American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS

Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts to the Year 1850

Worcester, Massachusetts
Published by Franklin P. Rice,Trustee of the Fund.

Owing to a misunderstanding the edition was found to be short one hundred copies, and that number has been reprinted.


Stanhope Press
F.M. Gilson Company
Boston, U.S.A.

Foreword to the Marlborough Vital Records: A Retrospect.
The printing of the Vital Records, the Burial Ground Inscriptions, and the Proprietors' Records of Marlborough is a realization in small part of a plan formed in 1885 to copy and print the records of several of the old Massachusetts Towns in the pathway of the westward emi- gration from the coast from 1635 to 1660. Some of the details of this plan were discussed at length in certain quarters, and with competent authorities, but I received little encouragement to proceed in an undertaking which seemed to the majority of those gentlemen to be attended with insurmountable difficulties. I gratefully remember, however, that there were two or three who took the opposite view, and who offered
assistance. Four of the towns contemplated in the project were Watertown, Concord, Sudbury and Marlborough, and I felt assured that even the announcement of the beginning of work in these important places would give an impetus to record publication in other parts of the State,which was then my principal object.

During the next three years the enterprise was under consideration, but various other interests interposed to delay it, and before arrangements could be perfected I unexpectedly found myself involved in the undertaking of printing the second series of the Worcester Records,
from which, in consequence of certain unforeseen and singular difficulties, I was not wholly freed until 1898. During the period 1876-1882 I had completed the Worcester Records to 1783, including the Proprietors' Book, and also the Records of the Worcester County Court of General Sessions from 1731 to 1737, the latter being, I believe, the first example of printed county records in Massachusetts.

Considerable activity in record work was manifested in various places in the State from 1880 to 1890, mostly through individual effort. Dr. Samuel A. Green began the publication of the Groton Records in 1880, and Mr. Henry S. Nourse prepared three volumes of Lancaster Records in 1884 and later. The most notable instance during this period was the printing of the Dedham Records in six volumes under the supervision of Don Gleason Hill, Esq. A little later, efforts of this kind began to multiply. Probably the first in Massachusetts, consecutively
exerted, was that of printing the Brookline (Muddy River) Records, the first volume appearing in 1874, the others not until 1889. In 1890 I was glad to be informed by Mr. C. A. Stearns that the Watertown Historical Society was about to begin the printing of the local records with the aid of appropriations by the town. About this time I made a verbal proposition to Mr. George Tolman of Concord to print the records of that town upon my own responsibility, if he would furnish the copy, and this offer seemed to strike him favorably.
Shortly after, meeting Mr. Francis E. Blake of Boston, who has always been, during my thirty years' acquaintance with him, a ready and potent force in record work, I mentioned this circumstance, and he offered to assume one-fourth of the expense. Thus reinforced, I renewed my proposition in writing, to which Mr. Tolman replied that he would, before giving his decision, make an attempt to induce the town at its annual meeting to appropriate a sum to enable the Concord Antiquarian Society to carry forward the undertaking. In this effort he was successful, so far as the printing of the vital records of the town was concerned, and his book is one of the best prepared under the old method, while his incomparable index modifies in some degree the evils of that system.

Mr. Tolman wrote that he desired to follow the scientific plan in the printing of records of this class, and avoid the confusing use of an index, but probably he was overruled. For several years I was not able to give further consideration to this locality, my efforts in reorganizing the record work under the Systematic History Fund being confined to towns in Worcester County. The burning of the city building in Marlborough in 1902, and the narrow escape of the records from destruction, caused my thoughts to turn again in that direction, and I was urged by friends in the New England Historic Genealogical Society and by others to  undertake the work of copying and printing the vital records of Marlborough at once. I was
obliged, however, to await the completion of the new city hall before a suitable place for copying the records could be provided, and it was not until the fall of 1906 that this task was begun. In the meantime I secured copies of the church records and of the gravestone inscriptions. The Vital Records of Sudbury were published in 1903 by the New
England Historic Genealogical Society, at the charge of the Eddy Town-Record Fund.


I had a deeper interest in Marlborough than in any other place in Massachusetts. It was the parent town not only of the settlements in a large adjacent territory, but of others more remote, and its records have a particular value in connection with the first history of all these.
It was my native town, and had it not been for the difficulty in securing the copy of its records at that period, I should probably have put forth my efforts there instead of in Worcester, and made it the first example of a town with all its records in print. I made an examination of the
manuscript volumes in 1883 with a strong inclination to engage in the work of printing, but I was then overtasked. I experienced peculiar satisfaction in being able to make even a beginning at a late date.


It was in Marlborough that I first thought of making use of type to enable me to produce copies in number of certain historical data from original materials which I had collected. Acting under the impulse I procured a small press and type enough to set an octavo page, and thus unknowingly acquired a power, which, as later developments have shown, has proved effective in carrying out the various enterprises in which I have engaged, as otherwise they must have failed of accomplishment through lack of pecuniary means and in the face of the discouragements and other obstacles encountered. This was in March, 1871, and, soon after, I returned to Worcester, and for the next two or three years other interests prevailed, but what at a later period became my main object was kept in mind. Facility in the use of type came slowly, for I never received an hour's instruction in a printing office, and have always followed my own methods. It is, perhaps, remarkable that I have many times been solicited to print books for others at high prices. A few of these offers I have accepted that I might be able to patch over financial bare spots in the record work.


