USGenWeb Genealogical Site for the Town of

Link to Duxbury Town Web Site Duxbury
 Massachusetts 
Plymouth County
Link to USGenWeb

Including the Villages of Ashdod, Baileys Corner, Cox Corner, Island Creek, Millbrook, Miramar, North Duxbury,
Northwest Duxbury, South Duxbury, Tarklin, Tinkertown, Tree of Knowledge Corner and West Duxbury

See also the sites for the parent town of Plymouth and the daughter towns of Bridgewater, Marshfield and Pembroke

John Alden House

John Alden House, Duxbury
Constructed about 1653

What's New Resources Families Books Books Online Newspapers Records
Cemeteries Societies Locations History Census Government Web Sites USGenWeb





New Information on This Site

October 27, 2013 — The published vital records of Duxbury contain numerous errors. Those were corrected by George Ernest Bowman, and I have posted his literal transcriptions of the Duxbury records.

February 13, 2007 — Mary Ellen Walz' online transcription of Vital Records of Duxbury, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 has now been completed.

August 19, 2006 — I have added a listing of Duxbury Newspapers held on microfilm by the Boston Public Library Microtext Department.

May 3, 2004 — The 1790 Federal Census Data is now online.

February 28, 2004 — Now online are gravestone transcriptions for the Episcopal Church Cemetery, made in 1907 and published in Mayflower Descendant in 1924.   Experienced Plymouth County researchers are aware that Vital Records of Duxbury, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston: NEHGS, 1911) has many errors and omissions.   The introductory essay in this article discusses the shortcomings of that work in reference to the gravestones in this cemetery.

January 16, 2004 — Now available are gravestone transcriptions for the Old Cemetery and the Ashdod Cemetery, as published in Mayflower Descendant between 1907 and 1909.

January 13, 2004 — The first gravestone transcriptions have been added to the site.   They are for the Dingley Cemetery, as published in Mayflower Descendant in 1909.

January 11, 2004 — I have added a new Cemeteries Page.   I will be expanding the cemetery information over the coming months, and will also be adding some gravestone transcriptions.

April 29, 2003 — There is a new page for Duxbury Family Researchers and Websites where you can list specific Duxbury families that you are researching or web sites specializing in Duxbury families.

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Lookups and Resources

Lookups

If you have any Duxbury material and would like to volunteer for lookups please send email to Dale H. Cook.
Please note that, due to the widespread abuse of GMail addresses by spammers, I can no longer accept email from GMail addresses.

 

Resources

Duxbury Freeman - 1646 List and 1670 List.

Ray Brown has transcribed the Duxbury marriage records from Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800 by Frederick W. Bailey. His New England Genealogy site on RootsWeb includes many other transcribed records, genealogical information for several Connecticut families and many other resources for New England research.

1790 Census Transcriptions from Ray Brown's Web Site.

Professional genealogist and genealogical editor Scott Andrew Bartley hosts web pages about Massachusetts counties, cities and towns. Researchers will find historical and genealogical data and links of use to those working at any level. His Duxbury page contains essential information for anyone researching Duxbury and its families, and his Plymouth County page is equally valuable.





Family Researchers and Websites

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Books, Newspapers and Records

Books and Journal Articles About Duxbury

You can find copies of books for sale by using the search engine at Bookfinder.com.

Books that are no longer in copyright can often be found online at Internet Archive Text Archive, Family History Books or Google Books. Additional books are available through two sites that many libraries offer access to - Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest Online.


Justin Winsor, A History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Genealogical Registers (Boston: Crosby and Nichols, 1849; Reprinted Boston: Goodspeed's Book Shop, 1970; Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 1995).

The Landing of the French Atlantic Cable at Duxbury, Mass., July, 1869 (Boston: Alfred Mudge & Sons, Printers, 1869).

Stephen M. Allen, The Standish Monument on Captain's Hill, Duxbury (Boston: Alfred Mudge & Sons, Printers, 1873).

Justin Winsor, The Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Settlement of Duxbury: June 17, 1887 (Plymouth, MA: Avery and Doten, 1887).

Eugene Joseph Vincent Huiginn, The Graves of Myles Standish and Other Pilgrims (Boonville, NY: Herald and Tourist Steam Printing House, 1892; Revised edition Beverly, MA: The Author, 1914).

