First Congregational

First Congregational Church

Organized in 1748 as the Second Church of Christ in the West Parish of Pembroke.


 Church Records

The baptism and burial records which were recorded by Rev. Gad Hitchcock of the First Congregational Church (then the Second Church of Christ in Pembroke) from 1748 until 1803 were transcribed and published in the following articles of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register:

  • “Baptisms in the Second Church of Christ in Pembroke, Mass., From 1748 to 1803”, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 49 (1895) 286-292, 426-430.
  • “Baptisms in the Second Church of Christ in Pembroke, Mass., From 1748 to 1803”, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 50 (1896) 177-183, 317-321.
  • “Baptisms in the second religious society of Pembroke, now the First Congregational Church of Hanson : these records are in the possession of the church”. (This is a handwritten transcription of original record by First Congregational Church, “Baptisms in the second religious society of Pembroke, now the First Congregational Church of Hanson: these records are in the possession of the church.” which was used for the compilation of Hanson, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850, published in 1911) Available as a digital database at NEHGS.
  • “The Original Church Records of Gad Hitchcock, D.D., 1748 to 1803, Deaths”, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 136 (1982) p. 31-42.

View the Baptism Records from 1748-1803 

View the Burial Records from 1748-1803

Carroll D. Wright, Report on the Custody and Condition of the Public Records of Parishes, Towns, and Counties (Boston, Mass.: Wright & Potter Printing Company, 1889), 60, 92 reported that the Hanson Congregational Church, organized 1748 had incomplete Church records from 1749-1885 and good Society records from 1746-1885.

Harold F. Worthley’s Inventory of Records of the Particular Congregational Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), p. 264-265 (available at Archive.org) reported the following historic church records in possession of the First Congregational Church:

  • C.R. I – Church Records, ca. 1749-1858. Sketchy, fragile condition.
  • C.R. I Copy I & II – “The Records of the Congregational Church of Hanson. Copied 1861”. This is a transcribed copy of C.R.I., with additional records from 1858-1883.
  • C.R. III – Church Records, 1884-1904.
  • P.R./S.R. I – Precinct Records, 1746-1819; Parish Records, 1820-1821; Society Records, 1821-1822.
  • S. R. II – Society Records, 1823-1901.
  • Miscellaneous records: Society Treasurer’s Accounts, 1836-1903; Records of Trustees of Church and Congregation, 1780-1914; Trustees Treasurer’s Accounts, 1838-1914

 Church History

Harold F. Worthley, Inventory of Records of the Particular Congregational Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970), 264-265:

“The church was gathered on Aug. 31, 1748 as the Church in the Second Precinct and West Parish (the latter bodies organized in 1746), and was frequently denominated the Second Church in Pembroke. The Trustees of the Church and Congregation in the Second Precinct were incorporated in 1795. Hanson became a town in 1820, and the titles of the church and parish (now society) were accordingly changed. The society dissolved in 1914. Ministers: Gad Hitchcock, D.D. (ord. 1748; d. 1803); George Barstow (ord. 1803; d. 1826). Ruling elders: none. Deacons: Daniel Hayford (e. 1749), John Bisbee Jr. (e. 1749; m. 1750), William Phillips (e. 1755-1761), Daniel Croocker (e. 1755-1761), Jeremiah Stetson (e. 1773), Increase Robinson (e. 1773; res. 1783), William Delano (e. 1783; rem. 1805), Oliver Whittier [sic, Whitten] (e. 1805), Jacob Bearce (e. 1805).”

John Barber, Historical Collections (1839), 503:

“Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D., was ordained the first minister of the place, in 1748, and continued in the office of pastor for fifty-five years, and lived to the age of 83. “He was sociable, friendly, and hospitable; esteemed as a man of talents, and many in his old age profited by his instructions.” Rev. George Barstow was sucessor and colleague with Dr. Hitchcock, and continued the pastoral relation eighteen years, and died in 1821, aged 51 years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Howland.”


 Published Church History Books

  • Harold Field Worthley, An Inventory of the Records of the Particular (Congregational) Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970). Archive.org.
  • Rev. Thomas Noyes, “Complete List of the Congregational Ministers, in the County of Plymouth, Mass., from the Settlement of the Country to the Present Time”, The American Quarterly Register, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Nov. 1835), 145, 152. GoogleBooks.
  • Two hundredth Anniversary 1748-1948 : The First Congregational Church Hanson, Massachusetts (S.l. : First Congregational Church, 1948). WorldCat.
  • The confession of faith, and covenant : adopted and used by the Congregational Church in Hanson. Published at the request and for the use of said church (Plymouth : Printed by Benjamin Drew Jr., 1832). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

