Search billions of records on

Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Rowe

Home || Information | Online Genealogical Resources | Bibliography | General Information | Related Pages


Rowe lies in the northwestern part of Franklin County and is roughly bounded by Whitingham (in Windham County, Vermont) on the north, Heath on the east, Charlemont on the south, and Florida (in Berkshire County) and Monroe on the west. Rowe was organized February 9, 1785 from common lands called Myrifield. On February 21, 1822, part of Rowe and certain common lands were organized as Monroe. On April 2, 1838, part of the common lands called Zoar were annexed to Rowe.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Rowe as follows:
is a thinly-settled but delightful town, having 581 inhabitants, and a good bracing, healthful atmosphere, in the north-west section of Franklin County. It has Whittingham (in New Hampshire [i.e., Vermont]) on the north, Heath on the east, Charlemont and Florida on the south, and the latter and Monroe on the west. It is accommodated by the Troy and Greenfield Railroad. The entrance to the Hoosac Tunnel is on the right bank of the Deerfield River, opposite the south-western angle of the town. The land is mountainous, the scenery wild and picturesque. On the northern line, Jilson's Hill rises to the height of 2,109 feet; and prominent hills flank the valley through which Pelham Brook and its numerous tributaries run south-westerly into the Deerfield River. This river, here a swift and handsome stream, sweeps around the western borders of the town. Pulpit Rock, on its left bank, is a conspicuous natural curiosity. Epidote and talc are found in this vicinity; and several men are now working in an extensive soapstone quarry.

There is a woolen-mill on Pelham Brook; and the town has a chair and a basket factory; but the principal business is farming and lumbering. There are 92 farms. The soil is strong, and good for grazing. The number of sheep in 1865 was 1,818, which in 1872 had fallen to 412.

The town has 109 dwelling-houses, seven schoolhouses (mostly new), a public library of about 500 volumes, and three churches,--one Unitarian, the Rev. William M. Bicknell, pastor; one Baptist, the Rev. George Carpenter, pastor; and one Methodist, the Rev. Edward Day, pastor. It sent to the late war 46 soldiers, of whom three were lost. Comfort and independence prevail among the people. "Their mountain air gives vigor to their minds and muscles; and the crystal springs from their own hills refresh them under fatigue and toil." The opening of the Hoosac Tunnel will enhance the value of the land and its productions.

This town, originally Myrifield, was incorporated Feb. 9, 1785. A part of Zoar, containing six families, was annexed to it April 2, 1838. The ruins of old Fort Pelham, which was one in the line of fortifications erected about 1744, are still to be seen on Pelham Brook. The Rev. Preserved Smith, the first minister, was settled in 1787. He was succeeded in 1808 by the Rev. Jonathan Keith.
(Source: Nason, Elias, 1811-1887. A gazetteer of the state of Massachusetts : with numerous illustrations on wood and steel / by Elias Nason. -- Boston : B.B. Russell, 1874. -- p. 435)

Online Genealogical Resources

The following resources may provide information useful in researching Rowe families.



The following bibliography lists sources that may be useful in researching the genealogy and history of families that have lived in the Rowe area. The bibliography is arranged by subject category and alphabetically by author and title within each category. Information on library holdings is recorded in the box following each citation. For published items, only holdings of libraries profiled on the Archives and Libraries page are given when known. For unpublished and other rare sources, any library known to hold the item is listed. Many of the items listed here are also available at other libraries and research centers in New England, New York, and elsewhere.

Original records and other items microfilmed by the LDS Family History Library (also known as the Genealogical Society of Utah) are also listed below. These microfiches and microfilms are available via interlibrary loan through the LDS family history centers. Make a note of the microfiche or microfilm reel number(s) needed in order to place a request at one of the LDS family history centers.

Church History

  • Rowe Community Church (Rowe, Mass.). Guild.
    Old home day, 1971, Rowe, Massachusetts : nostalgia / sponsored by Rowe Community Church Guild. -- [Rowe, Mass. : The Guild, 1971]
    40 p. : ill.


Church Records

  • First Evangelical Church (Rowe, Mass.)
    Recordbook, 1833-1855. 1 v. in case.
    Recordbook of the First Evangelical Church of Rowe, Mass., founded in 1833 as a response against the Unitarian preaching of the First Congregational Church of Rowe. The records date from 1833-1855 and include the Articles of Faith, the church covenant, church meeting minutes, a list of the members received, including how and when they were received and removed, where applicable, and a brief list of baptisms from 1836-1850.



  • Brown, Percy Whiting, 1887-1958.
    History of Rowe, Massachusetts / Percy Whiting Brown. -- [S.l. : s.n.], 1921 (Boston : Old Colony Press)
    116 p. : ill.
    Includes bibliographical references.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library (in paper and on microfilm, LDS FHL microfilm number 1425634 item 5)

  • Brown, Percy Whiting, 1887-1958.
    History of Rowe, Massachusetts / Percy Whiting Brown. -- 2nd ed. -- [Cleveland, Ohio : Williams], 1935.
    114 p.


  • Brown, Percy Whiting, 1887-1958.
    History of Rowe, Massachusetts / by Percy Whiting Brown. -- 3rd ed. -- Rowe, Mass. : Town of Rowe, 1960 (Adams, Mass. : White Eagle Print. Co)
    134 p., [15] p. of plates : ill., folded map, port.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library

  • Bulletin (Rowe Historical Society (Rowe, Mass.))
    Bulletin / Rowe Historical Society, Inc. -- [Rowe, Mass.] : The Society,
    Began in 1963.
    Description based on: Vol. 21, no. 1 (winter 1984).
    ISSN 0882-7672 = Bulletin - Rowe Historical Society (Mass.).


  • McCarthy, Helen.
    The story of Davis Mine, Rowe, Massachusetts, 1882-1911 / Helen McCarthy, compiler. -- 2nd ed. -- Rowe, MA : Rowe Historical Society , 1977.
    29 p. : ill., map.


  • McCarthy, Helen.
    The story of Myrifield Plantation, 1762-1785 / compiled by Helen McCarthy. -- [Rowe, Mass.] : Rowe Historical Society, 1975.
    32 p. : ill.
    Includes bibliographical references (p. [2]).


  • Rowe, Franklin County, Massachusetts : a bicentennial souvenir, 1785-1985. -- [Rowe, Mass. : The Town, 1985]
    34 p. : ill., maps.
    "Sponsored by the Rowe Community Church."
    Maps on inside cover.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library

Town Records

  • Rowe (Mass.). Town Clerk.
    Records of town meetings, 1785-1866. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973.
    1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of original records in Rowe, Massachusetts.
    Includes some records of men liable for militia duty.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library (LDS FHL microfilm number 0902997)

Vital Records

  • Rowe (Mass.). Town Clerk.
    Massachusetts vital records to 1850. Rowe, 1774-1848. -- Oxford, Mass. : Holbrook Research Institute, 1983.
    9 microfiches.
    ISBN 0-9312-4830-2.


  • Rowe (Mass.). Town Clerk.
    Vital records, 1774-1900. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, 1993.
    2 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of original records in Rowe, Massachusetts.
    Includes index.

    Part titles, etc.DatesLDS FHL
    microfilm numbers
    Births, marriages, marriage intentions, and deaths1774- 18480902998
    Births, marriages, and deaths1848-19001888693

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library (for LDS FHL microfilm numbers, see the table above)

General Information

The following resources may provide useful information on the Rowe town area.

Related Pages

Hosted by Rootsweb

Copyright ©2001 Franklin County MAGenWeb Project
All rights reserved