Tuesday, July 05, 2016


Continuing Philip A. Fishers entry on my 9x great grandfather Joshua Fisher Jr reveals what may have been a first in colonial New England:

At the town meeting in January, 1648-49, he was chosen selectman and continued in that office 22 years. He also tries his hand at surveying, for the records state that Jan. 7, 1649-50, he " is deputed and undertaken to take and make a true platt of ye out most Lines of the Towne." We find him later regularly chosen town surveyor, and the records show him at work in other parts of the Colony, one large work being the surveying of 8000 acres completed in May, 1665, "at a place called Pocumptuck" (Deerfield), "it lyinge northward from Hadley about tenn or twelue mile," being the land given Dedham in the exchange for the land they claimed at Natick.

It is ordered by this Court, that whereas there was graunted to Dedham eight thousand akers of land the last session of this Court, Ensigne John Euerard & Jonathan Danforth are hereby appointed to lay out the same according to graunt. [Oct. 21, 1663: Mass. Col. Rec., IV, Part II, 91.]

This tract of land, conteynig eight thousand acres, being layd out according to this1 plott given into the Court & remayning on file, beginning att A, & so running to L, by the Foote of a mountejne, south & by west two miles forty sixe rod; from L to K, along by the same mouuteine fine miles forty rod south & by east two degrees easterly; From K to I, vpon a streight ljne two miles & a halfe & a half west halfe a point southerly; From H to I, vpon a streight line south halfe a point easterly, fower miles; From G to H, uorwest fower degrees, westerly three hundred sixty two rod; From E to G. S. S east three degrees southerly, one hundred & sixty rod; from E to F south southeast, west three degrees southerly, eighty eight rod; from D to E south west one hundred and eight rod; from C to D south south east eighty rod J From B to C south Sc. by west three degrees westerly, five hundred & eighty rod; from A to B west north west two degrees westerly, one mile twenty rod. This tract of land is lajd out at a place called Pecuinptick, to answer the grantof the honoured Generall Court made to Dedham for the lands at Natick, which the Indians are setled vpon, by the Courts order, it lyinge northward from Hadley about tenn or twelue mile. Layd out as abouesajd May, 1665, By me, Joshua Fisher.

The Court allowes & approoues of this returne, provided they make a toune of it, to majntejue the ordinances of Christ there once wihin five yeares, & that it interfere not Majr Genrl Dennison & Hadley grant. [Oct. 11, 1665: Mass. Col. Rec., IV, Part II, 282.]

Probably referring to the above, Temple's History of North Brookfield, p. 54, says: „

"The compass was first brought into use in laying out land grants in this region, by Lieut. Fisher, of Dedham, when he surveyed the Deerfield lands in 1665. They had a chain to measure distances, and some prominent object was selected as starting and turning point. The chief concern was to get the full quantity named in the grant."-

The Fisher genealogy: A record of the descendants of Joshua, Anthony, and Cornelius Fisher, of Dedham, Mass., 1630-1640   Massachusetts Pub. Co.,   Everett, Ma.  1898

To be continued...

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