USGenWeb Genealogical Site for the Town of
You may have noticed that many genealogical publications cite the version of Bridgewater Vital Records published in Mayflower Descendant from 1900 to 1914 in preference to the two-volume set published in 1916 by NEHGS. That is because George Ernest Bowman published his literal transcriptions from the town records, as opposed to the alphabetized version published by NEHGS. Professional genealogists generally prefer the former. The Town Clerk often recorded the births of a couple's children on successive lines. The entry for a family may contain the records of the births of the children along with the deaths of those who perished young, and sometimes the deaths or remarriages of the parents. The completeness of some of these records often makes it easy to determine the members of a family, a task which is sometimes difficult when working with the alphabetized volumes. The advantages of a literal transcription to the genealogist are the reason why this format has been used for a number of vital records volumes published in recent years, such as Vital Records of Plymouth, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850, compiled by Lee D. van Antwerp and edited by Ruth Wilder Sherman (Camden ME: Picton Press, 1993). Note, however, that the MD records cover only the first two books of town records. In these transcriptions events for most families run through about 1720. One drawback to a literal translation is that it needs an index, which I have provided for these pages.
26-Jul-2012 - I have replaced my transcriptions of the Mayflower Descendant pages in HTML format with page images. This eliminates the possibility of additional errors which could occur when converting page images to text. The HTML text pages are still available - at the bottom of each image page is a link to the corresponding text, and at the bottom of each text page is a link to the corresponding image.
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USGenWeb Bridgewater, MA, commenced 06-Jul-1998.
Created by Cathy Joy Lasselle (CJ) McNew.
Revised and maintained since 26-Aug-2002 by Dale H. Cook.
Copyright © 2003-2013 by Dale H. Cook. All rights reserved.