Origin of the Town of Haverhill, Massachusetts

The Indian name for this locality was "Pentucket" – but the early settlers applied the name of Haverhill in compliment to Rev. John Ward, the first minister, who came from Haverhill, England. "Mr. Ward & Newberry men" petitioned the General Court on May 13, 1640, for permission to begin a new plantation on the Merrimack river, which was granted provided "they build there before the next Courte." Though the town was settled and houses erected in 1640 it was not until November 15, 1642, that a title to the land was purchased of the Indian owners.

  • In June, 1641, the Court appointed men to determine the bounds "between Salsberry and Pantucket alias Haverhill."
  • In 1643, a law was passed by the General Court requiring records to be kept of births, marriages and deaths in each town and in Haverhill, Richard Littlehale was chosen "clerk of the Writs and Town Recorder," and the first meeting of which proceedings are recorded was held November 6, 1643.
  • In 1645 the plantation of Haverhill was incorporated as a town.
  • An island in the Merrimack river was granted to Haverhill on May 23, 1650.
  • October 14, 1651 bounds were established.
  • October 19, 1654 bounds between Haverhill and Salisbury were established.
  • May 18, 1664 bounds between Haverhill and lands of Maj. Gen’l Dennison were established.
  • December 8, 1725 the western part of the town was included in the new town of Methuen.

The population of Haverhill at different periods was as follows:

1765 – 1,980
1776 – 2,810
1790 – 2,408
1810 – 2,682
1820 – 3,070
1830 – 3,896
1840 – 4,336
1850 – 5,877
1907 – 41,242

Other Haverhill, Massachusetts Resources:

  • Official pictorial magazine of the Haverhill tercentenary celebration, 1640-1940]
  • An historical sketch of Haverhill in the county of Essex and commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • An oration delivered at the commemoration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Haverhill, Mass.
  • Centennial discourse delivered on the one hundredth anniversary of the organization of the Baptist Church, Haverhill, Mass.
  • Descendants of Chase Whitcher of Warren N.H., fourth in descent from Thomas Whittier of Salisbury, (Haverhill) Mass.
  • Descendants of John Page (1614-1687) of Hingham and Haverhill, Massachusetts : together with genealogical records of certain br
  • Descendants of John Williams of Newbury and Haverhill, Mass., 1600-1674
  • Genealogy of the Ela family : descendants of Israel Ela of Haverhill, Mass.
  • Haverhill : foundation facts concerning its settlement, growth, industries, and societies, etc., etc.. Haverhill, Mass
  • Haverhill, Massachusetts : an industrial and commercial center.
  • Historical discourse delivered on the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the First Baptist Church of Haverhill, Mass.
  • Some memories of old Haverhill in Massachusetts
  • The articles of faith and covenant of the First Baptist Church in Haverhill : with a list of members.
  • The colonial and revolutionary history of Haverhill
  • The descendants of Thomas Whittier and Ruth Green of Salisbury & Haverhill, Massachusetts
  • The descendants of William Neff who married Mary Corliss : January 23, 1665, Haverhill, Massachusetts
  • The descendants of William White, of Haverhill, Mass. : genealogical notices
  • The genealogy of the descendants of Henry Kingsbury of Ipswich and Haverhill, Mass
  • The Haverhill Emersons
  • The Hendrick genealogy : Daniel Hendrick of Haverhill, Mass. and his descendants : with an appendix containing brief accounts o
  • The history of Haverhill, Massachusetts : from its first settlement, in 1640, to the year 1860
  • The Ladd family : a genealogical and biographical memoir of the descendants of Daniel Ladd, of Haverhill, Mass., Joseph Ladd.
  • Vital records of Haverhill, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
  • Willis records, or, Records of the Willis family of Haverhill, Portland, and Boston