Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts - Town of Hawley

Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Hawley

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Hawley lies in the western part of Franklin County and is roughly bounded by Charlemont on the north, Buckland on the east, Ashfield on the southeast, Plainfield (in Hampshire County) on the south, and Savoy (in Berkshire County) on the west. Hawley was organized February 6, 1792 from the plantation called Number Seven. On June 21, 1803, part of Hawley was annexed to Plainfield.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Hawley as follows:
on the highlands in the western part of Franklin County, has 672 inhabitants, and, for its bounds, Charlemont on the north, Buckland and Ashfield on the east, Plainfield on the south, and Savoy on the west. The land is hilly, the scenery picturesque, and the climate cold and healthful. Among the minerals here are found massive iron pyrites, magnetic iron, and zoisite. Forge Hill is one of the most prominent elevations. A large number of clear and sparkling brooks, well stored with trout, flow from the hills, and swell the waters of Deerfield River. The soil is good for grazing, and the growing of wool receives considerable attention. The town has 134 dwelling-houses, 122 farms, and raises English hay to the value of $20,000 annually. It sends large quantities of maple-sugar to market. It has four saw-mills, also manufactories of broom-handles and palm-leaf hats. There is a Congregational church at East Hawley, established Sept. 16, 1778, of which the Rev. Henry Seymour is pastor; and another at West Hawley, established Aug. 24, 1825, which has for its pastor the Rev. John Eastman. The valuation is $170, 061; and the rate of taxation, $2.50 per $100. The town sent 81 soldiers to the late war. A branch railroad is needed for the increase and prosperity of this beautiful place. There is a post-office at Hawley Centre, South Hawley, and West Hawley. The town was named in honor of Joseph Hawley of Northampton, and incorporated Feb. 7, 1792. The first church was formed Sept. 16, 1778; and the Rev. Jonathan Grout, ordained Oct. 23, 1793, was the first settled pastor. He died June 6, 1835, in the 42d year of his ministry.

The Rev. JONAS KING, D.D., missionary to Greece was born here July 29, 1792; and died at Athens, Greece, May 22, 1869.
(Source: Nason, Elias, 1811-1887. A gazetteer of the state of Massachusetts : with numerous illustrations on wood and steel / by Elias Nason. -- Boston : B.B. Russell, 1874. -- p. 257)

Online Genealogical Resources

The following resources may provide information useful in researching Hawley families.



The following bibliography lists sources that may be useful in researching the genealogy and history of families that have lived in the Hawley area. The bibliography is arranged by subject category and alphabetically by author and title within each category. Information on library holdings is recorded in the box following each citation. For published items, only holdings of libraries profiled on the Archives and Libraries page are given when known. For unpublished and other rare sources, any library known to hold the item is listed. Many of the items listed here are also available at other libraries and research centers in New England, New York, and elsewhere.

Original records and other items microfilmed by the LDS Family History Library (also known as the Genealogical Society of Utah) are also listed below. These microfiches and microfilms are available via interlibrary loan through the LDS family history centers. Make a note of the microfiche or microfilm reel number(s) needed in order to place a request at one of the LDS family history centers.



General Information

The following resources may provide useful information on the Hawley town area.

Related Pages

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