Monday, March 29, 2010

1686 David Kunkshamooshaw - Native American Deed

After the death of the Saugus Sachem, Wenepoykin, the inhabitants of Redding thought it wise to obtain a deed to the land from the local Native Americans. David Kunkshamooshaw was an important descendent of the Sachem. In 1686, for sixteen pounds sterling, he and others put their mark on the deed to land including present day North Reading.

I started to include the entire deed, but to conserve space you may read it in its entirety by cutting and pasting the Google Books link at the end. Okay, I had trouble deciding what to cut because it is so names of people involved and areas of land included...
Notice the name Quonopohit (Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, just off route 128) Also note: A Sagamore is a Sachem, a principle leader.

" To all Christian People, to whom this present Deed of Confirmation and Alienation shall come, David Kunkshamooshaw, who, by credible intelligence, is grandson to old Sagamore George-No-Nose, so called, alias Wenepowweekin, sometime of Rumney Marsh, and sometimes at or about Chelmsford of ye colony of y Massachyets, so called,
sometimes here and sometimes there, but deceased, ye said David,
grandson to ye said old Sagamore George-No-Nose, deceased, and
Abigail Kunkshamooshaw, y 8 wife of David, and Cicely, alias Su-
George, ye reputed daughter of said old Sagamore George, and James
Quonopohit of Natick, alias Rumney Marsh, and Mary his wife, send
greeting, &c. :

" Know ye, that the said David Kunkshamooshaw, and Abigail his
wife, and Cicely, alias Su-George aforesaid, and James Quonopohit
aforesaid, with Ms wife Mary, who are the nearest of kin and legal successors of ye aforesaid George-No-Nose, alias Wenepowweekin, whom wee affirme was the true and sole owner of y e land, that the towns of Lynn and Reading (aforesaid) stand upon, and notwithstanding y" possession of ye English dwelling in those townships of Lynn and Reading, aforesaid, wee, ye said David Kunkshamooshaw, Cicely, alias Su-George, James Quonopohit, the rest aforesaid Indians, doe lay claim to the lands that these two towns aforesaid, Lynn and Reading, stand upon, and the dwellers thereof possess, that y* right and title thereto is ours, and belong to us and ours ; but, howsoever, the townships of Lyn and Reading, having been long possessed by the English, and although wee make our clayme, and ye Selectmen and Trustees of both towns aforesaid, pleading title by graunts of Courts and purchase of old of our predecessor, George Sagamore, and such like matters, &c., wee the Claymers aforesaid, viz. : David Kunkshamooshaw and Abigail, his squaw, Cicely, alias Su-George, the reputed daughter of old Sagamore George, alias Wenepowweekin, and James Quonopohit and Mary his wife, all and every of us, as aforesaid, and jointly together, for and in consideration of y e summe of sixteen pounds of current sterling money ' of silver, in hand paid to y e Indians clayming, viz. : David Kunkshamooshaw &c. at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, by Mr. Ralph King, William Bassett, Senr., Matthew Farrington, Senr., John Burrill, Senr., Robert Potter, Senr., Samuel Johnson, and Oliver Piirchas, Selectmen in Lynn, in'y e County of Essex in New England, trustees and Prudentials for and in behalf of ye purchasers and now proprietors of ye townships of Lynn and Reading, well and truly payd, the receipt whereof, wee, viz. : David Kunkshamooshaw, Abigail his wife, Cicely, alias Su-George, ye reputed daughter of old Sagamore George, and James, alias Rumney Marsh, and Mary his wife, doe hereby acknowledge themselves to be fully satisfied and contented, and thereof and every part thereof, doe hereby acquit, exhonerate and discharge ye said Mr. Ralph King, Wm. Bassett, Senr., with all and every of ye Selectmen aforesaid, trustees and prudentials, together with the purchasers and now proprietors of ye said townships of Lyn and of Reading, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, forever, by these presents have granted, bargained a full and a firme confirmation and ratification of all grants of Courts, and any former alienation made by our predecessor or predecessors, and our own right, title and interest, clayme and demand whatsoever, and by these presents doe fully, freely, clearly and absolutely give and grant a full and firme confirmation of all grants of Courts, and any sort of alienation made by our predecessor or predecessors, as also all our owne clayme of right, title, interest and demand, unto them ye said Mr. Ralph King, Wm. Bassett and the rest, Selectmen aforenamed, trustees and prudentials for y e town of Lyn, y e worshipful Mr. John Browne, Capt. Jeremiah Sweyn and Lt. Wm. Harsey, trustees and prudentials for ye towne of Reading, to their heirs and assigns forever, to and for ye sole use, benefit and behoof of ye purchasers and now proprietors of ye townships of Lynn and Reading aforesaid, and all ye said townships of Lynn and Reading, joyning one to another, even from the sea, where the line beginneth, between Lynn and Marblehead and so between Lynn and Salem, as it is stated by those towns and marked, and so to Ipswich river, and so from thence, as it is stated betwixt Salem and Reading, and as the line is stated and runne betwixt Will's Hill, and as is stated and runne betwixt Reading and Andover, and as it is stated betwixt Oburne and Reading, and as it is stated and runne betwixt Charlestowne, Malden, Lynn and Reading, and upon the sea, from ye line that beginneth at Lynn and Marblehead and Salem, to divide the townes aforesaid, so as well from thence to ye two Nahants, viz. : ye little Nahant and ye great Nahant, as ye sea compasseth it almost round, and so to the river called Lynn river, or Rumney Marsh river or Creek, unto the line from Bride's Brook to the said Creek, answering ye line, that is stated between Lynn and Boston, from said Bride's Brook up to Reading. This said Tract of land, described as aforesaid, together with all houses, edifices, buildings, lands, yards, orchards, gardens, meadows, marrishes, feedings, grounds, rocks, stones, beach Flats, pastures, commons, and commons of pasture, woods, underwoods, swamps, waters, watercourses, damms, ponds, fishings, flowings, ways, easements, profits, privileges, rights, commodities, royalling, hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever, to y e said townships of Lynn and Reading, and other the premises belonging or in anywise appertaining, or by them now used, occupied and enjoyed as part, parcel or member thereof; and also all rentes, arrearages of rentes, quitrents, rights and appurtenances whatsoever, nothing excepted or reserved ; and also all deeds, writings and evidences whatsoever, touching y e premises, or any part or parcel thereof...
(to read more of the deed follow the link at the end)

