Chelmsford Historical Society
Indian Deeds

The first deed included here was taken in the History of Chelmsford by Wilson Waters. The second deed included here was taken from the records of the Chelmsford Historical Society and is a copy of a deed that was transcribed as part of Roosevelt's WPA project in 1940. The purpose of this second deed was to ensure the rights of the landholders of the earlier deed.  Please note that the letter "u" should be translated as a "v". The original spelling has been retained to the best of our ability.

To all people to whom this present writing shall come to be seene or read.

Whereas the honnored Gennerall Court of the Massachusetts was pleased of their free beneficence & bounty to graunt vnto the Indians of Patucket a parcell of land adjoyning to the bounds of Chelmsford plantation, the scittuation whereof being by experience found to be prejudiciall vnto the mutuall peace of the said plantations,-now, this wittnesseth that the Indian inhabitants of the abouesaid plantation, wth the consent and approbation of the Reuerend Mr. John Elliott, Sen, haue couenanted and agreed to make an exchange of land wth the inhabitants of Chelmsford, in manner following. viz: that the partition & dividing line betweene the said English & Indian plantation shall beginn at the Great Swampe, the said swampe being left within the bounds of Chelmsford, excepting only about tenn foote in bredth and from thence the line to be continued by the marked trees, as the former comittee sett out the same, vntill it reacheth Merremacke River; and all the land lying on the northeast side of the said line, formerly belonging to Chelmsford, shall henceforth be the propper right & to the sole vse of the said Indian plantation; and all the land on the southwest side of the said line, excepting only what is hereafter graunted vnto James Parker, whither of the Indians old or new graunt, & euery parte thereof, shall foreuer be & remain the proper right to the sole use of the inhabitants of Chelmsford.

And Whereas there is a parcell of land lying & being at the west end of the Indians graunt, wch is not wthin the bounds (of either plantation) as aboue exprest, this wittnesseth that the said parcell of land, be it more or lesse, is, by the free consent of both the abouesaid plantations, given, graunted, & alienated vnto James Parker, of Chelmsford, abouesaid, for and in consideration of his great paines and costs wch he hath necessarily expended in setling the bounds, as aboue is expressed, betweene the abouesaid plantations, to haue & to hold the said parcel of land, wth all the appurtenances thereof, vnto him, the said James Parker, his heirs and assignes for euer, to his and theire only propper vse & behoofe. And to the true performance of the aboue named exchange & graunt, mutually made by & betweene the said plantations, and also theire joint graunt and guift vnto the said James Parker, on condicons & in manner aboue expressed, both the said plantations doe hereby respectively bind themselves, theire heires, execcutors, & administrators, each to other & jointly, to the said James Parker, his heires &   assignes, firmly by these presents; in wittnes whereof these whose names are subscribed as the deputies & lawfull trustees of the abouesaid plantations, haue herevnto putt theire hands & seales.

 Aprill the third, 1660.

In order that their title to the land might be further strengthened and to satisfy any claim that the Indians might presume to hold upon lands within the town a deed was obtained, April 26, 1665, from the Indians, who deeded the land lying "within the bounds and limits of the said Towne of Chelmsford, and is bounded Southerly by the lands of the Towne of Billerica and West Southerly partly by the lands of the towne of Concord and partly by the Indian plantation of Nashoba, and E' S'thly by the Countryes -land. Northerly by the lands of Mr. Edward Ting, and on the North by Merrimacke River, and on the East and North East by the plantaccon of the Indians called Patuckett.

In that year the town levied a rate of .01, 17s., 8d. for  "A Toune rate and for the parches of the plantation of ye Indians." In 1665 the line was more definitely established between Chelmsford and Wamesit by committees from Chelmsford and Billerica and the Indians of Wamesit. It appears from the description of the line as established by them that it began at Concord river at what was subsequently known as Wamesit stake, from there crossing the river meadow and over the ridge on what is now the Lowell city farm to great swamp, through which later the Middlesex canal was constructed, and by the line of what is now Baldwin street to Merrimack river. – History of Chelmsford, Wilson Waters.


Week, May 20th to 25th, 1940

A copy of the Original Deed in which the Indians of Chelmsford granted to the white inhabitants of Chelmsford, the land which comprises present Chelmsford, Lowell and parts of surrounding towns.

o 0 o

Compliments of Works Project Administration

Survey Project No. 20526

Chelmsford, Mass.


