"Rehoboth is a town whose history and
colonial experiences are equalled by few and surpassed by none in the State; a
town which long held the position of being the most populous in the Old Colony
and for a time the most populous (after the Union), in the two colonies: a town
which came very near being chosen for the site of the capital: a town within
whose borders commenced and ended Philip's war. Its people have been more
than ordinarily enterprising. It is therefore becoming that the old town should
have her BOOK OF LIFE compiled and published; and it can not fall into better
hands than one whose ancestors once lived and flourished here. This work
is therefore undertaken more with a view of preserving this invaluable record
than for pecuniary compensation.
When this work was first projected, it was
estimated that if Pawtucket and Seekonk were included it could be held within
the compass of an ordinary volume, but as the work went on, it was found
impossible to publish more than old Rehoboth in this and let the other two towns
form another volume.
A very unfortunate thing has happened in regard
to this matter in relation to Pawtucket. The books containing that town's
record from 1828-1843 are missing and have not as yet been found. The
compiler is having a thorough investigation made in order to be fully satisfied
as to whether or not the books are still in existence, and he hopes to be able
to find them.
The work of Intentions in Rehoboth are found to
be in very poor condition and the writing faint. The book had been in a
damp place for a long time so that the paper had become very rotten and crumbled
badly when touched. It had to be read very carefully under glass.
Owing to its poor condition the page could not be given, many of the leaves
being loosened from the bindings, etc. We observed that the names and
dates when compared with the marriages in many cases disagree. These
matters must be solved by the reader by other evidence than was before the
compiler of this work at the time of writing. Frequently the name of the
bride is different, but this the marriage record corrects, because the latter
record would be apt to be given more carefully and so recorded.
The volumes in the Vital Records are in fine
condition, although the older volumes need binding. In fact the good
people of this town could not do a more graceful thing than to vote an appropriation
to bind and rebind the town records.
Before we go further we wish to extend our
thanks to Hon. Ellery L. Goff, the Town Clerk, for his interest in, and for
courtesies extended to us during our visit at his office in the compilation of
this volume. Our thanks are also extended to all other friends who have bestowed
favors and courtesies upon us.
We would call attention to the plan of this
work, and say that it is not only an INDEX, but it is also a history as it gives
all the vital features of the original record. This work does not give
matter at a venture, but book and page for every line.
It is needless for the compiler to say that he
has spared no pains in order to give a grand and reliable work, and while he
fully realizes that works of this kind can never be made perfect, he flatters himself
there are as few errors in this as there can be found in any other work of this
While he regrets that he was not able to
include Pawtucket and Seekonk in this volume, as was intended at first, yet he
trusts the invaluable tables and lists of the early proprietors, freemen and
inhabitants, as well as the soldiers of Philip's War and of the Revolution, and
the Colonial Returns, will in a measure compensate for other seeming neglect.
These invaluable lists were taken from Bliss'
History of Rehoboth and the Plymouth Colonial Records.
As will be seen by a perusal of our pages,
pains have been taken to avoid all ambiguity. The prime object of the
compiler was to so arrange the material that one need not be a professional
reader to understand it; hence the simplicity of the work.
Again, the spelling of many names has been
retained while others had to be so changed as to come within a reasonable index.
That the reader may be profited, instructed and
rewarded for his labor and time while perusing our pages is the earnest wish of
* Source: Vital Records of Rehoboth:
Marriages, Intentions, Births, Deaths with Supplement Containing the Record of
1896, Colonial Returns, Lists of the Early Settlers, Purchasers, Freemen,
Inhabitants, The Soldiers Serving in Philip's War, and The Revolution by
James N. Arnold, Providence RI, 1897.