Old Man Scanlon's

Adin Ballou's Marriage & Funeral Registers and History of Milford

What's Here

Below are transcriptions of entries from Adin Ballou's marriage and funeral registers, as well as material from his History of Milford, applying to ancestors, relatives, and other likely suspects.

"Record of Marriages, Book I": newspaper clipping, Ballou's Preface, marriage entry transcriptions
"Funeral Register, Book I": funeral entry transcriptions
History of Milford...: transcriptions concerning fires, streets, railroads, ancestors

Surnames Appearing in the Documents

ALDRICH, BARBER, BROWN, CARPENTER, CLAFLIN, COOK, ELLIS, GODFREY, HARKNESS, KELLY, KING, LELAND, MASON, NELSON, PARKS, POND, TAFT, TORREY, WHEELOCK

Notes

Editorial comments are in square brackets.

Names in this face are ancestors.

Adin Ballou, Universalist minister, author of religious and social works and the indispensable History of Milford, Massachusetts From its First Settlement to 1881, had a hand in marrying and burying five generations of Old Man Scanlon's ancestors.

He was also instrumental in founding the town of Hopedale, Massachusetts, where, if you're walking up Hopedale St. in the soft early evening during cicada days, you can believe that a century has slipped through a crack in the space-time continuum. Young parents with babies in carriages and geezers with dogs stroll as if Al Gore had not yet invented television. Modernity does encroach but seems powerless to dispel the late-nineteenth-century feel, which is reinforced by Bancroft Memorial Library, a lovely, intimate, ivied stone building. Once you're through its door, books and old oak hook you by the nose. They have a serious collection of Ballou manuscripts, among which are his marriage and funeral registers. Librarian Elaine Malloy and the staff were friendly and more than helpful. So far it's the only library where I've been offered a side order of homemade bread to go with the historic documents.

I inspected three manuscripts in the summer of 2000: Ballou's "Record of Marriages, Book I," his "Funeral Register, Book I," and his original "Marriage Register, Book I."

Adin Ballou's "Record of Marriages, Book I" is a volume of approximately U.S. "legal" size. Pasted inside the front cover are a photograph (engraved by R. H. Smith) of a middle-aged Rev. Ballou and an unattributed, undated newspaper clipping. The title page has two lines; the first, "Record of Marriages," the second, "Book I." Ruled pairs of lightly pencilled not-quite-parallel lines are used to size the lower-case letters. Above the first line appears faintly the word "Transcriptions," which apparently has been bleached out deliberately. By 1883, when he married my great-grandparents, Rev. Ballou's hand is visibly shakier, but still clear and legible. He uses the "long S" and often what appears to be a period rather than a comma between days and years.

I've used the "Record," rather than the original "Marriage Register, Book I," for the reasons of accuracy noted by Rev. Ballou in his preface (although I noted no discrepancies between them for ancestral entries) and also because it contains the only record of the later marriages. There are entries for 1194 marriages, spanning 28 December 1823 (#1) through 28 November 1889 (#1194).

History of this Document

05 February 2001, revision 1.
Initial publication.
04 February 2002, revision 2.
5 generations of my ancestors, not 3.
25 February 2003, revision 3.
More from History of Milford.
25 February 2007, revision 4.
Routine maintenance.

Adin Ballou's "Record of Marriages, Book I"

Transcription of the Newspaper Clipping

From the age given and Ballou's description of himself in the Preface as being nearly 21 in 1824, 1885 seems like a pretty good guess at the date this appeared.

-- "W. H. F.," who is probably the venerable Dr. Furness of Philadelphia, has this pleasant word for one of the most honored ministers in Massachusetts, in the Christian Register:

Rev. Adin Ballou of Hopedale, Mass., seems as fresh and vigorous at the age of 82 as most ministers and other men at 65; and he is probably still officiating at more funerals than any other minister in Worcester county, being called upon for this service several times every month, often for long distances, and seldom, if ever, letting the most inclement weather deter him. He has been in the Christian ministry 63 years, entering at the age of 19; and, during that time, he has officiated at about 2300 funerals and at half as many marriages. His autobiography, which he is preparing for the press when he can spare the time from other pressing literary labors and the duties of his profession, will, no doubt, be a valuable contribution to the theological and religious history of Worcester county especially, and of much interest to all readers interested in the lives and labors of of the able and efficient ministers of the generation which Mr. Ballou represents, now almost closed.

