William Pynchon

William Pynchon (1590-1662), founder of Springfield

Founded as Agawam Plantation by William Pynchon, Springfield was part of the Connecticut Colony until 1641, when the settlement joined the Massachusetts Bay Colony. West Springfield separated from Springfield in 1774, Longmeadow in 1783, Chicopee in 1852.

Accused witches Hugh Parsons and his wife Mary (-) (Lewis) Parsons of Springfield were brought to trial in Boston 1651-1652. After that, they disappear from the record. Accused witch Mary (Bliss) Parsons of Northampton died in Springfield.


Pioneer Valley: Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau


Springfield Cemetery, 171 Maple Street. Although this cemetery opened in 1841, remains from Springfield’s first burying place on Elm Street were relocated here in 1848, with the oldest known burial date of 1657. In 1991, the Parsons Family Association put up a headstone for the extended family, starting with Cornet Joseph Parsons and his wife, accused witch Mary (Bliss) Parsons (1628-1712) of Northampton. There’s also a plaque for them.

Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards Street. There’s lots to see on the campus, from art, history, science, and Seuss. The Museum of Springfield History features exhibits on the history of the Connecticut River Valley (a.k.a. Pioneer Valley). The lower level of the building includes the Springfield History Library & Archives.


Springfield Central Library, 220 State Street. Collection of Springfield area history and other works. More extensive materials at the Springfield History Library & Archives in the museum quadrangle.

Online Books & Records

1636-1675: Early History of Springfield by Henry Morris (1876)

The First Century of the History of Springfield: The Official Records from 1636 to 1736, with an Historical Review and Biographical Mention of the Founders Volume 1 and Volume 2 by H.M. Burt (1898)

The History of Springfield in Massachusetts for the Young: Being Also in Some Part the History of Other Towns and Cities in the County of Hampden by Charles H. Barrows (1909)

Springfield, 1636-1886: History of Town and City : Including an Account of the Quarter-millennial Celebration at Springfield, Mass., May 25 and 26, 1886 by Mason Arnold Green (1888)