From the Manual for the General Court, 1906

Counties, Cities and Towns of Massachusetts

The tables that follow under this heading were prepared by Robert T. Swan, Esq., Commissioner of Public Records

The asterisk (*) following a date signifies that it is Old Style.

Names of cities are printed in small capitals; of extinct cities, towns, and districts in italics.

ESSEX COUNTY. INCORPORATED MAY 10, 1643.

Cities and Towns

First mentioned in Records of the State, or therein Recorded as Established or Incorporated.

Form what Established or Incorporated, Change of Boundary, Incorporation as a City, Extinction, etc.

Amesbury,

May 27,* 1668

Name changed from Salisbury-new-town. May 12,* 1675 just and full bounds allowed to Amesbury. Mar. 15, 1844 part of Salisbury called "Little Salisbury" annexed. April 11, 1876 part established as Merrimac. June 16, 1886 part of Salisbury annexed. July 1, 1886 act of June 16; 1886 took effect.

Andover,

May6,* 1646

Common land called Cochicawick. May 26,* 1668 bounds between Andover and Billerica established. May 9,* 1678 bounds between Andover and "Wills Hill" established. June 20,* 1728 part included in the new town of Middleton. April 17, 1847 part included in the new town of Lawrence. April 7, 1855 part established as North Andover. Feb. 4, 1879 part annexed to Lawrence. May 21, 1903 bounds between Andover and Tewksbury established. April 22, 1904 bounds between Andover and North Reading established.

Beverly,

Nov. 7,* 1668

Part of Salem called Bass River. May 28,* 1679 bounds between Beverly and Wenham established. Sept. 11, 1753 part of Salem annexed. April 27, 1857 part annexed to Danvers. Mar. 23, 1894 Beverly incorporated as a city. May 1, 1894 act of incorporation accepted by the town.

Boxford,

Sept. 14,* 1694

Part of Rowley. Feb. 25,* 1701 bounds between Boxford and Topsfield established. Nov. 19,* 1707 bounds between Boxford and Topsfield established. June 20,* 1728 part included in the new town of Middleton. June 10, 7808 part of Rowley annexed. June 18, 1825 bounds between Boxford and Rowley established. Mar. 7, 1846 part of Ipswich annexed. Mar. 21, 1856 part annexed to Groveland. April 15, 1897 part of Boxford annexed to Georgetown. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Boxford and North Andover established. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Boxford and Rowley established. April 22, 1904 bounds between Boxford and Middleton established. April 22, 1904 bounds between Boxford and Georgetown established.

Bradford,

Oct. 13,* 1675

Apart of Rowley called Merrimak or Rowley Village. Feb.24,* 1701 agreed bounds between Bradford and Rowley confirmed. Mar. 8, 1850 part established as Groveland. May 4, 1896 annexed to Haverhill if the act is accepted by both places. Nov. 3, 1896 the act accepted by both. Jan. 4, 1897 the act took effect.

Danvers,

Jan. 28,* 1752

The village and Middle Parishes in Salem established as the district of Danvers. June 16, 1757 the district made a town. (Act disallowed by the Privy Council, Aug. 10, 1769.) Aug. 23, 1775 the district made a town by general act. Mar. 17, 1840 bounds between Danvers and Salem established. May 18, 1856 part established as South Danvers. May 31, 1856 bounds between Danvers and South Danvers established. April 27, 1857 part of Beverly annexed.

Essex,

Feb. 16, 1819

Part of Ipswich. April 19, 1892 boundary lines in tide-water between Essex and Gloucester, and Essex and Ipswich established. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Essex and Hamilton established.

Georgetown,

April 21, 1838

Part of Rowley. April 15, 1897 part of Boxford annexed. April 22, 1904 bounds between Georgetown and Boxford established.

Gloucester,

May 18,* 1642

Common land called "Cape Anne." May 15,* 1672 bounds between Gloucester and Manchester established. Feb. 27, 1840 part established as Rockport. April 28, 1873 Gloucester incorporated as a city. May 15, 1873 act of incorporation accepted by the town. April 19, 1892 boundary lines in tide-water between Gloucester, and Essex and Ipswich established. May 6, 1902 bounds between Gloucester and Manchester to be established. Aug. 25, 1903 bounds as established confirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court.

Groveland,

Mar. 3, 1850

Part of Bradford. Mar. 21, 1856 part of Boxford annexed. April 22, 1904 bounds between Groveland and West Newbury established.

Hamilton,

June 21, 1793

Part of Ipswich called the Parish of Ipswich-Hamlet. June 5, 1896 bounds between Hamilton and Ipswich established and part of each town annexed to the other town. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Hamilton and Ipswich established. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Hamilton and Essex established. May 1, 1905 bounds between Hamilton and Wenham established.

