SCUA

Westhampton (Mass. : Town)

Westhampton Town Records, 1779-1900.

10 boxes (5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 799
Close-up of records from 1779
Close-up of records from 1779

Originally settled by Europeans in 1762, the town of Westhampton, Massachusetts, was separated from adjacent Northampton and incorporated in September 1778. Situated in the western reaches of Hampshire County, it was principally an agricultural town until the later twentieth century, producing apples, other fruit, and maple sugar, with only minor industry. The town still retains its rural character: a century after incorporation, the population had grown to just over 500, and nearly 1,500 by 2000.

The Westhampton collection provides an extensive record of public life and local governance in a typical small Hampshire County town. Spanning from 1779, just after the date of incorporation, through the turn of the twentieth century, the collection includes extensive records of town meetings, including warrants, agendas, and summaries; records of the Overseers of Poor, the schools, militia service, and parish; materials on roads and highways; and a large quantity of financial records.

Background on Westhampton

Beginning as the so-called Long (or West) Division of Northampton, Mass., the town of Westhampton was first settled by Europeans in about 1762, growing gradually until it separated and was officially incorporated in September 1778. A year later, a Congregational Church was established in Westhampton with the ordination of Enoch Hale, a young graduate of Yale and brother of the patriot Nathan Hale. Overcoming some initial tension in the settlement over the location of the church, Hale remained in the pulpit for fifty years, ministering to the rural population of about 300.

An agricultural town throughout most of its history, Westhampton has been a small center for the production of beef and lamb, dairy products and wool, apples, berries, and maple sugar. The branches of the Manhan River that flow through town provided a source for water power that spurred the development of minor industry in the mid-nineteenth century, however the town has maintained its rural character. The town’s population has risen slowly from about 500 in the middle of the nineteenth century to just over 1,500 in 2000.

Contents of Collection

The Westhampton collection provides a detailed record of public life and local governance in a typical small Hampshire County town. Spanning from 1779, just after its incorporation, through the turn of the twentieth century, the collection includes extensive records of town meetings, including warrants, agendas, and summaries; records of the Overseers of Poor, the schools, militia service, and the Congregational parish; materials on roads and highways; and a large quantity of financial records.

Series descriptions
1779-1901
6 boxes (3 linear feet)

The administrative records offer a long perspective on the early history and development of a small town in the Berkshire hills. At the heart of the series is a dense set of records documenting town meetings from 1779 (the second official town meeting) through the late nineteenth century, including copies of warrants to call meetings, agendas and instructions, and in some cases the results of votes. Other key functions of local government in Massachusetts are more or less well represented, including the church, schools, militia, and road maintenance, and there are particularly valuable records for the Overseers of the Poor. Dating mostly between 1825 and 1855, the Overseers’ records offer insight into antebellum approaches to public relief for the poor and elderly in a rural town, both through documenting the forms of relief offered and the contracts forged with persons charged with their care.

1779-1801
4 boxes (2 linear feet)

The records in Series 2 document the town’s finances from the time of its incorporation until the end of the nineteenth century, including a thick series of bills and receipts for services rendered to the town, warrants from both Hampshire County and the state authorizing tax collection, highway tax assessments, and detailed records of taxes assessed and valuations of property.

