Place:Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States


Alt namesMarlborosource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 732
Coordinates42.351°N 71.547°W
Located inMiddlesex, Massachusetts, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Marlborough is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 41,793 at the 2020 census. Marlborough became a prosperous industrial town in the 19th century and made the transition to high technology industry in the late 20th century after the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Marlborough was declared a town in 1660. It was incorporated as a city in 1890 when it changed its municipal charter from a New England town meeting system to a mayor–council government.


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

John Howe in 1656 was a fur trader and built a house at the intersection of two Indian trails, Nashua Trail and Connecticut path. He could speak the language of the Algonquian Indians though the local tribe referred to themselves as the Pennacooks. The settlers were welcomed by the Indians because they protected them from other tribes they were at war with. In the 1650s, several families left the nearby town of Sudbury, 18 miles west of Boston, to start a new town. The village was named after Marlborough, the market town in Wiltshire, England. It was first settled in 1657 by 14 men led by Edmund Rice, John Ruddock, John Howe and a third John named John Bent ; in 1656 Rice and his colleagues petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to create the town of Marlborough and it was officially incorporated in 1660. Rice was elected a selectman at Marlborough in 1657. Sumner Chilton Powell wrote, in Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town, "Not only did Rice become the largest individual landholder in Sudbury, but he represented his new town in the Massachusetts legislature for five years and devoted at least eleven of his last fifteen years to serving as selectman and judge of small causes."

The Puritan minister Reverend William Brimstead became the first minister of First Church in Marlborough, William Ward the first deacon and Johnathan Johnson was the first blacksmith.

Marlborough was one of the seven "Praying Indian Towns" because they were converted to Christianity by the Rev. John Eliot of Roxbury. In 1674 a deed was drawn up dividing the land between the settlers and the natives. This is the only record of names of the natives. The settlement was almost destroyed by Native Americans in 1676 during King Philip's War.

In 1711 Marlborough's territory included Northborough, Southborough, Westborough and Hudson. As population, business, and travel grew in the colonies, Marlborough became a favored rest stop on the Boston Post Road. Many travelers stopped at its inns and taverns, including George Washington, who visited the Williams Tavern soon after his inauguration in 1789.

In 1836, Samuel Boyd, known as the "father of the city," and his brother Joseph, opened the first shoe manufacturing business - an act that would change the community forever. By 1890, with a population of 14,000, Marlborough had become a major shoe manufacturing center, producing boots for Union soldiers, as well as footwear for the civilian population. Marlborough became so well known for its shoes that its official seal was decorated with a factory, a shoe box, and a pair of boots when it was incorporated as a city in 1890.

The Civil War resulted in the creation of one of the region's most unusual historical monuments. Legend has it that a company from Marlborough, assigned to Harpers Ferry, appropriated the bell from the firehouse where John Brown last battled for the emancipation of the slaves. The company left the bell in the hands of one Mrs. Elizabeth Snyder for 30 years, returning in 1892 to bring it back to Marlborough. The bell now hangs in a tower at the corner of Route 85 and Main Street.

Around that time, Marlborough is believed to have been the first community in the country to receive a charter for a streetcar system, edging out Baltimore by a few months. The system, designed primarily for passenger use, provided access to Milford to the south, and Concord to the north. As a growing industrialized community, Marlborough began attracting skilled craftsmen from Quebec, Ireland, Italy, and Greece.[1]

Shoe manufacturing continued in Marlborough long after the industry had fled many other New England communities. Rice & Hutchins, Inc. operated several factories in Marlborough from 1875 to 1929. Famous Frye boots were manufactured here through the 1970s, and The Rockport Company, founded in Marlborough in 1971, maintained an outlet store in the city until 2017. In 1990, when Marlborough celebrated its centennial as a city, the festivities included the construction of a park in acknowledgment of the shoe industry, featuring statues by the sculptor David Kapenteopolous.

The construction of Interstates 495 and 290 and the Massachusetts Turnpike has enabled the growth of the high technology and specialized electronics industries. With its easy access to major highways and the pro-business, pro-development policies of the city government, the population of Marlborough has increased to over 38,000 at the time of the 2010 census. In November 2016, the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a $3 million grant to the city to fund infrastructure improvements along U.S. Route 20 to aid commercial development.