In witness whereof, ye said David Kunkshamooshaw, and Abigail his
wife, and Cicely, alias Su-George, and James Quonopohit and Mary his
wife, have hereunto set their hands and seals, y e day of y e date being ye fourth day of September, one thousand six hundred eighty and six,
annoque regni regis Jacobus Secundi Anglice.



CICELY "her mark" alias SU-GEORGE.



All the persons hereunto subscribed, acknowledged the within written
to be their act and deed, May 31, 1687.
(as certifies) BARTHO. GEDNEY, one of ye Council.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1717-1720 Calling Reverend Daniel Putnam

In 1717 a committee consisting of Jonathan Parker, Thomas Hutchinson, and Jacob Taylor was appointed to negotiate with Mr. Daniel Putnam as a potential minister. Daniel Putnam was a native son of Salem Village (Danvers), born November 12, 1696 to Benjamin and Hannah (Putnam?) Putnam. Daniel was the nephew of Sergeant George Flint. He graduated Harvard College in 1717 and was ordained on June 29, 1720. He married Rebecca (Putnam) Putnam February 25, 1718 in Salem Village, MA.

The settlement consisted of twenty acres of land, four of which the Parish would break, and a house twenty-eight by nineteen feet, with a fifteen foot stud, if Mr. Putnam would furnish the nails and the glass for the building. The annual salary was fifteen cords of wood and sixty six pounds, to be paid in hard money.

At the time of his ordination there were thirty nine members of the now formalized church and fifty three tax payers in the North Precinct.

