Georgetown, Massachusetts. First Congregational Church. Records, 1731-1866.

Collection Information

Georgetown, MA: First Congregational Church records, 1731-1866.


First Congregational Church (Georgetown, Mass.)
Second Parish (Rowley, Mass.)
West Parish (Rowley, Mass.)




3 container box; 1 linear foot

Collection ID #:

RG 4967

Conditions Governing Access:

Physical copies are restricted without specific permission from the archivist. Please consult digital surrogates found on website whenever possible.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the First Congregational Church (Georgetown, Mass.) records, RG 4967. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Collection processed by Cristina Prochilo, November 2012.


This collection consists of the records of First Congregational Church, organized in 1731. The records document the functions and history of the church, including church governance, finances, leadership, membership, and sermons.

Acquisition Information:

Deposited on permanent loan from First Congregational Church, Georgetown, Mass. in August of 2011.

Organizational History

First Congregational Church in Georgetown was originally founded in 1731 as Rowley West Parish. Before its founding parishioners had to travel a significant distance to worship in Rowley or neighboring Byfield. By 1768 the parish had outgrown its original meeting house and a new building was built. This church, later known as Old South Church, was built on the corners of East Main and Elm Streets in 1769.

When Georgetown became its own incorporated town in 1838, Rowley West Parish was renamed First Congregational Church of Georgetown. A final church building was dedicated in 1874 on Andover Street; this is the current worship house of this congregation. In 1908 this church merged with Orthodox Memorial Church and in 1961, the First Congregational Church voted to become a member of the United Church of Christ.


Scope of Collection

The First Congregational Church records document the activities and history of the church organization. The Records document church governance, finance, membership, and sermons. Included are ledgers, minutes, registers, membership records, and manuscript items.



The First Congregational Church records are arranged in three series, highlighting the church's records, vital statistics, and sermons. The Church Records series includes early church history, ledger votes, early pew chart, the covenant, and financial matters of First Congregational Church. The second series, Vital Statistics, includes information regarding births, deaths, and marriages. The final series, Sermons, includes sermons preached by Rev. Isaac Braman in Georgetown and neighboring Byfield, as well as a pulpit diary. The records are largely arranged chronologically. Researchers may find some of the files in reverse order.


Related Material

At the Congregational Library:

Digitized surrogates of these records will be available soon on the Congregational Library's website through the New England's Hidden Histories project. Please consult these surrogates before handling original documents whenever possible.


Access Terms

Congregational Churches - Massachusetts - Georgetown.

First Congregational Church (Georgetown, Mass.).

Georgetown (Mass.) - Church history.

Georgetown (Mass.) - History.

Registers of births, etc. - Massachusetts - Georgetown.


Detailed Description and Container List

Series I: Church Records

The Church Records series includes records related to the organization of First Congregational Church. Items include meeting minutes, warrants, an early pew chart, ordinations, finances, and covenant. Some baptism and membership information is embedded in the first ledger.
Box 1
  Ledger 1 West Parish Precinct Book in Rowley 1731-1814
      Online interface
Box 2
  Ledger 2 Second Church of Christ in Rowley 1732-1855
      Online interface
Box 3
  Ledger 3 Second Parish Property (Financial) 1799-1866
      Online interface
  Item 4 Copy of Church Covenant circa 1731
      Online interface

Series II: Vital Statistics

This series includes materials related to membership in First Congregational Church, particularly early births, deaths, and marriages.
  Ledger 1 An Account of the Deaths in the Second Parish in Rowley 1731-1854
      Online interface
  Ledger 2 An Account of the Births of the Second Parish in Rowley 1731-1786
      Online interface
  Ledger 3 Records of Marriages Solemnized by Isaac Braman 1797-1854
      Online interface

Series III: Sermons

The Sermon series includes sermons preached by Rev. Isaac Braman as well as a funeral sermon and pulpit supply diary.
  Folder 1 Sermons Preached at Byfield by Rev. Isaac Braman
(12 sermons)
      Online interface
  Folder 2 Sermons Preached by Isaac Braman
(5 sermons)
      Online interface
  Item 3 Funeral Sermon Amos Spofford and Abigail Palmer 1805
      Online interface
  Item 4 Pulpit Supply Diary 1787-1819
      Online interface


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