DATE RECORDED Nov. 22, 1671

Southern Registry Copies GRANTEE Chelmsford, Inhabitants of

BOOK 1 PAGE 20 Chelmsford

GRANTOR Wequanomunitt (et al, Indian men) (see below)

To all people to whome this pesent writing shall come. Know ye that Wequanomunitt alias John Tohattawans Indian, and Waban the husband of Satetuss daughter of Tohattawans, and Naniskaw alias John Thomas, the husband of Nanosqr, the younger daughter of Tohattawans, Saggamore deced, Indians, wch said persons above specified, being the propper & sole heyres of the said Tohattawans their father deced, and Nephew, & Cafsenassett, & little Jno, Indians, being the next lineall heyres to the said Tohattawans deced, for & in consideration of a vallu­able sett sum of money to them well & truly paid, by the Inhabitants of the Town of Chelmsford, the receite whereof the said Wequanomunitt, alias John Tohattawans and Waban the husband of Satatuse, the daughter of Tohattawans and Naniseaw, alias Jno Thomas the husband of Nanosgr, the younger daughter of Tohattawans, & Nephew, & Cafsenafsett & little John Indians, do by these prsents acknowledge, and there­with to be fully satisfied & payd, and thereof and of every part & parcell thereof do full, clearely, & absolutely acquitt, exonate & descharge said Inhabitants of the Towne of Chelmsford, theirs heyres excecutors, & admistrators forever, Have granted, bargained, & sold, aliened, enfeoffed, & confirmed, and by these prsents do fully clearly, and absolutely, grant bargaine, & sell, alien, enfeoffe, & con­firme, unto the said Inhabitants of the Towne of Chelmsford abovesaid in the county of Midlesex in New England, all that tract of land lying within the bounds & limits of the said Towne of Chelmsford, and is bounded S-ly, by the lands of the Town of Billerica, & WS-ly, partly by the lands of the Towne of Concord, and partly by the-Indian Plantaccon of Nashabah, & of tly by the Countyes land, N-ly by the lands of Mr. Edward Ting, & on the North by Mirrinacke river, and on the East & North East by the Plantaccon of the Indians called Patuckett; To have & to hold the said granted & bargained Prmises, with all the priviledges and appurte­nances to the same apperteyneing or in any wise belonging, with all rivers, Ponds, brookes, mines and all other conveniences, being within and belonging to ye said Tract of land above specified, unto them the said inhabitants of the Towne of Chelmsford, their heyres, Excecutors and admstrators, or assignes forever, to their only propper vse and behooffe. And the said Wequanomunitt, alias John Tohattawans and Waban the husband of Satuse, ye daughter of Tohattawans, and Naniska alias John Thomas the husband of Nonasgr the younger daughter of the said Tohattawans Deced, & Nophow, & Cassenassett, and little Jno. Indians above mentioned, for themselves their heyres, excecutors and admstrators do covenant promise and grant to and with the said Inhabitants of the Towne of Chelmsford their heyres and assignes by these prsents that they the said Wequanomunitt alias John Tohattawans, & Waban the husband of Sahtuse & Maniscan, Cassenossett, and little John, now are and at the ensealing hereof shall stand & be lawfully & rightly solo seized in theirs demanenes as of fee simple, of and in the said granted and bargained prmises, of a good and indefeaseable estate of inheritance, by good right & law­fully authourity, absolutely without any n nn of condiccon, mortgage, or limitaccon of vso or vussos to alter, change, or determine the same, and that they haue good right, full power, & lawfull authority to grant, bargaine, the same to confirme unto them the said Inhabitants of the said Towne of Chelmsford, their heyres and assignes forever and that the said Inhabitants of the said Tovmo of Chelmsford their heyres and assignes forever hereafter peaceably & quietly have, hold, accupy possesse, & injoy the prmiscs in &; by these prsents granted bargained & sold, and every part & parcell thereof, without the lawfull lott, trouble, oviccon, expul­ccon, sute, molestoceen disturbance, contradiccon of them the said Wequanomunitt alias John Tohattawans, and Waban the husband of Sahtusq and Noniska alias John Thomas the husband of Nanosqr Nephew, Cossonafesett, little: John, or either of them, their heyres, excocutors, admstrators, or assignos of them or either of them or any other person whatsoever lawfully claymoing and hauing any right titly or Interest therein or to any part or pardell thereof by, from or under them the said Woquanomunitt alias John Tohattawans, and Taban the husband of Sahtusqr Naniakan alias John Thomas the husband of Nonasqr the younger daughter of Tohattawans Nophow, Casenossett little john, or ether o£ the or by any other lawfull wayes & meanes whatsoever. In witness whereof the said Wequanomunitt alias John Tohattawans & Waban, & Sahtusqr his wife & Nanisqua alais John Thomas, & Nanosqr his wife, in acknowledgemnt of their free consent to this act & decd of their husband and Nephew, Cassonassott and little Jno abovesaid hause hereunto put their hands and seales this twenty sixt day of Aprill, In the yeare of or Lord God one thousand six hundred and sixty five.

Signed, sealed, and John Tahattawano & a seale

deliud Waban his marke & seale

In the prsence off

Jno Eliiott

John Thomas alias

John Parker

Naniskaw, his mark & a seale

 Willm French

Numphow his marke & a seale.

Cassenassett his marks & a seale.

Little: John his marks & a seale.

Acknowledged by all the suscriburs namely the Indian men to be their free act & deed, dat this 26th day of Aprill 1665.

Before mee Daniel Gookin

Entred, 22th of November, 1671

By Thomas Danforth Recordr

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