Haverhill and Bradford GenWeb Project

Haverhill, Massachusetts

Early Haverhill

Haverhill was settled and houses built as early as 1640, however it was not until greater than two years afterwards that the land was purchased from the Indians who owned it.  At the time, the town was known as Pentucket.  Details of the purchase can be found below in Land & Property.

By 1643, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's administration had expanded northward to include settlements in what are now New Hampshire and Maine. The Massachusetts General Court, in 1643, established four counties, then called shires, for settling legal cases, and denominated those counties Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, and Norfolk. 

The Norfolk County of 1643 (Old Norfolk County) was an entirely different geographic area from the present Norfolk County. Located north of the Merrimac River, Old Norfolk included Haverhill, Salisbury, and Amesbury, and what are now the New Hampshire communities of Dover, Exeter, Hampton, and Portsmouth (then called Strawberry Bank). [Information courtesy of the www.norfolkcounty.org website].

Haverhill was engaged in shoemaking as early as 1646, resulting in a long and fascinating history of shoemaking and other tanned leather goods.

In 1725, a petition was made to the General Court for land at "Pennycook", N.H. (now Concord).  The petition was granted and in 1726, 36 of the 100 men admitted as settlers to the new township were from Haverhill.  More information can be found under Early Inhabitants below.   

The throat distemper which prevailed throughout the County of Essex in 1735, 1736 and 1737 was particularly fatal in Haverhill. From Nov. 17, 1735, to Dec. 31, 1737, two hundred and fifty-six children, most of them under ten years of age, died from the disease, and in the whole county the deaths of about fourteen hundred children and a considerable number of adults are estimated resulted.

In 1741 a new state line was created between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As a result, nearly one-third of the population, territory, and property of the town of Haverhill, fell to the north of the Massachusetts line. In addition, to the large portion was carved out for Methuen, in 1725, more than one-half of the land originally belonging to Haverhill had been taken within the short period of fifteen years. It was, indeed, a great change in its condition, and prospects, and must have been felt most seriously.  

Census Information            Land & Property            Early Inhabitants

    *    1790 Census                        * Pentucket Purchase                *    Early Families 

    *    1850 Census                        * 1645 Land Holders                 *    Brief Biographies

    *    1798 Householders             * 1650 Land Holders                     

                                                                                                           *    Those Killed by Indians 

                                                                                                           *    Vital Records to 1850


Churches, Probate, City Directories

                * 1890 Directory (fee based)    *    Pre-1850 Churches

*Bradford in Revolutionary War

Contemporary Haverhill                          

Haverhill City Page
Picture Tour
Haverhill Obituaries
Public Library
Chamber Commerce

Profile, Demographics
Records & Resources
Historical Commission
Haverhill Gazette
USGS Haverhill Map
Cemetery Locations
Community Genealogy
Community College
Area Map
Satellite Photo

Haverhill & Bradford Genealogy Communication

  Haverhill Ancestor Web Pages  If you have a web page including ancestors from Haverhill,
                        send it to me and I will create a link to it.

  Surname Researchers     Contact others researching your surnames of interest
  Need Lookups?*   Volunteers will do lookups for you in vital records, histories and genealogies
                                            (*This link includes access to some online books and genealogies)
  Queries:  Join the Maessex mailing list 
  Search Maessex archives   Search past postings for Essex County/Haverhill information
  Other Genealogy Links   Mailing lists, Societies, New England Resources, publishers 

Haverhill Neighbors

  Boxford       Groveland       Merrimac       Methuen       North Andover        West Newbury

Related GenWeb Sites

  Essex County     Rockingham County (NH)    Massachusetts     United States     World

   Essex County Massachusetts Genealogy Project: Founded August 1996

Haverhill GenWeb History
    Haverhill Massachusetts Genealogy Project: Established January 14, 1997

The Haverhill GenWeb site was created by Ethelind Wright
who maintained it through January 2000

  This site was then maintained by Bill Prokasy through 
February 2005

Visitor     since February 12, 2000

Gleanings Links


Copyright © 2007 by Terryl Whitaker Pilon

This site last updated 04 July 2007