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How to refer to vital records occuring in Sunderland, Mass. before incorporation.

(Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: I am researching the Root family, ancestors of my wife’s.  One of them settled in the town of Sunderland, Massachusetts in a part known as Hunting Hills.  This town became the town of Montague.  I’m undecided as to what town I should record as a place of birth if the year is on or before 1753. 


Answer:  The town of Sunderland annexed part of its territory on January 25, 1754 to become the town of Montague.  I would refer to all births that are registered in Montague before Jan. 25, 1754 to refer to them as Sunderland.  The town of Sunderland was formerly called Swampfield from February 17, 1714 to November 12, 1718.  The original area of Swampfield was formerly a plantation of land established by the inhabitants of Hadley in 1673.

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