Cohasset, Massachusetts

Norfolk County, Massachusetts


This page was last updated on February 1, 2008

Cohasset Books

Below is a list of Books dealing with the Genealogies and History of the Town of Cohasset

The Genealogies of The Families of Cohasset, Massachusetts, George Lyman Davenport and Elizabeth Osgood Davenport, A reprinting of the 1909 edition with a new foreword by David H. Wadsworth, (New England History Press, Somersworth, NH, 1984), cloth, pp. 631.

This book may be ordered from Picton Press of Camden, Maine.

Picton Press - High Quality Genealogical Publications

A Narrative History of the Town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Reverend E. Victor Bigelow, Pastor of the 2nd Congregational Church, (Published under the Auspices of The Committee on Town History), 1898, Reprinted in 1970, 1981, Halliday Lithograph Corporation, West Hanover, MA, cloth, pp. 561.

A Narrative History of the Town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Volume II, by Burtram J. Pratt, (Published under the Auspices of The Committee on Town History), 1956, Printed by The University Press of Cambridge, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, cloth, pp. 338.

Vital Records of Cohasset, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, compiled by Thomas W. Baldwin, A.B., S.B., (Wright & Potter Printing Company, Boston, MA), 1916, cloth, pp. 237.

More to follow....

Cohasset Cemeteries

Below is a list of Cemeteries located in the Town of Cohasset.

Beechwood Cemetery

Beechwood Street
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 388-9900

Cedar Street Cemetery

off Jerusalem Road (amongst the Cohasset Golf Club)
Cohasset, Massachusetts

Central Cemetery

North Main Street
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 383-0067

Green Gate Cemetery

Jerusalem Road
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 388-9900

Woodside Cemetery

North Main Street
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 388-9900

Brief History of Cohasset

From the Beginning.....

In a few places have there been the unbroken continuity of history and heritage that marks Cohasset from the earliest days of discovery by the pioneers from the Old World. Here is a pocket of America that typifies in finest focus the courage and the industry that founded and fostered the greatness of the United States.

Captain John Smith, "President of Virginia and Admiral of New England," having explored the coast from Virginia to Eastern Maine, called the country of Massachusetts "the paradise of all these parts." He was the first white man to ease his shallop into the harbor of Cohasset from his ship standing off Minot's Ledge. This was in 1614.

Here he encountered the Indians - (part of the extensive Algonquin nation) - settled in a village called "Sogoguas" (Hard Rock Place) which extended all around the back of Bourne's Rock to the Common.

The Indians called the whole area of our borders "Quonahasset" the long rocky place.

But Captain John Smith thought the name to be "barbarous." So he urged Prince Charles of England to endow the area with a more fitting name. The response was to dub the area "London." Thus, for a time, Quonahasset bore the name of the mightiest city of the British Empire and was so designated on the map devised by John Smith. Yet later, according to the map drawn by John Winthrop in 1639, the name Conahasset appears.

Then came the settlers.

The earliest individual ownership of land was the meadow, some fifteen acres, at the foot of Turkey Hill.

But before a general division of land could take place, it was necessary to establish a border of Cohasset to the south, since difficulties with our neighbors had developed over the "taking of hay." Four commissioners were appointed and in 1640, a boundary line was designed by citizens. This was the first boundary in America to have been established by mutual agreement with no "government" edict. The line was drawn midway along Bound Brook "which runneth into Conahasset salt marshes" straight through to Accord Pond to the west.

This boundary settlement of 1640 "merits a large place in our local history and even in our national history. It marked the first step of federation that culminated in the Colonial Congress and blossomed into the United States."

Early industry was evident as the newcomers on the fringes of the coast, with their cattle and hogs and sheep and goats, hewed and grubbed their way further and further into the forest. Logging and lumbering activities boomed. Fishing, too, became important. Thomas Loring, Clement Bates, Nicholas Jacob and Joseph Andrews acquired the herring monopoly of the Weir River in 1637. Carpenters, weavers and shoemakers were busy supplying the nearly three hundred people gathered here by 1640.

Soon land for timber, salt hay and homestead use was divided into lots for private ownership through a rather complicated system which involved "shares" determined, among other criteria, by size of family, amount of livestock and degree of current affluence. Each share entitled an owner to a strip of land twelve and one half feet wide by one mile deep; for all strips had to be that deep. Thus each share provided the equivalent of a little less than one third of an acre. Some of the smaller shareholders combined their shares. The number of shares allocated increased the width but not the depth of the property. Thus ten shares entitled an owner to a lot 125' wide by 5,280' deep. Stone walls still indicate this earliest "zoning."

