As might be expected the earliest town records to be found in the Archives in Salem concern the allottment of land, grazing of animals and the laying out of roads. Compare these subjects to the warrants of the 1700s and 1800s and you can see how much town affairs changed over time.
The first of the 8th month 1634
On the 4th day Seventeenth next the Market at Salem began and to continue from 9 o’clock in the morning (until) 4 of the clock after noon.
19 of the 11th month 1634
After discourse1 about dividing of 10 acre lots, it’s ordered that the least family2 shall have 10 acres, but great families may (have) more according to the members.
12th month 1634
It’s agreed that the town’s neck of land shall be preserved to feed the cattle on the Lord’s days and therefore particular men shall not feed their goats there at other times, but bring them to the [h???] that grass may grow against the Lord’s days. It’s ordered that the highway shall be beyond the swamp at the North side of Mr. Johnson’s lot.
6th day of the 2nd month 1635
That Lawrence Leech, Richard Ingersoll & others be sure to leave room for highways for Carts to bring home wood &c. That between Lawrence Leech and Richard Ingersoll they do promise to make a sufficient Cart way.
House lots granted by the town.
|To Mr. Townsend Bishop||2 acres ye lot from ye lane’s end|
|To Joshua Vern||2 acres|
|To Mr Batter & br. In law||2 acres|
|To George Smyth||2 acres|
|To Michael Sallowes||2 acres|
|To James Smyth, A Smyth||2 acres|
|To Richard Ingersoll||2 acres|
Lot next to the end of Captain Endicott’s lot, to be a highway of 4 pole broad. Mr. Burdet appoint the rock to be viewed for him.
1 Discourse = discussion
2 Least family = smallest family in number
Town Meeting Minutes, 1634 and 1635. City of Salem Archives, Salem, MA.
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