Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of North Bridgewater and later city of Brockton. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries.

Town Clerk[edit | edit source]

Elections Commission
45 School St
Brockton, MA 02301
Phone: 508-580-7117
Fax: 508-583-6424

Brief History[edit | edit source]

Brockton was originally part of old Bridgewater before 1821, and that being a plantation granted to Duxbury in 1645. Settlement in old Bridgewater started in 1650, but the North Parish (now Brockton) was not until 1700. These settlers were from the West Parish (now West Bridgewater). The parishes or precincts were made official in 1716, as the South and North Precinct (the latter being present-day West Bridgewater and Brockton). The North Parish (Brockton) was organized in 1739 and the first church in the area was established.

Historical Data[edit | edit source]

The basic data is from the "Historical Data" publication series[1] with additions from various sources.

Associated names

Brockton was first known as North Bridgewater from 1821 to 1874. The Indians called this place Titicut or Nunketest.

Village or section names include Belleview Park, Brockton Heights, Bumpus Corner, Bush, Campello [formerly Plain Village], Cary Hill, Centreville, Clifton Heights, Douglas Park, Ellis Park, Elmhurst, Factory Village [also Sprague’s Village], Happy Hollow, Highland Terrace, Hovenden Park, Intervale Park, Leyden Park, Marshall’s Corner, Menlo Park, Montello, Morse’s Corner, Oak Hill, Pleasant Park, Pleasantville, Prospect Hill, Prospect Park, Porter’s Pass, Rangeley Park, Ridge Hill, Salisbury Heights, Sawtelleville, Shaw’s Corner, Sunnyside, Sylvester Corner, Thomaston Park, Tower Hill, Walnut Bottom, West Shares [or North-West Bridgewater], Wheeler Park, Winchester Park, and Winter’s Corner.

Border changes
Dates Events
15 June 1821 Bridgewater]] set off as new town of North Bridgewater. (It was created as a precinct in Bridgewater in 1738.)
26 Jan. 1825 Border between North Bridgewater and West Bridgewater established.
5 May 1874 Town name changed to Brockton.
24 Apr. 1875 Part annexed to South Abington [now Whitman] and parts of East Bridgewater and South Abington annexed.
9 Apr. 1881 Brockton incorporated as a city.
1 Mar. 1894 Part of West Bridgewater annexed.
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Town Histories[edit | edit source]

Works written on the town include:
Barnstable CountyBristol CountyPlymouth CountyNorfolk CountySuffolk CountyFalmouthMashpeeSandwichBourneFairhavenAchushnetNew BedfordDartmouthWestportFall RiverFreetownBerkleyTauntonRaynhamEastonStoughtonAvonHolbrookCantonRandolphWeymouthCohassetBraintreeQuincyMiltonBostonHullHinghamScituateNorwellRocklandAbingtonBrocktonWest BridgewaterWhitmanHanoverMarshfieldDuxburyPembrokeHansonEast BridgewaterBridgewaterHalifaxPlymptonKingstonPlymouthCarverMiddleboroughLakevilleRochesterWarehamMarionMattapoisett
Town of Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

