There is no history for this town, yet.

There is no population data for this town.

At their annual town meeting in March 1912, the residents of Pepperell voted that money be appropriated for copying the birth, marriage, and death records of the town through 1849, and that they be prepared and printed as provided by Section 1, Chapter 470 of the Acts of 1902. In checking through the town records, I found that this was never caried out. Frank R. Tule, Jr., who was town clerk in 1970, suggested that I take on the task since I was already doing genealogical research after my retirement. That was the beginning of this project.

After getting me started, Frank, wo was an old schoolmate of mine, unfortuneately died that same year. Mary Tolman was then appointed town clerk until Ann Sullivan was elected in 1973. In presenting this book of vital records, I wish to express my gratitude not only to these three town clerks who personally helped me, but also to the many long-deceased clerks who kept the records of the Groton West Parish, the district of Pepperell, and the town of Pepperell from 1742 to 1850. All of them have helped preserve a part of the past for future generations.

Naturally there were still problems in a project such as this. One of the most troublesome was deciphering faint or illegible handwriting. Another was the change from the old style dates to the new style. When the British adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Julian calendar in 172, they eliminated eleven days in September and moved New Year's day from March 25 to January 1. Thus the year 1753 was the first calendar year as we know it now. I have made no attempt to change the old-style dates to the new style, and thus some apparent discrepancies may occur.

Despite these difficulties, I had completed copying the cemetery gravestone records, church marriages, baptisms, and deaths by 1975. At that time, I hoped that these records could be distributed to all public libraries in Massachusetts, but funding was not available. Thus it was with great enthusiasm that I greeted the offer by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1983 to publish these vital statistics. I am sure that the residents of Pepperell join me in thanking the Society for helping carry out the town's resolutin of more than seventy years ago.

It has been my intention to make no errors, and I hope few are found.

George A. Rice.

A general guide to how to use these pages.

If you are new to this site, or haven't used the site a lot, please be sure to read the rest of this page. Even if you have used this site a lot, a refresher may be helpful due to the changes that have been introduced.

You can research the records alphabetically or chronologically within surname. Images of the pages from which the transcriptions were done, and the title pages, are available for most towns. A list of abbreviations used is available.

Alphabetic - This is the most common way that the published vital records were presented. All of the same given names were arranged chronologically with names that had middle initials or middle names following the others. Nicknames would appear alphabeticall according to the spelling, i.e. Nabby, the nickname for Abigail, would be with the names beginning with the letter "N."

In this version, the names are sorted based on the most common spelling. Abbie, Abby, Abigail, Knabby, Nabby, etc., will all appear together and will be chronological. Middle initials and middle names have no influence on the order.

Note: There are going to be errors in the indexing of the names. A woman named Abiel may have been recorded as Abby. The indexing will have her with the Abigails. Please notify me with the Contact page about errors and they will be fixed within a couple days.

Chronologic - The chronologic sort will be most helpful with surnames having lots of entries, especially births. Records that had a missing date, or part, have had the missing portions replaced with zeros and will appear ahead of the others.

Page images - The icon at the left of each record is a link to the image of the page from which the transcription was done. The transcriptions are a tool. The image is the source. It is your responsibility to copy the image for your documentation. Also, the title page should be copied. There is a link to the title page in the navigation bar on transcription pages and image display pages.

Abbreviations - Each town had its own abbreviations used in the published records. Most of these are the same. The abbreviations for the headstones (GR), private records (PR), churches (CR), etc. are all different. There is a link to a list of all abbreviations used for the town in the navigation bar of the transcription pages.

Errors - There are two types of errors.

  • Errors in the published records - It is known that errors are in the published records. Not many, to be sure, but they are there. Where I have found them, or have been informed and provided sufficient documentation, the records have been annotated. This appears in red at the end of the line.]
  • Transcription errors - Even with the best of proofing, errors occur. If you find one, use the Contact link at the top of the page and tell me about the error. I need to have the town name, type of record, page number, what the error is and what it should be. It facilitates matters if you copy and paste the record in error into the e-mail.

Miscellaneous - As the opportunity has provided, I have tried to research names that had only initials or an initial and a surname to find the full names. Where I've been successful I've added the name in red, i.e. J.R. appears as J[ohn] R. or J[ohn] R[ussel].

The alphabetic and chronologic sort orders and many planned improvements require that towns be transcribed. If you can spare two, or more, hours per week to help with the transcribing, write me.

With the exception of the few people helping with transcribing and indexing, I am the only person working on this project. I do all of the technical work. I correct errors. I put transcriptions into final format. I design the pages. This takes a tremendous amount of time and money. If you find this site useful, please donate what you think it is worth to you by going to the donations page.