Homes began to proliferate. Whole lengths of logs were laboriously sawed into planks; shingles were split from short lengths of cedar or white pine and shaved by draw knife to a thin edge at one end. Joists and rafters and posts and plates were hewed from small trees and trimmed to square form. Nails were hammered out by sturdy smiths. Crude bricks were made of mud and sand cemented together by a mortar made of mud. Hospitality and comfort were judged by the size of the colossal chimneys and fireplaces where, of course, all cooking was done with wrought iron pots and "tools." Land, buildings, livestock, tools, clothing, cooking utensils and furniture could range from a total valuation in pounds sterling of from $425 to more than $1,000.

The earliest house was that of Clement Bates, built on King Street in 1685. Also in 1685 the great, great, great grandfather of President Abraham Lincoln settled in Cohasset where he built his iron works, a saw mill and a grist mill - each using for each the sparse waters of Bound Brook with true "Yankee ingenuity" for two days a week - as separately impounded water spilled over each successive dam. His mansion house still stands and is still occupied.

In the meantime, perhaps to assuage conscience, Indians were "paid off" for the land under a formal but less than definitive agreement signed by the marks of the illiterate savages. The whole costs of the township paid to the Indians was less than the value of twelve acres of land. But perhaps, even at that "price", they would have preferred to transfer the land with a grunt of satisfaction for a few whiffs of tobacco.

It would be fascinating to continue to sketch the development of our town through the eighteenth century, but space does not permit. Instead you are urged to read, The Narrative History of Cohasset by E. Victor Bigelow.

No mention is made here, for example of the part that Cohasset played in the Revolutionary War - except for the following few facts: three of our boys were active participants in the Boston Tea Party in 1773; James Stoddard (17), Abraham Tower (20) and Jared Joy (24). They walked from Cohasset to an from the "party." Others helped to withstand the British assaults on Bunker Hill. Benjamin Lincoln became a famous general under Washington and received a sword of General Cornwallis at Yorktown on the surrender of England to the Colonies.

But, of course, the year 1770 was the most auspicious for Cohasset. For it was in this year, after twenty years of deliberation, that this former precinct, sometimes called "Little Hingham," was granted separation from Hingham by the General Court of Massachusetts.

Thus Cohasset became a corporate town of America - six years before even the venerable city of Philadelphia.

Now, in Anno Domini Nineteen Hundred and Seventy, we observe with Pride the 200th Birthday of our Town!

The preceding article was taken from Cohasset U.S.A. 200 Years, pp. 11-12 found in the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

Cohasset Historical Society & Library

Cohasset Historical Commission
179 South Main Street
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 383-0234
Noel A. Ripley, Chairman

Cohasset Historical Society
Paul Pratt Memorial Library building
P.O. Box 627 (Mailing)
106 South Main Street
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 383-1434
David Hight Wadsworth, Historian
Publication: Historical Highlights Newsletter
"Joel Willcutt's Diary" (covering 1791-1843) is in the collection of the Cohasset Historical Society

Cohasset Surnames

Following is a list of Surnames that have long been associated with the Town of Cohasset. These names were taken from, The Genealogies of the Families of Cohasset, Massachusetts, written by George Lyman and Elizabeth Osgood Davenport.

Note: Families whose names are preceded by an " * " have at least three generations of family by that name and those preceded by " ** " are very large families covering many generations! Others may only contain one or two generations.

Also, keep in mind that many of these same families are strongly associated with Hingham, Norfolk, MA because Cohasset was once part of Hingham!


If you have a lot of families associated with the Town of Cohasset and you have your own web site, please contact the Host (at the bottom of this page) and we can creat a link to your Home Page.