Haverhill,

June 2,* 1641

Common land called Pantucket. Bounds between "Pantucket, ali : Haverell "and Salisbury established. May 10,* 1643 Haverhill is named as in one of the four shires established. May 23,* 1650 an island in the Merrimack River granted to Haverhill unless some person prove a clear title to it within three years. Oct. 14,* 1661 bounds established. Oct. 19,* 1654 bounds between Haverhill and Salisbury established. May 18,* 1664 bounds between Haverhill and "lands of Maj. Gen'l Dennison established." May 15,* 1667 bounds between Haverhill and Salisbury-new-town established. May 12,* 1675 bounds established. Dec. 8,* 1725 part included in the new town of Methuen. Mar. 10, 1869 Haverhill incorporated as a city. May 4, 1869 act of incorporation accepted by the town. May 4, 1896 Bradford annexed if the act is accepted by both places. Nov. 3,1896 the act accepted by both. Jan. 4, 1897 the act took effect.

Ipswich,

Aug. 5,* 1634

Common land called "Aggawam." May 20,* 1642 bounds between Ipswich, Cape Ann, and Jeffrey's Creek established. Oct. 18,* 1648 part called the Village at the New Meadows named 'Toppesfield." May 4,* 1649 two-fifths of Plum Island granted to Ipswich. Feb. 28,* 1694 bounds between Ipswich and Topsfield established. Feb. 16, 1774 part annexed to Topsfield. Nov. 29, 1785 part annexed to Rowley. June 21, 1793 part established as Hamilton. Feb. 15, 1819 part established as Essex. Mar. 7, 1846 part annexed to Boxford. April 19, 1892 boundary lines in tide-water between Ipswich and Essex, and Ipswich and Gloucester established. June 5, 1896 bounds between Ipswich and Hamilton established and part of each town annexed to the other town. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Ipswich and Hamilton established. Mar. 19, 1904 bounds between Ipswich and Rowley established.

Lawrence,

April l7, 1847

Parts of Andover and Methuen. Mar. 21, 1853 Lawrence incorporated as a city. Mar. 29, 1853 act of incorporation accepted by the town. April 4, 1864 part of Methuen annexed. Feb. 4, 1879 parts of Andover and North Andover annexed.

Lynn,

Nov. 20,* 1637

The first Saugus. Mar. 13 * 1639 land granted to Lynn. Mar. 13,* 1639 bounds between Lynn and Salem established. May 29,* 1644 part established as Reading. July 3, 1782 part established as the district of Lynnfield. Feb. 17, 1815 part established as Saugus. April 10, 1850 Lynn incorporated as a city. April 19, 1850 act of incorporation accepted by the town. May 21, 1852 part established as Swampscott. Mar. 29, 1853 part established as Nahant.

Lynnfield,

July 3, 1782

Part of Lynn established as the district of Lynnfield. Feb. 28, 1814 the district made a town. April 10, 1854 bounds between Lynnfield and Reading established. May 27, 1857 bounds between Lynnfield and North Reading established and part of each town annexed to the other town, provided the act is accepted by both towns. Nov. 3, 1857 act accepted by Lynnfield. (Accepted by North Reading Jan. 7, 1858.) April 2, 1870 bounds between Lynnfield and Wakefield established. May 17, 1901 bounds between Lynnfield and Saugus established. May 2, 1905 bounds between Lynnfield and Reading established.

Manchester,

May 14,* 1645

Part of Salem called "Jeffryes Creeke." May 15,* 1672 bounds between Manchester and Gloucester established. May 6, 1902 bounds between Manchester and Gloucester to be established. Aug. 25, 1903 bounds as established confirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court.

Marblehead,

July 2,* 1633

Part of Salem called Marble Harbor. May 6,* 1635 a plantation established at Marblehead. May 2,* 1649 Marblehead established as a town.

Merrimac,

April 11, 1876

Part of Amesbury.

Methuen,

Dec. S,* 1725

Part of Haverhill and certain common lands. April 17, 1847 part included in the new town of Lawrence. April 4, 1854 part annexed to Lawrence.

Middleton,

June 20,* 1735

Parts of Andover, Boxford, Salem, and Topsfield. April 22, 1904 bounds between Middleton and North Andover established. April 22, 1904 bounds between Middleton and Boxford established.

Nahant,

Mar. 29, 1853

Part of Lynn.

Newbury,

May 6,* 1635

The plantation called Wessacucon. May 4,* 1649 two-fifths of Plum Island granted to Newbury. May 14,* 1656 bounds between Newbury and Rowley established. Jan. 28, 1764 part established as Newburyport. Feb. 18, 1819 part established as Parsons. April 17, 1851 part annexed to Newburyport. Mar. 27, 1905 bounds between Newbury and Rowley established.

Newburyport,

Jan. 28, 1764

Part of Newbury. April 17, 1851 part of Newbury annexed. May 24, 1851 Newburyport incorporated as a city. June 3, 1851 act of incorporation accepted by the town.

North Andover,

April 7, 1855

Part of Andover. Feb. 4, 1879 part annexed to Lawrence. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between North Andover and Boxford established. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between North Andover and North Reading established. April 22, 1904, bounds between North Andover and Middleton established.