  • Moses Carey, A Genealogy of the Families who have settled in the North Parish of Bridgewater, to which is added an historical sketch of North Bridgewater (Boston, 1824), 48 pp.
    There is a transcription online at PlymouthColony and digital versions at Internet Archive and Google Books.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/B1 D2.
  • Bradford Kingman, “Marriages in the North Parish of Bridgewater (Now North Bridgewater), From January 1, 1742, to January, 1780” in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 19 [1865]: 200-204.
  • Bradford Kingman, ""History of North Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to the present time, with family registers"" (Boston, 1866), xii, 696 pp.
    Digital versions at Internet Archive (v. 1 and v. 2), Google Books, and Ancestry ($).
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/B1 H2k (with digital link and microfilm FHL 1035738 Item 6).
The family sketches include (and not in strict alphabetical order in the book): Alden, Allen, Ames, Atherton, Bacon, Bartlett, Bassett, Battles, Baxendale, Baxter, Beal, Bennett, Billings, Bird, Blanchard, Borden, Bradford, Brett, Bryant, Bunker, Burke, Burns, Burrill, Carr, Cary, Chesman, Clapp, Cobb, Cole, Cooper, Copeland, Crafts, Crosby, Cowell, Crocker, Cross, Curtis, Cushman, Dailey, Dickerman, Dike, Drake, Dunbar, Dunham, Eames, Easton, Eaton, Eddy, Edson, Emery, Faunce, Faxon, Field, Fiske, Fitz, Ford, Freeman, French, Fuller, Fullerton, Gardner, Gifford, Glover, Goddard, Goldthwaite, Gorham, Graves, Gray, Green, Groves, Gurney, Hall, Hamilton, Hancock, Harden, Harlow, Harris, Hartwell, Hatch, Hathaway, Haven, Hayden, Hayward, Henry, Herrod, Hervey, Hobart, Holbrook, Hollis, Hollywood, Holmes, Howard, Humphrey, Hunt, Jackson, Jameson, Johnson, Jones, Joslyn, Keith, Kimball, Kingman, Knapp, Landers, Lathrop, Leach, Lemmar, Leonard, Lewis, Lilley, Lincoln, Littlefield, Loring, Lucas, Lyon, Manly, Marshall, Mason, May, McBride, McLaughlin, Merchant, Merritt, Morey, Morrison, Morse, Morton, Nash, Noyes, O’Neil, Orcutt, Orr, Packard, Paine, Perkins, Perry, Peterson, Pettingill, Phillips, Pope, Porter, Pratt, Proctor, Puffer, Reed, Remick, Reynolds, Rhodes, Richards, Richardson, Richmond, Ring, Ritchie, Robbins, Robinson, Ryder, Sanford, Sawyer, Severance, Sewall, Shaw, Shedd, Shepardson, Shiverick, Simmons, Skinner, Smith, Snell, Snow, Soule, Southworth, Spaulding, Spear, Sprague, Stevens, Stoddard, Stranger, Studley, Sturtevant, Sylvester, Tarbet, Thayer, Thompson, Tilden, Tilton, Tirrell, Torrey, Tower, Tribou, Trow, Tuck, Vincent, Wade, Waldo, Warren, Washburn, Waterman, Watkins, West, Wheeler, White, Whitman, Whitmarsh, Whitney, Whittemore, Whitten, Wilbor, Wild, Wilder, Williams, Willis, Wilson, Wood.
The second part is biographical sketches and does not duplicate the previous book’s genealogies.
See Elizabeth Hayward, comp., A Genealogist’s Index of Bradford Kingman’s “History of Brockton …” (West Hartford, Conn., 1957), 15 pp.
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/B1 H2kb index.
These are the verbatim transcript of the Fourth Parish Church of Bridgewater that became the First Parish Church of North Bridgewater in 1821 when that part of town broken off to form a separate town and that town was renamed Brockton in 1874.
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Vital Records[edit | edit source]

The town's vital records are available in many locations:

Original records
Published records
This includes, in part, church records from the Fourth Church of Christ of Bridgewater [now the First Congregational Church of Brockton] (C.R.1), New Jerusalem Church (C.R.2), Methodist Episcopal Church of North West Bridgewater [now the Pearl Street Methodist Episcopal Church of Brockton] (C.R.3), South Congregational Church of Campello (C.R.4), and Second Methodist Episcopal Church of Brockton (C.R.5). Deaths are included from the Main Street Cem. (G.R.1), Summer Street Cem. (G.R.2), Leach Cem. (G.R.3), West Street Cem. (G.R.4), Coweeset Cem. (G.R.5), North End or Ashland Cem. (G.R.6), Union Cem. (G.R.7), Melrose Cem. (G.R.8), Thayer Cem. (G.R.9), Old Cem. (G.R.10), and private cem. on Ames St. (G.R.11).
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City Directories[edit | edit source]

Brockton was published in 1869/70, 1872/3, 1874-1880, 1882, 1884-1885/6, 1887/8, 1889-1890, 1892, 1894/5, 1896/7, 1898-1919, 1921-1922, 1924-1927, 1929-1933, 1935-1958, 1961, 1963, 1967.

The Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.) has one of the largest collections of city directories in the country. They are likely to own most of the years listed above. Their collection is in microfiche, microfilm, and books, but there is no online inventory of their holdings except for microfilm. See their guide online.

