Dedicated to the Memory of
Cathy Joy Lasselle (CJ) McNew, Founder of this Site,
May 6, 1957 — July 30, 2002.

USGenWeb Genealogical Site for the Town of

Link to Hingham Town Web Site Hingham
Plymouth County
Link to USGenWeb

Including the Villages of Accord, Cole Corner, Hingham Center, Liberty Plain, South Hingham, Tuttleville and West Hingham

See also the site for the daughter town of Cohasset (Norfolk County)

The Old Ordinary

The Old Ordinary, Hingham
Constructed 1680, Expanded 1740 & 1760

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

New Information on This Site

June 4, 2015 — When the transcription of the History of Hingham was begun scans of old genealogical reference works were uncommon online, but now they are easily available at no charge. Because of that I have decided to abandon the transcription of the history portion of the History of Hingham, only a small portion was completed. The transcribed genealogical volumes, which were completed in 2008, will remain on the site. Visitors who wish to consult the history portion of that work can access scans of volume one part one and part two at the Internet Archive, which also holds scans of genealogical volumes two and three.

December 25, 2009 — The transcription of the published Vital Records of Cohasset has been moved from here to my Cohasset site.

July 21, 2008 — The second of three milestones has been reached in the transcription of the History of Hingham. The family registers from both of the genealogical volumes are now complete. I will now turn away for a while to work on other projects before returning to the history volume. For the time being I have added images of those history pages that have not yet been transcribed.

March 13, 2008 — We have a new address! Many USGenWeb sites have relocated, and we have, too. Please bookmark our new address.

October 17, 2004 — David Davis has contibuted a text file detailing the information he has collected concerning the Ancestry of William Sprague of Hingham.

August 23, 2004 — As a part of the continued work on the History of Hingham I have moved the supplemental information on the Family of Abraham Lincoln to its own directory.

April 26, 2003 — A list of Hingham newspapers has been added, showing library holdings on microfilm.

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Lookups and Resources

If you have any Hingham material and would like to volunteer for lookups please send email to Dale H. Cook.

When requesting a lookup please use the email link following the listing for that book, limit your request to one or two specific names on separate lines, and please thank the volunteer for their time and effort.



Many of Hingham's early settlers came from old Hingham, in Norfolk Co., England. For background information on the parish of their origin see the Norfolk Transcription Archive.

David Davis has contibuted a text file detailing the information he has collected concerning the Ancestry of William Sprague of Hingham.

The old 2nd Precinct of Hingham became the town of Cohasset, and the USGenWeb Cohasset Site has some useful information including the transcribed vital records of the town.

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 Hingham page contains essential information for anyone researching Hingham and its families, and his Plymouth County page is equally valuable.

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Family Researchers and Websites

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Books, Newspapers and Records

Books and Journal Articles About Hingham

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

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 - and Heritage Quest Online.

Solomon Lincoln, History of the Town of Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts (Hingham, MA: Caleb Gill, Jr. and Farmer and Brown, 1827).

Extracts from the Minutes of Daniel Cushing, of Hingham, with a Photograph of His Manuscript (Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1865).

Our Old Burial Grounds (Hingham, MA: Published for the Cemetery Fair, 1842).

Fearing Burr and George Lincoln, The Town of Hingham in the Late Civil War with Sketches of Its Soldiers and Sailors. Also the Address and Other Exercises at the Dedication of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. (Hingham, MA: The Town, 1876).

Various Authors, History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Volume I (Hingham, MA: Town of Hingham, 1893). See Books Online below.

George Lincoln, History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Volumes II and III (Hingham, MA: The Town, 1893; Reprinted 2 volumes in 1, Somersworth, NH: New England History Press, 1982, 1987). See Books Online below.

American Unitarian Association, The Hingham Magazine (Boston: George H. Ellis, Printer, 1898). Despite the title this does not seem to have been a periodical. Only one volume has been seen, containing a number of illustrated articles about the town and its history.

Daughters of the American Revolution, Hingham: A Story of Its Early Settlement and Life, Its Ancient Landmarks, Its Historic Sites and Buildings (Hingham, MA?: Old Colony Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1911).

Arthur D. Marble, The Country Store of Long Ago (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Society, 1928). A description of the general store that stood at Hingham Centre from 1803 to 1918.

Hingham Old and New (Hingham, MA: Hingham Tercentenary Commission, 1935).

H. Leavitt Horton, Aspects of a New England Town (Hingham, Mass.) from the Horse and Buggy Days to the Event of World War I With a Treatise on "Life In the Army, World War II" (Hingham, MA?: The Author, 1945).

George H. Hartwell, Hingham's Colonial Industries (Hingham, MA?: South Shore Nature Club, 1954).

Mildred L. Justice, Notes on the "Old Ordinary" (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Society, 1970). From a talk given to the Hingham Historical Society by the author in June, 1969.