Collection inventory
Series 1. Administrative records
1779-1901
6 boxes (3 linear feet)
Bond, D. W. and H. H.
1872-1873
Box 1: 1
Burt, Levi and H.W. Montague: Appraisal of yearling heifer
1900
Box 1: 2
Church: Deed
1828
Box 1: 3
Church: Parish Records
1853-1873
Box 1: 4
Church: Parish Records
1874-1880
Box 1: 5
Church: Parish Reports
1852
Box 1: 6
Church: Parish Reports
1855-1856
Box 1: 7
Church: Parish Reports
1857-1859
Box 1: 8
Church: Parish Reports
1860-1862
Box 1: 9
Church: Parish Reports
1863-1864
Box 1: 10
Church: Parish Reports
1865
Box 1: 11
Church: Parish Reports
1866-1865
Box 1: 12
Church: Parish Reports
1870-1871
Box 1: 13
Church: Parish Reports
1872-1874
Box 1: 14
Church: Parish Reports
1875-1876
Box 1: 15
Church: Parish Reports
1878
Box 1: 16
Church: Parish Reports
1897
Box 1: 17
Church: Settlement with Enoch Hale
1828
Box 1: 18
Clapp, Charles C. Appraisal of sheep attacked by dog
1865
Box 1: 19
Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Senate… [Broadside]
1788 Nov. 19
Box 1: 20
Correspondence (miscellaneous)
Box 1: 21
Death Certificates
1876
Box 1: 22
Death Certificates
1879
Box 1: 23
Death Certificates
1880
Box 1: 24
Death Certificates
1882
Box 1: 25
Death Certificates
1883
Box 1: 26
Death Certificates
1884
Box 1: 27
Death Certificates
1885
Box 1: 28
Death Certificates
1886
Box 1: 29
Death Certificates
1887
Box 1: 30
Death Certificates
1888
Box 1: 31
Deeds
1827
Box 1: 32
Dog Warrants
1862-1900
Box 1: 33
Elections
1833
Box 1: 34
Elections
1843
Box 1: 35
Elections
1844-1845
Box 1: 36
Elections
1864
Box 1: 37
Elections
1884-1894
Box 1: 38
Elections
1897
Box 1: 39
Elections
1900
Box 1: 40
Fencing Contract (for Cemetery)
ca. 1850
Box 1: 41
Inn holder licenses
1847
Box 2: 1
Juror lists
1897, undated
Box 2: 2
Library Committee Report
1880
Box 2: 3
Marriages
Box 2: 4
Liquor Licenses
1865
Box 2: 5
Lunatic Asylum
1829
Box 2: 6
Massachusetts Acts and Resolves
1828-1837
Box 2: 7
Massachusetts Acts and Resolves
1845-1848
Box 2: 8
Massachusetts Acts and Resolves
1862-1872
Box 2: 9
Massachusetts Circular Letter
1833-1858
Box 2: 10
Military
1833
Box 2: 11
Military
1843
Box 2: 12
Military
1862 July – Sept
Box 2: 13
Military
1862 Oct – Dec
Box 2: 14
Military
1864
Box 2: 15
Military
1897
Box 2: 16
Military
1900
Box 2: 17
Military Aid
1879-1880
Box 2: 18
Military: Civil War
ca.1862-1865
Box 2: 19
Military: Draft Quota
1862
Box 2: 20
Military: Receipt for Town Bounty
1862
Box 2: 21
Military: State aid
1880
Box 2: 22
Miscellaneous documents
1831-1872
Box 2: 23
Mitchell, Volney v. Norman Morton writ to attach goods
1847
Box 2: 24
New York and Boston Railroad
1847
Box 2: 25
Notice to all Those who are interested in protection game birds
1849
Box 2: 26
Overseers of the Poor
1829-1831
Box 2: 27
Overseers of the Poor
1832-1842
Box 2: 28
Overseers of the Poor
1844-1852
Box 2: 29
Overseers of the Poor
1852-1855
Box 2: 30
Overseers of the Poor
1859-1875
Box 2: 31
Overseers of the Poor
1900
Box 2: 32
Overseers of the Poor. Accounts for support of Absalom Hathaway
1829-1830
Box 2: 33
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1831-1833
Box 2: 34
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1846-1849
Box 2: 35
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1850-1851
Box 2: 36
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1852
Box 2: 37
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1853
Box 2: 38
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1854-1855
Box 2: 39
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1856-1859
Box 2: 40
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper agreements
1863-1873
Box 2: 41
Overseers of the Poor: Pauper Journal
1825-1844
Vol. 1

Bound volume containing record of expenses and agreements for care of the poor.

