Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts - Town of Shutesbury

Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Shutesbury

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Shutesbury lies in the southeastern part of Franklin County, and is roughly bounded by Wendell on the north, New Salem and the former town of Prescott on the east, Pelham on the south, Amherst on the southwest (the latter three towns in Hampshire County), Leverett on the west. Shutesbury was organized June 30, 1761 from a plantation called Roadtown. On May 8, 1781, part of Shutesbury and with part of the common lands called Ervingshire were organized Wendell. On February 20, 1824, part of Shutesbury was annexed to New Salem.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Shutesbury as follows:
occupies the south-east corner of Franklin County, is 112 miles west of Boston, and has New Salem and Prescott (from the latter of which it is divided by Swift River) on the east, Pelham on the south, Amherst and Leverett on the west, and the latter and Wendell on the north. It has 614 people, 154 dwelling-houses, 150 farms, and a valuation of $194,865. It was settled by families from Sudbury; for some time bore the name of "Roads Town," but received at its incorporation (June 30, 1764) its present name in honor of Gov. Samuel Shute. The land is rocky and uneven. The highest eminence is Morse's Hill, which overlooks Lock's Pond and Lock's Village in the north-west angle of the town. Near this place molybdenite, a sulphuret of molybdenum, is found. An immense bowlder east of Lock's Pond, called "The Sentinel," bears the marks of telluric forces, and was doubtless brought from a long distance during the glacial period. It may be considered as one of the earliest settlers of the town. Swift River drains the eastern, Roaring Brook and other streams the western section of the town. Near the centre of the town there is a mineral spring, impregnated with muriate of lime, which has obtained celebrity.

Mount Mineral Spring was incorporated in 1867. There is much woodland in the place; and eight or ten saw-mills are constantly preparing lumber, laths, clapboards, shingles, and staves for market. Many railroad-ties are cut here; and as many as 59,000 bushels of charcoal have been made in a year. The town has one post-office; seven district-schools; a Congregational church (established Oct. 27, 1842), of which the Rev. John P. Watson is pastor; and a Baptist church of which the Rev. J. D. Donovan is pastor.

The town sent 18 soldiers into the late war, of whom 3 were lost. The salubrity of the air is highly conducive to the longevity of the people.

Ephraim Pratt, a resident of this place, was born in Sudbury Nov. 1, 1687; and died here in May, 1804, at the remarkable age of 116 years. He married Martha Wheelock at the age of 21; and lived to see, it is said, 1,500 descendants. He was temperate and cheerful.

The Hon. PAUL DILLINGHAM was born here in August, 1800; and in 1805 removed with his father to Waterbury, Vt., of which State he was, from 1865 to 1867, governor. S. H. Crandall is the present town-clerk.
(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. 464)

Online Genealogical Resources

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



The following bibliography lists sources that may be useful in researching the genealogy and history of families that have lived in the Shutesbury 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.


Land Records

Tax Records

Town Records

Vital Records

General Information

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

Related Pages

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