Plympton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the town of Plymouth. You will find help with town histories, vital records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries. There is a detailed guide for the town set off from Plympton: Carver.

Town Clerk[edit | edit source]

5 Palmer Road
Plympton, MA 02367
Phone: 781-585-3220
Fax: 781-582-1505

Brief History[edit | edit source]

The first land grant in this area, then in Plymouth Colony, was to John Jenny in 1638. This westernmost was part of Plymouth was made a precinct in 1695 for the convenience of the forty-five families living there. The precinct 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 from 1686 to 1689. The precinct was still in Plymouth County, though was in limbo, until the "Colony" was merged with Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691 that became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The precinct became a town in 1707 as part of Plymouth County. Sizable portions were removed for the creation of Kingston and Halifax. Another major change occurred when the larger southern portion was set off at the town of Carver in 1790. The remaining part is the most sparsely populated area in the county.

Historical Data[edit | edit source]

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

Associated names

Plympton at one time was called Wenatukset and Western Precinct.

Village or section names include The Neck, North Plympton, Prospect Hill, Silver Lake, and Winnetuxet.

Border changes
Dates Events
4 June 1707 Established as the new town of Plympton from part of Plymouth.
16 June 1726 Part (1306 acres) included in the new town of Kingston.
4 July 1734 Part (5994 acres) included in the new town of Halifax.
11 Dec. 1734 Part of Middleborough annexed.
9 June 1790 Southern part (20,075 acres, being the Second or South Parish) set off as the new town of Carver.
8 Feb. 1793 Border between Plympton and Carver established.
16 Mar. 1831 Part (497 acres) annexed to Halifax.
6 Feb. 1863 Bounds between Plympton and Halifax established and part of each town annexed to the other town.
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Town Histories[edit | edit source]

Works written on the town include:

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Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Barnstable CountyBristol CountyPlymouth CountyNorfolk CountySuffolk CountyFalmouthMashpeeSandwichBourneFairhavenAchushnetNew BedfordDartmouthWestportFall RiverFreetownBerkleyTauntonRaynhamEastonStoughtonAvonHolbrookCantonRandolphWeymouthCohassetBraintreeQuincyMiltonBostonHullHinghamScituateNorwellRocklandAbingtonBrocktonWest BridgewaterWhitmanHanoverMarshfieldDuxburyPembrokeHansonEast BridgewaterBridgewaterHalifaxPlymptonKingstonPlymouthCarverMiddleboroughLakevilleRochesterWarehamMarionMattapoisett
Town of Plympton in Plympton County, Massachusetts.

Lewis Bradford was town clerk and parish clerk from 1812 until his death in 1851. During that time, he heavily annotated the older records of the town with research on the families he had found. These annotations are found in the original records of the town, the Archive Publishing fiche, and the published vital records all mentioned below. The town's vital records are available in many locations:

Original records
Published records
This includes, in part, church records from the Congregational Church (C.R.) and deaths are included from the Old Cem., Plympton Centre (G.R.1), small cem. on Kingston line (G.R.2), Smallpox Cem., Plympton Centre (G.R.3), and the cem. behind the church, Plympton Centre (G.R.4).
  • Susan Augusta Smith, "Early Records of Plympton, Mass." in the Mayflower Descendant, 1 [1899]: 174-178, 245-248; 2 [1900]: 50-53, 121, 138-141, 234-237; 3 [1901]: 91-94, 163-166; 5 [1903]: 180-184, 206-210.
Online records
  • Plymouth vital records, 1713-1901 (transcription started by town clerk in 1840), are browsable (i.e. not indexed as of Nov. 2012) on FamilySearch.
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City Directories[edit | edit source]

Plympton was published in 1906, 1910, 1914.

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 Plympton. Those in Carver were once part of this town, and parts of Halifax and Kingston. For locations of the cemeteries, see PlymouthColony. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.

  1. Hillcrest Cemetery, 1711. (A, B)
    Charles H. Bricknell, et al, Plympton's Old 'Burying Place' from 1706 or Earlier," (S.l., typ., 1982?).
    Digital version at Plympton Historical Commission.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.482/P1 V3p.
  2. Isaac Loring Gravesite, 1778.
  3. North Plympton Cemetery (on Kingston line), 1767-1874. (A, B)
    Stanley W. Smith, "Gravestone Records in a Small Cemetery in the North Village of Plympton, Mass." in the Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 176-177.
  4. Plympton Congregational Church Cemetery, 1834-1868. (B)
    Stanley W. Smith, Edward H. Whorf, John Wl. Willard, and William J. Ham, "Cemetery Back of Congregational Church, Plymouth Centre, Mass." in the Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 127-128.
  5. Plympton Green Cemetery, 1732. (A)
  6. Ripley Smallpox Cemetery, 1776-1779.
  7. Smallpox / Cushman Cemetery, 1777-1779. (A)
    Stanley W. Smith, Edward H. Whorf, John W. Willard, and William J. Ham, "Small Pox Cemetery, Plympton Centre, Mass." in the Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 64.

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Plympton, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1923). [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.

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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. Congregational Church, 1698, records good.[2]
    Records on microfilm as First Congregational Parish, 1780-1858, FHL film 912065 Items 1-3.
    First Congregational Church records, no date, Congregational Library.
    "First volume of the church records of the church in Plympton, [1698]-[1809]," 1880 copy by Alice Titcomb, 232 pp., Burns Library, Boston College, Newton, Mass.
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Newspapers[edit | edit source]

No newspapers were ever published in Plympton.

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Libraries and Historical Societies[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of research facilities in town:

Plympton Public Library
248 Main Street
Plympton MA 02367
Phone 781-585-4551

Plympton Historical Society
189 Main Street
PO Box 21
Plympton MA 02367
Phone 781-585-9648

References[edit | edit source]

  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 94. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
  2. Harold Field Worthley, An Inventory of the Records of the Particular (Congregational) Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), 495-496, said that the church records [First Volume], 1698-1793, was missing in 1970 and last known in 1809 (though no reference to the 1889 survey that listed them. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 K23w.
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co: Carver | Halifax | Kingston | Middleborough | Pembroke