Franklin, Massachusetts. First Congregational Church records, 1737-1887.

Collection Information

Franklin, Mass. First Congregational Church records, 1737-1887.


Congregational Church (Franklin, Mass.)
Second Church (Wrentham, Mass.)




2 volumes and 1 folder (0.12 cubic feet)

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

594 unique page images: archival TIFF, derivative JPEG & PDF

Collection ID #:


Conditions Governing Access:

Hard-copy items, print master, and archival master microfilm are restricted and unavailable for researcher access. Service copy microfilm and digital duplicates are open and available for researcher 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 Franklin, Mass. First Congregational Church records, 1737-1887. RG4842. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.

Additional Resources:

Item-level metadata exists for digital duplicates. Please contact the library for more information.



Processing information:

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


First Church of Franklin was founded as Second Church of Wrentham in February 1738. It became First Church of Franklin upon the incorporation of the town of Franklin in 1778. This collection contains records of benevolent activities, meeting minutes, covenants, membership,  censures, baptisms and deaths. 

Acquisition Information:

Collection placed on permanent loan by Franklin Federated Church of Franklin, Massachusetts, in 2007.


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


Historical Note

First Congregational Church of Franklin was originally founded as the Second Church of Wrentham in February of 1738. It became First Church of Franklin when the town (named in honor of Benjamin Franklin) was incorporated in 1778. From its every beginning, the church was very missions and benevolence minded, distributing monies first by agreement of the pastor and diaconate, and then at the discretion of an appointed treasurer. The church's Sabbath school was conceived of in 1818 but not formally founded until 1827.

In 1938 Franklin was hit by a hurricane which destroyed the First Baptist Church building. First Congregational Church invited the Baptists to worship with them. This arrangement eventually lead to a federation between the two bodies, and the church is now known as Franklin Federated Church.


Scope of Collection

This collection contains records of church meetings and societies, vital statistics, baptisms, membership, censures and church discipline, and correspondence.


Further Searches

Subject Headings

Franklin (Mass.) - History.

Church records and registers - Massachusetts - Franklin.

Second Congregational Church (Wrentham, Mass.)

Baptismal records.


First Congregational Church (Franklin, Mass.)

Franklin Federated Church (Franklin, Mass.)

Congregational churches - Massachusetts - Wrentham.

Wrentham (Mass.) - Church history.

Marriage records - Massachusetts

Marriage records - New England.

Church membership.

Congregationalism - Church membership.

Benevolent and moral institutions and societies.

Church societies.

Covenant (Church polity) - Congregational churches.


Related Materials

A history of the town of Franklin, Mass., from its settlement to the completion of its first century, 2d March, 1878 : with genealogical notices of its earliest families, sketches of its professional men, and a report of the centennial celebration T F85.47 B

Franklin, MA : Franklin Federated Church. 17.11.1 F85.47 FRAFC



Collection items are contained in three volumes, one of them disbound. Where the original volume contains large swaths of blank pages, only 2 have been digitized.



  Date Location
Church Records 1737-1781 Volume 1
    Reel 1 of 1
    Online interface
Records included here document the church's covenant and meeting minutes. Also included are records of correspondence, baptisms, and membership.
Church Records 1781-1887 Volume 2
    Reel 1 of 1
    Online interface
These records document the minutes of church meetings, correspondence, and religious societies. The records also include lists of baptisms, membership admissions and dismissions, censures, marriages, and deaths.
Marriages and Deaths 1773-1827 Volume 3
    Reel 1 of 1
    Online interface
This volume contains records of marriages as recorded by Rev. Emmons. Also included are two pages of death records.


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