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First Congregational Church of Essex, Massachusetts Records

First Congregational Church of Essex, Massachusetts Records

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FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF ESSEX, MASSACHUSETTS RECORDS, 1681, 1699-1930, 1951-1952, 1979-1984





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:First Congregational Church (Essex, Mass.)
Title:First Congregational Church of Essex, Massachusetts Records
Dates:1681, 1699/1930, 1951/1952, 1979/1984
Quantity:4 linear feet (9 boxes)
Abstract:The records of the First Congregational Church of Essex, Massachusetts, document the early history of the church and contain record books, warrants, tax lists, auditor's reports, pew deed and rentals, early papers of John Cleaveland, and land deeds.
Collection Number:MSS 256

Series List


SERIES I. Church Records
SERIES II. Ladies Benevolent Circle
SERIES III. Sunday School Records
SERIES IV. Other

Scope and Content Note


The records of the First Congregational Church of Essex, Massachusetts, document the early history of the church and contain record books, warrants, tax lists, auditor's reports, pew deed and rentals, early papers of John Cleaveland, and land deeds. The collection also contains records of the Ladies Benevolent Circle, Sunday School records, relations of faith, applications for parish membership, a commonplace book of Samuel B. Shipman, and many miscellaneous papers. It has been organized into four series.


Series I. Church Records contains volumes in which various records were kept, including town meeting records of Chebacco Parish.


Series II. Ladies Benevolent Circle is comprised of five volumes of records of this related group.


Series III. Sunday School Records consists of three volumes and some loose papers relating to the Sunday School at the First Congregational Church.


Series IV. Other contains related material such as papers of John Cleaveland and John Wise, Universalist Separation letters, pew deeds and sales, correspondence, newspaper clippings, relations of faith, receipts, correspondence, tax lists, member certifications, and other papers. Of interest is a small account book in box 9, folder 1 entitled "Memo of the Experience of the Small Pox, May 18th, 1778."


Historical Sketch

Ipswich, Massachusetts, was settled in 1633 and the first church was founded in 1634. People began to settle in Chebacco and Rev. Jeremiah Shepard preached in private homes. In 1680 John Wise was engaged to preach in Chebacco and one acre of ground was granted to Chebacco Parish for a burial place. In 1682 Chebacco people were officially released from membership in the First Church in Ipswich. The next year the people began to organize and John Wise was ordained as the first minister of Chebacco Church, officially the Second Parish in Ipswich.


In 1725, Rev. Theophilus Pickering became the second minister of Chebacco Church. By 1746 there was dissention in Chebacco Church and Parish, causing a rift among the people; the Fourth Church in Ipswich was formed. In 1752, the "Separatists" gained official release from Chebacco Parish and were granted a separate precinct officially the Sixth Parish in Ipswich. In 1766 proceedings were started for reuniting the Second and Fourth Churches (Chebacco Church and Separated Church). In 1774 both churches voted to unite as the Second Church in Ipswich. In 1819 Chebacco Parish was incorporated as the town of Essex and the Second Church in Ipswich was renamed the First Congregational Church in Essex.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Burnham, John, 1749-1843
Choate, David, 1757-1808
Choate, John, 1624-1695
Cleaveland, John, 1722-1799
Shipman, Samuel B.
Wise, John, 1652-1725
First Congregational Church (Essex, Mass.)
Account books
Church archives
Church buildings--Massachusetts--Essex (Town)
Church records and registers
Clergy
Deeds
Letters
Pews and pew rights
Chebacco (Mass.)
Essex (Mass.)
Ipswich (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

First Congregational Church of Essex, Massachusetts Records, MSS 256, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The bulk of this material was placed on deposit by Rev. Curtis Busby for the First Congregational Church of Essex on April 1, 1961. The copy of records (box 1, folder 2) was donated by the First Congregational Church of Essex on August 25, 1983. A deed from John Wise to Jacob Story dated 1739 was a gift by Helen F. Moreland for the First Congregational Church on August 17, 1966. The newspaper clippings were a gift from Helen F. Moreland in 1979 and 1982. Seven pieces in box 8, folder 1 and box 9, folder 1 were donated by Edwin S. Foster of Henniker, NH prior to December 1920.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Tamara Gaydos, January 2017.


Related Material


Wilhelm, Kurt A. "Essex History." Town of Essex, MA. Town of Essex, MA, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2017. http://www.essexma.org/Pages/EssexMA_WebDocs/past


Choate Family Papers, 1678-1992, MSS 380


Ipswich, Massachusetts Town Records, 1634-1909, EC 13


John Cleveland Papers, 1742-1881, MSS 204


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