Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Scituate. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries. There are detailed guides for the towns set off from Scituate: Hanover and South Scituate (now Norwell).

Town Clerk[edit | edit source]

600 C J Cushing Way
Scituate, MA 02066
Phone: 781-545-8743
Fax: 781-545-8704

Brief History[edit | edit source]

The Conihassett Grant was given to four "Merchant Adventurers of London" in 1633 who petitioned the Court who granted more land in 1636. The first church was established by 1634. The area was actually settled by 1628 and a windmill erected by 1636 on the third cliff. The rivers made an excellent location for ship building, and that industry was underway by 1646. This thriving settlement was part of Plymouth Colony Genealogy. The town was placed in Plymouth County when counties were formed in 1685. For a brief time, the town was part of the Dominion of New England Genealogy from 1686 to 1689. The town is still in Plymouth County, though was in limbo, until the "Colony" was merged with Massachusetts Bay Colony Genealogy in 1691 that became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Historical Data[edit | edit source]

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

Associated names

Scituate at one time was called Assanippi and Satuit.

Village or section names include Beechwood, Belle House Neck, Clapp's Corner, Egypt, First Cliff, Fourth Cliff, Greenbush, Hatherly, Humarock, Jericho, Minot, Mungo's Corner, North Scituate (formerly Gannett Corner), North Scituate Beach, Pincin Hill, Rivermoor, Sand Hills, Scituate Center, Scituate Harbor, Scituate Neck, Scituate Station, Second Cliff, Shanghai, Sherman's Corner, Sodom, The Glades, Third Cliff, Walnut Tree Hill, and Webster Village..

Border changes
Dates Events
1 July 1633 Referenced as "... between the brooke at Scituate ...." [Ply. Col. Rec., 1: 13]
4 Oct. 1636 The town of Scituate authorized to dispose of lands. [Ply. Col. Rec., 1: 44]
30 Nov. 1640 Land granted to Scituate.
7 Mar. 1643 Border established.
14 June 1727 Western part set off as new town of Hanover with small part from Abington.
8 Nov. 1782 Border between Scituate and Marshfield established.
10 Mar. 1788 Part annexed to Marshfield.
14 June 1823 Part annexed to Cohasset.
20 Mar. 1840 Border between Scituate and Cohasset established with part of each town annexed to the other town.
14 Feb. 1849 Western part set off as new town of South Scituate (now Norwell).
11 May 1887 Border between Scituate and Marshfield established.
30 Apr. 1897 Border between Scituate and Cohasset established.
Border between Scituate and Hingham established.
23 Mar. 1928 Border between Scituate and Marshfield established.
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Town Histories and Records[edit | edit source]