George Etheridge, Copyist, Copy of the Old Records of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, from 1642 to 1770. Made in the year 1892 (Plymouth, MA: Avery & Doten, 1893).

Laurence Bradford, Historic Duxbury In Plymouth County Massachusetts (Boston: The Fish Printing Co., 1900).

John W. Willard, "Gravestone Records from the Old Cemetery on Centre Street, South Duxbury, Mass." (Mayflower Descendant, 9 (1907):159-162).

Mrs. Thomas M. Thacher, "Records from the Dingley Cemetery, North Duxbury, Mass." (Mayflower Descendant, 11 (1909):55-58).

F. Apthorp Foster, Vital Records of Duxbury, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911). See below for transcription online.

The published vital records of Duxbury contain numerous errors. Those were corrected by George Ernest Bowman, and I have posted his literal transcriptions of the Duxbury records.

Henry A. Fish, Duxbury, Massachusetts, Ancient and Modern: A Sketch, with Map and Key (Binghamton, NY The Author, 1924).

Ellesley Waldo Long, The Story of Duxbury, 1637-1937 (Duxbury, MA: Duxbury Tercentenary Committee, 1937).

Dorothy Wentworth, Roundabout Duxbury (Plymouth, MA: Leyden Press, 1965; Reprinted Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1981)

Roland Wells Robbins with Evan Jones, Pilgrim John Alden's Progress. Archaeological Excavations in Duxbury (Plymouth, MA: The Pilgrim Society, 1969). A report of the archaeological excavation that was conducted at the site of Pilgrim John Alden's first home in Duxbury.

Dorothy Wentworth, Settlement and Growth of Duxbury, 1628-1870 (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1973). Contains many old photographs.

Dorothy Wentworth, The Alden Family in the Alden House (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1980). The story of the Alden home at Duxbury and the 16 Aldens who owned it over a period of 240 years.

Frederick T. Potter, Tall Ships of Duxbury, 1815-1850 (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1982)

James Otis Post, A History of the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, 1883-1983 (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1983)

Katherine H. Pillsbury, Robert D. Hale and James Otis Post, The Duxbury Book, 1637-1987 (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1987)

Ann S. Lainhart, 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts State Censuses for Duxbury (Boston: The Author, 1988).

Margery MacMillan, Stopping Places Along Duxbury Roads (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1991)

Frank and Margaret Lawson, Duxbury Bay (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1993)

Charles Milton Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts (Middleborough, MA: Middleborough Public Library, 1995). Contains transcriptions from five5 Duxbury cemeteries made in the late 1880s. Although this is still a useful resource, many transcription errors have been discovered, so use Thatcher with care and check it against the actual gravestones or other transcriptions.

Captain Edward Baker and Helen M. Hill, A Proud and Fiery Spirit: Journals of Captain Edward Baker, 1846-1895, Memoirs of Crooked Lane, Duxbury, and Marshfield, Massachusetts (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1995). A view of rural Massachusetts life during the nineteenth century based on excerpts from Captain Edward Baker's 48 journals.

Katherine H. Pillsbury, Duxbury, A Guide (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 1999).

Jody Morgan and Nancy Hohorst Martin, Picturing Duxbury's Past: The Pilgrim Village, a Storybook You Can Color (Duxbury, MA: The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, 2000).

 

Books Online

F. Apthorp Foster, Vital Records of Duxbury, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911).

The published vital records of Duxbury contain numerous errors. Those were corrected by George Ernest Bowman, and I have posted his literal transcriptions of the Duxbury records.

 

Newspapers

A newspaper often had a succession of titles on its masthead during the course of its publication. Some libraries list newspapers by the last title used, followed by previous titles. Other libraries list all holdings under the most common, most familiar or most recent title. For each title the library's holdings are given.

 

Boston Public Library - Microtext Department

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Vital Records

Published Vital Records 1637 to 1850:
F. Apthorp Foster, Vital Records of Duxbury, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1911).

The published vital records of Duxbury contain numerous errors. Those were corrected by George Ernest Bowman, and I have posted his literal transcriptions of the Duxbury records.

Vital Records 1637 to present:
Town Clerk
Duxbury Town Hall
878 Tremont St.
Duxbury, MA 02332
781-934-1131
Fax: 781-934-9278
Hours: Mon. 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Tues. - Thurs. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Vital Records 1841-1920:
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
617-727-2816
Fax: 617-288-8429
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Vital Records 1921 to present:
Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
617-740-2600
Or order online:  Births  Marriages  Deaths

Massachusetts Vital Records Information from Ancestry.com.

