Essex County, Massachusetts

Essex Co., MA

Essex County, MA


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. In 1680, Haverhill and Salisbury, both located north of the Merrimack River, were annexed to Essex County. These communities had been part of Massachusetts' colonial-era Norfolk County. The remaining four towns within colonial Norfolk County, which included Exeter and what is now Portsmouth, were transferred to what became Rockingham County in the Province of New Hampshire. The ten large founding Massachusetts-based 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.

Due to a confluence of floods, hurricanes, and severe winter storms, Essex County has had more disaster declarations than almost all other U.S. counties, from 1964 to 2016.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_County,_Massachusetts

Modern Day Adjacent Counties

Essex County is bordered by Rockingham (NH), the Atlantic Ocean (specifically the Gulf of Maine and Massachusetts Bay), Suffolk, Middlesex, and Hillsborough (NH).

Gleanings from