Massachusetts Genealogy and History

Essex County Massachusetts

Church Histories/ Records


Source: A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts by Elias Nason, George Jones Varney, published 1890 by B.B. Russel, 57 Cornhill.
The Cities , Towns and Villages pg 99-724 - transcribed by J.S

Amesbury - There are six religious societies; of which the Congregationalist was organized in 1831, and the Friends in 1701. The others are the Methodist Episcopal, the Protestant Episcopal (St. James'), the Roman Catholic (St. Joseph's) and the Universalist.
The first church established here was organized in 1672; the first minister being Rev. Thomas Wells, who died in 1734 at the age of 87 years.

In Andover there are many churches; the Congregationalists having five; while the Baptist, Episcopal and Methodist each have one, and the Roman Catholic two. Of these three are of stone, and others still of attractive architecture.

Beverly - There are ten churches - belonging to the first and second Baptist; the Dane Street Congregational, the Second Congregational (North Beverly) and the Washington Street Congregational; the Methodist Episcopal; the Protestant Episcopal (Saint Peter's); the Roman Catholic (Star of the Sea); the First Parish (Unitarian); and the Universalist.

Boxford - There is a Congregational church at Boxford, and another at West Boxford. The first church was organized, and the Rev. Thomas Symmes ordained as pastor in 1702. The first pastor of the second church was Rev. John Cushing, ordained in 1736.

Bradford - A Congregational church was organized here, and the Rev. Zachariah Symmes ordained pastor, December 27, 1682. The society has now a large and a handsome church edifice here.

Ipswich - On the right bank of the Ipswich river stands a Congregational church, quite near the site of the first one erected in the town. On the left bank, on rising ground, are an American Episcopal, a Methodist Episcopal, and another Congregational church. A Roman Catholic church (Saint Joseph's) is also in this place. At Linebrook, in the western part of the town, is still another Congregational church.

Danvers - The Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Unitarians and Adventist each have a church here, and the Trinitarian Congregationalists have two. The first church was formed in 1671, as a branch of the church in Salem. The first pastor was the Rev. James Bailey, settled in October of the same year. His successor was the Rev. George Burroughs, settled Nov. 25, 1680, and inhumanly executed on Gallows Hill, in Salem, for witchcraft, Aug 19, 1692. The church became an independent society Nov 10, 1689; and on the 15th of the same month, the Rev. Samuel Parris was ordained as its fourth pastor. It was in the family of this minister that the terrible delusion known as the "Salem Witchcraft" first appeared in 1692. In Dr. Joseph B. Felt's "Annals of Salem" it is thus noticed: "Feb 25, Tituba, an Indian servant of Rev. S. Parris, is complained of for witchcraft. Before this, John, her husband, another Indian servant of Mr. Parris, had been persuaded by Mary Sibley to make a superstitious experiment for discovering persons who, they supposed, secretly afflicted Mr. Parris's daughter Elizabeth, aged nine, and his niece Abigail Williams, aged eleven, and Ann Putnam, a girl of the neighborhood."

Rowley - The three churches are Baptist, Congregational and Universalist.


The following officers of the Second Congregational Sunday school have been elected:
Superintendent - Henry M. Hall
Assistant superintendent - Mrs. Moses B. Noyes
Secretary - Lewis C. Smith
Treasurer - Parker H. Nason

Essex Journal and Merrimack Packet (Newbuyport, Massachusetts) 20 Apr 1774 - transcribed by J.S.
Last Monday the Rev. Mr. David Tappan, of Manchester, was Ordained Pastor of the Third Parish and Congregation in Newbury;
The Reverend Mr. Hibart, of Almsbury, made the first Prayer.
The Rev. Mr. Jewett, of Rowley, preached an excellent and well adapted Sermon from these words, Titus, Chap iii, v.8 'And these things, I will that you affirm constantly, that they maintain good works'
The Rev. Mr. Parsons, of Byfield, Prayed and gave the Charge.
The Rev. Mr. Chandler, of Rowley, made the last Prayer.
and The Rev. Mr. Hale, of Newbury, gave the Right Hand of Fellowship. Each part was performed with much propriety, and good order. Attention and solemnity observable through the whole transaction.

Newburyport Daily News (Newburyport, Massachusetts) 11 Jun 1917 - transcribed by J.S.
At the first quarterly conference held by District Superintendent Dr. Powell, the report of the church year, of the Methodist church just closed was submitted by Miss E.E. Wait, treasurer of the church. The report shows that $1652 was expended for maintenance expenses, $1285 for current expenses, $677 for missionary and other contributions, making a total of $3614. The report of the pastor, Rev. W.J. Kelly, for the year shows an increase in the church membership of 62.


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