Fifty years ago Mr. Ballou was one of the very ablest advocates and defenders of the doctrine of "universal restoration," not only as against the eternal torments of the Orthodox, but also as against the then general indefiniteness and non-cominitalism [sic] of American Unitarianism and "the death and glory" phase of Universalism. He was then ever ready to meet any and all of the representatives of these schools of thought, either in newspaper controversy or in oral debate; and he has lived long enough to see many of the Orthodox and and nearly all the Unitarians and Universalists advance to substantially his view of the subject -- sowing and reaping the law of compensation, the triumph of good over evil, of God over all opposition.

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Transcription of Ballou's Preface

Preface

This Book is a carefully transcribed, revised and corrected Record of my Marriages. For a few years after commencing to solemnize marriages, I did not open a proper Book of Record but depended on the preserved Certificates of publishment and other memoranda. The consequence was, a few omissions and defects found their way into the permanent record. On latterly coming to the knowledge of these errors by close examination, I resolved to transcribe and correct my Record and so to leave it as nearly accurate as the means at command enable me.

It will be seen that the first marriages I solemnized were three, in Boston. This was in the winter of 1823-4 soon after I had been qualified by ordination. I was then fulfilling an engagement of six months candidacy with the First Universalist Church and Society, Hanover St. Boston (the old Murray Society so called). At the expiration of that engagement, I left in the Spring; the Rev. Sebastian Streeter having been called as pastor, in preference to myself. About the 1st April 1824, at the age of nearly 21 years, I commenced my ministry over the Universalist Society in Milford Mass where my next marriages are recorded to have been solemnized.

My ordination took place under the sanction of the Southern Association of Universalists, in session at Milford Mass Dec 10. 1823; as will appear from the following copy of the official Certificate.

"This certifies that Bro. Adin Ballou was ordained to the work of the Ministry of reconciliation, at the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Universalists, convened at Milford Mass. Dec 10. 1823.
Jacob Frieze, Clerk"

The foregoing Preface has been written and entered herein by me, this 13th day of April, 1867, at Hopedale Mass.

Adin Ballou

Transcription completed Aug. 16. 1871.

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Transcriptions of Marriage Entries

These are of known ancestors, and, incompletely, collateral relatives. I have replaced dittos in the original with their proper antecedents.

Where & when Names of parties Residence Occupation Age &
Color
Number Birth place Names of parents notes No.
Milford Mass
Jan. 25, 1829
Seth P. Carpenter
Maria Barber
Milford, Mass
Milford, Mass
Boot maker
 
W.
W.
First
First
Upton Mass
Milford Mass
Reuben & Hannah (Cook)
dr James & Nancy Barber
 
died
46
Mendon, Mass
Aug. 28, 1831
At A. B's.
Seth P. Carpenter
Diana Barber
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Boot Manufacturer
 
W.
W.
Second
First
Upton, Mass.
Milford, Mass.
Reuben & Hannah (Cook)
James & Nancy (Parks)
  77
Milford Mass
April 5, 1832
At Bride's mother's
Francis Drake Nelson
Lydia Thurber Pond
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Farmer
 
W.
W.
First
First
Milford, Mass
Milford, Mass
Newell & Betsey Nelson
Barzillai & Lydia (Wheelock) Pond
died out West
 
92
Transpose these
 
 
[two non-ancestors]  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Died in
Manchester N.H.
 
93

Where & when Names of Parties Residence Occupation Age
yrs.
Color No.
M'ge
Birth Place Names of Parents Notes No.
Hopedale, Mass
Wed, Feb. 25, 1846
A.B's.
Otis T. Nelson
Hannah H. Taft
Milford Mass
Mendon Mass
Boot manufacturer
 
33
21
White
White
Second
First
Milford, Mass
Mendon, Mass
Newell & Betsey (Kelly) Nelson
Thomas & Mercy (Harkness) Taft
 
3.
379
Hopedale, Mass
Sund. Oct. 7, 1849
A.B's.
Rufus Claflin
Sylvania K. Nelson
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Boot maker
 
45
33
White
White
Second
First
 
 
Rufus & Hepzibah Claflin
Newell & Betsey (Kelley) Nelson
 
2.
439
Milford Mass
Thursd Oct. 25, 1849
John Mason's
Byron Carpenter
Jane A. Mason
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Boot cutter
 
20
18
White
White
First
First
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Seth P. & Maria (Barber) Carpenter
John & Sally Mason
 
3.
441

When & where Recd $ Pd Names Residence Occupation Age Color Number Birthplace Parentages Certifd Return No.
Milford Oct 8, 1881
Sat. 3-1/2 P.M. at bride's mother's
Mrs. Jane A. (Mason) Carpenter's 32 Spring St.
Present numerous family relatives
5 .75 Frederick T. King
Jenny L. Carpenter
Boston Mass
Boston Mass
Engineer
 
30
30
W
W
First
First
Charlemont, Mass
Milford, Mass
Freeman B. and Eleanor A. King
Byron and Jane A. (Mason) Carpenter
C.
 
