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Danvers, Mass. First Church records, 1672-1845.

Identifier: RG1309

Scope and Contents

Types of records in this collection include meeting minutes, confessions, covenants, notes on salaries, correspondence, and membership records. Also found in this collection are records of births, deaths, marriages, and baptisms. Of particular note are records pertaining to the witchcraft hysteria, including records of Martha Kory’s [sic] excommunication from the church for witchcraft, and the confession and apology of witchcraft accuser Anne Putnam, made 10 years after the controversy.


  • 1672-1845


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 First Church of Danvers was founded in 1672 when a group of farmers who lived quite a distance from the Salem meetinghouse of which they were members petitioned for permission to erect one of their own. After initially being denied, the Massachusetts Court granted permission for a meetinghouse to be established in what was then known as Salem Village, and for the gathered body to call a minister.

This collection contains records from the years 1672-1845. During that time, the First Church became the epicenter of the Salem witchcraft hysteria, built four meetinghouses, was instrumental in the establishment and building of the village's first school, saw Danvers incorporated as its own town, and survived the Revolutionary War while at the same time contributing numerous officers and soldiers to the cause. The church folded in 2016 and transformed into Disciples, United Church of Christ Danvers.


0.02 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The First Church of Danvers was founded in 1672 when a group of farmers who lived quite a distance from the Salem meetinghouse of which they were members petitioned for permission to erect one of their own. This collection contains the early records of the Danvers church, including records pertaining to membership, vital statistics, and church meetings. Of particular note are records pertaining to the confession and trial of Martha Corey (alternatively spelled Kory and Cory) in regards to the witchcraft controversy in Salem.


Materials have been arranged in chronological order.

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 alter, 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

No acquisition information is available for this collection.


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

Location of Originals

Original ledgers are held by Disciples, United Church of Christ, in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Related Materials

Salem Witchcraft Trials Digital Collection.

A sermon preached at the ordination of the Reverend Mr. Benjamin Wadsworth to the pastoral care of the First Church in Danvers. December 23, 1772. (15.0.8 5656 1772)

Address to the Danvers Auxiliary Society, for Suppressing Intemperance and Other Vices, and Promoting Temperance and General Morality. April 24, 1821. (28.9.5 2509)

Address, delivered in the South Meeting House in Danvers, before the society, in that town, for suppressing intemperance, and other vices; and for promoting temperance and general morality. April 27, 1819. (28.9.5 2509)

An address, delivered in the Brick Meeting House, in Danvers, before the Society in that town for Suppressing Intemperance and Other Vices; and for promoting temperance and general morality; April 25, 1820. (28.9.5 2509)

Centennial celebration at Danvers, Mass. June 16, 1852. (T D23.5 C)

Chronicles of Danvers (old Salem village) Massachusetts, 1632-1923 (T D23.5T)

Danvers, MA : First Church of Danvers Congregational. (17.11.1 D23.5 FIRCDC)

Danvers, Massachusetts : a resume of her past history and progress, together with a condensed summary of her industrial advantages and development : biographies of prominent Danvers men and a series of comprehensive sketches of her representative manufacturing and commercial enterprises. (T D23.5D)

Exercises in celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the First Church, Congregational, Danvers, Massachusetts : October 8th to 15th, 1922 : with an address at the centennial of the Sunday School, November 17th, 1918. (17.11.1 D23.5 FIRC EX 1922)

First Church of Danvers, Congregational : 300th anniversary. (17.11.1 D23.5 FIRC AN 1972)

History of the town of Danvers, from its early settlement to the year 1848 T D23.5H Proceedings at the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the First Parish at Salem Village, now Danvers, October 8, 1872 : with an historical address by Charles B. Rice, minister of the Parish. (17.11.1 D23.5 FIRC PR 1874)

Rebecca Nurse and her friends : address at the dedication of a tablet in honor of forty friends of Rebecca Nurse, of Salem Village, delivered in the First Church of Danvers, Mass. ... July 29, 1892 (7.7 1001)

The celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, as a separate municipality, June 15, 16, 17, 1902. (T D23.5 O)

Vital records of Danvers, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849. (T D23.5 V)

Processing Information

Collection re-described by Sari Mauro, September 2013, using DACS Second Edition. Portions of description written by Robin Duckworth. Updated for ArchivesSpace by Zachary Bodnar, November 2017.
Danvers, Mass. First Church records, 1672-1845.
Zachary Bodnar, Sari Mauro
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Congregational Library & Archives Repository

14 Beacon Street
Suite 200
Boston MA 02108