 

Deeds and Probate

Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
50 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-830-9200
Fax: 508-830-9221
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Researchers can search grantor books or grantee books at no charge.
Plymouth County deeds can now be viewed online.

Plymouth Probate and Family Court
52 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-747-6204
Fax: 508-746-6826
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Cemeteries and Cemetery Transcriptions

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Genealogical and Historical Societies, Libraries and Locations

Genealogical and Historical Societies and Libraries

Duxbury Free Library
77 Alden St.
Duxbury, MA 02332
781-934-2721
Hours: Mon. 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Tues. - Thurs. 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Fri. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sun. 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Sunday hours seasonal; closed Sundays from the Sunday before Memorial Day until the Sunday after Columbus Day)

Duxbury Rural & Historical Society
Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. House
479 Washington St.
P.O. Box 2865
Duxbury, MA 02331
781-934-6106
Fax: 781-934-5730
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Alden Kindred of America
Alden House Historic Site
105 Alden Street
P.O. Box 2754
Duxbury, MA 02331
781-934-9092
Hours: Mon. - Sat. 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. from mid-May to Columbus Day

Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc.
PCGI is a non-profit genealogical society whose monthly meetings are held the first Saturday of each month (except July and August) at 1:00 PM at the East Bridgewater Public Library. Meetings generally feature a guest speaker and the public is welcome.

Old Colony Historical Society
66 Church Green
Taunton, MA 02780
508-822-1622
Hours: Tues. - Sat. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed on holidays and on Saturdays preceding Monday holidays
Museum Admission: Adults - $4.00, Children 12-18 and Seniors - $2.00
Genealogical Research: $7.00 per day

South Shore Genealogical Society
PO Box 396
Norwell, MA 02061
Meetings: The second Saturday of each month (except July and August) at 1:30 p.m. at the John Curtis Free Library, Rte. 139, Hanover, MA.
For beginners, amateurs and professionals interested in genealogical research in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties.

Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215-3695
617-536-1608
Hours: Mon. - Weds. 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Thurs. 9:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.; Fri. 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Closed Sunday.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116-3007
617-536-5740
Fax: 617-536-7307
Library Hours: Tues. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Weds. 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Thurs. - Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Closed Sun. and Mon.
The library is closed for some holidays - call or see the website for details.
For non-members there is a daily admisssion fee for the research library.

NEHGS is nation's oldest genealogical society, founded in 1845. It offers unsurpassed resources for New England research including the Boston research library of over 200,000 volumes. Members not in the Boston area appreciate their extensive online resources including all issues of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the nation's oldest genealogical journal, published quarterly since 1847. Online resources also include member access to vital records through 1915, an ever-growing collection of online books, and databases derived from some of the Society's immense manuscript holdings.

 

Genealogical and Historical Locations

Alden House Historic Site
105 Alden Street
Duxbury, MA 02332
781-934-6001
Fax: 781-934-9149
Hours: Mon. - Sat. 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. from mid-May to Columbus Day

Myles Standish Monument State Reservation
Crescent St.
Duxbury, MA
508-208-0676 (seasonal) or call Pilgrim Memorial State Park 508-747-5360

Duxbury Pier Lighthouse

Gurnet Lighthouse

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History and Census Data

      The area now known as Duxbury was inhabited by Wampanoag who called it Mattakeesett, meaning "place of many fish." In 1627 land along the coast north from Plymouth was allotted to settlers for farming. Those who farmed the area at first wintered in Plymouth, but as homes were built the settlers eventually petitioned the General Court for permission to be set off as a separate community with its own church.

      The town of Duxbury, which originally included land that is now part of Marshfield and Pembroke, was incorporated on June 7, 1637. Many influential Plymouth Colony men received grants of land here and became the town's first leaders. Captain Myles Standish, the military leader of the colony, lived in "the Nook," an area now known as Standish Shore. Elder William Brewster, for many years the religious leader of the colony, may have led services at Duxbury until it received its own minister in 1637. John Alden, Assistant Governor of the colony for fifty years, also lived here. His house, now a museum on Alden Street, was the site of many important meetings of the colony's leaders. The graves of many early settlers are located in the Old Burying Ground on Chestnut Street next to the site of original Meeting House.

