Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts - Town of Wendell

Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Wendell

Home || Information | Online Genealogical Resources | Bibliography | General Information | Related Pages


Wendell lies in the eastern part of Franklin County and is roughly bounded by Erving on the north, Orange and New Salem on the east, Shutesbury on the south, Leverett on the southwest, and Montague on the west. Wendell was organized May 8, 1781 from part of Shutesbury and part of the common lands called Ervingshire. On February 28, 1803, part of Montague and a gore of common lands lying between Wendell and Montague were annexed to Wendell.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Wendell as follows:
is a pleasant town of 539 inhabitants, occupying an easterly section of Franklin County, and bounded on the north by Erving (from which it is divided by Miller's River), on the east by Orange and New Salem, on the south by Shutesbury, and on the west by Montague. The surface is uneven, and rises at the north into a commanding eminence called "Bear Mountain," 1,281 feet above sea-level. The view from the summit of this elevation of the valley of Miller's River, here a beautiful stream, which winds around its northern base, is very fine. The centre of the town is the water-shed, from which some streams flow northerly, as Wickett Brook and Whetstone Brook, into Miller's River; and some southerly, as Swift River and Saw-mill River, into the Chicopee and Connecticut Rivers. These streams furnish an abundant water-power, and beautify the scenery.

The people are engaged in cultivating the soil, which is deep and strong; or in preparing charcoal, wood, and lumber for the market. The rock-maple flourishes here, and the manufacture of sugar receives some attention. The cultivation of fruit-trees has been too much neglected. The number of farms is 145; of acres of woodland, 2,485. The town has 13 saw-mills, several grist-mills, two postal centres (Wendell and Wendell Dépôt), five school-districts, a good public hall, a Congregational church (of which the Rev. B. B. Cutler is pastor), and a Baptist church without a pastor. The valuation is $195,465; the tax-rate, $2.60 per $100. The number of dwelling-houses is 137; and of voters, 149.

Wendell was taken from Shutesbury and Ervingshire; named from Oliver Wendell, Esq., of Boston; and incorporated May 8, 1781. The first church was organized Nov. 29, 1774, and the Rev. Joseph Kilburn ordained as pastor in 1783. He was succeeded by the Rev. Hervey Wilbur.

John Metcalf had a printing-press here, in which, among other works, an edition of Baxter's "Call" was struck off in 1814, pp. 116 12mo.

Mrs. ANNE T. (WILBUR) WOOD, author of "Romance of a Mummy" and other works, was born here in 1817.

Wendell is 90 miles distant from Boston; and the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad passes through it northern section. L. G. Gould 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. 532-533)

Online Genealogical Resources

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



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

Church History




Tax Records

Town Records

Vital Records

General Information

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

Related Pages

Hosted by Rootsweb

Copyright ©2001 Franklin County MAGenWeb Project
All rights reserved