Boston
Milford
1025
Milford May 9. 1883
Wed 3 P.M. Otis T. Nelson's.
Present a host of guests as well as family relatives
5. Conveyed Frederick Leland Ellis
Anne Frances Nelson
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Clerk
 
28
26
White
White
First
First
Milford Ms
Milford Ms
Clark & Sarah Maria (Leland) Ellis
Otis T. & Hannah (Taft) Nelson
C.
 
Milford
 
1058
Hopedale May 31. 1883
Thursday 8 1/2 PM A.B's. Present wife
2.50   Walter Batchelor Carpenter
Jennie Ellis Brown
Milford Mass
Milford Mass
Clerk
 
19
(Mother's consent)
18
White
White
First
First
Milford Ms
Milford Ms
Byron and Jane A. Mason Carpenter
Charles and Mary E. Nelson Brown
C
 
Milford
 
1059

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Adin Ballou's "Funeral Register, Book I"

Transcriptions of Funeral Entries

Page Name Residence Death Cause Age Funeral
47 Martha Wheeler Mason wife of John Mason Milford June 30, 1825 Consumption 21st yr. Frid. 1st July Ser. 1 Pet.1:24,25
53 Mrs. Maria wife of Seth P. Carpenter Milford Feb. 13, 1831   25th yr. Mond. 15 Ser. Bck. Ch. 1 Pet.1:24,25
60 Martha W dr. John Mason Milford Aug. 24, 1836 Scarletina 3 yrs 25 Thur Res. Prayer

Page Name Residence Death Age Funeral
70 Hannah Maria dr. Seth P. & Diana Carpenter Milford Ms July 24, 1843 6 yrs. 11 mos. Res. 26th Addss & Pr
71 Mrs. Laura Maria Nelson, wife of Otis T. Nelson Milford Aug. 23, 1844 31 Res. Sund 25
71 Hannah Nelson, Dr. of Newell N. Milford Ms Oct. 1, 1844 22 yrs. Res. 3d or 4th
79 Sally Nelson, wid. Col. Saml. & Mother of Newell N. Milford Ms Dec. 29, 1852 90th yr. At Newell Nelson's
80 George K. Barber son of Calvin Jr & Sylvia Barber R, 2 Milford Ms July 27, 1854 about 20-1/2 yrs. Res 28. united with Rev Mr Wood
  Calvin Barber (bro. to Geo. & Seneca) Bellingham Jan. 10, 1856 81  
  Mary Maria inft. dr. John P. & Rhoda L. Barber Milford Sept. 2, 1856 7  
  Seneca Barber (bro of Geo & Calvin) E. Medway Sept. 30, 1856 86  
84 Henry Edwin Nelson (son of Otis) Milford Ms Dec. 24, 1858 20th yr Father's Res with Rev. Mr Woodbury United Ch. Dec. 26
85 Alice Amelia inft dr. Saml & Lavinia Nelson at Newell Nelson's
Milford Ms
Dd. Chicago Ill
July 22, 1859
nearly 8 years July 29

Page Name Residence Relationship Death Age Cause Funeral Services Cemetery
90 Stephen Carpenter Milford, Mass A poor honest man with wife
& three or four children
Mar. 25, 1861 48 yrs Consumption &
heart disease
March 27 At residence. Erskine tenement near Bank Address
& Prayer - very rainy & few out
Temporarily Town Tomb
94 Betsey Nelson
Recd large nice ham pd 38
Milford Mass wife of Newell Nelson Jan. 9, 1862 75 yrs 8 ms Age &c. Jan. 11, 1862 Residence Scrips Sing'g Add Remarks G W Stacy pr
Reg service Rev Mr Ricker partook Sermon Job V:7
temp[?] Entombed

