Danvers, Massachusetts. First Church records, 1672-1845.

Collection Information

Danvers, Mass. First Church records, 1672-1845.


First Church (Danvers, Mass.)




1 reel 35mm microfilm: service copy (0.02 cubic feet)

613 unique images: archival TIFF, derivative JPEG & PDF

Collection ID #:


Conditions Governing Access:

Both microfilm and digital files are open and available for researcher access. Digital files may be accessed online. In some places, images may be difficult to read due to ink spread, bleed-through, and staining.

Physical Access:

Digital surrogate is the preferred user's copy. Please consult with the archivist or librarian to access original microfilm copy.

Technical Access:

A microfilm reader is required to access microfilm copy of records. To access digital user's copies via online-interface a java-enabled web browser is required. Internet Explorer 8.x and later, Firefox 5.x and alter, Opera 12 and later, Safari 5.x and later, or any version of Google Chrome are recommended.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Danvers, Mass. First Church records, RG1309. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.

Additional Resources:

Item-level metadata is available for digital duplicates. Please contact the library for more information.



Processing information:

Collection re-described by Sari Mauro in September 2013 in accordance with DACS 2013. Portions of description written by Robin Duckworth.

Revision History:

Updated for ArchivesSpace by Zachary Bodnar, November 2017.


First Church of Danvers was founded in 1672 when a group of farmers who lived quite a distance from the Salem meetinghouse of which they were members petitioned for permission to erect one of their own. This collection contains the early records of the Danvers church, including records pertaining to membership, vital statistics, and church meetings. Of particular note are records pertaining to the confession and trial of Martha Corey (alternatively spelled Kory and Cory) in regards to the witchcraft controversy in Salem.

Acquisition Information:

No acquisition records are available for this collection. Microfilm was created in 1962. Records documenting the Congregational Library & Archives' holding of this microfilm date back to circa 1962.

Digital reproductions were created from the microfilm.


Additional accruals are expected for this collection in the form of full-text transcription. There is no anticipated date for this accrual.

Existence and Location of Originals:

Original ledgers are held by Disciples, United Church of Christ, in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Existence and Location of Copies:

Materials in this collection were digitized as part of the New England's Hidden Histories project. Digital reproductions are available to view online.

Historical Note

First Church of Danvers was founded in 1672 when a group of farmers who lived quite a distance from the Salem meetinghouse of which they were members petitioned for permission to erect one of their own. After initially being denied, the Massachusetts Court granted permission for a meetinghouse to be established in what was then known as Salem Village, and for the gathered body to call a minister.

This collection contains records from the years 1672-1845. During that time, First Church became the epicenter of the Salem witchcraft hysteria, built four meetinghouses, was instrumental in the establishment and building of the village's first school, saw Danvers incorporated as its own town, and survived the Revolutionary War while at the same time contributing numerous officers and soldiers to the cause.


Scope of Collection

Types of records in this collection include meeting minutes, confessions, covenants, notes on salaries, correspondence, and membership records. Also found in this collection are records of births, deaths, marriages, and baptisms. Of particular note are records pertaining to the witchcraft hysteria, including records of Martha Kory's [sic] excommunication from the church for witchcraft, and the confession and apology of witchcraft accuser Anne Putnam, made 10 years after the controversy.

This collection is part of New England's Hidden Histories. Digital historical representations of this collection can be viewed online.


Further Searches

Subject Headings

Witchcraft - Massachusetts.

Witchcraft - Massachusetts - Salem.

Danvers (Mass.) - Church history.

Congregational churches - Massachusetts - Danvers.

First Church (Danvers, Mass.)

Church records and registers - Massachusetts - Danvers

Church records and registers.

Church membership.

Baptismal records.

Church discipline.


Covenant (Church polity) - Congregational churches.


Marriage records - Massachusetts


Related Materials

At the Congregational Library:

Salem Witchcraft Trials digital collection.

A sermon preached at the ordination of the Reverend Mr. Benjamin Wadsworth to the pastoral care of the First Church in Danvers. December 23, 1772. 15.0.8 5656 1772

Address to the Danvers Auxiliary Society, for Suppressing Intemperance and Other Vices, and Promoting Temperance and General Morality. April 24, 1821. 28.9.5 2509

Address, delivered in the South Meeting House in Danvers, before the society, in that town, for suppressing intemperance, and other vices; and for promoting temperance and general morality. April 27, 1819. 28.9.5 2509

An address, delivered in the Brick Meeting House, in Danvers, before the Society in that town for Suppressing Intemperance and Other Vices; and for promoting temperance and general morality; April 25, 1820. 28.9.5 2509

Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass. June 16, 1852. T D23.5 C

Chronicles of Danvers (old Salem village) Massachusetts, 1632-1923 T D23.5T

Danvers, MA : First Church of Danvers Congregational. 17.11.1 D23.5 FIRCDC

Danvers, Massachusetts : a resume of her past history and progress, together with a condensed summary of her industrial advantages and development : biographies of prominent Danvers men and a series of comprehensive sketches of her representative manufacturing and commercial enterprises. T D23.5D

Exercises in celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the First Church, Congregational, Danvers, Massachusetts : October 8th to 15th, 1922 : with an address at the centennial of the Sunday School, November 17th, 1918. 17.11.1 D23.5 FIRC EX 1922

First Church of Danvers, Congregational : 300th anniversary. 17.11.1 D23.5 FIRC AN 1972

History of the town of Danvers, from its early settlement to the year 1848 T D23.5H

Proceedings at the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the First Parish at Salem Village, now Danvers, October 8, 1872 : with an historical address by Charles B. Rice, minister of the Parish. 17.11.1 D23.5 FIRC PR 1874

Rebecca Nurse and her friends : address at the dedication of a tablet in honor of forty friends of Rebecca Nurse, of Salem Village, delivered in the First Church of Danvers, Mass. … July 29, 1892 7.7 1001

The celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, as a separate municipality, June 15, 16, 17, 1902. T D23.5 O

Vital records of Danvers, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849. T D23.5 V



Record arrangement in this collection directly reflects arrangement at time of microfilming.



  Date Location
Account book 1672-1735 Reel 1 of 1
Online interface
Church records 1689-1845 Reel 1 of 1
Online interface


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