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

  • Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, from its first settlement to 1831 (Boston, 1831), 406 pp.
Digital versions at Internet Archive, Google Books, and Ancestry ($).
WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL film 369741; FHL digital link.
Family sketches appear on pages 211 to 394 and include the families (some slightly out of order): Adams, Adford, Albeson (Swedish), Alden, Allen, Annable, Badcocke / Babcock (at end of Bs), Bailey, Balch, Bardin, Barker, Barrell, Barstow, Bates, Battles, Beal, Benson, Besbedge / Bisbee, Bird, Bishop, Blackmore, Blackwood, Blossom, Booth, Bourne, Bowker (Swedish), Brooks, Briggs, Bryant, Brown, Burroughs, Burditt, Buck, Bumpus, Calloway, Carlisle, Casely, Chamberlain, chambers, Chandler, Checkett, Chittenden, Chubbuck, Church, Clapp, Clark, Cobb, Cocke / Cook, Cole, Collamore / Collamer, Collier, Colman, Cooper, Copeland, Corlew, Cowen (Scottish), Crocker, Crooker, Cudworth, Curtis, Cushing, Cushman, Dagan, Damon, Davis, Deane, Delano, Delis (French), Dimmick, Dodson, Dogget, Doughty, Dunbar, Dwelley, Edenden, Elmes, Ensign, Ewell, Farrow, Fish, Fitzgerald, Fitzrandell, Floyd, Ford, Foster, Foxwell, Fuller, Gannett, Gardner, Garrett, Gibbs, Gilson, Granger, Gray, Green, Gross, Hall, Hallett, Hamans, Hammond, Hanmer, Howland, Harlow, Hatch, Hatherly, Hayden, Hewes (Welsh), Hewett, Hickes / Hix, Hills, Hinckley, Hoar, Hobart, Holbrook, Holmes, Holloway, Hoskins, House, Hoyt, Humphries (Irish), Hyland, Ingham, Jackson, Jacob, James, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Jordan, Josselyn, Kempton, Kendrick, Kent, King, Lambert, Lapham, Lewis, Lincoln, Linnet, Litchfield, Little, Lombard, Lowell, Magoon / McGoun, Mann, Mansel, Manson, Marble, Mason, Mayo, Mellus, Merritt, Mitchell, Moore, Morton, Mott, Nash, Neal, Neil (Irish), Newell, Nicholson, Nichols, Northy, Oldham, Orcutt, Osgood, Otis, Palmer, Parker, Parris, Peaks, Perkins, Perry, Philips, Pickels, Pierpont, Pidcoke, Pierce, Pinson, Porter, Pratt, Preble, Prince, Pryor, Prouty, Ramsdell, Rance, Randall, Rawlings, Rich, Richards, Robbins, Robinson, Rogers, Rose, Rowse, Ruggles, Russell, Saffin, Savory, Sealis, Sears, Sergeant, Shelley, Shrove, Skiff, Sparrel, Stephson, Stanford, Smith, Soan, Soper, Simson / Symonson, Southworth, Sproat / Sprout, Standlake / Stanley, Star, Stedman, Stetson, Stockbridge, Stodder, Studley, Sutliffe, Sutton, Sylvester, Tart, Taylor, Thompson, Thrift, Tickner, Tilden, Till, Tolman, Torrey, Totman, Tower, Tuell, Turner, Twisden, Utley, Vassal, Vaughan, Vinal, Wade, Wanton, Warden, Warren, Waterman, Webb, Welles, Wermal, Weyborn / Wiborn, Wheaton, Whiston, Whitcomb, White, Wilcome, Willard, Williams, Willcut, Wills, Wilson, Winter, Winslow, Woodfield, Woodworth, Worthlike, Wright, and Young.
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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 First Parish with Rev. John Lothrop's mss. (C.R.1), Second Church of Scituate (C.R.2), Trinitarian Congregational Church (C.R.3), and Society of Friends of Pembroke now with Society at New Bedford (C.R.4). Deaths are included from First Parish Cem., Scituate Harbor (G.R.1), Groveland Cem., North Scituate (G.R.2), Judge Cushing's Cem., Greenbush (G.R.3), Hatch Burying Ground, Greenbush (G.R.4), James Burying Ground, Greenbush (G.R.5), Union Street Cem., Scituate Harbor (G.R.6), Fairview Cem., Scituate Centre (G.R.7), Mt. Hope Cem., North Scituate (G.R.8), Town Burying Ground, Scituate Centre (G.R.9), Catholic Cem., Scituate Harbor (G.R.10), Kilborn Merritt Cem., North Scituate (G.R.11), Clapp Burying Ground (G.R.12), Second Church Cem., Norwell (G.R. 13), South Parish Cem., Norwell (G.R. 14), Church Hill Cem., Norwell (G.R. 15), Stockbridge Cem., Norwell (G.R. 16), Bowker Street Cem., Norwell (G.R. 17), Damon Cem., Norwell (G.R. 18), Washington Street Cem., Norwell (G.R. 19), Quaker Cem., Norwell (G.R. 20), and Otis Cem., Norwell (G.R. 21).
  • "Chronicle of Scituate Vital Records," Appendix 31, pages 554-616, in the Bangs' book (listed above) in Volume 3, is a compilation of vital records from several published sources arranged in chronological order to 1700 - no one source had all the entries.
Online records
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City Directories[edit | edit source]

Scituate was published in 1894 (under Cohasset), 1915, 1918, 1926.

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 Scituate. Recall that the older cemeteries in Hanover and Norwell were once part of Scituate. For a historical survey that describes location and preservation issues, see the town's Burial Sites Survey from 2007. For a map of all cemeteries, see PlymouthColony. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.