Page Name Recd. Pd. Residence Conductor Relationship Death Age Cause Funeral Services Cemetery
104 Marcus M. Aldrich Oct. 27th 6.00 1.17 Northbridge Mass Jerh. Robinson Son of Lyman Aldrich Mar. 18, 1864 24 yrs Brain fever or disease of some kind March 22 1 PM Res of father-in-law Nelson Paine Ser Heb Xii.9 temporarily L Tafts tomb Uxbdge
104 Nancy Barber 2.00   Milford Mass   Widow of James Barber April 27, 1864 83d yr. Age April 30. 1 PM At her son Willard's 41 Pearl St. Address & Prayer Pine Grove Cemetery
104 John Mason Recd. Jan 22 5.00 .50 Milford Mass Geo. Pierce father of John &c. Nov. 19, 1864 65 6 m 25 d Quick Consumption Nov 21. 1 PM Res. Scrips, Ad, Remarks by G. W. Stacy. Pr by myself Pine Grove Cemetery
120 Newell Nelson Esq. & Obituary 10.00 .75 Milford Mass Obed Daniels son of Samuel
Father of Otis, David &c.
Jan. 26, 1869 84 ys 10 m 6 ds Complex diss Urinary &c 29th 11 AM Res. Scrips. Address. Remarks by G. W. Stacy Prayer & Benn. by myself Town Tomb temp[?]
148 Louisa K. Nelson
sent me by Halsey L. Cook Jan 12, 1874
10   Milford, Mass L. H. Cook &
A. C. Withington
dr. Otis T. & Dec. 18, 1873 18 yrs 11 m 18 ds Typhoid Fever Sat. 20th Dec. 1 PM Parental res. Scrips & Addss Rev Mr Richardson Addss & Pr by me Pine Grove
154 Stephen Torrey 5. .75 Mendon Ms Henry A. Aldrich son Capt. William April 29, 1875 79 yrs Paralysis &c. Saturday May 1 12 N Charles Davenport's Scrips & addss by Rev Bro Geo F Clarke
Address prayer & benediction by myself
Mendon (Old Yard)

Page Name Recd. Pd. Residence Conductor Relationship Death Age Cause Funeral No. Services
186 Willard F. Barber   conveyed Framingham, Ms
formerly Milford
Ezra Hunt son of James & Nancy Barber Feb. 28, 1883 62 y 3 mos 6 ds Dropsy heart Sat Mar. 3, 11 AM 2165 At Seth P. Carpenter's Scrips, addss, pr, ben
186 Diana Carpenter
an ample present per Hannah Maria
Carpenter in connection with her father's
funeral Jan. 9, 1885 - for both $7.
    Milford, Spring St. Andrew J. Sumner dr. of Seth P. and Diana (Barber) Mar. 24, 1883 38 yrs 24 ds Bilious Typhoid fever Wed. Mar 28 11 A.M. 2168 Parental res. Scrip. Address Pr. Singg once benedic[?]

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Adin Ballou's History of Milford, Massachusetts...

These are verbatim quotes applying to ancestors and relatives. Proper citations later....

CHAPTER XI. PAUPERISM, BOARD OF HEALTH, AND FIRE-DEPARTMENT.

History and Statistics of Our Fire-Department [294-295]

I have it on the authority of Seth P. Carpenter, Esq., that the first movement to get up a fire-engine company in Milford was started about the year 1831. A considerable number of public-spirited citizens, who realized the danger from fire to the public and private buildings in town, especially in the growing village at the Centre, resolved to procure one or two fire engines, and man them. Of course this must be done by purely voluntary contribution and association. Two of the old-fashioned tub engines, manufactured in Belchertown, at the cost of $125 each, were purchased....

Mr. Carpenter was, I think, the first, or certainly an early, commander of the pioneer company organized. But their engine was a small, clumsy thing, which was thought to perform a notable exploit when made to throw water over the Brick Meeting-House tower, only some sixty feet high. They soon bought a second-hand Hunneman engine for $350, which did much greater execution. This, however, was not satisfactory long, and a nice new Hunneman was procured at a cost of $800. This could be worked admirably.

Fire Department Engineers [301]

Willard F. Barber, 1855, '56, '57, '58, '59, '60, '61

Chief Engineers [303]

James M. Mason, from May 1, 1865, to Aug. 7, 1865. He removed from town.

Some of Our Principal Fires. [303]

1853. Jan. 3, midnight -- John Mason's boot-shop, in which were consumed the Town Treasurer's principal books, etc., from 1780 to 1853.

1854. April. -- Seth P. Carpenter's steam mill, just before our Fire Department was organized.

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CHAPTER XII. CEMETERIES, ROADS, STREETS, COMMONS, ETC.