Bicentennial Coloring Book (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Society, 1975). An introduction to Hingham history for children.

Donald F. Robinson, Two Hundred Years in South Hingham, 1746-1946: The Story of a Church and a Community (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Society, 1980)

"The Old Ship Church of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1635" {Mayflower Quarterly, 47 (1981): 8-11).

Winston Hall, By the Wayside: Tales from the Past About Places and Things on Hingham's Roadsides (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Society, 1984)

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

Winston Hall, Hingham Portrait Gallery: Who's Who in Town History (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Society, 1992)

Lorena Laing Hart and Francis Russell Hart, Not All Is Changed: A Life History of Hingham (Hingham, MA: Hingham Historical Commission, 1993). A history of the town from 1633 to 1990.

Peg Blackmur Charlton, The War Years Remembered: Memories of Hingham in Wartime (Hingham, MA: The Author, 1998). Reminiscences of Hingham during World War

Edward Franklin Ripley, Shepherd in the Wilderness: Peter Hobart 1604-1679: A Founder of Hingham Plantation in Massachusetts (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2001)

Michael Studley, Thomas Burr, Son of Hingham Center (Hingham, MA?: Hingham Historical Society?, 2002).


Several of the books listed above are available from the Hingham Historical Society Gift Shop:

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Books Online

History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Volume I by various authors, Volumes II and III by George Lincoln (Hingham, MA: The Town, 3 volumes in 4, 1893; volumes 2 & 3 Reprinted in 1 volume, Somersworth, NH: New England History Press, 1982, 1987). Partial transcription of volumes 2 & 3 available here.

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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:
History of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Volume I by various authors, Volumes II and III by George Lincoln (Hingham, MA: The Town, 3 volumes in 4, 1893; volumes 2 & 3 Reprinted in 1 volume, Somersworth, NH: New England History Press, 1982, 1987). The events in family registers are drawn from town records.

Vital Records 1635 to present:
Town Clerk
Hingham Town Hall
210 Central Street
Hingham, MA 02043-0239
Fax: 781-740-0239
Hours: Mon., Weds., Thurs. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tues. 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Vital Records 1841-1920:
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
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
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Or order online:  Births  Marriages  Deaths

Massachusetts Vital Records Information from

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Deeds and Probate

Until March 26, 1793 and from June 20, 1793 to June 18, 1803, Hingham was in Suffolk County:

Suffolk Registry of Deeds
24 New Chardon St.
Boston, MA 02114-9660
Research Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Suffolk Probate and Family Court
24 New Chardon St., 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Fax: 617-788-8962
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Order Probate Records Online.

Hingham in Norfolk County:

On March 26, 1793, Norfolk Co. was formed, including Hingham and Hull. On June 20, 1793, the General Court exempted Hingham and Hull from the act of March 26, 1793, and they remained in Suffolk Co.

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds
649 High St.
Dedham, MA 02026-1831
Norfolk County deeds can now be viewed online.

Norfolk Probate and Family Court
35 Shawmut Rd.
Canton, MA 02021

Order Probate Records Online.

From June 18, 1803 on Hingham has been in Plymouth County:

Plymouth County Registry of Deeds
50 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
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.
Images of the Plymouth County deeds are now freely available at Be aware that there is a limit to how many images of records you can download in a single session.

Plymouth Probate and Family Court
52 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Plymouth County probate files and records can now be viewed online at
Fax: 508-746-6826
Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Images of the Plymouth County probate records are now freely available at in two groups of image sets, one consisting mainly of case files and one consisting mainly of record books. Be aware that there is a limit to how many images of records you can download in a single session. Navigating the image sets of the oldest probate records can be a bit confusing, so I have prepared A Brief Guide to the "Old Series" of Plymouth County Probate Records (1686-1881).

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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

Hingham Public Library
66 Leavitt Street
Hingham, MA 02043-2757
Fax: 781-749-0956
Hours: Mon. - Thurs. 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Fri. - Closed; Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sun. 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Summer Hours: Sat. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; Sun. - Closed.

Hingham Historical Society
P.O. Box 434
Hingham, MA 02043

Founded in 1914, the Society maintains Old Derby Academy and the Old Ordinary, a museum exhibiting 350 years of Hingham history. A variety of membership plans are available and there are many opportunities for volunteers.

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 History Museum
66 Church Green
Taunton, MA 02780
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
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
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

Hingham Heritage Visitor Center at Old Derby
34 Main St.
Hingham, MA 02043

In 1784 Madam Sarah Derby deeded the buildings at 34 Main Street and the land around them to those wishing to establish a school on the premises. That happened in 1791, the year after she died, leaving much of her estate to the school's trustees to provide income for the new enterprise. The academy was intended to be a co-educational facility, perhaps the only one in the country at that time. The original buildings were torn down in 1818, replaced by a Federal-style structure. Old Derby was the only source of secondary education in town until 1872, when Hingham High School opened. Old Derby was bought by the Hingham Historical Society after the academy moved to new quarters in the mid 1960s.

