Town Clerk Origin

The municipal clerk, along with the tax collector, is the oldest of public servants. The early keepers of the archives were often called Remembrancers, and before writing came into use, their memory was the public record. The Office of Clerk can be traced back to the year 1272 A.D. The title as we know it is derived from the middle ages. A Clerk was any member of a religious order, a Cleric, or Clergyman. Since, for all practical purposes, the scholarship of the Middle Ages was limited to the clergy, the name Clerk came to be synonymous with scholar.

When the early colonists came to America, they set up forms of local government to which they had been accustomed, and the office of clerk was one of the first established. The colony at Plymouth appointed a person to act as a recorder.

Over the years, municipal clerks have become the hub of government, the direct link between the citizens of their towns and their government. The clerk is the historian of the community.