it was the aim of the late Dr. Benjamin Cutter
to preserve the decaying memorials of his native precinct, and much historical and genealogical matter was accordingly collected by him, and left unpublished at his death.
It has been the design of his son to present this to the public in a convenient shape and durable form, with such additions as he has been able to collect.
It is trusted that the work will prove valuable as a book of reference, notwithstanding that inaccuracies may occasionally be found.
It is remarkable that the great-grandfather of Dr. Cutter
was the first Precinct Clerk, or recording officer—an office which he held for thirty-two consecutive years.
The paternal grandfather of Dr. Cutter
), and his maternal grandfather (Samuel Locke
), were also Precinct Clerks at different periods, the former holding the office five years, and the latter sixteen years.
The authorities which have been consulted in obtaining dates and facts are specified in various portions of the work.
The precinct and town records have, of course, been much relied upon, and information from them, as well as from gravestones, is given, as far as practicable, in the phraseology originally used.
The church records have been found invaluable.
Rev. Mr. Cooke
, first minister of the Precinct (1739-1783), was an admirable recorder, whose specialty was the church records, and the Precinct births, baptisms, marriages and deaths.
The records by Rev. Dr. Fiske
cover forty years (1788-1828). Care has been taken to make proper reference in the text to two valuable recent publications—those of Rev. Dr. Paige
and Thomas B. Wyman
—from which important facts have been derived.
Reference is also made to these works when further information on the subject may there be obtained.
The author is greatly indebted to John B. Russell
, a native of the town, now of New Jersey
, for many important and interesting statements and reminiscences.
He is also under obligations to Mr. B. D. Locke
, the present Town Clerk
of Arlington, for favors granted in the examination of Records in his possession.
The genealogical portion of the work is mainly confined to the families who had a residence here in the times of the Precinct, and is as complete and accurate as the greatest labor and care could make it.
The preparation of the List of Soldiers given at the close of the volume was a work of greater labor than at first anticipated; but the List, as here presented, constitutes a more complete Record of the men furnished by the town for the late war than can be found elsewhere.
Particulars relating to the later years of the towns of West Cambridge and Arlington may not be so full, in certain respects, as some readers might wish; but the comparative unimportance of the events of recent times in the place, and the increased accessibility of modern local records, are considered a sufficient explanation for any such apparent neglect.