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Established 1643 ~ Incorporated 1645

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Present day Rehoboth is an agricultural community located in Southeastern Massachusetts. It also serves as a bedroom community to both Providence and Boston and covers approximately 48 square miles in area. It has changed size, shape, and even location, dramatically since its first days.

Rehoboth was one of the first towns in America. Court records show the area was settled as early as 1625.  In 1641 the Court of Plymouth authorized Samuel Newman to purchase the original tract called "Eight Mile Square" in "Seacunk", (now in Rumford, RI.). This was the first land transfer in the area that was recognized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  In 1643 Mr. Newman established his community and called the area Rehoboth. The original 1643 compound of Rehoboth, known as the "Ring of the Town", is shown below.

 

The map above was recreated from information derived from page 34  of the book "Newman Congregational Church, U.C.C. of Seekonk and East Providence". 


The Meeting House of the Newman Congregational Church, then known as the First Church of Rehoboth,  was erected in 1646. Just prior to that on June 4, 1645, the town of Rehoboth, comprising a much larger area, was incorporated. 

Due to its sheer size, Rehoboth was hard to manage through town meetings. Almost as a matter of need, sections of it began to incorporate into other cities and towns. The present day locales of Attleboro, Seekonk, Cumberland, East Providence and North Attleboro were all part of the early town of Rehoboth. Substantial portions of Pawtucket, and parts of Swansea, Woonsocket and Barrington were as well.  

Ironically Rehoboth now has more in common with nearby Dighton than with any of its original parts. They share a regional school district and both depend heavily on agriculture.


The map above shows Rehoboth at its largest total area. The section marked off by the dotted lines is the original incorporated area. 


Anyone researching their Rehoboth roots from afar would be hard pressed to know that their ancestor who was buried in Rehoboth may actually have their gravestone in another state. Local researchers could easily make the same mistake and Historians could skew their information. For those reasons, we felt it was necessary to collect the information from all of the components of Rehoboth in one central area. That is the goal of the Old Rehoboth site

Please note that there are conflicting accounts of who the first European Settler to the area really was. Some say it was William Blaxton (Blackstone) while others say it was John Hazell, Roger Williams, or Samuel Newman. It is quite possible that this confusion is because of the dramatic changes in the boundaries and size of the area known as Rehoboth. It may also be attributed to the fact that Rehoboth was also the name for the defunct community started by Roger Williams before he fled and founded Rhode Island. After some in- depth research of the early history books for the area, it is apparent to us that the first European Settler to Old Rehoboth as well as Rhode Island was William Blackstone (about 1634). He was also the first European Settler of Boston (about 1624).


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Disclaimer: Neither the OldRehoboth site nor its associated forum is owned by,  controlled by, or connected with the Newman Congregational Church,  the Antiquarian Society, the Rehoboth Land Trust,  the Town of Rehoboth, or any of its committees, boards, councils or departments. The information contained in this website is subject to copyright. It has been researched and contributed by members of the OldRehoboth forum or their associates. We make no guarantees as to the accuracy of information that you will find here or on associated links. Take notice that some of the websites that we link to may require membership, affiliations, or fees to access the information. Some pages on this site may have access restricted to members of the OldRehoboth forum. 

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