Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628 - 1686, Volume 5
Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628 - 1686, Volume 5. Nathaniel B. Shurtleff. 1853-1854. This massive series of volumes documents the development of the Massachusetts Bay Company into Massachusetts Bay Colony, providing a dense chronological record of the colony's civil, criminal and administrative court proceedings. Thousands of early New England colonists pass through these pages.
The bulk of the records in these volumes are the proceedings of the General Court or the Court of Assistants of Massachusetts Bay Colony, which had jurisdiction over the whole colony. Interspersed through these records are also the minutes from some of the meetings of the Suffolk Quarter Court, covering the area that would become Suffolk County.
In the first volume will be found the records of the meetings in England of the Massachusetts Bay Company in London in 1629 and early 1630, before the transfer of the company charter to New England on the Winthrop Fleet.
In the 1630 and early 1640s, before the establishment of the Quarter Courts and then the County Courts, the court recorded in these books was the only one for the whole colony. As a result, the earliest probate records will be found scattered through these pages.
The records of these colony-wide courts encompass the full range of the social and economic structure of Massachusetts Bay, with land grants and appointments to high office for the colony's leaders, alongside records of runaway servants and similar misdemeanors.
Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628 - 1686 (Boston, 1853 - 1854). Archive CD Books USA.