Overseers of the Poor. State Forms
ca. 1835
Box 2: 42
Parson, Henry W. Contract to build bridge
1852
Box 2: 43
Paternity Suit: Mary Slatten v. Cornelius F. Flynn
1876-1877
Box 2: 44
Pound: Countract with Seveuo Lynnam to construct town pound
1834
Box 2: 45
Roads and highways
1779
Box 3: 1
Roads and highways
1786-1789
Box 3: 2
Roads and highways
1790-1795
Box 3: 3
Roads and highways
1796-1800
Box 3: 4
Roads and highways
1801-1805
Box 3: 5
Roads and highways
1808-1811
Box 3: 6
Roads and highways
1830-1832
Box 3: 7
Roads and highways
1833
Box 3: 8
Roads and highways
1842-1846
Box 3: 9
Roads and highways
1855
Box 3: 10
Roads and highways (route 66)
1856
Box 3: 11
Roads and highways
1857-1872
Box 3: 12
Roads and highways
undated
Box 3: 13
School Committee
1830-1834
Box 3: 14
School Committee
1835-1838
Box 3: 15
School Committee
1839-1843
Box 3: 16
School Committee Annual Report
1838
Box 3: 17
School Committee Annual Report
1839
Box 3: 18
School Committee Annual Report
1840
Box 3: 19
School Committee Annual Report
1841
Box 3: 20
School Committee Annual Report
1842
Box 3: 21
School Committee Annual Report
1843
Box 3: 22
School Committee Annual Report
1844
Box 3: 23
School Committee Annual Report
1845
Box 3: 24
School Committee Annual Report
1846
Box 3: 25
School Committee Annual Report
1847
Box 3: 26
School Committee Annual Report
1848
Box 3: 27
School Committee Annual Report
1849
Box 3: 28
School Committee Annual Report
1850
Box 3: 29
School Committee Annual Report
1851
Box 3: 30
School Committee Annual Report
1852
Box 3: 31
School Committee Annual Report
1853
Box 3: 32
School Committee Annual Report
1854
Box 3: 33
School Committee District Registers
1840
Box 3: 34
School Committee District Registers
1841
Box 3: 35
Schools
1836-1853
Box 4: 1
Schools: Appraisal
1869
Box 4: 2
State forms (blank)
ca. 1845
Box 4: 3
Town boundary perambulation
1886
Box 4: 4
Town Clerk Oath of Office
ca. 1780
Box 4: 5
Town Meetings
1778
Box 4: 6
Town Meetings
1779
Box 4: 7
Town Meetings
1780
Box 4: 8
Town Meetings
1781
Box 4: 9
Town Meetings
1782
Box 4: 10
Town Meetings
1783
Box 4: 11
Town Meetings
1784
Box 4: 12
Town Meetings
1785
Box 4: 13
Town Meetings
1786
Box 4: 14
Town Meetings
1787
Box 4: 15
Town Meetings
1788
Box 4: 16
Town Meetings
1789
Box 4: 17
Town Meetings
1790
Box 4: 18
Town Meetings
1791
Box 4: 19
Town Meetings
1792
Box 4: 20
Town Meetings
1793
Box 4: 21
Town Meetings
1794
Box 4: 22
Town Meetings
1795
Box 4: 23
Town Meetings
1796
Box 5: 1
Town Meetings
1797
Box 5: 2
Town Meetings
1798
Box 5: 3
Town Meetings
1799
Box 5: 4
Town Meetings
1800
Box 5: 5
Town Meetings
1801
Box 5: 6
Town Meetings
1802
Box 5: 7
Town Meetings
1803
Box 5: 8
Town Meetings
1804
Box 5: 9
Town Meetings
1805
Box 5: 10
Town Meetings
1806
Box 5: 11
Town Meetings
1807
Box 5: 12
Town Meetings
1808
Box 5: 13
Town Meetings
1809
Box 5: 14
Town Meetings
1810
Box 5: 15
Town Meetings
1811
Box 5: 16
Town Meetings
1812
Box 5: 17
Town Meetings
1813
Box 5: 18
