Pembroke, Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Plymouth Gotoarrow.png Pembroke

Brief History

Pembroke is situated at the head of the navigatable portion of the North River known for ship building. The first settlers were Robert Barker and Dolor Davis near Herring Brook. It was the site of the first sawmill in the colony for the first forty years. An iron works was established by 1720. The town was in Plymouth Colony. The town was 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 town is 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.

Historical Data[1]

Associated names

Pembroke at one time was called Major's Purchase, Marshfield Upper Lands, and Mattakeeset.

Village or section names include Bryantville, Crookertown, East Pembroke, Fosterville, North Pembroke, Pembroke Center, Schooset, and Standish.

Border changes
Dates Events
21 Mar. 1712 Established as a town from part of Duxbury that was called Mattackeeset, a tract called Major's Purchase, and land called Marshfield Upper-lands at Mattakeeset. [Prov. Laws, 1: 684]
16 June 1726 Part included in the new town of Kingston.
4 July 1734 Part included in the new town of Halifax.
22 Feb. 1820 Second or West Parish (The Major's Purchase) set off as the new town of Hanson.
6 Mar. 1835 Border between Pembroke and Hanover established.
23 Apr. 1885 Border between Pembroke and Hanover established.
3 Apr. 1903 Border between Pembroke and Hanson established.
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Town Histories


]]Works written on the town include:

Vital Records

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

Original records
Published records
This includes, in part, church records from the First Unitarian Church (C.R.1), Second Church of Christ (C.R.2), Baptist Church (C.R.3), and the Society of Friends of Pembroke [now with the New Bedford Monthly Meeting] (C.R.4). Deaths are included from Pembroke Centre Cem. (G.R.1), Stetson Burying Ground (G.R.2), Mount Pleasant Cem., Bryantville (G.R.3), Two Mile Cem. (G.R.4), Briggs Cem., North Pembroke (G.R.5), East Pembroke Cem. (G.R.6), High Street Cem. (G.R.7), Chapel Ground (G.R.8), and the Friends Burying Ground (G.R. 9).
  • Charles Eliot Goodspeed, "Pembroke (Mass.) Records" in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 69 [1915]: 283-284, probably records of Rev. Daniel Lewis covering 1742 to 1743.
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The following is a list of cemeteries in present-day Pembroke. Use the map on to locate the cemeteries. For more details regarding these cemeteries, see the state guide under cemeteries for books on the subject.

  1. Briggs Cemetery / Barker Burial Ground, 1722. (A, B)
    John W. Willard, "Gravestone Records in the Briggs Burial Ground, North Pembroke" in Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 168-170.
  2. Brown Cemetery, 19th century. (C)
  3. Centre Cemetery, 1715. (A, C)
  4. Chapel Ground Cemetery, n.d. (A)
  5. Friends Burying Ground, 18th century. (A, B)
    John W. Willard, Stanley W. Smith, Edward H. Whorf, and Arthur M. Jones, "Friends Burying Ground, Washington Street, North Pembroke, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 128.
  6. Seth Hatch Family Cemetery, 1799.
  7. Loring Cemetery, 1815-1861.
    John W. Willard, "Gravestone Records from the Loring Cemetery, East Pembroke, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 219-220.
  8. Luther Magoun Family Cemetery, 18th century.
  9. Paul Magoun Family Cemetery, 1844.
  10. Silas Morton-Barstow Tomb, 19th century.
  11. Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 19th century. (A, B, C)
    Alicia Crane Williams, "Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Pembroke Centre, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 35 [1985]: 65-68, 163-166; 36 [1986]: 59-62; 37 [1987]: 7-10, 171-172; 38 [1988]: 61-62, 181-182; 39 [1989]: 59-60, 167-168; 40 [1990]: 185-186.
  12. Pine Grove / East Pembroke Cemetery, 1813-1900. (A)
    John W. Willard and Stanley W. Smith, "Pine Grove Cemetery, East Pembroke, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 63-64.
  13. Private Burial Ground, 1844-1850.
    John W. Willard and Edward H. Whorf, "Private Burial Ground on Hip Top on Water Street, North Pembroke, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 12 [1910]: 256.
  14. Randall Lot Cemetery, 1871.
  15. Sachem Lodge / High Street Cemetery, 19th century. (A)
  16. Stetson Burial Ground, n.d. (A, C)
  17. Two Mile Cemetery, 1707-1859. (A)
    Stanley W. Smith, "Records from the Cemetery at the Corner of Water and Church Streets, North Pembroke, Mass." in Mayflower Descendant, 11 [1909]: 86-87.

Abstracts of the cemeteries above are marked and keyed to:
(A). Vital Records of Pembroke, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (Boston, 1911). [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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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. Society of Friends, 1708, records good.
    Records on microfilm as Pembroke Monthly Meeting records, 1676-1876, FHL film 1335, includes Sandwich Quarterly Meeting minutes.
  2. First Unitarian Church (now First Church in Pembroke), 1712, records good after 1763.
    Records on microfilm, Church records, 1711-1899, FHL film 423501.
  3. Second Religious Society [not in 1889 survey].
    Records online as Baptisms in the Second Religious Society, Pembroke, 1749-1825 ($).
  4. Methodist Episcopal Church, Bryantville, 1825, records fair.
  5. St. Thecla Catholic Church, 1963.
  6. North River Community Church, 1989.
  7. Pembroke Assembly of God, n.d.
  8. High Street United Methodist Church, n.d.
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  1. The Union, 1856.
  2. Silver Lake News, 1955-1956.
  3. Pembroke Mariner, 1983-2003.
  4. Pembroke Reporter, 1984-2006.
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Libraries and Historical Societies

The following is list of research facilities in town:

Pembroke Public Library
142 Center Street
Pembroke MA 02359
Phone 781-293-6771

Pembroke Historical Society
100 Center Street
PO Box 122
Pembroke MA 02359
Phone 781-293-9083


  1. William Francis Galvin, Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts (Boston, new ed., 1997), 91. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997
Adjacent towns: Plymouth Co: Duxbury | Halifax | Hanover | Hanson | Kingston | Marshfield | Norwell | Plympton

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