Editor’s note: Pastor Daniel and I share common "grandparents": Richard Hutchinson and Alice (Bosworth) Hutchinson of Salem Village.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1713-2013 Tercentenary!

2013 brings the tercentenary celebration for the establishment of North Parish.

1713 North Parish Established

Also known as Second Parish or North Precinct.

Actual settlement progressed slowly and none of the original recipients of the land ever went north of the Ipswich River to live. It is not certain who was the first to settle this area, although tradition suggests that Sergeant George Flint had a sturdy house there about 1677. By 1685 there were nine known families living in the wilderness of North Reading.

The people in this isolated area faced great hardship to attend church. They had to cross the Ipswich River and Bear Meadow Swamp and had little more than a bridle path to travel. They had to make their way over five miles to the mother church in what is now Wakefield. Because the church was so far and the hardships were so great, they inspired a town vote in 1696 that “as soon as there was a suitable and competent number of inhabitants (north of the Ipswich River) they might call, settle, and maintain a godly, learned and orthodox minister of their own”.

In 1711 there were less than fifty families living in this northern section, making it difficult to maintain and support its own minister. In that year a petition to make the area a distinct parish was denied. However, on October 14, 1713 the petition was granted and it was voted to set off the territory north of the Ipswich River, together with Saddler’s Neck as a distinct parish, known as the Second, or North Parish. It was on the 27th of November, 1713 that the first parish meeting was assembled and Sergeant George Flint elected Moderator. It was also voted that they raise thirty-five pounds for the support of a minister. Not enough, however, to entice a permanent prospective minister. They also began construction on a rudimentary first meeting house on land given by John Eaton and George Flint. The Parish hired part time preachers and offered land and other enticements to prospective permanent ministers.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In the beginning, the world was without form and void... Okay, maybe we won't go back that far.

The North Parish arose from land that was added as part of Reading. Redding began to be settled in 1639 when inhabitants from Lynn petitioned the General Court for an upland plantation.

The Court granted “four miles square at the head of their bounds, or so much thereof as the place will afford, upon condition that the petitioners shall, within two years, make some good proceeding in planting, so at it may be a village, fit to contain a convenient number of inhabitants, which may in due time have a church there; and so as such as shall remove to inhabit there, shall not withal keep their accommodations in Lynn, after their removal to the said village, upon pain to forfeit their interest in one of them, at their election”.

In 1644, Lynn Village, the name first given to the territory, had a sufficient number of houses and families and the General Court ordered that it should take the name of Redding.

The four mile square grant was substantially the same territory as the present towns of Reading and Wakefield. The land of present town of North Reading was added by a subsequent grant made in 1651. This land arose from special grants to men who had significantly aided the establishment of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

This included a grant of eight hundred acres, east of what is now Haverhill Street, awarded to Lord Brooks, a grant of five hundred acres of upland and meadow, extending from the Willis Brook to what is now the BB Chemical Co. in Middleton to Mr. Thomas Willis, and a grant of two hundred acres, all north of what was called (Bare) Bear Meadow and south of the Ipswich River to Mr. Richard Saddler.

A statement of the grant of this additional territory to Reading appears in the town records for October 1651. “The court doth grant to the inhabitants of Reading, an addition to its former bounds, a certain tract of land, about two miles content, lying between Mr. Bellingham’s farm (in Andover) and the great (Ipswich) river, and so to join their former four-mile grant, so as it has not already been granted to any town or person, nor prejudicing any former grant.”


Welcome to THE place for the history of North Reading, Massachusetts. I will be posting background, stories, tidbits and all things historical as they relate to this area.

The North Reading Historical Commission has been in existence since 1972. At that time Town Meeting voted to establish the commission under Chapter 40 of the Mass. General Laws.
This board is appointed by the Board of Selectmen. It is a branch of the town government with the responsibility to identify, preserve and protect the historical resources of the town.

Barbara Jagla, Secretary
North Reading Historical Commission