Adams; Agevado; Ahearn; Ainslie / Ainsley; Alamas; Albro; Alden; Aldrich; Alexander; Allen; Almeida; Alonquist; Amsden; Anderson; Andrews; Angles; Anthony; Antoine; Appleton; Apts; Archer; Arkerson; Arnold; Aspro; Atkinson; Atwood; Avery

Babbitt; Babcock; Babson; Bachelor; Bacon; Bagwell; Bailey / Bayley; Bakeman; Baker; Balch; Ball; Bandura; Barker; Barnard; Barnes; Barrell; Barrett; Barron; Barry; Bartlett; Bartow; Bass; Batchelder; Bateman; **Bates / **Bate / **Beat; Battles; Baxter; *Beal; Bean; Bell; Bennett; Berch; Bergan; Berson; Bethel; Bezanson; Bichet; Bigelow; Bishop; Blackman; Blake; Blaney; Bliss; Blossom; Boardman; Bogdanoff; Bogues; Bolles; Bosworth; Boteilyo; Botting; *Bourne; Bouv'e; Bowditch; Bowser; Boyington; Boyson; Bradford; Bradish; Braman; Brannen; Bray; Brazil; Bremer; Brennan; Brennock; Bretschneider; Brewer; Brewster; Brickett; Bridgham; *Briggs; Brocerick; Brooks; Brough; *Brown / Browne; Bruce; Brummell; Brunton; Bryant; Buffum; Bulfinch; Bullock; *Burbank; Burdick; Burgess; Burke; Burleigh; Burnham; Burr; Burrell; Burtenshaw; Burwell; Bushnell; Bushnell; Bustiano; Butman; Butomer

Cables; Cabot; Caddon; Cadoza / Cadose; Cann; Carlson; Carr; Carter; Caton / Katon; Chaddock; Chamberlain; Champney; Chapin; Cheever; Chester; Child; Chisholm; Clapp; Clara; Clarke; Cleary; Clough; Cobb; Coburn; Coffie; Coffin; Cogill; Coit; Colbrith; Cole; Coleman; Coles; *Collier; Collins; Compton; Connell; Connelly; Connor; Cook; Coolidge; Coop / Koop; Cooper; Copeland; Corbett; Corcoran; Corlew; Cornell; Corthell; Coughlan; Couillard; Cousens; Cowen; Cox; Coyne / Coin; Craig; Crandon; Crane; Crawford; *Creed; Crehore; Crocker; Crockett; Cronican; Cronin; Crosby; Crouse; Crowell; Cudworth; Cumba; Cundy; Cunningham; Curran; Currie; Currier; Curtis; *Cushing; Cutler; Cutting; Cutts

Dady; Daley; Dalton; *Damon; Da Rosa; Da Roya; Davenport; Davis; Davson; Day; Dean; Deane; Decost; Dee; Deegan; Deery; De Faria; De Ford; Dehue; Delano; De Mello / Mello; Denithorne; Dennison; Derurgh; Desmond; Dewson; Diaz; Dinsmore; Dion; *Doane; Dolan; Dolbier; Donnelly; Donovan; Dooley; Doris; Doubleday; Douglas; Dow; Dowis; Downs / Downes; Dowse; Doyle; Drake; Drew; Driscoll; Duffy; Duggan; Dunbar; Dunster; Durant; Dutry / Dutra; Duval; Dyer; Dyment

Eager; Earle; Eaton; Eddy; Edelstein; Edwards; Egan; Egree / Aegree; Eldredge; Ellerton; Ellms; Eltman; Ely; Emerson; Ennice / Ennis; *Enos; Esabel; Estes; Evans; Everett

Fagundes; Fahey; Fairbairn; Falcon; Fallon; Farrall; *Farrar / *Farrow; Farrier; Farrington; Farwell; Faulkner; Faxon; Fenno; Ferguson; Ferreira; Feveria; Field; Figueiredo; Finnin; Fish; Fisher; Fitch; Fitts; Flavin; Fleming; *Flint; Flynn; Foley; Folles; Forbush; Ford; Foss; Foster; Foulser; Fowle; Fox; Foye; Francis; Franklin; *Frates / *Fratez; Frauzhe; Freeman; French; Frost; Frye; Fuller; Fullerton; Furber

Gale; Gammons; Fannett; Gardner; Gately; Gay; Gaylord; George; Gibson; Gilbert; Gillespie; Gillis; Gleason; Golden; Goldstein; Gomez; Gonsalves; Goodhal; Goodwin; Gorman; Goss; Gott; Gough; Gould; Gove; Grace; Grant; *Grassie / *Gracia / *Garcia; Grieve; Griffin; Griggs; Groce; Gross; Guthrie

