Natick, Mass. First Congregational Church records, 1721-1794

Collection Information

Natick, Mass. First Congregational Church records, 1721-1794.


First Congregational Church (Natick, Mass.)
Peabody, Oliver William Bourn, 1799-1848
Badger, Stephen, 1726-1803




1 volume (0.04 cubic feet)

3 reels 35mm microfilm: archival master, print master & service copy (0.06 cubic feet)

75 unique page images: archival TIF, derivative JPEG & PDF

Collection ID #:


Conditions Governing Access:

Original volume, print master, and archival microfilm reels are restricted and unavailable for researcher use. Microfilm service copy and digital copies are open and available for use.

Technical Access:

A microfilm reader is required to access service copy microfilm reel. 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 later, 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 Natick, Mass. First Congregational Church records, 1721-1794. RG4839. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

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


First Congregational Church of Natick was established in 1651 by a group of English settlers and missionaries under the leadership of Rev. John Elliot. The church became home to many local Native Americans, also known as “Praying Indians,” and was the location of the writing of the “Eliot Bible:” a bible translated into phonetic Algonquian. The ledger contains records of church covenants, meeting minutes, baptisms, deaths, discipline, ordination, and membership.


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


Historical Note

The First Congregational Church of Natick was established by a group of English settlers and missionaries led by Rev. John Eliot in 1651. These Englishmen cultivated strong relationships with the local Native Americans. Eliot even went so far as to learn their language and publish a translation of the bible in their native tongue as a means of converting them to Christianity.

Many of the "Praying Indians" became members of the church, and the congregation maintained a mix of English and native members until 1799.

The volume was originally kept by Rev. Oliver Peabody, who became pastor of the church in 1721 and remained in that position for 30 years until his death in 1752. The record book was then passed on to Rev. Stephen badger who remained at Natick until 1799.


Scope of Collection

This collection contains what appears to be the earliest extant records of the town of Natick and First Church. Included are records of covenants, meeting minutes, baptisms, deaths, discipline, ordination, and membership.


Further Searches

Subject Headings

Natick (Mass.) - Church history.


Peabody, Oliver William Bourn, 1799-1848.



Covenant (Church polity) - Congregational churches.

Church membership.

Church discipline - Massachusetts.

Algonquian Indians - History.

Algonquian Indians - Names.

Native Americans

Baptismal records.


Related Materials

An essay to revive and encourage military exercises, skill and valour among the sons of God's people in New England : a sermon preached before the Honourable Artillery-Company in Boston, June 5th. 1732. : being the day of their election of officers; and now made publick at their request, and at the desire of many others by Oliver Peabody, A. M., Pastor of the Church in Natick. 15.0.1 1732

History of the town of Natick, Mass. : from the days of the apostolic Eliot, MDCL, to the present time, MDCCCXXXT N21.27Bi

Natick, MA : First Congregational Church. 17.11.1 N21.27 FIRCC

The nature and effects of drunkenness considered with an addres to tavern-keepers, to parents, and young people, relating to the subject, in two discourses. Delivered at Natick, the last Lord's Day in October, 1773. by Stephen Badger, A.M. (1774) 28.9.5 2507

The substance of two discourses on intemperance delivered at Natick by the Late Rev. Stephen Badger 28.9.5 2507

Vital records of Natick, Massachusetts, to the year 1850. T N21.27



Records are house in one (1) volume. Records are roughly grouped by type, and then approximately chronological by date. The volume is duplicated in its entirety on microfilm and in digital format which is available online.



Church Records 1721-1794 Volume 1
    Reel 1 of 1
    Online Interface