Rev. James Keith

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Rev. James Keith

Also Known As: "(moved to Bridgewater Mass. 1662)"
Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Death: July 23, 1719 (77)
Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Alexander Keith and Christina Keith
Husband of Susanna Keith (Edson) and Mary Keith (Macey)
Father of John Keith; Mary Howard; James Keith; Samuel Keith; Lt. Joseph Keith and 4 others

Occupation: Reverend, Minister of Bridgewater, MA. Ordained 1664, !st minister of Bridgewater, MA for 56 years., Minister, Reverand
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. James Keith

At about the age of 16 he studied for the ministry with the Rev. Increase Mather. In 1662 he immigrated to Boston. Settled in Bridgewater in 1664. And was for 56 years a preacher in Bridgewater, MA.

Came from Aberdeen, Scotland in 1662 at approximately 18 years of age.

Matriculated (Jacobus Keith) at Marischal College Aberdeen in 1657 (now part of Univ. of Aberdeen).

First minister at Bridgewater, Mass. Ordained with help of Rev. Increase Mather in 1664. Preached first sermon (Jeremiah 1:6 "Behold I cannot speak for I am a child") from a rock in Mill Pasture.

Funeral sermon by Rev. Cotton Mather.

Historic Rev. James Keith Parsonage:

The Reverend James Keith Parsonage, sometimes simply called the Keith House, is a 17th century church parsonage preserved and maintained by the Old Bridgewater Historical Society (OBHS) in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. According to the OBHS, the Keith House was built in 1662 by the proprietors of what was originally called the Duxborough Plantation, later called Old Bridgewater, purchased from the Indian Chief Massasoit. The House was built for the first settled minister James Keith, who served the area from 1664 to 1719. Because the area was a colonial outpost, the house also served as a garrison and it was in this house that the wife and son of King Philip were held during the King Philip's War in 1676. The King Philip's War was proportionately one of the bloodiest and costliest in the history of America. More than half of New England's ninety towns were assaulted by Native American warriors. The war is named after the main leader of the Native American side, Metacomet, Metacom, or Pometacom, known to the English as "King Philip."

According to the OBHS, the building is the oldest parsonage and garrison house in the Americas.


James attended Marischal College, probably at the expense of a maiden aunt. After he arrived in Boston, he purchases land, received land from the Massasoit. A body of original settlers of Plymouth Colony, led by Miles Standish and John Alden.

James Keith was the first settled minister in Bridgewater. He was ordained in Feb 1664. It is reported Keith said his first sermon on a rock in Bridgewater.

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Rev. James Keith's Timeline

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
March 19, 1645
Age 3
Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland
April 3, 1664
Age 22
Bridgewater, Plymouth Colony
December 5, 1669
Age 27
Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Colonial America
December 20, 1673
Age 31
Bridgewater, Plymouth Colony
February 14, 1675
Age 33
Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Colonial America
April 3, 1675
Age 33
Bridgewater, Plymouth Colony