In this volume John Farmer produced the first attempt to survey systematically the earliest immigrants to New England. Working at a time when published sources were vanishingly few, Farmer compiled a nearly complete catalog of the immigrant generation and laid the basis for similar future compendia.
Farmer's goal was to include in his work all those who had come to New England by 1643, as well as ministers and magistrates before 1692 and graduates of Harvard College, members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company and Massachusetts Bay freemen before 1662.
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To carry out this plan, Farmer himself inspected such records as he could, mostly in New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts, and for the records and families in other parts of New England relied on correspondents. He presented the information in alphabetical order, with many abbreviations in the text.
Farmer's work was remarkable for its time and continues to deserve our admiration.
Summary by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG
for Archive CD Books USA
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