Essex County, Massachusetts
Genealogy, History & Facts
Essex County, Massachusetts Facts
When was Essex County, MA Created?
Essex County was founded on May 10, 1643 as one of four original counties created in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The county was named for the English county of Essex.
What is the County Seat of Essex County, MA?
The County Seat is located in Salem & Lawrence and the county government was abolished on July 1, 1999
What counties are adjacent to Essex County, MA?
Bordering Counties are Rockingham County, New Hampshire (north), Suffolk County (south), Middlesex County (west).
What cities and towns are in Essex County, MA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Byfield, 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 and West Newbury.
Essex County, MA Vital Records
Where can find Essex County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Essex County vital records can be found at the Massachusetts Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Massachusetts for current fees and application process. Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841. There is a fee for each copy requested. Records for events that occurred from 1841-1910 are available at the State Archives.
Essex County Town Clerks has copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce and death records). Clerks respond to inquiries regarding vital records, since most have indexes available.
You can search online for Essex County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Massachusetts Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.
- Essex County, Massachusetts Birth Records to 1850: Newburyport
- Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts Births to 1850
- Essex County, Massachusetts Marriages to 1850: Newburyport
- Essex County, Massachusetts Death Records to 1850: Newburyport
- Bradford Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850
- Vital records of Salem, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Newbury, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Marblehead, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Newburyport, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Lynn, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Beverly, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Andover, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Danvers, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Haverhill, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Rowley, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts: Cemetery Inscriptions
- Vital records of Bradford, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Methuen, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Manchester, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Boxford, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Topsfield, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Middleton, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Lawrence, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of West Newbury, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Georgetown, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Essex, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Saugus, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
- Social Security Death Index
- USGenweb Archives Massachusetts Marriage Project
- Early Vital Records of Massachusetts, From 1600 to 1850
- Massachusetts, State Vital Records, 1841-1920
- Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records, 1579-2001
- Massachusetts Vital Records Index Pre-1850
- Massachusetts Vital Record Transcripts, 1620-1849
- Massachusetts Vital Records, 1620-1915
- Massachusetts Vital Records Index 1841-1895
- Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915
- Massachusetts, Births, 1841-1915
- Boston Births, 1700-1800
- Massachusetts, Town Birth Records, 1620-1850
- Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910
- Massachusetts, Marriages, 1633-1850
- Boston Marriages from 1752 to 1809
- Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1751
- Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. II
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. III
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. I
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. IV
- Massachusetts Marriages to 1800
- Massachusetts Town Marriage Records
- Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003
- Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003
- Massachusetts, Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910
- Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841-1915
- Massachusetts, Town Death Records, 1620-1850
Essex County, MA Census Records
What Essex County, MA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Essex County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
Essex Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Essex Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Essex Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890.
Massachusetts state censuses exist for the years 1855 and 1865. There is free down-loadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Massachusetts Census Records Research Guide
Essex County, MA Courthouse and Government Records
Essex County Courthouse
What genealogical records can I find in the Essex County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Essex County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. For Town Records contact the Town Clerk (Helpful Telephone Listings for your City/Town Hall). See Also Massachusetts Corthouse Records Research Guide.
PLEASE READ FIRST!!! Please call the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics before visiting or requesting information because of sometimes changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are available to interested parties, barring private issues. Many staff will guide individuals in locating the materials, however it's up to the person to carry out the research. The county was divided into two districts in 1869. The Salem office is the "parent" county seat. After that it remained the probate office for the county, but the registry of deeds for only the Southern District. This registry also has all the "old" Norfolk County (1637-1714) and Ipswich Series Deeds, 1640-94, two of which have been transcribed by George Sanborn for the manuscript collection at New England Historic Genealogical Society. Essex court records to
1800 are at the Peabody Essex Museum.
- Essex County Register of Deeds is the place where all transactions of a Real Property nature are recorded so that the public is made aware of their existence. Deeds, mortgages, tax liens, water liens, declaration of homestead and many other kinds of documents regarding the title and ownership of real estate are noted permanently in official records.
- Southern District, 45 Congress St., Suite 4100, Salem, MA 01970 ; (978) 741-0201; The Southern District includes the towns of Amesbury, Beverly, Boxford, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Merrimac, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, Peabody, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham, and West Newbury.
- Northern District, 381 Common Street, Lawrence, MA 01840; (978) 683-2745; The Northern District includes the towns of Andover, Lawrence, Methuen and North Andover.
- Land Records: 1637
- Essex County Clerk of Probate Court has many responsibilities which include the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
- Address: 36 Federal Street, Salem, MA 01970
- Phone: (978) 745-0350
- Probate Records: 1635
- Essex County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Address: 34 Federal St., Salem 01970
- Phone: (978) 744-5500
- Court Records: 1636
- Essex County Town Clerks have tax lists that may still be available at the town office. Earlier taxes for the towns exist as well.
- Essex, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1638-1840
- Essex County, Massachusetts Depositions, 1636-86
- Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Records, Supplement
- Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1635-1681
- Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Records, Part 1
- Records of ye towne meetings of Lyn
- Extracts from the records of the town of Lynn : together with the division and names of the original proprietors of land at Nah
- The records of the Salem Commoners, 1713-1739
- The ancient records of the town of Ipswich.
