Norfolk (old) County, Massachusetts Genealogy
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. Norfolk (old) County included these six towns:
- in Massachusetts: Haverhill, Methuen, and the northern part of Lawrence
- in New Hampshire: Atkinson, Hampstead, Plaistow, and the southeast corner of Salem
- in Massachusetts: Salisbury (or Colchester), Amesbury, and Merrimac
- in New Hampshire: Newton, South Hampton, and part of Seabrook
- Exeter now in Rockingham County, New Hampshire including the present-day towns of Exeter, Brentwood, Epping, Fremont, Newmarket, and South Newmarket
- Hampton now in Rockingham County, New Hampshire including present-day towns of Hampton, Danville, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, East Kingston, North Hampton, and parts of Rye and Seabrook
- Portsmouth now in Rockingham County, New Hampshire including the present-day towns of Portsmouth (or Strawberry-bank), Greenland, New Castle, Newington, and part of Rye
- Dover now in Strafford County, New Hampshire including the present-day towns of Dover (or Cocheco), Durham, and Stratham
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.
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:
- "Old Norfolk County Records," Essex Antiquarian 1, no. 2 (February 1897): 19-24 continued in additional issues. Each volume indexed. Part of NEHGS American Ancestors Search. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 599729 Item 2+; Book 974.45 B2a.