Brunswick, Maine. First Parish Church. Records, 1735-1822.
Brunswick, Maine was incorporated as a township in May 1717. Ministry in the township began that same year when the General Court of Massachusetts voted to allocate funds for the sending of missionaries to the township and surrounding areas. The parish was served by a series of visiting and short-term pastors until 1747 when Rev. Robert Dunlap became Brunswick's first settled pastor. The parish of Brunswick at that time contained two churches and two meetinghouses: one Congregational on the east side of town, completed in 1735, and one Presbyterian in the west end of town, built with subscription funds and completed circa 1756. Both churches were served by the same pastor who split their time and duties between them. Dunlap, a Presbyterian, was followed in 1762 by John Miller, a Congregationalist. In 1772 an agreement was made to unite the two branches of the Parish, aligning church governance and discipline with Congregational polity while maintaining the administration of Baptism and the Lord's Supper in the manner of the Presbyterian church. Two years later the agreement was amended so that the Lord's Supper would be administered each according to their tradition in their respective meetinghouses, but so that the method and manner of Baptism could be decided by the parishioner to be Baptized. In 1790 residents of Brunswick began registering their displeasure at paying taxes for the support of First Parish. They formed themselves into the Baptist Society and in 1792 the town voted to allow any who could prove membership in a Baptist Society be allowed to use the amount usually assessed for the upkeep of the Parish to pay for their own pastor. First Parish is extant today as First Parish Church in Brunswick, Maine.
Scope of Collection
This collection contains the early records of First Parish, Brunswick, Maine. Included in these records are narrative histories of the parish; minutes of church meetings; lists of members, baptisms, marriages, and deaths.
Brunswick, ME : The First Parish 17.11.1 B83.63 FirP
History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine by George Augustus Wheeler, and Henry Warren Wheeler T B83.63W
Collection items are arranged into two series, Series I: Volumes and Series II: Loose Materials. Items in each series are arranged by earliest date. Digital order of each item reflects physical arrangement. Where there are two or more blank pages in a row, only the first and last have been digitized.
Series I: Volumes
|Scope of Series:||This series contains the bound volumes of the First Parish, Brunswick collection. Also included in this series are loose materials removed from "Church book, 1762-1794". This series contains records of membership, vital statistics, and church meeting minutes.|
|A copy reproduced by hand at a later unknown date, this volume contains part narrative history of the parish, part meeting minutes.|
|Church book||1762-1794||Online interface|
|This volume contains a membership list and meeting minutes. Only a portion of the volume is filled. Loose materials were removed from the volume for scanning purposes and are found elsewhere in this collection.|
|Church book: Loose materials||1762-1794||Online interface|
|Materials found in "Church Book 1762-1794". Items include unofficial records of church events and baptisms 1790-1794.|
|Church records||1793, 1810-1822||Online interface|
|This volume contains meeting minutes, covenants, baptisms, marriages, member lists, and lists of member deaths. The volume also contains a great deal of loose papers interleaved within the bound volume. These loose pages are paginated so as to indicate they should be read as part of the whole. Digitization has persevered this arrangement.|
Series II: Loose material
|Scope of Series:||This series contains the loose materials from the First Parish, Brunswick collection. These materials include documentation of governance change from Presbyterian to Congregational and retrospective histories of ministers and of the church itself. Of significant note in this series is a document relating to the founding of Brunswick's Baptist Society in direct reaction to Parish taxes in Brunswick.|
|Constitution change||circa 1770||Online interface|
|Document recording vote to change from a Presbyterian-based governance system to a Congregational one. Document is undated, but date is provided by the church historian/archivist.|
|Baptist Society formed||1799||Online interface|
|This item documents the formation of a Baptist society in Brunswick in 1799.|
|Church records (loose)||1806-1829, undated||Online interface|
|Loose records pertaining to the operation of the church. Included here are letters of transfer, correspondence, and sermons. Of particular note are two relations (akin to personal conversion narratives) and a vote to form both a program for religious instruction of children and the formation of a library for the church's use.|
|Historical summaries||1810, 1814||Online interface|
|Three documents summarizing the history of First Parish and Maquoit Baptist. The first two documents contain notes on the history of First Parish and Maquoit Baptist and cover the years 1738-1810. The second, prepared by Rev. Winthrop Bailey (pastor at First Parish, Brunswick from 1811-1814) covers the many pastors who served the church, starting in 1735.|
|Rev. Asa Mead documents||1822-1827||Online interface|
|This group of loose records contain documents related to the call, ordination, and pastorate of Asa Mead, including salary receipts, correspondence, and transfer letters.|