  1. Clapp Burying Ground, 1774. (A)
  2. Cudsworth or Veterans Cemetery, 1823. (A)
  3. Judge Cushing's Cemetery, 1757. (A, B)
  4. Damon-Brown Tombs, n.d.
  5. Fairview Cemetery, 1800. (A, B)
  6. Groveland Cemetery, 1720. (A, B)
  7. Harrub-Northey Tombs, 1841.
  8. Hatch Burying Ground, 1796. (A, B, C)
  9. James - Clapp Family Burying Ground, 19th century. (A)
    Mrs. Thomas W. Thacher, "Gravestone Records from the Private Burial Ground of the James Family, at Greenbush, Scituate, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 10 [1908]: 27-28.
  10. Lawson or Hammond Tomb, n.d.
  11. Men of Kent or Meetinghouse Lane Cemetery, 1624 (A, C)
    Images of some stones found online.
    David Hamblin, "Scituate Grave Yard" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 9 [1855]: 178 - 179.
    Stanley W. Smith, "Gravestone Records from the Old Burying Ground on Meeting House Lane, Scituate, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 8 [1906]: 115-118.
    Copy from 1998 online.
    Nareen and Bob Lake, "Men of Kent Cemetery" 2003 transcript.
  12. Merritt Cemetery, 1816. (A)
  13. Mount Hope Cemetery, 1786. (A)
  14. New St. Mary's Cemetery, 1880.
  15. Old St. Mary's Cemetery, n.d. (A)
  16. Trinity Park Cemetery, 1993.
  17. Union Cemetery, n.d. (A, B)
  18. Vinal - Barnes Tomb, n.d.

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Scituate, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1909). [See links above for various versions of this source.]
(B). Charles M. Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts (Middleborough, Mass., 1995). WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 V3
(C). New England Historic Genealogical Society, Manuscript Dept.

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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.

  1. First Parish Church (Unitarian) (now First Parish Unitarian Universalist church of Scituate), 1634, records good.
    Founded by former members of Henry Jacob's church in Southwark, Eng., part of the membership left in 1639 under Rev. John Lothrop and established at church at Barnstable.
    Amos Otis, "Scituate and Barnstable Church Records" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 9 [1855]: 279-287 (Scituate portion) noting that in 1768, the records from 1639 to 1707 were missing. This is also republished in Bangs' book (listed above), vol. 3, appendix 30, p. 512-519.
    George Ernest Bowman, "Records of the First Church of Scituate, Mass." [1707-1791] in Mayflower Descendant, 10 [1908]: 90-96, 175-180, 225-230; 11 [1909]: 44-46, 138-142, 207-209.
    A typescript of the same copied circa 1930 found at the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.
  2. Second Church of Scituate, 1645 [now in Norwell, see church section there for published records].
  3. Society of Friends, South Scituate [now Norwell], 1679, now with the New Bedford Monthly Meeting.
  4. Universalist Church, West Scituate, 1772, records good. [merged at some point with the First Parish]
    Wilford J. Litchfield, "Records of the first Universalist Church in Scituate," members in 1827, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 62 [1908]: 383.
  5. Methodist Episcopal Church, 1821, records fair.
  6. Congregational Church (now First Trinitarian Congregational Church of Scituate), 1825, records good.
    This church claim it was started in 1635, but it is a splitter group off the First Parish Church and established (with its records starting) in 1825.
  7. Baptist Church (now First Baptist Church), North Scituate, 1825, records good.
  8. St. Mary of the Nativity, 1872.
  9. St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 1956.
  10. Christ Lutheran Church, 1962.
  11. The Harbor United Methodist Church, n.d.
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Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  1. Scituate Herald, 1929-1965.
  2. South Shore / Scituate Mirror [title varies], 1955-1981.
  3. Cohasset Cottager, 1964-1965.
  4. South of Boston [title varies], 1974-1975.
  5. Scituate Mariner, 1985-present.
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Libraries and Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Scituate Town Library
85 Branch Street
Scituate MA 02066
Phone 781-545-8727

Scituate Historical Society
43 Cudworth Road
PO Box 276
Scituate MA 02066
Phone 781-545-1083

References[edit | edit source]

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 103. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co.: Hingham | Marshfield | Norwell Norfolk Co.: Cohasset