 Published Sermons

  • Gad Hitchcock, A sermon preached in the 2d precinct in Pembroke, N.E. : before a company voluntarily formed, for the revival of military skill, &c. October 10, 1757 / by Gad Hitchcock (Boston : Printed and sold by Edes and Gill, in Queen-street, 1757). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Gad Hitchcock, A sermon preached at the ordination of the Reverend Mr. Enos Hitchcock : to the pastoral care of the Second Church in Beverly, in conjunction with the Reverend Mr. John Chipman. May 1st, 1771 / By Gad Hitchcock, A.M. Pastor of the Second Church in Pembroke (Salem, Mass.: Printed and sold by Samuel Hall, near the Exchange, 1771). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Gad Hitchcock, A sermon preached before His Excellency Thomas Gage, Esq. Governor : the honorable His Majesty’s Council, and the honorable House of Representatives, of the province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New-England, May 25th, 1774 ; being the anniversary of the election of His Majesty’s Council for the said province / by Gad Hitchcock (Boston : Printed by Edes & Gill, printers to the honorable the House of Representatives, 1774). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Gad Hitchcock, A sermon preached at Plymouth December 22d, 1774 : Being the anniversary Thanksgiving, in commemoration of the first landing of our New-England ancestors in that place, Anno Dom. 1620 / By Gad Hitchcock, A.M. Pastor of the Second Church in Pembroke (Boston : Printed and sold by Edes and Gill, in Queen-Street, 1775) Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Elijah Brown, William Rand, Gad Hitchcock, A sermon preached at the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Zedeziah [i.e., Zedekiah] Sanger : to the pastoral care of the church in Duxbury, July 3d, 1776 / By Elijah Brown, A.M. Pastor of the church in Sherburn (Boston, New-England : Printed by T. and J. Fleet, 1776). Includes “The charge … by the Rev. Mr. William Rand of Kingston”–p. 29-31. “The right hand of fellowship, by the Rev. Mr. Gad Hitchcock of Pembroke”–p. 32-34. Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Gad Hitchcock, Natural religion aided by revelation and perfected in Christianity : a discourse delivered in the chapel of the university at Cambridge, in the state of Massachusetts-Bay, September 1, 1779, at the lecture founded by the Hon. Paul Dudley, Esq; / by Gad Hitchcock, A.M. Pastor of the Second Church in Pembroke (State of Massachusetts. Boston : Printed by T. and J. Fleet, in Cornhill, 1779). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  •  John Mellen, Isaiah Dunster, Gad Hitchcock, The doctrine of the cross of Christ : A discourse, delivered at Wellfleet. On Cape-Cod, 13th of April, 1785. At the ordination of Mr. Levi Whitman, Colleague Pastor with the Reveend Isaiah Lewis, over the Church and flock of Christ in that town. / By John Mellen, A.M. Pastor of the Church in Hanover. ; Published at the general desire of the audience (Plymouth: Massachusetts : Printed by Nathaniel Coverly, 1785) Includes “The charge, by the Rev. Isaiah Dunster, of Harwich.”–p. 40-41. “The right hand of fellowship, by the Rev. Gad Hitchcock, of Pembroke.”–p. 39-45 [i.e., 42-45]. Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  •  Josiah Bridge, Gad Hitchcock, A sermon, preached November 15, 1786 : At the ordination of the Rev. Jude Damon, to the pastoral care of the church in Truro / By Josiah Bridge, A.M. Pastor of the church in East-Sudbury. ; Published at the general desire of the audience (Boston : Printed by Edmund Freeman, 1787) Includes “The charge, by the Rev. Gad Hitchcock.”–p. 23-27. Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  •  John Reed, John Mellen, Gad Hitchcock, A sermon, preached December 12, 1787 : at the ordination of the Rev. Kilborn Whitman, in Pembroke / by the Rev. John Reed, of Bridgewater (Boston : Printed by Edmund Freeman, in State-Street, 1788). Includes “The charge; given by the Reverend Mr. Mellen …”–p. 24-28. “The right hand of fellowship; by the Reverend Gad Hitchcock …”–p. 29-31. Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  •  Zedekiah Sanger, Gad Hitchcock, Daniel Shute, A discourse, delivered at the ordination of the Rev. Nehemiah Thomas : to the pastoral charge of the First Congregational Church in Scituate, November 14, 1792 / By Zedekiah Sanger, A.M. Pastor of a church in Bridgewater. ; To which is added, the charge, by the Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D. of Pembroke. And the right hand of fellowship, by the Rev. Daniel Shute, D.D. of Hingham (Printed at Providence : by Bennett Wheeler, 1793). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.  
  • Zedekiah Sanger, Gad Hitchcock, John Reed, A discourse, delivered at the ordination of the Rev. James Wilson : as co-pastor of the Congregational Church on the west side the river in Providence, October 17, 1793 / by Zedekiah Sanger, A.M. Pastor of a church in Bridgewater ; To which is added, the charge, by the Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D. of Pembroke; and the right hand of fellowship, by the Rev. John Reed, of Bridgewater (Printed at Providence : by Bennett Wheeler, 1793). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Eliab Stone, Gad Hitchcock, A sermon, preached in Cohasset, Jan. 10, 1798, at the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Jacob Flint. By Eliab Stone, A.M. Pastor of a church in Reading (Boston: : Printed by Thomas Adams, Court-Street., 1798).”The charge, given by the Rev. Gad Hitchcock, D.D.”–p. 21-23. Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • Peres Fobes, A sermon, delivered January 26, 1803, at the ordination of the Rev. George Barstow : over the Second Church and Society in Pembroke / by Peres Fobes (Boston : Printed at the “Boston Weekly Magazine” Office, by Gilbert and Dean, 1803). Available at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  • George Barstow, A Sermon Preached at Hanson, January 26, 1823 (Plymouth, Mass.: Allen Danforth, 1829).
  • Morrill Allen, A Sermon, Delivered in Hanson, Lord’s Day, December 26, 1824 (Plymouth, Mass.: Allen Danforth, 1825).
  • Morrill Allen, Sermon, February 15, 1826: At the Funeral of the Rev. George Barstow, A.M., Minister of the Congregational Church and Society in Hanson (Plymouth, Mass.: Allen Danforth, 1826).
  • Sylvester Holmes, A sermon, delivered at the ordination of Rev. Freeman P. Howland, at Hanson, October 25, 1826. / By Sylvester Holmes, Pastor of the church in New Bedford (Plymouth, Mass.: Printed by Allen Danforth., 1827). Available at the American Antiquarian Society.

 Congregational Church Manuscripts

  • Baptisms and deaths taken from the records of the First Congregational Church in Hanson, formerly Pembroke, from the year 1820. Available at NEHGS Mss C 4917.
  • Pew deed David Alden and George P. Beal, 1836 December 15. Available at NEHGS Mss C 5801.