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Marlborough, Mass. First Church records, 1704-2002.

Identifier: RG1358

Scope and Contents

The records of the First Congregational Church in Marlborough include membership lists, church financial records, meeting minutes and reports, personal and church correspondence, architectural drawings, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The records document the history and function of the Congregational church and its 19th centry offshoots, the First Evangelical Society and Union Society records. Also indlucded are pastoral records, which include the personal records of important ministers in the church's history, property records, and microfilm copies of some of the oldest records.


  • 1704-2002


Restrictions on Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Restrictions on Use

Items in this collection are subject to U.S. Copyright Law. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine the copyright status of collection items and to secure any permissions necessary for their reproduction and publication. Requests for permission to publish material must be discussed with the archivist or librarian.
Digital Reproductions are protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use the Digital Reproductions in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the Congregational Library & Archives for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the Congregational Library & Archives. For additional information regarding copyright, please consult the Congregational Library & Archives' Digital Collections Copyright & Use policy.

Historical Note

The town of Marlborough was incorporated in 1660. The First Parish Church was originally organized in 1666. In 1662, a rate of 2 pence per acre was levied upon all properties in order to raise funds to build a Meeting House; and in 1664, a rate of 3 and ¼ pence was levied to complete the building. This first Meeting House stood on the old Common, but was burnt down by Native Americans in 1676. A new Meeting House was soon erected, but did not remain in active use for long. In 1688, a larger meeting house was built near the site of the former buildings and served as a place of worship until 1809. Rev. William Brimsmead was the first minister of the town.

In December of 1804, a committee of seven members was chosen by the town to report on a petition put forth by the westerly population. The petition meant to separate the town into Eastern and Western sections. Although the committee members were in favor of the split, the town would not adopt their report. Opposing propositions from the eastern and western populations of Marlborough on where to build the new meeting house eventually resulted in the split of the town into the East and West Parishes, and a corresponding division in the church. A new meeting house was set up at Spring Hill and was opened for public service in 1806. Simultaneously, the inhabitants of the western section of Marlborough had taken steps to form a new Parish and a new meeting house. In 1808, the western part of town was incorporated as the Second Parish in Marlborough, and on the fifth of March, the West Church was organized.

In 1833, 50 members of the First Parish withdrew in order to form the First Evangelical Congregational Society. Not long after, the remaining members of the First Parish voted to form a union with the First Evangelical Society. On April 1, 1835 the First Parish and the First Evangelical Congregational Society were incorporated as the Union Society. In 1836, the East Church in Marlborough (formerly called the First Parish Church) was officially renamed the Union Church in Marlborough. In 1852, the Meeting House on Spring Hill was destroyed in a fire. A new meeting house was completed in 1853 which is still in use today. The Union Church in Marlborough was incorporated in 1891. At a meeting held on March 28, 1913, church members voted to rename the church, the First Church in Marlborough, Congregational. The parish voted to join the United Church of Christ in 1961.

The First Church in Marlborough, Congregational, UCC continues to serve the local community today.


William Brinsmead
Robert Breck
Benjamin Kent
Aaron Smith
Asa Packard
Sylvester F. Bucklin
Charles Forbush
John N. Goodhue
George E. Day
David L. Ogden
Levi A. Field
George N. Anthony
Charles R. Treat
John Willard
Samuel E. Eastman
Albert F. Newton
William F. Stearns
Lincoln B. Goodrich
Albert H. Wheelock
Belvo Z. Stambaugh
Stanley H. Addison
Albert E. Beaumont
Alfred E. Wheeler
Norman C. MacLean
John W. Morrow
Zaven Dohanian
Jeffrey Marks, Assistant Pastor
Chester Dziczek, Assistant Pastor
Wayne N. Pruitt
Mary Aberg, Associate Pastor
Richard L. Weber
Gail H. Kendrick, Associate Pastor
Deborah Loomis Lafond
M. Elizabeth Waters, Revitalization Pastor
Kazimierz Bem


1.81 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



The First Parish Church was organized in 1666. Shortly after the formation of the First Congregational Evangelical Society in 1833, members of the First Church voted to worship with this society, and in 1835 the First Parish and the First Evangelical Congregational Society were incorporated as the Union Society. The church was renamed the Union Church in Marlborough to reflect this new merger, and was most recently renamed in 1913 as First Church. The First Congregational Church in Marlborough records document the history of the organization, the First Parish in Marlborough, and the Union Society, including membership, pastoral care, finances, and church life. Included in the records are meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, architectural drawings, land plans, booklets, deeds, newspaper clippings, and photographs.


This collection is organized into seven series. Within each series, volumes and folders are arranged chronologically by the start date.
Series 1: First Church records, 1704-1977
Series 2: First Parish records, 1806-1876
Series 3: First Evangelical Society records, 1833-1839
Series 4: Union Society records, 1803-1903
Series 5: Ministerial records, 1778-2002
Series 6: Architectural and Property drawings, 1866-1963
Series 7: Microfilm, 1982

Technical Requirements

To access digital user’s copies via online-interface, a java-enabled web browser is required. Internet Explorer 8.x and later, Firefox 5.x and later, Opera 12 and later, Safari 5.x and later, or any version of Google Chrome are recommended.
A microfilm reader is required in order to access microform materials. One microfilm reader is available to the public upon request.

Acquisition Information

Church and Society records were permanently loaned to the Congregational Library & Archives in December 2015 by the First Church of Marlboro, Massachusetts, as part of RG5305.
Microfilm gifted to the Congregational Library & Archives in 1980 by the First Church of Marlboro, Massachusetts.


Additional accruals are expected for this collection in the form of full-text transcription. There is no anticipated date for this accrual.

Related Materials

By First Church and Second Church of Marlborough: Boston, MA: First Church and Second Church. (1972) (17.11.1 B65.5 FIRSCB BOX 3)

Marlborough, MA: First Church of Marlborough. (1966) (17.11.1 M34.36 FIRCM)

By First Parish Church: New Marlborough, Mass. First Parish Church records, 1794-1860. (1860) (RANGE 4 SHELF 26)

By Ella A. Bigelow: Historical reminiscences of the early times in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and prominent events from 1860 to 1910 : including brief allusions to many individuals, and an account of the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the town. (1910) (T M34.3BI)

By Charles Hudson and Joseph Allen: History of the town of Marlborough, Middlesex county, Massachusetts, from its first settlement in 1657 to 1861; with a brief sketch of the town of Northborough, a genealogy of the families in Marlborough to 1800, and an account of the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the town (1862) (T M34.3H)

By Franklin P. Rice and George Maynard: Marlborough, Massachusetts, burial ground inscriptions: Old Common, Spring Hill, and Brigham cemeteries. (1908) (T M34.3)


Field, L. A. An Historical Sketch of the First Congregational Church in Marlborough Mass., With the Exercises at the Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Rev. Sylvester F. Bucklin’s Ordination, as Pastor of Said Church. Worcester: Henry J, Howland, Printer, 1859.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Corinne Bernstein, April 2016, using DACS Second Edition. Re-processed by Zachary Bodnar, October 2017.
Marlborough, Mass. First Church records, 1704-2002.
Corinne Bernstein, Zachary Bodnar
Description rules
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Congregational Library & Archives Repository

14 Beacon Street
Suite 200
Boston MA 02108