While we have not found many of Mr May's source documents there is one that is quite interesting. In May's pursuit of the descendants of Richard Sears he transcribed the records of the Yarmouth 2nd Church. Yarmouth had a Congregational church organization. Until the 1833 dissolution or disestablishment in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts there was no separation of church and state. Massachusetts was the last state to disestablish its church. Before that, Town and Church were one with merged records and business of town and church being carried out at the same meetings. Villages were described by their parish or precinct and organized around a church. The First Congregational Church Gathered in 1639 in Yarmouth Port now known as "God's Light on the Hill." http://www.FCCYarmouth.org - 329 Main Street (Route 6A)| Yarmouth Port, MA 02675
That first church was a little far away from people who lived in the eastern part of Yarmouth so an East Precinct was formed. Simeon Deyo on page 514 of his History of Barnstable County says- "The records of the old town of Yarmouth were burned in 1677, and this fact assures a meagre account, not only of Yarmouth, but of Dennis, for the first forty years—years of the most importance in their early history. That its settlement was contemporaneous with that of Sandwich and Barnstable there is no doubt. The old town was in part that Mattacheese to which the Puritans came in 1638-9, and only a few years elapsed before the entire territory—part of which is now included in Dennis—was settled, although perhaps but sparsely. Like Sandwich the division commenced in the church—by establishing another parish. In 1721, as will be seen by the church history, the East parish of Yarmouth was organized, and this was the initiative to the organization of the new town of Dennis on the 19th of June, 1793, being the eleventh town in the country, in date."
From the website of the Dennis Union Church Highlights of Dennis Union Church’s history:
- The church was formed in 1722 or 1723, based on a recommendation by members of The East Precinct Church of Yarmouth to build a second location closer to where most members lived.
- Rev. Josiah Dennis, a young graduate of Harvard College in 1725, was called to serve the new parish, assuming his position in 1727. He served 36 years, until his death in 1763.
- Rev. Nathan Stone was called to succeed Rev. Dennis and served 40 years, from 1764 until his death in 1804.
- Rev. Caleb Holmes, 1805 to 1813…maybe highlight how many pastors since then, rather than a list
- The current DUC structure was built in 1838, following a split…
- Anna Howard Shaw history?
Samuel P. May transcribed records from this second church- and here they are in his handwriting.