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Reverend Joseph Gerrish

b. March 23, 1648/49 Newbury, Massachusetts (English Colony)
m. 1670
d. June 02, 1720 Newbury, Massachusetts (English Colony)


Ann (Waldron) Gerrish


Elizabeth (Gerrish) Green (b. October 09, 1673 Salem, Massachusetts; m. March 16, 1697/98 Cambridge, Massachusetts; d. May 22, 1747 Medford, Massachusetts)


Joseph Gerrish became pastor of Wenham church after the past reverend, Antipas Newman died in 1672. Once he took over the town extended an existing house to become the pastor house for Reverend Gerrish. He remained pastor for forty-seven years.

Reverend Gerrish eased the rules of the church, including the initiation of what is called the "Halfway Covenant." This allowed people to become and remain members of the church so long as they baptized their children and became qualified voters, they didn't have to have to receive regular communion. This action greatly increased church membership.

Despite Reverend Gerrish's contributions to the community he salary was based on contributions and near the end of his life the church received little. After his death, the townspeople came together to pay for his burial and later paid his widow money for his work that was never received.





-Adeline P Cole, comp., Notes on Wenham History: 1643-1943, (Salem, Massachusetts: Wenham Historical Association, 1943), 28-31, 57.
-Wenham Town Records, Volume I: 1642-1683, (Wenham, Massachusetts: Wenham Historical Society, 1927), 39.