Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Warwick


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Warwick lies in the northeastern part of Franklin County and is roughly bounded by Winchester and Richmond (both towns in Cheshire County, New Hampshire) on the north, Royalston (in Worcester County) on the east, Orange on the south, Erving on the southwest, and Northfield on the west. Warwick was organized February 17, 1763 from the plantation called Roxbury Canada. On October 15, 1783, parts of Warwick, Royalston, Athol, and certain common lands called Ervingshire were organized as Orange.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Warwick as follows:
Warwick,
so named in honor of the Earl of Warwick, was incorporated Feb. 17, 1763; and was originally called "Roxbury Canada," from the fact that the territory was granted to the descendants of thirty-nine soldiers who went from Roxbury and Brookline in the expedition to Canada in 1690, all of whom, save one, perished. It was first settled in 1744; and the Rev. Lemuel Hedge, the first minister, was ordained in 1760. The old Indian name was Shaomet. This is a small town, containing a population of 769 inhabitants, and is situated in the north-eastern corner of Franklin County, 87 miles west by north from Boston. The towns of Winchester and Richmond, N.H., bound it on the north, Royalston on the east, Orange on the south-east and south, and Erving and Northfield on the south-west.

The valuation is $238,605; rate of taxation, $2.50 per $100. The rate of valuation of this town is very low, which is the cause of the rate of taxation being so high. It should be equalized. The people are engaged in agricultural pursuits and the manufacture of boots and shoes. The manufactory of Nahum Jones, in the Centre, gives employment to 40 men, and turns out 20,000 pairs of heavy boots per annum, valued at $50,000. The lumber-business is extensively carried on, there being no less than 14 saw-mills. Several of them are driven by steam-power. These mills cut up more than 4,000,000 feet of lumber annually, consisting of pine, hemlock, chestnut, and hard-wood, which finds a ready market in all parts of New England. Its is worth at the dépôts, on an average, $15 per 1,000 feet. This business gives employment to a large number of men during the winter season. There are nine smaller mills, that prepared chair-stock, shingles, broom-handles, and pail-staves, which are shipped to all parts of the State. A large amount of wood, cut from the hills and valleys, is furnished to the adjacent towns and railroad corporations.

A tannery employs 8 men, and annually produces over 50 tons of upper-leather. A large shop for the manufacture of brush-wood is located in the southern part of the town, and sends to market annually 2,500 gross of brush-wood.

There are 150 farms, embracing 21,538 acres, of which 7,275 acres are improved lands, and 2,597 acres are in woodland.

The town has three churches; and the pastors are the Rev. Thomas Weston, Unitarian; the Rev. Charles Farrar, Baptist. The Orthodox church has no settled pastor. The town has 10 district-schools, all of which are in a flourishing condition. Although the town has no public hall, it has a well-selected public library of 1,100 volumes. The Warwick House is the only hotel. The nearest railroad communication with the town is at Wendell Dépôt, six miles distant, and on the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. Warwick furnished 99 soldiers for the late war, 27 of whom were lost. The total amount of money paid out by the town for the war was $17,827.37, $2,638.21 of which was raised by private subscription. Besides this, much aid to the cause was given by the ladies of the town by their generous donations of blankets, clothing, bandages, and other articles. To commemorate the patriotism of their fallen heroes, an elegant granite shaft was erected in 1867 at a cost of $1,336, on which are inscribed the names of those who died in the service.

The Warwick Cornet Band has been in existence about twenty years.

The geological structure of Warwick is calcareous gneiss, with a small section of granite in the southern part. There are striking indications of abundant beds of iron ore; and copperas and black-lead are also found. Several years ago a considerable quantity of iron-rock ore was taken and transported to Worcester, and made into emery. Prof. Hitchcock, in his geological survey of the State, discovered an inexhaustible ledge of freestone near the centre of the town. Radiated tourmaline of singular beauty is found in large quantities on Mount Grace, specimens of which are to be seen in all mineralogists' cabinets in the county. The Hon. Jonathan Blake, in his "History of Warwick," mentions among its natural curiosities "several Indian mortars, as they are called; viz., deep and nearly round smooth holes in the solid rock, three or four feet deep; and the largest is, perhaps, two feet across. They are as smooth as if worn out by water; ... and what renders it more remarkable is the fact that they are located on the highest land (excepting the mountain-tops) between the valley of Miller's River on the south and the Ashuelot on the north, near where the water descends each way towards these rivers."

As in most of the towns in this county, the surface is hilly and uneven. Near the Centre rises one of the most beautiful elevations to be seen in the State, called "Mount Grace" from this circumstance: Mrs. Rowlandson and child were taken captive by the Indians at Lancaster when that town was sacked and burned. On the retreat of the Indians little Grace Rowlandson died after crossing Miller's River, some ten miles from Warwick. The mother carried the dead body of her infant until she reached the base of this mountain, when, compelled by fatigue, she reluctantly consigned the child to its grave. The mountain has ever since borne the name of Mount Grace. Several brooks have their sources here, and meander gracefully and clearly in various directions through the town. These brooks find their way either to the Ashuelot, Miller's, or Connecticut River, and afford abundance of clear, cool, and sparkling water. The pleasant ponds--Pomeroy's near the centre of the town, and Morse's in the south-west--lend beauty to the scenery. From the summit of Mount Grace, the scene presented to the eye of a lover of rural sights is magnificent. At almost a glance one may follow the winding, silvery sheen of the Connecticut (before and after it enters the State), and at the same time obtain panoramic views of the mountains of New Hampshire on the north, and the valleys and hamlets of the surrounding country in all directions.

The soil, generally, is not very productive. The climate is salubrious and healthy. Its inhabitants are intelligent, thrifty, and hospitable. There is no extreme poverty nor great wealth; but a general air of contentment and happiness pervades the community.

LEVI HEDGE, L.L.D. (Y. C. 1823), (1766-1844), (H. U. 1792), a successful teacher and writer; SUMNER LINCOLN FAIRFIELD (1803-1844), a poet and teacher; and AMORY DWIGHT MAYO (1823), an author and clergyman,--are among the distinguished natives of this town.

A "History of Warwick from it First Settlement to 1854, by the Hon. Jonathan Blake, brought down to the Present Time by Others," pp. 229, has recently been published by Noyes, Holmes, and Company, Boston, 1873.
(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. 523-525)

Online Genealogical Resources

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

UNDER CONSTRUCTION


Bibliography

The following bibliography lists sources that may be useful in researching the genealogy and history of families that have lived in the Warwick 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.

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General Information

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