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Essex County, Massachusetts

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  • Elizabeth Gray (1629 - 1683)
    In 1663, Nicholas Manning married a much older widow, Elizabeth Gray, who divorced him in 1681.Notes for Elizabeth* The 1902 Manning Genealogy only gives Nicholas' first wife's name as Elizabeth and sa...
  • Susannah Ayres (1617 - 1682)
    John Ayres Sr. was a prominent Ipswich resident who promoted the settlement in Quaboag. He also was killed in the ambush by the Indians in New Braintree the same day as the Brookfield massacre. His wif...
  • Mark Symonds, of Ipswich (1584 - 1659)
    BiographyMark was 50 years old in 1634 in Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts. He died 28 Apr 1659, leaving wife Joanna, daughters Susanna Ayres, Abigail (wife of Robert Pierce), and Priscilla (wife of J...
  • Joanna Susan Symonds (c.1588 - 1666)
    BiographyNOTE: Birth year calculated from husband's & children’s birthdates.NameName: Joanna /[Symonds]/ Given Name: Joanna Surname: [Symonds] SourcesFootnotes: Source Citations: Vital Records of Ipswi...
  • Abigail Warner (1589 - 1659)
    GEDCOM Source ===@R1603081488@ U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current Operations, Inc. 1,60525::0 === GEDCOM Source ===1,60525::118024876 === GEDCOM Source ===@R1603081488@ M...

Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the total population was 743,159,[1] making it the third-most populous county in Massachusetts. It is part of the Greater Boston area (the Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA–NH Metropolitan Statistical Area). The largest city in Essex County is Lynn.

It has two county seats: Salem and Lawrence. Prior to the dissolution of the county government in 1999, Salem had jurisdiction over the Southern Essex District, and Lawrence had jurisdiction over the Northern Essex District, but currently these cities do not function as seats of government. However, the county and the districts remain as administrative regions recognized by various governmental agencies, which gathered vital statistics or disposed of judicial case loads under these geographic subdivisions, and are required to keep the records based on them. The county has been designated the Essex National Heritage Area by the National Park Service.

The county was created by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony on May 10, 1643, when it was ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires". Named after the county in England, Essex then comprised the towns of Salem, Lynn, Wenham, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Gloucester, and Andover.[2] In 1680, two towns from Massachusetts' colonial-era Norfolk County, Haverhill and Salisbury, both north of the Merrimack River, were annexed to Essex County, while the remainder was transferred to the Province of New Hampshire. These large founding settlements were then subdivided over the centuries to produce Essex County's modern composition of cities and towns.

Essex County is famous as the area that Elbridge Gerry (who was born and raised in Marblehead) districted into a salamander-like shape in 1812 that gave rise to the word gerrymandering.

Essex County was one of the four original counties when Massachusetts Bay Colony created counties in 1643 which includes the area known as Cape Ann. The only major change came with the addition of three miles on the northern border when the Old Norfolk County was eliminated in 1680. It was first settled in 1623. This was a major port for the United States through the late 1800s. Fishing was a thriving industry from the beginning, and is still notable in Gloucester. The most popular historical event was the witch trials of Salem in 1692. Haverhill, on the Merrimack River, became one of the centers of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s. As the city expanded with all the immigrant growth, the city annexed the town of Bradford on the south side of the river. The county government was abolished on 1 July 1999, but its former jurisdiction is used for state offices as a district.[1]

Wikipedia : Essex County, Massachusetts


Cities and Towns

Cities are in capital letters. * indicates County Seat.

AMESBURY | Andover | BEVERLY | Boxford | Danvers | Essex | Georgetown | GLOUCESTER | Groveland | Hamilton | HAVERHILL | Ipswich | LAWRENCE* | LYNN | Lynnfield | Manchester by the sea | Marblehead | Merrimac | METHUEN | Middleton | Nahant | Newbury | NEWBURYPORT* | North Andover | PEABODY | Rockport | Rowley | SALEM* | Salisbury | Saugus | Swampscott | Topsfield | Wenham | West Newbury

Specific Families