Hackett; Haley / Healey; *Hall; Hamilton; Hammond; Hancock; Hanlon; Hannafin; Hanscome; Hanson; Hard; Harding; *Hardwick; Hare; Harlow; Harrington; Harris; Harvey; Haskell; Hatch; Haven; *Hayden; Hayes; Hayward; Heath; Hefferan; Henderson; Henry; Herbert; Herrington; Hersey; Hesselburgh; *Higgins; Hill; Hinckley; Hincks; Hobart; Hobbs; Holbrook; Holden; Holland; Hollingsworth; Hollis; Holmes; Homer; Horgan; Howard / Hayward; Howe; Howland; Hubert; **Hudson; Hughes; Humble; *Humphrey; Hunt; Hunter; Huntoon; Hurlburt; Hutchinson; Hyde; Hyland / Hiland

Ingerson; Iotte

Jackson; Jacobs / Jacob; Jacome; Jamello; **James; Januschowsky; Jason / Jacint; Jefts; Jenkins; Jepson / Gipson; Jewett; Johnson; Jones; Joseph; **Joy

Kavanaugh; Keating; Keene; Keith; Kelly; Kelsey; Kenneally; Kennedy; Kenny; **Kent; *Kilburn; Kilby; Kilgove; Kimball; King; Kingman; Kingsbury; Kinsley; Kittrell; Klamer; Knapp; Kneeland; Knight; Knowles; Knox

Lakin; *Lambert; Landry; *Lane; Langelli; Lapham; Larry; Lary; **Lawrence; Leavitt; Le Barron; Lee; Leeds; Leonard; Levange; Lewis; Lilly; **Lincoln; **Litchfield; Locke; Loehr; Loney; Lord; Lorenson; Loring; **Lothrop; Louisa; Lovering; Low; Lowell; Luce; Lucey; Luddy; Lundin; Lyman; Lyons

Mac Currach; Madden; Maguire; Mahoney; Maitland; Malbon; Maloney; Mann; Manning; Mannix; Mansfield; Manuel; Mapes; **Marble; Marden; Marion; Marwick / Markwitch; Marsh; Marshall; Martell; *Martin; Matthews; Mattie; Mayo; McArthur; McAuliffe; McAvoy; McCarthy / McCarty; McCloud; McCormack; McCuen; McDermott; McDonald; McElroy; McGraw; McGinnis; McGrath; McIntosh; McKay; McKenzie; McLay; McLean; McMahon; McMenamin; McNamara; McNeil; McPhee; McPherson; McRae; McSweeney; Meade; Mealy; Mears; Mellen; Mendon; Merriam; Merritt; Messer; Millard; Miller; Milliken; Miner; Minot; Mitchell; Monroe; Monteiro; Montgomery; Moore; Moors; Moran; Morey; Morgan; Moriaty; Morison; Morris; Morse; Moss; Mott; Mulcahy; Mulcarty; Mulhern; Mullen; *Mulvey; Mulvona; Munnis / Munes; Murphy; Murray

Nadjin; Neagle; Neal; Neilson; Nelson; Newcomb; Newsom; Newton; Ney; **Nichols; *Nickerson; Nightingale; Nott; Noya; Noyes; Nutting

**Oakes; O'Brien; O'Keefe; Oliver / D'Oliveira; Olmsted; Olvaney; **Orcutt; Osborne; Osgood; O'Shea; Otis; Ozier / Osyer

Packard; Page; Paine; Palmer; Park; *Parker; Paul; Payson; Peakes; Pegram; Penfold; Pennell; Penny; Percival; Pereira; Perkins; Perry; Peter; Petersen; Peterson; Petersilea; Pettee / Pittee; Phelps; Phillips; Phinney / Finney; Phipps; Pickering; Pierce; Pierson; Pike; Pimentel; Pine; Pitkin; Pitman; Poland; Pope; Porter; Potter; Powel; *Powers; Prairie; **Pratt; Prentice / Prentiss; Pride; Priest; Prior; Pritchard; Prouty; Putnam

Queeney / McQueeney; Quinn

Rafferty; Ramos; Randall; Reamy; Reddy; Reed; Reedy; Reilly; Remington; Renshaw; Reynolds; Ribeiro; Rice; *Rich; Richards; Richardson; *Ripley; Rita; Robbins; Roberts; Robertson; Robinson; Roche; Rocerick / Rodrigues; Rogers; Rollins; Rooney; Root; Rose / Rosa; Ross; Rounbeller; Rowell; Ruddiman; Ruso; Ryan; Ryder

