Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Chichester (N.H.) Congregational Church Records, 1792-1903

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, January 2012

Summary Information
Title: Chichester (N.H.) Congregational Church records
Creator: Congregational Church (Chichester, N.H.)
Inclusive dates: 1792-1903
Extent: 4 volumes
Abstract:
This collection contains meeting minutes for several religious societies associated with the Congregational Church of Chichester, New Hampshire, between 1792 and 1903. The volumes include "Records of the Congregational Church in Chichester," "Records of Union Congregational Society in Chichester," "Records of the Sunday school and Bible class Society," and the constitution and meeting minutes of the Chichester Congregational Sabbath School Society. The minutes relate the societies' administrative affairs and reflect the contemporary religious life of the town.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1999. M-4038.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Chichester (N.H.) Congregational Church records, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The volumes are arranged chronologically.


History

Chichester, New Hampshire, received its first land grant from King George I on May 20, 1727, but an initial town meeting was not held until 1773. In 1791, Congregationalist minister Josiah Carpenter arrived from Vermont, and a Congregational Church was established on March 21, 1792. Carpenter served as the church's first minister, and remained in Chichester until 1826, when he severed his contract with the town, which had paid his salary out of public tax revenue. Following his departure, several prominent members of the town formed the Union Congregational Society of Chichester, which oversaw the administrative affairs of the local Congregational Church. This church, called the Church of Christ, adopted a new set of formal guidelines on October 5, 1832. Its pastors included Rufus A. Putman (1832-1843), Charles Willey (1845-1850), Silas Blanchard (1853-1858), Joshua Gay (1858-[1863]), Mark Gould (1865-1872), George A. Foss (1873-1877), John F. Aiken (1879-1880), and H. W. L. Thurston (1882-1884). Chichester residents also formed a Sunday School and Bible Class Society in 1833 and the Chichester Congregational Sabbath School Society in 1882.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains meeting minutes for several religious societies associated with the Congregational Church of Chichester, New Hampshire, between 1792 and 1903. Volume 1 contains "Records of the Congregational Church in Chichester," compiled between March 21, 1792, and December 25, 1840. These contain meeting minutes, about the church's admission requirements, deacons, procedures for discipline, and administrative affairs. The volume also holds "Articles of Faith, Form of Covenant, Principles of Discipline, and Rules of Practice; also Standing Rules & Regulations, adopted by The Church of Christ in Chichester (N.H.) October 5, 1832," signed by members of the church on January 1, 1833. It also includes a running list of members admitted to the church, maintained until September 1, 1839.

Volume 2, entitled "Records of Union Congregational Society in Chichester," covers the group's meeting minutes, kept between its founding meeting, held between December 1826 and January 1827, and a meeting held on October 13, 1888. The notes originate from both annual and special meetings. The volume also records the names of those who resigned their membership. The society's constitution occupies seven pages of the volume.

Volume 3 contains "Records of the Sunday School and Bible Class Society," covering the period between November 4, 1833, and April 26, 1846. These reflect the appointments of officers and teachers, and frequently include reports from the society's librarian and treasurer, as well as from various committees.

In Volume 4 are the "Constitution of the Chichester Congregational Sabbath School Society" (adopted January 16, 1882), and meeting minutes kept regularly until December 28, 1903. The society, formed to promote Bible study, held annual meetings and also wrote brief memorials for deceased members. Minutes reflect administrative affairs, such as the appointment of officers and the group's activities, the adoption of different curricula, and the organization's total receipts and expenditures for each year.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Chichester (N.H. : Town)--Religious life and customs.
    • Church management.
    • Church meetings.
    • Church membership.
    • Church records and registers--New Hampshire.
    • Congregational churches--New Hampshire--History--19th century.
    • Sunday schools--New Hampshire.
    Contributors:
    • Chichester Congregational Sabbath School Society (Chichester, N.H.)
    • Sunday School and Bible Class Society (Chichester, N.H.)
    • Union Congregational Society (Chichester, N.H.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Minute books.
    • Minutes.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Chichester (N.H.) Congregational Church records [series]:
    Volume   1  
    Records of the Congregational Church in Chichester,  1792-1840
    Volume   2  
    Records of Union Congregational Society in Chichester,  1826-1888
    Volume   3  
    Records of the Sunday School and Bible Class Society,  1833-1846
    Volume   4  
    Constitution [and Minutes] of the Chichester Congregational Sabbath School Society,  1882-1903
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    Hurd, Duane Hamilton. History of Merrimack And Belknap Counties, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & co., 1885.