Essex, Mass. - Chronology


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The events listed below are selected for their usefulness to those doing genealogical research of Essex families. Until the town incorporated in 1819, the governing bodies for Chebacco Parish were the Ipswich selectmen and the Parish Committee. Essex did not record births, marriages, or deaths before 1844. Those records are found in the various ministerial and church archives of the period. For those reasons, local church history is included with this chronology of town history.
Associated with this chronology is one for Weather phenomena and epidemics, and another for roads and buildings


YEAR

EVENT

1633

Agana (Ipswich) settled

1634

Church gathered and organized in Ipswich (Rev. Nathaniel Ward, minister)
Parish organization set up to govern Ipswich settlement
William White and Goodman Bradstreet first two settlers granted land in Chebacco

1679

Rev. Jeremiah Shepard called to preach in Chebacco, in private homes

1680

John Wise engaged to preach in Chebacco
One acre of ground granted to Chebacco Parish for a burial place

1682

Chebacco people officially released from membership in the First Church in Ipswich

1683

Organization and gathering of Chebacco Church - officially known as the Second Church in Ipswich
John Wise ordained as the first minister of Chebacco Church
Organization of Chebacco Parish as the governing body for the settlement - officially the Second Parish in Ipswich
First "training day" for citizen soldiers in Chebacco

1700

Chebacco (population about 300) consisted of a church, a school, a military company, five sawmills, one shipyard, three bridges, two causeways. Farming, fishing, and boat building the major occupations.

1712

Burying ground fenced in by a stone wall

1725

Death of Rev. John Wise
Rev. Theophilus Pickering became second minister of Chebacco Church

1746

Dissension in Chebacco Church and Parish, causing a rift among the people; formation of the Separated Church ('Separatist Society") which became officially the Fourth Church in Ipswich
Ebenezer Cleaveland, brother of John Cleaveland, minister in Separated Church first six months

1747

Rev. John Cleaveland ordained as minister of the Separated Church

1749

Death of Rev. Theophilus Pickering

1750

Nehemiah Porter ordained as minister of the original Chebacco Church (January)

1752

"Separatists" gained official release from Chebacco Parish and were granted a separate precinct - officially the Sixth Parish in Ipswich

1766

Nehemiah Porter resigned
Proceedings started for reuniting 2nd and 4th Churches (Chebacco Church and Separated Church)

1768

Informal agreement by both churches to worship together temporarily, one half a year in each meeting house with Rev. John Cleaveland assuming the ministry for both churches (1766-1775)

1770

Chebacco inhabitants voted to abstain from buying tea unless the Revenue Act was repealed.

1774

Official vote by both the Second Church and the Fourth Church favoring uniting as The Second Church in Ipswich

1775

Sixth Parish reunited with the Second Parish; the union named The Second Parish in Ipswich

1775

Revolutionary War (1775 - 1781)
Declaration of Independence

1783

Peace treaty with England - Revolutionary Army disbanded

1787

Population in Chebacco 1,200

1799

Death of Rev. John Cleaveland after 55 years as pastor
Josiah Webster chosen as minister

1806

Light Infantry company formed

1807

Rev. Josiah Webster resigned

1808

A Baptist minister formed "The Christian Society" in southern section of Chebacco

1809

Thomas Holt, minister at Second Church in Ipswich
The Christian Baptist society erected a meeting house on site of present United Methodist Church

1812

War of 1812

1813

Rev. Mr. Holt resigned as minister at Second Church in Ipswich

1814

Robert Crowell, minister at Second Church in Ipswich

1818

Grave robberies at the Burying Ground (8 bodies removed)

1819

Chebacco Parish, separated from the Town of Ipswich by the Massachusetts Legislature; incorporated as the Town of Essex
The Second Church in Ipswich (Chebacco church) renamed The First Congregational Church in Essex.

1827

The Christian Society disbands

1829

The Universalist Society formed in Essex

1834

Support of churches by general (public) taxation abolished by state law

1837

Light Infantry Company and Militia Company disbanded

1844

Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring the clerk of each town to register births, marriages, and deaths

1848

Christian Baptist society formed

1852

Spring street Cemetery established

1874

Founding of the First Methodist Episcopal Church

1893

Construction of Essex Town Hall; transfer of all Town offices and all town meetings from the congregational church to the new building

1910

Electricity installed in some buildings in Essex

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