Sachs; Safford; Salvador; Sankey; Sargent; Saxton; Scarfe; Sceao; Scheydecker; Schinner; Scott; Scull; Sears; Seaverns; Sero; Sewall; Sewell; Sexton; Sharp; Sharpleigh; Shaw; Shea; Sheehan; Sheridan; Sherman; Shipley; Sidney; Silsbee; *Silvia / *Sylvia / *Sylva+; Simmons; Simpson; Sloan; Small; **Smith; **Snow; Sohier; **Souther; Souza / Desouza; Spear; Spoor; Sprague; Sprowls; Spurr; Stanley; Steele; Stephens; **Stephenson; *Stetson / Stutson; Stevens; Stewart; St. John; Stockbridge; **Stoddard / **Stodder; Stone; Stoughton; Stover; Stowell; Streight; Stuart; **Studley; Sturtevant; Sullivan; Sutton; Swanson; Swears; Sweeney; Sylvester.

+ Note: Rich Silvia, Historian, Cohasset Community Preservation Committee, Historical Society, informs me: "While Sylva has shown up in New Bedford, Fall River, etc. on occasion, but has not been used in Cohasset. SILVA has been a frequently used sir name in Cohasset.....

Tanger; Tate; **Taylor; Thayer; Thing; Thomas; Thompson; Thorn; Thorndike; Tibbetts; Tierney; *Tilden; Tileston; Tirrell; Tobey; Tobin; Toomey; Torrey; Totman; **Tower; *Towle; Tracy; Trask; Treat; Trott; Troy; Tucker; Tully; Turner; Tuttle; Tyndall; Tyrer


Valine; Van Buskirk; Van Patten; Vargus; Varney; Veale; Verge; Vialle; Vickery; *Vinal; Vining; Violante

Wade; Wadsworth; Wallis / Wallace; Walsh; Wander; Ward; Washburn; Wasson; Waters; Watson; Watt; Webber; Webster; Weeks; Welch; Wells; Wentworth; Wessman; West; Westgate; Wetherbee; Wheelock; **Wheelwright; Whicher; **Whitcomb; White; Whitman; Whitney; Whittier; Whittington; Wholley; Wigmore; Wilbur; Wilhelm; Wilkins; Willard; Willcassey; **Willcutt; **Williams; Willis; Williston; *Wilson; Winslow; Winters; Witherell; Wixen; **Wood / Woods; Woodbridge; Woodford; Woodward; **Worrick / **Warwick; Wright; Wriston


Towns surrounding Cohasset

Surrounding Towns - (Hingham; Hull; Scituate; Norwell)

Cohasset Vital Records

Vital Records for the Town of Cohasset are available from the 1600's to the present.

Be aware that Cohasset use to be part of the Town of Hingham, Massachusetts and some of the earliest records may be found it that town.

Cohasset Vital Records - (1600's to 1850)

- were published in Vital Records of Cohasset, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 - see the Book List above

Cohasset Vital Records - (1841 to 1905)

Massachusetts Archives
Columbia Point
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Dorchester, Massachusetts 02125
(617) 727-2816

M-F 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. / S 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Cohasset Vital Records - (1906 to the present)

Massachusetts Department of Public Health - New Address
Registry of Vital Records
150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st Floor
Dorchester, Massachusetts 02125-3105
(617) 740-2600

Birth, Marriage & Death Records - Divorce records are located in the County Court House where the event took place.
M, T, Th & F (9:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon) (2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Cohasset Police Department

Cohasset Police Department - (Contact the helpful officers should you not be able to find a location in Cohasset)
62 Elm Street
Cohasset MA 02025
Telephone: (781) 383-1055 or 1212
Fax: (781) 383-1213

Part of Cohasset was once the 2nd Precint of Hingham and the families of both towns have long been associated with each other!
Be sure to visit Dale H. Cook's, "Hingham Site" for further information. (part of the U.S. GenWeb Project)


Jim Ball has a Photograph Collection that he is trying to find family members that may be interested in the collection. It is called the "Elizabeth Osgood Photograph Collection" and contains many identified photographs of Osgood, Davenport, Sewell, Tower and Ward. (I sure it is the collection of George Lyman Davenport and his wife, Elizabeth (Osgood) Davenport who were the authors of Genealogies of the Families of Cohasset, Massachusetts. Please visit Jim's site and see if it is your family!

Richard Dennis Souther
Souther Family Association
For ease of maintenance of this website and to help reduce "SPAM", contact information will now only be available on the [Souther Family Association Home Page].
[Sorry for the inconvenience]

[Souther Family Association Home Page]

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