Andrew Henshaw Ward
1784 - 1864
By the records of olden time, I have been introduced not only to the ancient dead, whose works live in history, and whose deeds are related in story, but made acquainted with numerous family lines of subsequent generations and their wide spread connections.
In this compilation I introduce to the reader, with an account of some of their descendants, their families, and of others, whose remote ancestry I could not, or had not time to trace. What reflections have not arisen in my mind, while preparing it! What will not be produced in his, who reads it!
The aged will meditate upon it, and recall to mind many things they had forgotten, if they ever knew them ; while the young, with more buoyant feelings, perusing it for information, will find it an instructive compendium of genealogy, and some of the historical matter entertaining, when drawn around the evening fireside, where more frequently occur an interchange of thoughts and a participation in feelings, that give a zest to amusement.
Who has not a desire to know something of the people of a town, as well as of its location, its ponds, hills and natural advantages? Who they were, and who their ancestors, that were here before us, and have long since departed? Who they were, that laid the foundations, religious, political and social, on which we are raising superstructures? Who they were, that commenced, under great privations and dangers, what we are now enjoying in abundance and without molestation?
Is there not a spirit in man that yearns, as the babe for the mother's breast, to know who, and what his family, that lived of old on the place he himself now occupies? Who subdued the forests, ploughed the fields and sowed where he himself now reaps? Whence he came, with whom he was connected in the tenderest ties of family relation, when he died, and whom he left to uphold his name?
There is such a spirit in man, and we rejoice in the belief, that it is waking out of sleep and seeking a knowledge of them that have passed away.
Excerpt from the Introduction: History of the Town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, From its Settlement in 1717 to 1829
by Andrew H. Ward