- Massachusetts Name Changes, 1780-1892
- BLM Land Records
Essex County, MA Societies and Family History Resources
What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Essex County, MA?
A list of Essex County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Massachusetts Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.
- Andover Historical Society, 97 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810; Phone: (978) 475-2236
- Beverly Historical Society, 117 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915; Phone: (978) 922 1186
- Cape Ann Historical Society, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA 01930; Phone: (978) 283-0455
- Danvers Historical Society, 11 Page Street, PO Box 381, Danvers, MA 01923, Phone: (978) 777-1666
- Essex Historical Society, Box 277, 66 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929; Phone: (978) 768-7541
- Georgetown Historical Society, P.O. Box 376, Georgetown, MA 01833
- Haverhill Historical Society, 240 Water Street, Haverhill, MA 01830; Phone: (978) 374-4626
- Historical Society of Old Newbury, 98 High Street, Newburyport, MA 01950; Phone: (978) 462-2681
- Methuen Historical Society, 41 Pleasant Street Methuen, MA 01844; (978) 683-2252
- Newburyport Maritime Society, 25 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950; Phone: (978) 462-8681
- Peabody Historical Society, 35 Washington Street, Peabody MA 01960; Phone: (978) 531-0805
- Saugus Historical Society, PO Box 1209, Saugus, MA 01906-1209; Phone: (781) 233-7232
- Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
- State Archives Building, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125
Where can I connect with other Essex County, MA Researchers through message boards and forums?
What other genealogical resources are available in Essex County, MA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Essex County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some call for a cost. This is just a collection which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another.
Essex Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Essex Co. MA Cemeteries & Church Records
- Massachusetts Cemetery Research Guide (raogk.org)
- Inscriptions from the old cemetery in Groveland, Mass. (formerly East Bradford) (search.ancestry.com)
- Inscriptions from the old burying ground, Lynn, Mass. (search.ancestry.com)
- The register of baptisms of the First Church in Beverly, 1667-1710 (search.ancestry.com)
- Eighteenth century baptisms in Salem, Massachusetts (search.ancestry.com)
- Essex Co., Massachusetts Graves (findagrave.com)
- Essex County Tombstone Transcription Project (usgwtombstones.org)
- Essex Co., Massachusetts Cemeteries (Internment.net)
- Essex Co., Massachusetts Cemetery Books (amazon.com)
- Massachusetts Church & Bible Research Guide (raogk.org)
- Brief history, articles of faith, covenant, and living members of the Orthodox Congregational Church in Manchester Mass. (search.ancestry.com)
- Essex County, Massachusetts Church Books (amazon.com)
Essex Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Essex Co. MA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for Massachusetts
- Essex County, Massachusetts Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- History of Essex County, Massachusetts, with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (1888) (archive.org)
- A chronological record of the principal events that have occurred in Amesbury, Massachusetts (search.ancestry.com)
- Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton, Massachusetts: Town Histories (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Newburyport, Mass., 1764-1905 (search.ancestry.com)
- History and genealogy of the Jewetts of America : a record of Edward Jewett, of Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, an (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Essex County, Massachusetts. : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (search.ancestry.com)
- Ould Newbury : historical and biographical sketches (search.ancestry.com)
- Village, Section or Neighborhood Names of Massachusetts Communities (sec.state.ma.us)
- Essex County, Massachusetts Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Essex Co. MA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Essex County, Massachusetts (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - Massachusetts - Counties - Essex (cyndislist.com)
- Essex County Massachusetts (genealogytrails.com)
- Essex Co. MAGenweb (essexcountyma.net)
- Essex County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Essex Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Essex Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Essex Co. MA Military Records
Essex Co. MA Schools & Directories
- Massachusetts City Directories (search.ancestry.com) This database is a collection of city directories for various years and cities in Massachusetts. Generally a city directory will contain an alphabetical list of its citizens, listing the names of the heads of households, their addresses, and occupational information.
- Salem, Massachusetts Directories, 1888-89, 1890-91, 1893-94 (search.ancestry.com)
- Lawrence, Massachusetts Directories, 1888-92 (search.ancestry.com)
- Lynn, Massachusetts Directory 1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Gloucester, Massachusetts Directories, 1888-91 (search.ancestry.com)
- Haverhill, Massachusetts Directory 1894 (search.ancestry.com)
- Newburyport, Massachusetts Directory, 1891 (search.ancestry.com)
- Essex, Massachusetts Directory 1888-89 (search.ancestry.com)
- Peabody, Massachusetts Directory, 1886 (search.ancestry.com)
- Amesbury, Massachusetts Directory, 1891 (search.ancestry.com)
- Bradford, Massachusetts Directory 1889 (search.ancestry.com)
- Ipswich, Massachusetts Directory, 1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Swampscott, Massachusetts Directory 1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Georgetown, Massachusetts Directory 1885-86 (search.ancestry.com)
- Groveland, Massachusetts Directory 1885-86, 1894 (search.ancestry.com)
- Rowley, Massachusetts Directory, 1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Hamilton, Massachusetts Directory 1890 (search.ancestry.com)