Beacon Street Diary blog

New NEHH collections - Ipswich and Newton

We are pleased to announce the the availability of three new collections in our New England's Hidden Histories program. Although they come from some of the oldest churches in Massachusetts, their earliest records have been lost. Our hope is that this program and others like it will help prevent further such losses, as well as making the information contained in these manuscripts available and accessible to all who might want them.


Ipswich, Mass. First Parish

This collection contains the earliest surviving records from First Parish in Ipswich, Mass. The church was originally formed and built its first meetinghouse in 1634 after the town was incorporated. The three volumes available here include records pertaining to the church and its surrounding parish on subjects such as administrative and financial matters, membership information, and singing as part of worship.

Read more in the finding guide or go directly to the collection page.


Ipswich, Mass. South Parish

These are the records from the South Parish in Ipswich, Mass. The congregation separated from First Church in 1747 and remained its own entity for 175 years until 1922 when the two rejoined. The two volumes contain records concerning both the church and its surrounding parish, including matters of administration, finance, and membership, as well as a brief history of the church.

Take a look at the finding guide or go right to the digital collection page.


Newton, Mass. First Church (digitized)

First Church in Newton, Mass. was originally established as the First Church of Cambridge Village in 1664. The village seceded to become the city of Newton in 1688. The CLA received all of Newton First Church's historical records when the church closed in 1972, but now some of the earliest books in that collection are part of our New England's Hidden Histories program. These two volumes contain the earliest surviving records relating to church administration, membership, and finances.

See where these materials fit into the larger collection on the archival finding guide or go straight to the collection page and start reading.


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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