Newburyport, Mass. First Religious Society

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Newburyport, Massachusetts. First Religious Society, 1725-1816, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

The First Church of Newbury, Massachusetts divided in 1695 when the Second Church of Newbury was established, followed by the Third Church in 1726. The Third Church itself experienced a denominational split in 1746, when a number of parishioners left to form the Newbury Presbyterian Church. In 1764 the Third Church became part of the parish of Newburyport, changing its name to the First Church of Newburyport. In 1794 the parish was incorporated as the "First Religious Society" of Newburyport. The church continues to serve the community today as a Unitarian Universalist congregation, the First Religious Society of Newburyport (UU).

The two volumes below comprise the records of the organization known variously as the Newbury Third Church, the Newburyport First Church, and the First Religious Society of Newburyport. The volumes were transcribed from various books and papers in 1737 by the church's first minister, Rev. John Lowell (pastor from 1726-1767), and later continued by the otherwise unidentified "Edith R. Wills".

The original manuscripts in this collection are owned by our project partners, the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Further information about the collection can be found in the NEHGS catalog.


Digital Materials

Church records, 1725-1816

This volume contains handwritten transcription of extracts from the records of the original Newbury Third Church, and later the Newburyport First Church and First Religious Society of Newburyport. The records include meeting minutes, correspondence, listings of gifts, lists of members, admissions, dismissions, recommendations, and baptisms to 1740.

Church records, 1726-1799

This volume contains transcriptions of baptisms performed at the Newbury Third Church from 1741 to 1763, a list of members chosen for the Monthly Society, marriage records from 1726 to 1799, and additional baptisms from 1763 to 1780. Records after 1764 reflect the jurisdictional change from Newbury to Newburyport.


Related Materials

Newbury, Mass. First Church, 1634-1828

Newbury, Mass. Second Church, 1696-1857


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.