Census 1702/3

About this time there was a controversy concerning the placement of a new minister. A vote was taken. History of Marlborough, MA (p. 102) indicates this list probably represents a list of all adult males at the time.

Opposed (East)

  1. Isaac Amsden
  2. Thomas Axtell
  3. John Barnes, Sr.
  4. John Barnes, Jr
  5. John Barrett, Jr
  6. Isaac Bellows
  7. Eleazer Bellows
  8. John Bigelow
  9. Samuel Bigelow
  10. Thomas Bruce
  11. Abiel Bush
  12. David Church
  13. Zachary Eager
  14. Daniell Flagg
  15. Thomas Hapgood
  16. Adam Holloway
  17. James Hosmer
  18. Isaac Howe
  19. John Howe
  20. Josiah Howe
  21. Thomas Howe
  22. Daniel Johnson
  23. John Johnson
  24. Jonathan Johnson
  25. Joseph Johnson
  26. Nathaniel Johnson
  27. Samuel Johnson
  28. William Kerly
  29. James Keyes
  30. Thomas Keyes
  31. John Maynor Sr
  32. Joseph Morse
  33. Samuel Morse
  34. Samuel Morse
  35. Daniel Newton
  36. David Newton
  37. Edward Newton
  38. John Newton Sr
  39. John Newton Jr
  40. John Newton
  41. Joseph Newton Sr
  42. Moses Newton
  43. Thomas Newton
  44. Zecharia Newton
  45. James Sawyer
  46. John Sherman
  47. Alexander Stewart
  48. Samuel Stow
  49. Ebenezer Taylor
  50. James Taylor Jr
  51. James Taylor
  52. William Taylor
  53. Joseph Wait
  54. Obadiah Ward
  55. Supply Weeks
  56. John Wheeler
  57. Samuel Wheelock
  58. Thomas Witherbee
  59. Isaac Woods
  60. John Woods Jr

In favor (west)

  1. Edward Barnes
  2. Richard Barnes, Sr
  3. Richard Barnes, Jr
  4. Henry Barrett
  5. John Barrett Jr
  6. Thomas Beaman
  7. Peter Bent
  8. Gershom Bigelow
  9. John Bowker
  10. John Brigham Jr
  11. Jonathan Brigham
  12. David Brigham
  13. Nathan Brigham
  14. Samuel Brigham
  15. Thomas Brigham
  16. Gershom Fay
  17. Samuel Forbush
  18. Thomas Forbush
  19. Samuel Goodnow Jr
  20. Abraham Howe
  21. Daniel Howe
  22. John Johnson Sr
  23. Nathaniel Joslin
  24. John Mathis
  25. David Maynard
  26. John Maynard Jr
  27. Simon Maynard
  28. Joseph Newton Jr
  29. Joseph Newton
  30. Nathaniel Oakes
  31. Benjamin Rice
  32. Edmund Rice
  33. Edward Rice Jr
  34. Eleazer Rice
  35. Jacob Rice
  36. James Rice
  37. Peter Rice
  38. Thomas Rice
  39. Joseph Stratton
  40. James Taylor, Sr.
  41. Eleazer Ward
  42. Increase Ward
  43. Joseph Ward
  44. Samuel Ward Sr
  45. William Ward Sr
  46. Abraham Williams
  47. Joseph Witherbee

Research Tips

Hayden, Charles. Genealogy of the Families of Marlborough to 1800, (1861), p. vii:

The early Records of Marlborough are very meagre, so far as historical matters are concerned-- the most of the space being occupied by the location and description of grants of land. Besides, one volume of their Records has been lost; so that we have no connected record of town officers, or of the proceedings of the town, from 1665 to 1739. We have been enabled to supply some of the defects from the Records of the Proprietors of the Town, and from the Book kept by the Proprietors of the Indian Plantation... Nor have we had any connected Church Records, to supply the deficiency. Many facts have been collected from the Colony Records, and from the Massachusetts Archives, a valuable collection of papers of almost every kind, and on almost every subject, n the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
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