Norfolk (old) County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Norfolk (old) County

Not to be confused with the newer Norfolk County, Massachusetts created in 1793 from part of Suffolk County.
Old Norfolk County in Massachusetts and New Hampshire red; modern Norfolk County yellow.

Norfolk (old) County was one of the four original Massachusetts Bay Colony counties. It was created 10 May 1643 on land partially in present-day Essex County, Massachusetts, and partially in present-day Rockingham and Strafford County, New Hampshire.[1] Norfolk (old) County included these six towns:

in Massachusetts: Haverhill, Methuen, and the northern part of Lawrence
in New Hampshire: Atkinson, Hampstead, Plaistow, and part of Salem
in Massachusetts: Salisbury (or Colchester), Amesbury, and Merrimac
in New Hampshire: Newton, South Hampton, and part of Seabrook

Discontinued. Old Norfolk County was mostly discontinued 22 January 1679/1680 when the Province of New Hampshire was formed. The northern four towns were transferred to New Hampshire. The towns of Haverhill and Salisbury were added to Essex County, Massachusetts for court purposes. But officials permitted deeds to be added to the Norfolk (old) County records as late as 1714 from all parts of the old county.[2]

Records. Land deeds 1639-1678 of the old Norfolk County and her towns are housed at the Essex County Registry of Deeds in Salem, Massachusetts. These deeds were abstracted and published in:

Norfolk County in Massachusetts and New Hampshire (created in 1643 part of Massachusetts Bay Colony) had six towns shown in red and black. This is overlaid on a map of present-day MA and NH town borders in white.


  1. "Old Norfolk County Records," Essex Antiquarian 1, no. 2 (February 1897), 19. Part of NEHGS American Ancestors Search. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 599729 Item 2; Book 974.45 B2a. Includes a map of the six towns.
  2. "Old Norfolk County Records," 20.