quasi acknowledgment of independence. Twice in
1776 and 1777, as the Town Records of Worcester
testify, were special war taxes abated to the inhabi-
tants of the South Parish, perhaps with the hope of
holding them to their allegiance ; but in the fall of
the last named year the matter was brought directly
to a settlement, as appears by the following extract
from the Worcester Records :

"The Town of Worcester Having been served
with a Coppy of the Petition of William Phips &
Charles Richardson praying 'the present members
of the Precinct lately Erected out of Worcester,
Leicester, Oxford & Sutton may be incorporated
into a Town, according to a plan Exhibited with
said petition &c. and the Honble General assemblys
Resolve thereon, of the 24th day of Octr. last, Re-
quireing the said Towns to shew Cause, if any they
have, on the third Wednesday of the next Session
of the S4 Court why the prayer of Sa petition should
not be granted.

The Town of Worcester, in answer to Sa Petition
and Order of Court, beg leave to say, that they have
not been served with a plan of said town exhibited
with said Petition to the Court, and therefore are
not in a Capacity to offer reasons against, or to
comply with it untill they know how far it Extends.
But if the said plan Does not include any of those
persons nor their Estates which belong to the Town
of Worcester, and which were Excepted from being
set off to said precinct when it was first Erected,
We have no objections to their being made a Dis-
tinct Town. But if said plann includes those per-
sons and their Estates who were first Exempted
from belonging to said precinct, and are still un-
willing to be set off to said Town, We beg leave to
say we think it would be inconsistent to include a
Number of persons & their Estates into the said
New Town and still continue them to belong to the
Town of Worcester, and to include them in the
plann aforesaid & set them off against their Consent
& the Consent of this Town, is departing from the
principles upon which the said precinct was at first
Erected, and will subject the said persons to an in-
convenience that they had a right to Expect an
Exemption from by the act of the General assem-
bly & as the said persons who were first Exempted
from belonging to S4 Precinct and who are still un-
willing to be set off to S4 new Town and their
Estates all lay upon the side of Sa new Town next
to Worcester, this Town are humbly of opinion that
a line may be run between the Town of Worcester
& the Sd new Town Leaving the Sa persons & their
Estates to the Town of Worcester without any In-
conveniency to Either of the said Towns, which if
complied with the Town of Worcester are Content.
NATH N BALDWIN
NATHAN PERRY Comittee."
DAVID BIGELOW

On the 2d of February, 1778, in Worcester Town
Meeting, it was voted to choose two persons to
meet the Committee of the General Court, to view
the proposed new township, and to fix the lines and
boundaries; and on the 23d of the same month, it
was voted to remonstrate against the proceedings
of said Committee, and the lines established be-
tween the towns, with what effect it does not appear.

On the 10th of the following April the Precinct
was incorporated as a Town and named Ward.
February 17th, 1837, the name of the Town was
changed to Auburn. This was influenced largely,
it is said, by the confusion in writing the names
Ward and Ware by those not familiar with the two
places.

The Order establishing the South Precinct or
Parish of Worcester comprises the names of those
who were the first residents of the new town, and
the founders of the prominent families, the names
of whose immediate progeny and later descendants
appear in the Records embodied in this volume:

In Council, June 19, 1773, ordered that Gershom
Rice, Israel Stevens, David Bancroft, Jonathan
Stone, Daniel Boyden, Jacob Stevens, Thomas
Drury, Thomas Drury, Jr., Henry Gale, Wm. Ban-
croft, Jas. Nichols, Darius Boyden, Jas. Hart, Thos.
Baird, Jas. Hart, Jr., Thos. Baird, Jr., Oliver Curtis,
Comfort Rice, Elizabeth Boyden, Phebe Bancroft,
Jno. Boyden, Daniel Bancroft, Chas. Hart, Jas.
Nichols, Peter Boyden, of Worcester ; Benjamin
Carter, Chas. Richardson, Timothy Carter, Phineas
Rice, Benjamin Carter, Jr., Rachel Buck, Daniel Ro-
per, Gershom Bigelow, Gershom Bigelow, Jr. Peter
Hardy, Daniel Cummings, Charles Richardson, Jr.,
of Sutton ; Samuel Eddy, Levi Eddy, Peter Jenison,
Ruth Stone, Jesse Stone, Isaac Pratt, Abraham
Fitts, Alexander Nichols, David Gleason, of Ox-
ford; John Crowl, Jr., Andrew Crowl, Jonathan
Phillips, John Hart, Thomas Scott, William Yong,
Jonathan Stone, of Leicester ; be and hereby aref
with their Families and Estates, erected into a Pre-
cinct, and shall enjoy all the powers and privileges
which other Precincts in this Province by Law
enjoy; and it is further ordered that all other per-
sons (with their Families and Estates) living in the
towns of Worcester, Leicester and Oxford, not fur-
ther than three miles (as the roads are now trod)
from the Place hereinafter fixed for building the
meeting-house upon, together with all such others
in Sutton that live not further than one mile and a
half from said place, who shall signify their desire
to belong to said Precinct by lodging their names
in the Secretary's office within nine months from
this date, be and hereby are Incorporated and made
a part of the Precinct aforesaid-Ordered that the
spot for erecting the meeting-house upon be at the
following place (viz)., at an Oak stump with stones
upon it, Standing on the Westerly side of the
County road leading from Worcester to Oxford,
near the Centre of two acres of Land which Thomas
Drury conveyed to Jonathan Stone, Daniel Boyden
and David Bancroft; the said two acres of land lieth
on the gore of land which was annexed to the town
of Worcester.

Those who signified their desire to be included
in the new division were :

Samuel Holrnan, Gershom Rice, Jr., Israel Stone,
Wm. Parker, Joseph Phillips, Samuel Learned, Israel
Phillips, Jacob Work, Jonathan Cutler, David Stone,
John Harwood, Thomas Gleason, William Phips,
Isaac Putnam, Joseph Gleason, Jonas Bancroft,
Elisha Livermore, Gardner Chandler (for his land
within the limits) Nathaniel Scot, David Bates,
Nathan Patch, David Richards.

POPULATION AT DIFFERENT PERIODS.-1790, 473 ;
1810,540; 1830,690; 1850,879; 1880,1317.
The State Census of 1895 gives the number as
1598.

THE AREA of Auburn is about 10,000 acres.

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