Other holdings:

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Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Brockton. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject. For the locations of these cemeteries, see

  1. Ames Street Cemetery, 1778. (A, B)
  2. Ashland / North End / East Ashland Cemetery, 1681. (A, B)
  3. Calvary Cemetery, 1890.
  4. Coweeset Cemetery, 1792. (A, B, C)
  5. First Parish / Main Street Cemetery, 1731. (A)
  6. Leach Cemetery, 1768. (A, online Transcription)
  7. Melrose Cemetery, 1761. (A, B, C)
  8. Mulberry Street Cemetery, 1820. (A, B, C) [All exhumed and moved to Ashland and Melrose cems.]
  9. Pleasant Street / Thayer Cemetery, 1814. (A, B, C)
  10. Plymouth Rock Jewish Cemeteries, 1906. (B) [Inc. Agudas Achim, Cehvra Telium, Temple Beth Emunah, Temple Israel cems.]
  11. St. Patrick’s Cemetery, 1857.
  12. Snell / West Street / Old Cemetery, 1747. (A, B, C)
  13. Thompson / Summer Street Cemetery, 1796. (A, B)
  14. Union Cemetery, 1790. (A, B)

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Brockton, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1911) [see links above under Vital Records].
(B). New England Historic Genealogical Society, Manuscripts Dept., Boston, Mass.
(C). Charles M. Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts (Middleborough, Mass., 1995). WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 V3.

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Churches[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of churches established in town in order of organization date (if known) and condition of records in the 1889 survey if listed. [Note: No churches organized after 1889 in this list.]

  1. First Parish Church (initially call the Fourth Church of Christ in Bridgewater), 1740, records published (see above).
  2. Second Congregational Church, 1825-1831, location of records unknown.
  3. First [later West] Methodist Episcopal Church, West Shares or Northwest Bridgewater, 1831, records good.
  4. New Jerusalem Church, 1832, records good.
  5. South Congregational Church at Campello, 1837, records good.
  6. Society of Friends, 1838, not in 1889 inventory.
  7. Second [later Central] Methodist Episcopal Church, Centreville, 1842, records start in 1851, good.
  8. First Baptist Church, 1850-1855, location of records unknown.
  9. Porter Evangelical Church, Centreville, 1850, records good.
  10. St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Centreville, 1856, older records to 1925/1950 at Archdiocese of Boston Archives.
  11. First Universalist Church [also Church of the Disciples], 1857-1875, records with Unitarian Church in 1889.
  12. Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1867, records good.
  13. St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Church, 1875, records good.
  14. Baptist Church, Brockton, 1876, records good.
  15. Methodist Episcopal Church, Campello, 1879, records good.
  16. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1880, records good.
  17. Swedish Evangelical Independent Church, 1881, records good.
  18. Unity Church [Unitarian], 1881, records good.
  19. Swedish Baptist Church, Campello, 1883, records good.
  20. Free Baptist Church, 1884, records good.
  21. Universalist Church, 1884, records good.

Several of the above churches merged and are listed beyond in their present name:

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Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  1. Bridgewater Patriot and Old Colony Gazette, 1835-uuuu.
  2. Old Colony Reporter, 1850-1851.
  3. North Bridgewater Gazette, 1851-1874.
  4. Brockton Weekly Gazette, 1874-1891.
  5. The Laborer, 1884?-1887.
  6. Brockton Weekly Enterprise, 1887-1888.
  7. Brockton Gazette, 1892-1893.
  8. Brockton Weekly Gazette, 1893-1894.
  9. Brockton Times, 1895-1934.
  10. Brockton Daily Evening Enterprise, 1906-1934.
  11. Brockton Daily Evening Enterprise and Brockton Times, 1934-1978.
  12. Brockton Enterprise, 1979-1981.
  13. Enterprise, 1982-present.
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Military Records[edit | edit source]

World War I

Libraries and Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Brockton Public Library Historical Room
304 Main St.
Brockton MA 02301
Phone 508-580-7890

Brockton Historical Society
216 N. Pearl St.
Brockton MA 02301
Phone 508-583-1039

References[edit | edit source]

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 26. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co: Abington | East Bridgewater | West Bridgewater | Whitman
Bristol Co: Easton | Norfolk Co: Avon | Holbrook | Stoughton