This is a collection of 192 free town vital records books, otherwise known as “Tan Books” for Massachusetts towns. Generally these records go up to 1849/1850 at which, the genealogist can use the census records to assist in identifying the family connections further. Included with this article is an account of why and how these manuscripts were published.
John Washburn, first of the name here, was an early settler in New England, and was a resident of Duxbury, Mass., before 1632, in which year he had an action in court against Edward Doten. He was named in the assessment of taxes in 1633, and in 1634 bought a place from Edward Bonparse known as “Eagle’s Nest.” He and his two sons, John and Philip, were included with those able to bear arms in 1643. He and his son John were original proprietors of Bridgewater, and they with the son Philip settled in the town as early as 1665. He died in Bridgewater before 1670.