Barnstable, Massachusetts. West Parish Church. Records, 1639-1853.

Collection Information

Barnstable, Mass. West Parish Church records, 1639-1853.


West Parish Church (West Barnstable, Mass.)


1639-1853, bulk 1639-1806


1 box (0.14 cubic feet)

199 unique images: archival TIFF, derivative JPEG & PDF.

Collection ID #:


Technical Access:

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Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Barnstable, Mass. West Parish Church records, 1639-1853, RG5285. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Collection processed by Sari Mauro, July 2015, using DACS second edition.

Acquisition Information:

Collection transferred from Massachusetts Historical Society to the Congregational Library & Archives by direction of West Parish Church in Barnstable, Mass. in June 2015.


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


Historical Note

West Parish Church, alternatively called Church of Christ in Barnstable and West Barnstable Congregational Church, was gathered in October, 1639 by Pastor John Lothrop and an undetermined number of parishioners. The group had previously been in the colony town of Scituate, and prior to that in Southwark, England. The church traces its gathering back as early as 1616 in Southwark, England under dissenting minister Henry Jacob. The group that would later form West Parish Church was not gathered and Lothrop not installed as pastor until January 1634/5 at Scituate. In 1639 Lothrop and a portion of the Scituate church left Scituate for Barnstable to form a new covenant and new gathered body. The West Parish of Barnstable was incorporated in 1716 and Barnstable was divided into two precincts, East and West, a year later in 1717. That same year, the new meetinghouse located in the village of West Barnstable was constructed and then consecrated in 1719. Only a few years later the meetinghouse needed to be enlarged to fit the growing congregation.


Scope of Collection

This collection contains the early records of the first church founded in Barnstable, Mass., now known as West Parish Church in the village of West Barnstable. Included in the records are copies of correspondence, proceedings of ecclesiastical councils, meeting minutes, baptismal records, and dismissions and admissions. Of particular note are records pertaining to an early controversy over singing.


Further Searches

Subject Headings

Baptismal records

Church controversies - Congregational Churches.

Church membership.

Church music - 18th century.

Church records and registers -- Massachusetts -- Barnstable.

Congregational Churches - Massachusetts.

Ecclesiastical Council - Massachusetts.



Related Materials

Barnstable, Mass. East Parish Church records, 1717-1783. RG5158

Baptism in the New England Way by Joe Bassett

West Barnstable, MA : West Parish Church. 17.11.1 W52.2 WESPC

West Barnstable, MA : West Parish Congregational Church. (1975) [Image]

West Barnstable, MA : West Parish Congregational Church. [Image]



Collection is arranged in 1 volume and 1 folder of loose material. The volume is arranged in two orientations with pages starting from the labeled “front” of the book and from the “back” of the book. The volume contains numerous items of loose records that were at one point pasted in to the volume. Loose records are arranged chronologically, with undated items first.



  Date Location
Record book 1639-1853 (bulk 1639-1806) Volume 1
Online interface
Loose records 1835-1853, undated Folder 1


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