The Old Ordinary
21 Lincoln St.
Hingham, MA 02043
Hours: Mid-June through Labor Day, Tues. - Sat. 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Open through mid-October by appointment.
Admission: Adults - $3.00; Children - $1.00.

The original structure dates from 1680 and saw major expansions in 1740 and 1760. It began as a home and eventually became a tavern or ordinary. It is now a Hingham Historical Society museum, filled with 18th and 19th century furniture, samplers, musical instruments, costumes and paintings. The surrounding period garden is attributed to Frederick Law Olmstead Jr.

Old Ship Church
First Parish in Hingham, Unitarian Universalist
90 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043

The Old Ship Church is the oldest meetinghouse in continuous use in the United States. The congregation was gathered in 1635 under Reverend Peter Hobart. The central portion of the building was raised July 26 - 28, 1681, and expanded in the 18th century. Interior modifications hid structural details including the beams of the ship-framed roof. A 1930 restoration returned the building to a combination of 17th and 18th century elements.

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History, Census Data and Maps

Around 1633 several families including that of Edmund Hobart landed at Charlestown. After a few months they moved to a settlement called Bare Cove after the mud flats in the harbor at low tide. The name was changed to Hingham in 1635 - many early families came from Hingham, England. Early families included those of Hobart, Lincoln, Beal, Loring, Otis, Cushing, Gardner, Whiton and Fearing. In 1635 Edmund's son, Reverend Peter Hobart, arrived with his family and in that year the First Parish of Hingham was established. The original simple meetinghouse was replaced in 1681 by the Old Ship Church, the oldest home of continuous worship in the nation. It is named for the framing of the roof, resembles the inverted hull of a ship.

Hingham became a port of entry and a fishing port, with industries which included coopering, cordage, shoemaking, cabinetmaking, leather working and blacksmithing. Today many antique homes line Main Street.

The Second Precinct of Hingham was established as the town of Cohasset on April 26, 1770.

From its establishment in 1635 until 1793 Hingham was part of Suffolk County. From 1793 to 1803 it was part of Norfolk County, and it has been part of Plymouth County since 1803.


Population by Census

1765 (Prov.) 2,467     1790 (U.S.) 2,085     1800 (U.S.) 2,112     1810 (U.S.) 2,382
1820 (U.S.) 2,857     1830 (U.S.) 3,387     1840 (U.S.) 3,564     1850 (U.S.) 3,980
1855 (State) 4,257     1860 (U.S.) 4,351     1865 (State) 4,176     1870 (U.S.) 4,422
1875 (State) 4,654     1880 (U.S.) 4,485     1885 (State) 4,375     1890 (U.S.) 4,564
1895 (State) 4,819     1900 (U.S.) 5,059     1905 (State) 4,819     1910 (U.S.) 4,965
1915 (State) 5,264     1920 (U.S.) 5,604     1925 (State) 6,158     1930 (U.S.) 6,657
1935 (State) 7,330     1940 (U.S.) 8,003     1945 (State) 9,676     1950 (U.S.) 10,665
1955 (State) 13,418     1960 (U.S.) 15,378     1965 (State) 17,576     1970 (U.S.) 18,845
1975 (State) 19,544     1980 (U.S.) 20,339     1990 (U.S.) 19,821     2000 (U.S.) 19,882



Hingham Centre 1878 — Contains the location of Leavitt St., Main St., Fearing Store, etc., in 1878 — provided by Richard Souther.

Hingham Harbor Area 1878 — Contains the location of Mill Pond, Old Ship Church, Hingham Cemetery, Cushing's house, etc., in 1878 — provided by Richard Souther.

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Hingham Town Government and Institutions

Hingham Town Web Site

School Department

Old Ship Church, First Parish of Hingham (Unitarian Universalist, established 1635)

Second Parish in Hingham (Unitarian Universalist, established 1746)

First Baptist Church of Hingham (American Baptist, established 1831)

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Other Hingham Websites

Commonwealth Communities page for Hingham

Scott Andrew Bartley's Hingham page.

Hingham Journal (Weekly Newspaper)

Hingham High Alumni Web Site

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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 10 miles from Hingham
I now live hundreds of miles away and do not have easy access to the town.

Email comments to Dale H. Cook.

Please visit the Plymouth Colony Pages

USGenWeb Hingham, MA, commenced 08-Feb-1998.
Created by Cathy Joy Lasselle (CJ) McNew.
Revised and maintained since 26-Aug-2002 by Dale H. Cook.
Copyright © 2003-2017 by Dale H. Cook. All rights reserved.