Town Meetings
1814
Box 5: 19
Town Meetings
1815
Box 5: 20
Town Meetings
1828-1836
Box 5: 21
Town Meetings
1838-1844
Box 5: 22
Town Meetings
1845-1848
Box 5: 23
Town Meetings
1850-1872
Box 6: 1
Town Meetings
1890
Box 6: 2
Town Meetings
1897
Box 6: 3
Town Meetings
1900
Box 6: 4
Voters Lists
1830
Box 6: 5
Voters Lists
1831
Box 6: 6
Voters Lists
1834
Box 6: 7
Voters Lists
1838
Box 6: 8
Voters Lists
1847
Box 6: 9
Voters Lists
1848
Box 6: 10
Voters Lists
1850
Box 6: 11
Voters Lists
1851
Box 6: 12
Voters Lists
1852
Box 6: 13
Voters Lists
1853
Box 6: 14
Voters Lists
1854-1855
Box 6: 15
Voters Lists
1858
Box 6: 16
Voters Lists
1859
Box 6: 17
Voters Lists
1862
Box 6: 18
Voters Lists
1863
Box 6: 19
Voters Lists
1864
Box 6: 20
Voters Lists
1865
Box 6: 21
Voters Lists
1866
Box 6: 22
Voters Lists
1883
Box 6: 23
Voters Lists
1884
Box 6: 24
Voters Lists
1885
Box 6: 25
Voters Lists
1887
Box 6: 26
Voters Lists
1888
Box 6: 27
Voters Lists
1890
Box 6: 28
Voters Lists
1892
Box 6: 29
Voters Lists
1894
Box 6: 30
Voters Lists
1895
Box 6: 31
Voters Lists
1896
Box 6: 32
Voters Lists
1897
Box 6: 33
Warren Bridge (circular letter)
1832
Box 6: 34
Series 2. Financial records
1779-1801
4 boxes (2 linear feet)
Appropriations
1860-1886
Box 7: 7
Assessors: Warrant to Collect Taxes
1790-1799
Box 7: 8
Assessors: Warrant to Collect Taxes
1800-1814
Box 7: 9
Assessors: Warrant to Collect Taxes
1848-1867
Box 7: 10
Bills and Receipts
1811-1813
Box 7: 5
Bills and Receipts
1827-1829
Box 7: 6
Bills and Receipts
1830-1831
Box 7: 7
Bills and Receipts
1832-1833
Box 7: 8
Bills and Receipts
1834-1835
Box 7: 9
Bills and Receipts
1836-1848
Box 7: 10
Bills and receipts
1852-1857
Box 7: 11
Bills and Receipts
1868-1889
Box 7: 12
Bills and Receipts
1890
Box 7: 13
Bills and Receipts
1891
Box 7: 14
Bills and Receipts
1892
Box 7: 15
Bills and Receipts
1893
Box 7: 16
Bills and Receipts
1894 Jan-June
Box 7: 17
Bills and Receipts
1894 July-Dec
Box 7: 18
Bills and Receipts
1895 Jan-Mar
Box 7: 19
Bills and Receipts
1895 Apr-May
Box 7: 20
Bills and Receipts
1895 Jan-Sept
Box 8: 7
Bills and Receipts
1895 Oct-Dec
Box 8: 8
Bills and Receipts
1896 Jan-May
Box 8: 9
Bills and Receipts
1896 June-Aug
Box 8: 10
Bills and Receipts
1896 Sept-Dec
Box 8: 5
Bills and Receipts
1897-1901
Box 8: 6
Bills and Receipts
undated
Box 8: 7
Highway Assessments
1829
Box 8: 8
Highway Assessments
1832
Box 8: 9
Highway Assessments
1833
Box 8: 10
Highway Assessments
1836-1837
Box 8: 11
Highway Assessments
1839
Box 8: 12
Highway Assessments
1841
Box 8: 13
Highway Assessments
1841
Box 8: 14
Highway Assessments (Hathaway-Rhodes)
1851
Box 8: 15
Highway Assessments (Bosworth-Elwell)
1852
Box 8: 16
Highway Assessments
1853
Box 8: 17
Highway Assessments
1854
Box 8: 18
Highway Assessments
1856
Box 9: 7
Highway Assessments
1857
Box 9: 8
Highway Assessments
1864
Box 9: 9
Highway Assessments
1865
Box 9: 10
Highway Assessments
1866
Box 9: 5
Highway Assessments
1867
Box 9: 6
Highway Assessments
1868
Box 9: 7
