GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2007-08 > 1187550766
From: Donald Taylor <>
Subject: Re: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] Plymouth Colony--Land Grants ca 1640
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 12:12:46 -0700 (PDT)
Yes and after I sent in my question I Googled the term and found some articles written in a more historical perpestive. But, yes, it meant that they had shown evidence of or professed their faith and were admitted to the church.
I do believe that you are right in your assumption that when they "owned the
covenant" it meant that they had accepted the faith and become members. It
may be that they were in a probationary period, but at least it shows that
they had joined the church.
The following URL may shed more light on the meaning of the phrase.
In a message dated 8/19/2007 12:54:40 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
The first url (History Bookshelf) mentions in 1662 a "halfway covenant"
which allowed not yet converted individuals membership in the church. I have seen
church records in vital records where an individual is listed as having
"owned the covenant" and was placed under the watch of the church. Is the term
"owned the covenant' the way that a new member was recorded if not fully
converted and baptised in New England in 1600's ? I have seen it recorded in 1670
or so for an ancestor and her two sisters. Have always been curious about the
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