VITAL RECORDS OF THE TOWN OF BOYLSTON, MASSACHUSETTS To the Year 1850
Collected and arranged by
FRANKLIN P. RICE.
PUBLISHED BY FRANKLIN P. RICE.
Trustee of the Fond.
TOWN CLERKS OF BOYLSTON, 1786-1850.
AARON SAWYER, 1786.
JOTHAM BUSH, 1787-1799.
AARON WHITE, 1800-1818, 1820-1824.
PITT MOORE, 1819.
ELI BOND, 1825.
NATHANIEL DAVENPORT, 1826-1836.
JOHN T. COTTON, 1837-1849.
HENRY H. BRIGHAM, 1850.
OF THEIR PUBLIC SERVICE THIS REPRODUCTION OF
THEIR HANDIWORK IS OFFERED.
"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
THIS Volume comprises the record of the Births, Marriages and
Deaths which occurred in Boylston during the period from a
time earlier than the date of the incorporation of the place to
the end of the year 1850, as found in the Town Books. Some
addition has been made from other sources, and the whole is
here arranged for ready reference.
Mr. George L. Wright, Town Clerk of Boylston, has given
some assistance in the comparison of the proofs in print with
the original records, and in the verification of names and dates.
DEATH OMITTED. BRIGHAM, Patty, May 25, 1784.
THE larger portion of the territory originally included
within the boundary lines of the town of Boylston
was taken from Shrewsbury, and the remainder from
Lancaster. The first settlement by Europeans was
made in the north part as early as 1706, by repre-
sentatives of the Sawyer family. These were fol-
lowed during the next quarter of a century and later
by other families whose names are prominent in the
history of the place—Ball, Hastings, Bennett, Stone,
Howe, Taylor, Newton, Andrews, Temple, Wheeler,
Keyes, Davenport, Flagg, Bigelow, Bush, Brigham,
Houghton, Kendall, Longley, Barres, Moore, Lam-
son, Gibbs, Whitney, White, Bearnan, Cotton and
Sanford. The record of the numerous descendants
of all these, with that of the other inhabitants during
the specified period, is preserved in the following
In 1738 the desire and purpose of the settlers to
form and maintain a separate local government were
denied by Governor Shirley, the policy of those in
authority at that time being to restrict popular rep-
resentation, and to create as few towns as possible.
However, on the 17th of December, 1742, the North
Precinct of Shrewsbury was incorporated, and cer-
tain families of Lancaster, with their estates, were
permitted to join the new division, as were others.
from that town in 1762 and 1780. A meeting-house
was built in 1743. The first minister, the Reverend
Ebenezer Morse, ordained in October of that year,
remained in charge of the church until the Revolution
, when political differences caused his dismissal
. He continued to reside in the town until his
death in 1802. Succeding ministers to 1850 were :
Eleazer Fairbanks, 1777-1793; Hezekiah Hooper,
1794-1795; Ward Cotton, 1797-1825; Samuel
Russell, 1826-1832 ; and William H. Sanford, who
remained from 1832 until 1857.
March 1, 1786, the town was incorporated, with
the name of Boylston, in honor of a prominent and
wealthy Boston family, one of whose members, Ward
Nicholas Boylston, was a benefactor of both church
and town, leaving in his will a sum with which the
present town hall was built.
In 1796 the westerly portion of the town, with
parts of Sterling and Holden, was incorporated as
the Second Precinct of Boylston, and in 1808 this
was set off to form the town of West Boylston, re-
ducing the area of the original territory more than
The present area of Boylston is about 12,680
acres, over three thousand acres of which have
been taken for the uses of the Metropolitan Water
Basin. The population of the town previous to
1850 never exceeded 1000 except at the time of the
division in 1808, the number after that being about
800. The number in 1895 was 729.