Parsons,

Feb. 18, 1819

Part of Newbury. June 14, 1820 name changed to West Newbury.

Peabody,

April 13, 1868

Name changed from South Danvers. April 30, 1868 act of April 13, 1868 accepted by the town. Mar. 27, 1882 part annexed to Salem.

Rockport,

Feb. 27, 1840

Part of Gloucester.

Rowley,

Sept. 4,* 1639

"Mr. Ezechi Rogers plantation." May 4,* 1649 one-fifth of Plum Island granted to Rowley. May 14,* 1656 bounds between Rowley and Newbury established. Oct. 13,* 1675 part established as Bradford. Aug. 12,* 1685 bounds between Rowley and the village (afterward Topsfield) established. — -, 1694 part established as Boxford. Feb. 24,* 1701 agreed bounds between Rowley and Bradford confirmed. Nov. 29, 1785 part of Ipswich annexed. June 10, 1808 part annexed to Boxford. June 18, 1825 bounds between Rowley and Boxford established. April 21, 1838 part established as Georgetown. Mar. 12, 1904 bounds between Rowley and Boxford established. Mar. 19,1904 bounds between Rowley and Ipswich established. Mar. 27, 1905 bounds between Rowley and Newbury established.

Salem,

Aug. 23,* 1630

Common land. Mar. 4,* 1635 bounds between Salem and Saugus (now Lynn), and Salem and Marble Harbor to be established. Mar. 13,* 1639 bounds between Salem and Lynn established. Sept. 7,* 1643 part called Enon established as Wenham. May 14,* 1645 part called "Jeffryes Creeke" established as Manchester. May 2,*1649 part established as Marblehead. Oct.19,* 1658 bounds between Salem and Topsfield established. Oct. 16,* 1660 "Certain Islands known by the name of the Miserys and Bakers granted to Salem." May 29,* 1664 bounds between Salem and Topsfield established. Oct. 14,* 1668 part called Bass River established as Beverly. June 20,* 1728 part included in the new town of Middleton. Jan. 28,* 1752 part established as the district of Danvers. Sept. 11, 1753 part annexed to Beverly. Mar. 23, 1836 Salem incorporated as a city. April 4, 1836 act of incorporation accepted by the town. Mar. 17, 1840 bounds between Salem and Danvers established. April 30, 1856 bounds between Salem and South Danvers established and part of each place annexed to the other place. April 3, 1867 part annexed to Swampscott. Mar. 27, 1882 part of Peabody annexed.

Salisbury,

Oct. 7,* 1640

Common land called Colechester. June 2,* 1641 bounds between Salisbury and "Pantucket, ali: Haverell" established. Oct. 19,* 1654 bounds between Salisbury and Haverhill established. May 27,* 1668 part established as Amesbury. Mar. 15, 1844 part annexed to Amesbury. June 16, 1886 part annexed to Amesbury. July 1, 1886 act of June 16, 1886 took effect.

Salisbury new town

May 23,* 1666

Granted the privileges of a town. May 15,* 1667 bounds between Salisbury new town and Haverhill established. May 28,* 1668 " Salisbury newtown . . . may be named Emesbury."

Saugus

July 5,* 1631

The plantation of Saugus. Mar. 4,* 1635 bounds between Saugus and Salem, and between Saugus and Marble Harbor to be established. Nov. 20,* 1637 name changed to Lynn.

Saugus,

Feb. 17, 1815

Part of Lynn. Feb. 22, 1841 part of Chelsea annexed. May 17, 1901 bounds between Saugus and Lynnfield established.

South Danvers,

May 18, 1855

Part of Danvers. April 30, 1856 bounds between South Danvers and Salem established and part of each place annexed to the other place. May 31, 1856 bounds between South Danvers and Danvers established. April 13, 1868 name changed to Peabody. April 30, 1868 name of Peabody accepted by the town.

Swampscott,

May 21, 1852

Part of Lynn. April 3, 1867 part of Salem annexed.

Topsfield,

Oct. 18,* 1648

Part of Ipswich called the Village at the New Meadows. Oct. 18,* 1650 Topsfield established as a town. Oct. 19, 1658 bounds between Topsfield and Salem established. May 29,* 1664 bounds between Topsfield and Salem established. Feb. 28,* 1694 bounds between Topsfield and Ipswich established. Feb. 25,* 1701 bounds between Topsfield and Boxford established. Nov. 19,* 1707 bounds between Topsfield and Boxford established. June 20,* 1728 part included in the new town of Middleton. Feb. 16, 1774 part of Ipswich annexed.

Wenham,

Sept. 7,* 1643

Part of Salem called Enon. May 28,* 1679 bounds between Wenham and Beverly and "the Village" established. May 1, 1905 bounds between Wenham and Hamilton established.

West Newbury,

June 14, 1820

Name changed from Parsons. April 22, 1904 bounds between West Newbury and Groveland established.