Names and Descriptions of Streets. [327]

Greene St., from Main, near Fruit, passing Elm, Cortland, and Hopedale, to Mill.... [Improved in] 1839, from Newell Nelson's to the then widow Green saw-mill, now Spindleville machine-shop.... 1850 and 1851, the northerly new section added (from Main to Cortland and Elm).... Various other considerable improvements made at sundry times (mostly between the southerly end of the new section and the Newell Nelson place)....

Our Railroads [336]

Of these we have three, which centre in close proximity, and afford our inhabitants very convenient communication with all the great marts of the country. The oldest and most important is the Framingham and Milford Branch of the Boston and Albany. This was preceded and obtained by a protracted series of very earnest and self-sacrificing exertions on the part of a few of our leading citizens, to whom the town is more indebted than it has ever yet fully appreciated. Foremost among these citizens were David Stearns Godfrey and Seth P. Carpenter. They worked hard and long in gathering statistics and presenting the case to the proper authorities, in the face of much doubt and opposition, but finally succeeded. It was opened...July 1, 1848.

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CHAPTER XXX. GENEALOGY, ETC.

Other Browns Mentioned in our Directories

BROWN, Charles D., clothing, 1856, '69, '72


Seth Prime Carpenter [610-611]

Seth P. Carpenter

I found Mr. Carpenter here in 1824, when I came into town. Prob. he was here some yrs. earlier. He has been an active, enterprising, and influential citizen from early manhood to his green old age. In business, in civil and political life, and in social intercourse, he has been respectably conspicuous among our inhabitants; serving in various responsible town offices, and twenty-one yrs. as justice of the peace. In his latter yrs. he has been devoting his time, money, and ingenuity largely to fish-culture, especially to the rearing of trout. He has an establishment of this nature in the south-westerly part of Uxbridge, richly worth visiting by persons at all interested in such enterprises. This I know from actual observation. My wf. and self, by kind invitation, accepted a ride thither 26th June, 1879, with himself and lady, to our great enjoyment. The location, natural advantages, ingenious contrivances, and exhibition of beautiful trout in various stages of growth, were truly admirable. We could only regret, amid the entertainment of the occasion, that untoward experiments and mishaps have hitherto precluded the pecuniary success which the persevering projector so eminently deserves.

It should be emphatically added to the credit of Mr. C., that, in connection with the late David Stearns Godfrey and a few other devoted citizens, he took a very important part in the preliminary labors indispensable to procuring the Milford and Framingham Branch Railroad. Those labors were manifold, arduous, and persistent. The present generation of our inhabitants can have but a faint conception and appreciation of what they owe to those hard-working pioneers in the obtainment of that road. Without their self-sacrificing exertion, its great facilities would probably have long been postponed. The public also owe him a large debt of respect and gratitude for his exertions in pioneering and opening the Pine-Grove Cemetery.


Newell Nelson [926]

Newell Nelson

A worthy family, parents and chn. Newell Nelson, Esq., deserves an honorable eulogy. He was a man of sterling natural ability and moral integrity. He was a stanch lover of truth, justice, human rights, and the public welfare. He was sagacious to learn what he needed to know, resolute to put it in practice, and firm to maintain his convictions of right: a man of exemplary uprightness, sound judgment, and solid usefulness. He struggled manfully against considerable disadvantages, rose by merit to the respectful appreciation of his fellow-citizens, and proved himself eminently trustworthy in all the relations of life. As a land-surveyor, a settler of estates, a referee in controversies, and a responsible municipal officer, he long commanded public confidence throughout this general vicinity. He was commissioned justice of the peace, Jan. 30, 1830, by Gov. Levi Lincoln, and creditably discharged the duties of that office for twenty-one years. He was, however, a man of little pretension, and averse to all ostentatious display; a plain, homespun, frugal, economical husbandman - not ashamed to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow - who wanted his own rights and dues, and was scrupulous to render to others theirs. His deafness during declining life was a great privation, which he deeply felt, but bore with commendable patience. He lived to the good old age of almost 85 yrs. He sunk at length under the complicated infirmities of age, and d. Jan. 26, 1869. His worthy companion had preceded him by seven yrs., having d. Jan. 9, 1862. Let not this memorial notice be construed to the disparagement, in the writer's mind, of other excellent citizens less known to him, of whom he has thought proper to say little or nothing.


Col. Samuel Nelson [919]

The col. was a thorough, precise, and determined man in the affairs of life, though perhaps not always wise and prudent. I infer from his record that he was a man of high spirit, keen sense of honor, and a very active citizen.

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