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Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Wendell

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Wendell lies in the eastern part of Franklin County and is roughly bounded by Erving on the north, Orange and New Salem on the east, Shutesbury on the south, Leverett on the southwest, and Montague on the west. Wendell was organized May 8, 1781 from part of Shutesbury and part of the common lands called Ervingshire. On February 28, 1803, part of Montague and a gore of common lands lying between Wendell and Montague were annexed to Wendell.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Wendell as follows:
is a pleasant town of 539 inhabitants, occupying an easterly section of Franklin County, and bounded on the north by Erving (from which it is divided by Miller's River), on the east by Orange and New Salem, on the south by Shutesbury, and on the west by Montague. The surface is uneven, and rises at the north into a commanding eminence called "Bear Mountain," 1,281 feet above sea-level. The view from the summit of this elevation of the valley of Miller's River, here a beautiful stream, which winds around its northern base, is very fine. The centre of the town is the water-shed, from which some streams flow northerly, as Wickett Brook and Whetstone Brook, into Miller's River; and some southerly, as Swift River and Saw-mill River, into the Chicopee and Connecticut Rivers. These streams furnish an abundant water-power, and beautify the scenery.

The people are engaged in cultivating the soil, which is deep and strong; or in preparing charcoal, wood, and lumber for the market. The rock-maple flourishes here, and the manufacture of sugar receives some attention. The cultivation of fruit-trees has been too much neglected. The number of farms is 145; of acres of woodland, 2,485. The town has 13 saw-mills, several grist-mills, two postal centres (Wendell and Wendell Dépôt), five school-districts, a good public hall, a Congregational church (of which the Rev. B. B. Cutler is pastor), and a Baptist church without a pastor. The valuation is $195,465; the tax-rate, $2.60 per $100. The number of dwelling-houses is 137; and of voters, 149.

Wendell was taken from Shutesbury and Ervingshire; named from Oliver Wendell, Esq., of Boston; and incorporated May 8, 1781. The first church was organized Nov. 29, 1774, and the Rev. Joseph Kilburn ordained as pastor in 1783. He was succeeded by the Rev. Hervey Wilbur.

John Metcalf had a printing-press here, in which, among other works, an edition of Baxter's "Call" was struck off in 1814, pp. 116 12mo.

Mrs. ANNE T. (WILBUR) WOOD, author of "Romance of a Mummy" and other works, was born here in 1817.

Wendell is 90 miles distant from Boston; and the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad passes through it northern section. L. G. Gould is the present town-clerk.
(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. 532-533)

Online Genealogical Resources

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



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

  • Centennial celebration of the Congregational Church, Wendell, Mass. : Wednesday, December 2, 1874 / address of welcome by B.B. Cutler ; historical discourse embracing reminiscences of the civil and ecclesiastical history of the town by W.H. Beaman ; poem by V.W. Leach. -- Amherst, Mass. : H.M. McCloud, book and job printer, 1875.
    42 p.
    Cover title: Centennial celebration at Wendell, Mass., December 2, 1874.



  • The Dana, North Dana, Erving, Millers Falls, Greenwich, New Salem, Prescott, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Templeton, Warwick and Wendell directory, 1906-07 : containing a general directory of the citizens, manufacturing, business and professions and other valuable information in regard to the town. -- Boston : W.E. Shaw, 1906.
    103 p.



  • The 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Wendell, Mass., and dedication of memorial to those from Wendell who served in the World War. -- [S.l. : s.n., 1931]
    [7] p. : ill.
    "August 12, 1931."



  • Erving & Wendell. -- Scale ca. 1:49,500. -- [S.l. : s.n., 185-]
    1 map ; 36 x 28 cm.
    Relief shown by hachures.
    Shows residences or landowners.
    Includes business directories of Erving and Wendell.


Tax Records

  • Wendell (Mass.). Town Assessors.
    Tax records, 1843-1844. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972.
    on 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of original records in Wendell, Massachusetts.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library (LDS FHL microfilm number 0886753 item 1)

Town Records

  • Wendell (Mass.). Town Clerk.
    Town records, 1781-1864. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972.
    on 2 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of original records in Wendell, Massachusetts.

    Part titles, etc.DatesLDS FHL
    microfilm numbers
    Town meeting records, v. 11781-ca. 18360886752 item 1
    Town meeting records, v. 21825-18440886752 item 3
    Town meeting records, v. 31844-18640886753 item 2

  • Wendell (Mass.). Town Selectmen.
    Book belonging to the selectmen of Wendell, 1793-1883. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972.
    on 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of original records in Wendell, Massachusetts.
    Contains orders issued to the treasurer, record of paupers, highway limits, and licenses given.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library (LDS FHL microfilm number 0886752 item 2)

Vital Records

  • Record of deaths in Wendell, 1816-1839, and a fragment of the Wendell church records, 1825-1837. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974.
    on 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of manuscript at the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts.
    Church records are arranged alphabetically.
    Includes partial index.

    Holdings: LDS Family History Library (LDS FHL microfilm number 0954370 item 7)

  • Wendell (Mass.). Town Clerk.
    Massachusetts vital records to 1850 ff [sic]. Wendell, 1763-1893. -- Oxford, Mass. : Holbrook Research Institute, 1983.
    9 microfiches.
    ISBN 0-9312-4849-3.


  • Wendell (Mass.). Town Clerk.
    Vital records, 1760-1900. -- Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972, 1993. 2 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
    Microfilm of original records in Wendell, Massachusetts.
    Includes index.

    Part titles, etc.DatesLDS FHL
    microfilm numbers
    Births, deaths, marriages, and marriage intentions1760-ca. 18900770463
    Births, marriages, deaths1891-19001887385

General Information

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

Related Pages

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