The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771 contains the names and descriptions of taxable property of nearly 38,000 individuals who resided in 152 Massachusetts towns in 1771
Samuel Pearly Gates, of Bridgewater, probably best known in the business world as treasurer of the Eagle Cotton Gin Company, in which he holds the controlling interest, has been so intimately identified with the expansion of the various activities of that place during the fifty odd years of his residence there that he is justly ranked among the leaders in the development of manufacturing, banking and civic interests. Though well past the three-score and ten mark his faculties are undimmed, his energy unabated, his zeal unflagging, and he not only keeps pace with the times but is still in the van in the matter of progress in any line which enlists his attention or sympathy. Bridgewater is the home of his adoption, however, for he was born at Ashby, in Middlesex county, this State, and is a descendant of a family which has been settled in that county from early Colonial days. We herewith give the following records concerning the family since the emigrant ancestor landed this side of the Atlantic.
This is a collection of 197 free 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 along with links to all 197 books which can be freely read or downloaded.