Ipswich, Massachusetts. First Church. Records, 1724-1830.

Collection Information
Title:

Ipswich, Mass. First Church records, 1724-1830.

Creator(s):

First Church (Ipswich, Mass.)

Dates:

1724-1830

Extent:

3 volumes

805 unique images: archival TIFF, derivative JPEG & PDF

Collection ID #:

RG5288

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Technical Access:

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 First Church (Ipswich, Mass.) records, RG5288. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Processed by Marya Shotkoski, October 2015, using DACS Second Edition

Revision History:

Additional processing and finding aid work by Zachary Bodnar, November 2017.

Abstract:

Ipswich, first known as Agawam, was settled by John Winthrop and his twelve companions in 1633 and the town was officially incorporated a year later. That same year, the first meeting-house was built and the Reverends Nathaniel Ward and Thomas Parker were settled. The First Parish Records document the history and parish life of the church through meeting minutes, reports, financial documents, and vital statistics.

Acquisition Information:

Materials were temporarily loaned to the Congregational Library & Archives from 2015-2017 by the First Church in Ipswich, MA, UCC. Digital surrogates were created from these materials in 2016.

Accruals:

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:

The original volumes are currently held by the First Church in Ipswich, Massachusetts, UCC.

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.

Description

Historical Note

Ipswich, first known as Agawam, was settled by John Winthrop and his twelve companions in 1633 and the town was officially incorporated a year later. The town name was chosen to honor the merchants of Ipswich, England who were financial supporters of the Massachusetts Bay Company. In 1634, the first meeting-house was built and the Reverends Nathaniel Ward and Thomas Parker were settled. At the time, it was the ninth church in Massachusetts. The towns of Newbury, Boxford, Hamilton, Essex and Topsfield were later incorporated from lands once a part of the town of Ipswich. In 1702 the third meeting house of the First Church was built on the north green. In 1740 "The Great Awakening" arrived in Ipswich and in 1747, a group of parishioners living on the South Side withdrew from the First Church on the north green and built their own meeting house, later named the South Church, on the school green. In 1749 the parishioners of the First Church built a new meeting house on the north green, although their membership had been reduced due to the schism. Both parishes worked together congenially on several joint endeavors. In 1773 the First and South Parishes jointly purchased a burial ground on the south side of town, and in 1804 they offered to build an engine house for a vehicle to be bought by subscription. As of 1984, the First Church has had six different meeting houses.

The First Church in Ipswich had four daughter churches. The Second Church in Ipswich, originally called the Chebacco Parish, is now the Congregational Church of Essex and was organized on September 6, 1681. The Third Church in Ipswich, embodied October 27, 1714, is now the First Congregational Church of Hamilton. The Linebrook Church, first called West Farms Parish, was organized on November 15, 1749. The South Church continued until 1922, when it united again with the First Church to form "The First and South Congregational Church". The First or "Old North" Church was retained as the house of worship and the South Church became the Parish House.

 

Scope of Collection

The First Church records document the history and parish life of the church through meeting minutes, reports, financial documents, and vital statistics. In addition, topics such as ministry work, pew rights, land discussions, hymns in church, and lists of the sacraments that occurred at the different parishes are included within the records. The vital records include birth and baptismal records, marriage records, and death records.

 

Further Searches

Subject Headings

First Church, UCC (Ipswich, Mass.)

South Parish (Ipswich, Mass.)

First Church (Ipswich, Mass.)

Singers

Hymns, English

Sacraments

Massachusetts - Church history

Pews and pew rights

Cemeteries - Massachusetts

Minutes and proceedings

Ministry

Ipswich, (Mass.) - Church History.

Music in churches.

Psalmody.

Church meetings.

Baptism.

Marriage records. – Massachusetts-Ipswich.

Registers of births, etc. – Massachusetts-Ipswich.

Installation (Clergy)

Ipswich, (Mass.) – History.

Church records and registers – Massachusetts – Ipswich.

 

Related Materials

Ipswich, MA : First Church historical materials (17.11.I68.7 FIRC)

Ipswich, Mass. South Parish records, 1747-1868. RG5298

 

Arrangement

The three volumes are arranged chronologically by start date.

 

Contents

  Date Location
The Book of Records of the First or Town Parish 1724-1756 Online interface
This volume contains the minutes of the First Parish dating from 1724 to 1755, and also contains the minutes of Ipswich town meetings. The minutes document church and town happenings and record the votes that took place. The volume chronicles the history and development of the town and First Parish of Ipswich. The topics covered include salaries, ministry work and assistance, discussions of building a meeting house on the South side of the river and its development, and the governance of the parish. The volume includes a list of members divided by geographical locations.
     
Records of the First Church of Christ in Ipswich 1739-1806 Online interface
This volume largely contains lists of vital statistics including the birth, baptismal, marriage, admission, dismission, and death records of the church from 1739 to 1806. The volume also contains hand copied excerpts from other sources pertaining to the founding and history of the church.
     
The Book of Records of the First Parish in Ipswich 1757-1830 Online interface
This volume contains the warrants and meeting summaries of the First Parish in Ipswich from 1757 to 1830. The meeting summaries cover both the development and governance of the First Parish and of the town of Ipswich. Principal topics include payments to pastors, records of votes, the burial grounds of the parish, and the role of song in church service. Other topics include the pew allocations, including a diagram, division of land, and the digging of graves.

 

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