Place:Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

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NameLancaster
Alt namesLancaster Centersource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003718
Lancaster Centresource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003718
Nashawaysource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25003718
TypeTown
Coordinates42.45°N 71.667°W
Located inWorcester, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Old Settlers Burial Yard
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lancaster is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, in the United States. Incorporated in 1653, Lancaster is the oldest town in Worcester County. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 8,055.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lancaster was first settled as "Nashaway" (after the local Nashaway Native American tribe) in 1643. It was officially incorporated and renamed "Lancaster on the Nashua" in 1653. Until it was cut down in 1989 due to safety concerns, Lancaster boasted the largest oak tree in the state, called the Beaman Oak, named after settler Gamaliel Beaman (1623–1677).

Lancaster boasts being the official "mothertown" to all of Eastern central Massachusetts. Towns such as Harvard, Bolton, Leominster, Clinton, Berlin, Sterling, and part of West Boylston were all formed from territory of the original boundaries of Lancaster.

Supporters of Lancaster's founder, John Prescott, born in 1604 (great grandfather of Bunker Hill leader William Prescott, wished to name the new settlement Prescott, but the Massachusetts General Court considered such a request from a common freeman presumptuous, given that at that time, not even a governor had held the honor of naming a town after himself. Instead, they decided to use Lancaster, the name of his home town in England.

Lancaster was the site of the Mary Rowlandson (c. 1637–1711) attack in February 1676 (1675 old style calendar). During Metacom's War, which was fought partially in Lancaster, a group of Native Americans pillaged the entire town of Lancaster in response to English colonial brutality against them. Their last stop was Mary Rowlandson's house. Coming to the defense of the house was Rowlandson's brother-in-law, who was immediately shot and killed by the attacking Native Americans. The Native Americans then set fire to the house, forcing Rowlandson to exit the burning building. Upon crossing the doorstep, Rowlandson saw a scene full of carnage. The majority of her household was slaughtered, with the exception of her husband, Joseph Rowlandson Sr., who was not on the premises, their son, also called Joseph, their two daughters, Mary and Sarah, and herself. Mary, her son, and her two daughters were captured by the Native Americans and forced to join their travels across New England. The Native Americans non-fatally shot Mary Rowlandson in her side, but her youngest daughter, Sarah, sustained an injury during the attack that would later bring about her death. After her release from captivity, Rowlandson wrote a book called A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. The book is widely considered one of the greatest examples of a captivity narrative. In 2000, Lancaster Elementary School changed its name to Mary Rowlandson Elementary School.

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