Vital Records Of Boylston, Massachusetts
To The End Of The Year 1850
Collected and arranged by Franklin P. Rice.
Published By Franklin P. Rice. 1900
[Transcribed by Dave Swerdfeger]
TOWN CLERKS OF BOYLSTON, 1786-1850.
THIS Volume comprises the record of the Births, Marriages and Deaths which occurred in Boylston during the period from a time earlier than the date of the incorporation of the place to the end of the year 1850, as found in the Town Books. Some addition has been made from other sources, and the whole is here arranged for ready reference.
Mr. George L. Wright, Town Clerk of Boylston, has given some assistance in the comparison of the proofs in print with the original records, and in the verification of names and dates.
THE larger portion of the territory originally included within the boundary lines of the town of Boylston was taken from Shrewsbury, and the remainder from Lancaster. The first settlement by Europeans was made in the north part as early as 1706, by representatives of the Sawyer family. These were followed during the next quarter of a century and later by other families whose names are prominent in the history of the placeóBall, Hastings, Bennett, Stone, Howe, Taylor, Newton, Andrews, Temple, Wheeler, Keyes, Davenport, Flagg, Bigelow, Bush, Brigham, Houghton, Kendall, Longley, Barnes, Moore, Lamson, Gibbs, Whitney, White, Beaman, Cotton and Sanford. The record of the numerous descendants of all these, with that of the other inhabitants during the specified period, is preserved in the following Pages.
In 1738 the desire and purpose of the settlers to form and maintain a separate local government were denied by Governor Shirley, the policy of those in authority at that time being to restrict popular representation, and to create as few towns as possible. However, on the 17th of December, 1742, the North Precinct of Shrewsbury was incorporated, and certain families of Lancaster, with their estates, were permitted to join the new division, as were others from that town in 1762 and 1780. A meeting-house was built in 1743. The first minister, the Reverend Ebenezer Morse, ordained in October of that year, remained in charge of the church until the Revolution, when political differences caused his dismission. He continued to reside in the town until his death in 1802. Succeeding ministers to 1850 were: Eleazer Fairbanks, 1777-1793; Hezekiah Hooper, 1794-1795; Ward Cotton, 1797-1825; Samuel Russell, 1826-1832; and William H. Sanford, who remained from 1832 until 1857.
March 1, 1786, the town was incorporated, with the name of Boylston, in honor of a prominent and wealthy Boston family, one of whose members, Ward Nicholas Boylston, was a benefactor of both church and town, leaving in his will a sum with which the present town hall was built.
In 1796 the westerly portion of the town, with parts of Sterling and Holden, was incorporated as the Second Precinct of Boylston, and in 1808 this was set off to form the town of West Boylston, reducing the area of the original territory more than one third.
The present area of Boylston is about 12,680 acres, over three thousand acres of which have been taken for the uses of the Metropolitan Water Basin. The population of the town previous to 1850 never exceeded 1000 except at the time of the division in 1808, the number after that being about 800. The number in 1895 was 729.