Wigglesworth Family. Papers

Collection History

This collection includes personal papers from three generations of the Wigglesworth family of Massachusetts. The majority of them were produced by Rev. Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705). Rev. Wigglesworth was born in Lincolnshire, England, and moved with his family to New Haven, Connecticut in 1638. He graduated from Harvard College in 1651 and subsequently worked there as a tutor for several years. He became a minister at Malden in 1654, was ordained in 1656, and remained in the parish until his death. Rev. Wigglesworth was known for writing poems, including The Day of Doom (1662), one of the most popular poems in New England at the time.

Other materials in the collection were created by Michael's son Edward Wigglesworth, Sr. (ca. 1693-1765) and grandson Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. (1732-1794). Both men were professors of divinity at Harvard College, and Edward Jr. was also a merchant in Boston. These papers include correspondence, deeds, estate papers, poetry, and records of estate settlements and property exchanges.

The original manuscripts in this collection are owned by our project partners, the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Further information about the collection can be found in the NEHGS catalog.

 

Digital Materials

Notebook, 1649

Rev. Michael Wigglesworth's notebook of 1649 contains entries on sermons and biblical verses. Some entries are written in English, but most of the volume is written in shorthand, probably using a variant of the system in Thomas Shelton's Tachygraphy.

Notebook, 1650-1653

Rev. Michael Wigglesworth's notebook of 1650-1653 contains numerous entries in Latin, as well as two pages in shorthand, and a section in English on eloquence.

Notebook, 1652-1653

Entries in Rev. Michael Wigglesworth's notebook of 1652-1653 are mainly written in shorthand. Some dates, names, and occasional passages are written in English longhand.

Notebook, 1658-1763

This notebook contains mainly biographical entries by Rev. Michael Wigglesworth, with later additions by his son Edward Wigglesworth (Sr.). Rev. Michael Wigglesworth's entries are written in both English longhand and shorthand. Most of Edward's entries discuss religious matters, including a confession of faith; he also wrote a section of biographical notes and family records.

Account book, 1749-1753

This account book is contained within the papers of Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. Entries include "An Account of Receits", "An Account of Payments", cash, expenses, and a list of "Debts Due to Me".

Account book, 1760

This account book is contained within the papers of Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. It contains financial documentation for Townsend & Company and Townsend & Wigglesworth in 1760, including an inventory of shop goods, a list of account balances, and a list of debts due to Townsend & Company.

Loose records, 1657-1794

These records include correspondence, land transfers, diplomas, an elegy and a poem. Legal documents for Dr. Stephen Coolidge's estate concern the younger brother of Edward Jr.'s mother, Rebecca Coolidge Wigglesworth, who was Edward Sr.'s second wife. The property transfers between Edward Jr. and Sewall were also among relations, as Stephen Sewall's wife was Edward's sister Rebecca. Also included is a letter from Scottish theologian John Erskine (1721-1803) to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr.

undated by Rev. Michael Wigglesworth   poem with biblical content
1657 April 6 from M. Middlebrook to Rev. Michael Wigglesworth letter to Rev. Wigglesworth from his uncle, with general correspondence
1669 December 3 by Rev. Michael Wigglesworth   elegy on the death of Mr. Benjamin Bunker
1727 November 22 from Andrew Bordman to Edward Wigglesworth, Sr. deed granting three-fourths of an acre of land in Cambridge
1730 June 22 from the University of Edinburgh to Edward Wigglesworth, Sr. diploma from University of Edinburgh for Edward Wigglesworth, Sr.
1731 May 1 from Edward Wigglesworth, Sr. to Thomas Hallis letter of condolence on the death of Hallis's uncle
1733 May 2 from Rev. Nathaniel Appleton to Edward Wigglesworth, Sr. deed with receipt of 100 pounds paid by Edward Wigglesworth to Nathaniel Appleton
1743 August 15 by Rev. Nathaniel Appleton and Edward Wigglesworth, Sr.   agreement between Rev. Nathaniel Appleton and Edward Wigglesworth, Sr. to straighten the boundary between their pieces of land
1752 July 15 from Ebenezer Storer and Ebenezer Storer, Jr. to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. power of attorney by Ebenezer Storer and Ebenezer Storer, Jr., to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr.
1752 October 20 from Yale College to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. diploma for Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. from Yale College
1758 May 22 from Samuel Danforth (probate judge) to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. estate administration notice naming Edward Wigglesworth the administrator of the estate of his uncle, Dr. Stephen Coolidge
1761 November 20 from Edward Wigglesworth Sr. to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed granting property to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr.
1762 July 2 from Alexander and William Campbell to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed granting property to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr.
1762 July 2 from Benjamin Conant to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed for 95 acres of land in Dudley, with a quit claim deed from Conant's wife Lydia, in which she gives up her dower right to this land
1762 August 6 from Green & Boylston to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. letter by Green & Boylston to Edward Wigglesworth Jr., refusing to buy Davison's Lands
1765 October 17 from Thomas Hubbard and Thomas Hill to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed by Thomas Hubbard and Thomas Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, to Edward Wigglesworth of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for land they inherited from his father, Rev. Edward Wigglesworth
1765 October 17 from Stephen Sewall to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed by Stephen Sewall of Cambridge, Massachusetts, "Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages", to Edward Wigglesworth of Cambridge, Professor of Divinity, for a piece of land in Cambridge
1765 October 19 from Zachariah Boardman to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed by Zachariah Boardman of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Edward Wigglesworth of Cambridge
1765 October 23 from Stephen Sewall to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed by Stephen Sewall of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Edward Wigglesworth
1765 October from Harvard College to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. diploma from Harvard College for Edward Wigglesworth, 1765
1769 October 21 from Stephen Sewall to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. deed by Stephen Sewall, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Edward Wigglesworth
1794 March 8 from Dr. John Erskine to Edward Wigglesworth, Jr. letter by Dr. John Erskine of Lewiston, Scotland, to "the Rev. Dr. Wigglesworth"

 

Related Materials

Storer, Ebenezer. Diary — digital materials

 

Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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