      In 1640 Marshfield was established from the northern part of Duxbury and inhabitants of the latter petitioned for compensating land in the interior. The General Court granted their petition in 1645 and land purchased from Wampanoag Sachem Ousamequin (Massasoit) became known as Duxbury New Plantation, which became the town of Bridgewater on June 3, 1656.

      In the 17th and 18th centuries Duxbury was primarily a farming community. In the years prior to the Revolutionary War the community's rebellious nature surfaced, and during that war most able bodied men in town served the revolutionary cause. Many Duxbury fishermen served on privateers.

      Shortly after the Revolutionary War a number of families established a shipbuilding industry in Duxbury. Town mariners traded all over the world and the town prospered. By about 1840 Duxbury had some 20 shipyards and was the largest shipbuilding town on the South Shore. The most important families in the industry were the Westons, the Drews, the Winsors, and the Spragues. The largest shipbuilder and ship owner was Ezra Weston, known as "King Caesar." The growth of steamships and railroads in the 1850s led to a long economic decline in the town.

      In the late 19th century Duxbury developed a new industry - tourism. The railroad brought visitors from Boston who enjoyed the rural setting and Duxbury Bay. The Miles Standish Hotel, boarding houses and summer cottages catered to the tourists, and the Myles Standish monument was completed in 1898. After World War II the construction of highways brought a population explosion as new year-round residents made Duxbury a commuter town.

 

Population by Census

1765 (Prov.) 1,050     1776 (Prov.) 1,254     1790 (U.S.) 1,454     1800 (U.S.) 1,664
1810 (U.S.) 2,201     1820 (U.S.) 2,403     1830 (U.S.) 2,716     1840 (U.S.) 2,798
1850 (U.S.) 2,679     1855 (State) 2,620     1860 (U.S.) 2,597     1865 (State) 2,384
1870 (U.S.) 2,341     1875 (State) 2,245     1880 (U.S.) 2,196     1885 (State) 1,924
1890 (U.S.) 1,908     1895 (State) 1,966     1900 (U.S.) 2,075     1905 (State) 2,028
1910 (U.S.) 1,688     1915 (State) 1,921     1920 (U.S.) 1,533     1925 (State) 1,688
1930 (U.S.) 1,696     1935 (State) 2,244     1940 (U.S.) 2,359     1945 (State) 2,432
1950 (U.S.) 3,167     1955 (State) 4,280     1960 (U.S.) 4,727     1965 (State) 6,211
1970 (U.S.) 7,636     1975 (State) 10,601     1980 (U.S.) 11,807     1990 (U.S.) 13,895
2000 (U.S.) 14,248                              

 

Census Data

Currently available: 1790 Federal Census

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Duxbury Town Government and Institutions

Duxbury Home Page

Town Government
Duxbury Town Offices
878 Tremont St.
Duxbury, MA 02332
Hours vary depending upon office

School Department
Duxbury High School
130 St. George St.
Duxbury, MA 02332
781-934-7600
Fax: 781-934-7644
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

First Parish Church (Universalist Unitarian, established 1632)

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Other Duxbury Web Sites

Commonwealth Communities page for Duxbury

Scott Andrew Bartley's Duxbury page.

Duxbury Clipper (Weekly Newspaper)

WickedLocal Duxbury News

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USGenWeb Links

Plymouth County, MA - USGenWeb

Plymouth County Records Online - USGenWeb

Massachusetts Genealogy - USGenWeb

The USGenWeb Project - Home Page

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Please note that although I was born and raised about 20 miles from Duxbury
I now live hundreds of miles away and do not have easy access to the town.

Email comments to Dale H. Cook.
Please note that, due to the widespread abuse of GMail addresses by spammers, I can no longer accept email from GMail addresses.

Please visit the Plymouth Colony Pages

USGenWeb Duxbury, MA, commenced 13-Sep-1998 by Fred H. Kunchick, Jr.
Redesigned and maintained since 04-Aug-2002 by Dale H. Cook.
.
Copyright © 1998-2000 by Frederick H. Kunchick, Jr. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2003-2013 by Dale H. Cook. All rights reserved.

Text, images and files at this site may be downloaded for personal, non-commercial use only, and may not be
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Unauthorized users of my text, images or files will be charged $1,000.00 US per day for each item used.