I hope sometime to give in detail an account of the various undertakings in the line of record preservation with which I have been connected since I began, in the early seventies, with the idea, crude and imperfect, of subjecting to classification for easy reference manuscript materials in public depositories, many of which were then hidden or unknown, and in many places practically inaccessible; but only a brief summary can be given here. Thirty-five years ago the interest in such matters was mainly antiquarian, and the few examples in print in this
line had been inspired from that standpoint. Genealogical research was not then the powerful factor it is to-day. As the idea expanded and developed I came to regard the work chiefly in its practical and scientific aspects, and I applied the term Systematic History as best explaining its purpose to meet the necessities of all inquirers and investigators.

My fortunate meeting with Mr. Samuel E. Staples in 1869 resulted in the formation of The Worcester Society of Antiquity five years later. The Worcester Records in eight volumes were published by that Society, some financial aid being given by the city. In 1882-3 considerable work was done at the State House with the intention of including certain early archives of the Commonwealth in the printed Collections of the Society, but this project encountered remonstrances of such a nature that I abandoned it, as, for other reasons, I did the one to print the County Probate and Land Records in 1891. The purpose in these propositions was to have the Society maintain its place as the leader in the record work.

I formulated a plan sometime before 1890 to require the towns in Massachusetts to print their records, but this met with little favor. Its substantial features are embodied in the Act of 1902.
The formation of The Massachusetts Record Society in 1891 was an abortive attempt to reorganize the record work upon a practical basis. Considerable was, however, accomplished, in western Massachusetts and in New Hampshire; the results in the latter locality were turned over to the State Board of Vital Statistics at Concord. Pursuing the work since 1898 under the operation of the Systematic History Fund, I have been able to secure copies and to print the vital records of more than thirty towns in central Massachusetts.
Franklin P. Rice
Worcester, April, 1908.

Publisher's Note.
The list of Marlborough Births, Marriages and Deaths comprised in this volume includes all that were found in the Town Books covering the period from the earliest date there recorded to the end of the year 1849. Some additions have been made from other sources, and these are indicated in each instance by proper reference.

All of the records are condensed in print as much as is consistent with intelligibility, accuracy, and completeness of information. Differences in duplicates, and explanatory or other matter which seemed necessary or desirable, appear in brackets. Marriages and intentions of marriage are printed under the names of both parties, but the full information concerning each
person is given only under his or her name. No intentions of marriage previous to 1844 were found in the Marlborough records; in entries after that date an asterisk indicates that the
intention was not found recorded, and in many cases this is accounted for by the fact that neither party belonged in Marlborough, and consequently publishment was made elsewhere.

The double date is used in the months of January, February and March prior to 1752 only when it so appears in the original, and instances of the modern form after 1725 are not uncommon. When places other than Marlborough and Massachusetts are named in the original records, they are given in the printed copy. The Vital Records of Marlborough were copied and prepared for the press by Miss Mary E. Spalding, of Worcester.


a. - age
b. - born
bap. - baptized
ch. - child
C.R.1. - church record, First Church
c.R.2.-church record, Second (West,Unitarian) Church
d. - daughter; day; died
Dea. - deacon
D.M. - District of Maine
dup. - duplicate entry
G.S.1. - gravestone, Spring Hill Cemetery
G.S.2. - gravestone, High School or Old Common Cemetery
G.S.3. - gravestone, Chipman Cemetery
G.S.4. - gravestone, Brigham Cemetery
G.S.5. - gravestone, Farms Cemetery
h. - husband
inf. - infant
int. - publishment of intention of marriage
Jr. - junior
m. - male; married; month
M.R. - Middlesex County Registry
N.S. - new style
O.S. - old style
P.R. - private record
s. - son
Sr. - senior
V.R. - Vital Records
w. - A. H. Ward record. N. E. Hist, and Gen. Soc.
w. - wife
wid. - widow
widr. - widower

The age given in the Deaths is in years unless otherwise indicated.

Marlborough, Middlesex County.
On May 31, 1660, the grant to the Whip-suffrage planters was confirmed, the name of the plantation to be " Marlborow." Certain lands were granted to Marlborough July 2, 1700, and Nov. 16, 1716, the title of a tract of land called " Agaganquamasset" was confirmed. The part called " Chauncy " was established as Westborough (now in Worcester County) Nov. 18,
1717, and a part was established at Southborough (now in Worcester County) July 6, 1727. A part was included in the District of Berlin (Worcester County)
March 16, 1784. A part of Framingham was annexed
Feb. 23, 1791. A part was annexed to Northborough (Worcester County) and the boundary line established
June 20, 1807. A part was annexed to Bolton (Worcester County) Feb. 11, 1829. A part of Southborough was annexed March 24, 1843.

Population at different periods: 1765, 1,287 ; 1776,
1,554; 1790, 1,554; 1800, 1,735; 1810, 1674 ; 1820,
1,952; 1830, 2,077; 1840, 2,101; 1850, 2,941.
Population in 1905, 14,073.

Number of Births printed .............. 7,598
Marriages ......................                1926 = 3,852 names
Deaths. ...............................          2,256
                                       13,706 total

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society