Highway Assessments
1871
Box 9: 8
Highway Assessments
1876-1877
Box 9: 9
Selectmen Expense Report
1847
Box 9: 10
Tax doc. No. 2 Corporations existing under authroity of this Commonwealth
1871
Box 9: 11
Taxation Assessments
1812-1829
Box 9: 12
Taxation Assessments
ca.1830
Box 9: 13
Taxation: Country tax warrants
1829-1839
Box 9: 14
Taxation: Country tax warrants
1840-1848
Box 9: 15
Taxation: Country tax warrants
1850-1858
Box 9: 16
Taxation: Country tax warrants
1862-1869
Box 9: 17
Taxation: Country tax warrants
1871-1887
Box 9: 18
Taxation: Delinquencies
1870
Box 9: 19
Taxation: Enrollment to avoid draft
ca. 1862
Box 9: 20
Taxation: State tax warrants
1829-1845
Box 9: 21
Taxation: State tax warrants
1854-1871
Box 9: 22
Taxation: State tax warrants
1872-1887
Box 9: 23
Taxation: tax collectors returns
1851-1858
Box 9: 24
Taxation: taxation scales
1828-1864
Box 9: 25
Taxation: taxation scales
undated
Box 9: 26
Taxation: taxes paid
1848-1872
Box 9: 27
Taxes and valuation
1788
Box 9: 28
Taxes and valuation
1789
Box 9: 29
Taxes and valuation
1790
Box 9: 30
Taxes and valuation
1791
Box 10: 7
Taxes and valuation
1792
Box 10: 8
Taxes and valuation
1793
Box 10: 9
Taxes and valuation
1808-1809
Box 10: 10
Taxes and valuation
1811
Box 10: 5
Taxes and valuation
1812-1815
Box 10: 6
Taxes and valuation
1816-1818
Box 10: 7
Treasurer: Bonds
1794-1829
Box 10: 8
Treasurer: Bonds
1832-1838
Box 10: 9
Treasurer: Bonds
1840-1848
Box 10: 10
Treasurer: Bonds
1850-1868
Box 10: 11
Treasurer: Bonds
1871-1887
Box 10: 12
Valuation Lists
1825
Box 10: 13
Valuation Lists
1827
Box 10: 14
Valuation Lists
1828
Box 10: 15
Valuation Lists
1829
Box 10: 16
Valuation Lists
1831
Box 10: 17
Valuation Lists
1832
Box 10: 18
Valuation Lists
ca. 1835
Box 10: 19
Valuation Lists
1836
Box 10: 20
Valuation Lists
1837
Box 10: 21
Valuation Lists
1840
Box 10: 22
Valuation Lists
1845
Box 10: 23
Valuation Lists
undated
Box 10: 24
Warrants and receipts
1806-1812
Box 10: 25
Warrants and receipts
1813
Box 10: 26
Warrants and Receipts
1814
Box 10: 27
Warrants and Receipts
1815
Box 10: 28
Administrative information
Provenance

Gift of Westhampton Historical Society, Jan. 2014.

Other formats available

Series 1 has been digitized and is available through SCUA’s online digital repository, Credo.

Related Material

The Westhampton Town Records are intimately related to the records of the town’s First Congregational Church (MS 806), which have also been digitized and made available online through Credo.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Apr. 2014.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Westhampton (Mass.) Town Records (MS 799). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • Churches--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Poor--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Roads--Massachusetts--Westhampton
  • Town meetings--Massachusetts--Westhampton
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