‘For a wolf to an Indian’

I have just received the last volume in Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs’ Plymouth Colony town records series – see my earlier post on the records of Sandwich and Eastham. The Town Records of Duxbury, Bridgewater, and Dartmouth during the Time of Plymouth Colony, 1620–1692, like Sandwich and Eastham, is published on-demand through Lulu.com. Jeremy also has two other volumes available through Lulu.com: the town records of Marshfield and Plymouth Colony Records. Deeds, &c. vol. II, 1651–1663. I have these latter two on order.

The arrangement of this new volume is identical to that of Sandwich and Eastham, with names indexed to the dates of records in the Records Calendar that includes abstracts from both town and colony sources. The Calendar, in turn, then refers to the page number of the original transcription in the Records Transcriptions section.

This volume is printed in an 8” x 11” format (the same size as Eastham) and has 397 pages, divided by town: Duxbury, 137 pages; Bridgewater, 214; and Dartmouth, 34. Compared to the volumes on Sandwich, which has 463 pages, and Eastham with 480 pages, and with Jeremy’s transcriptions of Scituate town records published by NEHGS in three volumes, it is clear that the extant records for this period of time (1620–1692) for Duxbury, Bridgewater, and Dartmouth are far smaller than the others.

David Alden was paid 10 shillings “for wood,” perhaps to heat the meeting house? “For a wolfe to an Indian” 7 shillings, six pence.

The earliest records for Duxbury (officially established as a town in 1637) were lost when the town clerk’s house burned in 1660. Bridgewater was only established as a town from Duxbury in 1656, and Dartmouth’s records begin in the late 1670s.

These limitations prevent the Duxbury, Bridgewater, and Dartmouth volume from being anyway near as inclusive and interesting (no earmark registries, for example) as the Sandwich and Eastham volumes, but it still presents many land grants, deeds, lot divisions, bounds, and in the case of Bridgewater, vital records, of value for seventeenth-century family research.

Duxbury’s records include a few accounts of what the town paid out for wages and services, which can contain some interesting morsels. In 1680 Rodolphus Thacher was paid 10 shillings for sweeping the meeting house. David Alden was paid 10 shillings “for wood,” perhaps to heat the meeting house? “For a wolfe to an Indian” 7 shillings, six pence. In 1676 Joseph Prior, Jr., was paid one shilling “for mending the pulpit dore.” In 1692 Peter West was paid 15 shillings, 6 pence for serving on the Grand Jury and “mending the meeting house.”

Thanks, Jeremy.

Alicia Crane Williams

About Alicia Crane Williams

Alicia is the lead genealogist on the new NEHGS study project, Early New England Families, 1641-1700. Prior to joining the NEHGS staff, she compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications including The Mayflower Descendant, the Alden Family Five Generations project, and the Harlow Family : Descendants of Sgt. William Harlow (1624/5-1691) of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Alicia has served as Historian of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Assistant Historian General at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and as Genealogist of the Alden Kindred of America. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in History from Northeastern University. In October 2016, Alicia was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

5 thoughts on “‘For a wolf to an Indian’

  1. In researching the Wesley, Maine Town Records, I discovered that on 08 December 1842 the Town of Wesley paid one “Sock Susup Andrew” (probably a Passamaquoddy Indian) $10.00 for killing one wolf.

  2. A note written by James Gray Jr of Wesley, Maine, recently discovered among the Gray family’s receipts:
    ” bounty paid by N Higgins
    Bounty orders in 1858
    order To Samuel Day one wolf — $ 8.00
    ” Ephraim Elsmore ” Bear — 2.00
    ” John W. Day one ” 2.00
    ” E. F Day 5 ” 10.00
    ——— Amount Received
    $ 22.00 of N Higgins

  3. Sounds intriguing! I’m a George Soule descendant, and he was one of the original settlers of Duxbury.

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