Place:Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, United States


Alt namesAndover Centresource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25005156
Andover Villagesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25005156
Cochichawicksource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25005156
Cochichewicksource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25005156
Coordinates42.65°N 71.133°W
Located inEssex, Massachusetts, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was settled in 1642 and incorporated in 1646. As of the 2020 census, the population was 36,569. It is located north of Boston and south of Lawrence. Part of the town comprises the census-designated place of Andover. It is twinned with its namesake: Andover, Hampshire, England.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Native Americans inhabited what is now northeastern Massachusetts for thousands of years prior to European colonization of the Americas. At the time of European arrival, Massachusett and Naumkeag people inhabited the area south of the Merrimack River and Pennacooks inhabited the area to the north. The Massachusett referred to the area that would later be renamed Andover as Cochichawick.[1]

Establishment and incorporation

In 1634, the Massachusetts General Court set aside a portion of land in what is now Essex County for an inland plantation, including parts of what is now Andover, North Andover and South Lawrence. In order to encourage settlement, early colonists were offered three years' immunity from taxes, levies, and services (apart from military service). The first permanent settlement in the Andover area was established in 1642 by John Woodbridge and a group of settlers from Newbury and Ipswich.

Shortly after they arrived, they purchased land from the Massachusett sachem Cutshamekin for "six pounds of currency and a coat" on the condition that a local company of indigenous people headed by a man named Roger be allowed to plant corn and take alewives from a local water source.[1] Roger's Brook, a small stream which cuts through the eastern part of town, is named in his honor.[1]

In May 1646 the settlement was incorporated as a town and was named Andover. This name was likely chosen in honor of the town of Andover in England, which was near the original home of some of the first residents. The first recorded town meeting was held in 1656 in the home of settler John Osgood in what is now North Andover.

The old burying ground in what is now North Andover marks the center of the early town. Contrary to popular belief, the towns split due to the location of the Old North Church, also located in what is now North Andover. The villagers from the southwestern part of the town were tired of walking all the way to the extreme north of what was then Andover and decided to build their own South Church central to what is now Andover.


During the 1692 Salem witch trials, Andover resident Joseph Ballard asked for help for his wife from several girls in the neighboring Salem Village who were already identifying witches there. After visiting Elizabeth Ballard, the girls claimed that several people in Andover had bewitched her: Ann Foster, her daughter Mary Lacey Sr. and her granddaughter Mary Lacey Jr. During the course of the legal proceedings, more than 40 Andover citizens, mostly women and their children, were formally accused of having made a covenant with the Devil. Three Andover residents, Martha Carrier, Mary Parker, and Samuel Wardwell, were convicted and executed. Five others either pleaded guilty at arraignment or were convicted at trial: Ann Foster, Mary Lacey Sr., and Abigail Faulkner Sr. (daughter of Andover's minister, Francis Dane) in 1692 and Wardwell's wife Sarah and Rev. Dane's granddaughter, Elizabeth Johnson Jr. in 1693. Those who were not executed were granted reprieves by Gov. William Phips, but the convictions remained on their records. In 1713, in response to petitions initiated in 1703 by Abigail Faulkner Sr. and Sarah Wardwell, Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley reversed the attainder on the names of those who were convicted in the episode.

The two parishes and the division of the town

By 1705, Andover's population had begun to move southward and the idea of a new meeting house in the south end of town was proposed. This was strongly opposed by the people living near the original meeting house in the north, but the dispute was finally settled in 1709 when the Great and General Court divided Andover into two parishes, North and South. After the division of the two parishes, South Andover established the South Church and South Parish "Burying-Yard," as it was called, with early Andover settler Robert Russell the first to be interred at age 80 in December 1710. But despite this split, the town remained politically one unit.

For many years, Andover was geographically one of the largest towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; in 1826 a third parish was established and West Parish Church was constructed on Reservation Road.

In 1855, Andover divided into two separate political units according to the old parish boundaries.[2] The name Andover was assumed by the West and South parishes, while the name North Andover was given to the North Parish. How those names were decided upon is still debated to this day, from the reasons being money being paid to one town to keep the name, to there being a controversy over a fire truck affecting the name change.

Andover in the American Revolutionary War

Records show that on the morning of April 19, 1775, approximately 350 Andover men marched toward Lexington. Although they did not arrive in time for the battle that day, they did go on to participate in the battle of Bunker Hill two months later and fought in subsequent skirmishes with the Redcoats during the war.

Among the Andover men who were representatives to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1779–1780 were Colonel Samuel Osgood, Zebadiah Abbot, John Farnum and Samuel Phillips Jr. Phillips—who had founded Phillips Academy in 1778—was later appointed by John Adams to help draft the Massachusetts state constitution.

During the burning of Charlestown (June 17, 1775) Andover townspeople hiked to the top of Holt Hill to witness it. Holt Hill is the highest point in Essex County at and is currently part of the Charles W. Ward Reservation.

Post-Revolution Andover

In November 1798, David Brown led a group in Dedham, Massachusetts, in setting up a liberty pole with the words, "No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America; peace and retirement to the President; Love Live the Vice President," referring to then-President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson. Brown was arrested in Andover, but because he could not afford the $4,000 bail, he was taken to Salem for trial. Brown was tried in June 1799. Brown wanted to plead guilty but Justice Samuel Chase wanted him to name everybody who had helped him or who subscribed to his writings. Brown refused, was fined $480, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison, the most severe sentence then imposed under the Alien and Sedition Acts.[3]

Death of President-elect Pierce's son

On January 4, 1853, Benjamin "Bennie" Pierce, the 11-year-old son of President-elect Franklin Pierce, was killed in a train accident in town. The Boston & Maine noon express, traveling from Boston to Lawrence, was moving at 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) when an axle broke. The only coach, in which Franklin Pierce was also riding, went down an embankment and broke in two. (The baggage car and locomotive remained on the track.) Pierce's son Benjamin was the only passenger killed, but it was initially reported that Franklin Pierce was also a fatality.

American Civil War

The anti-slavery movement had many supporters in Andover long before the American Civil War began. William Jenkins - an ardent abolitionist and friend of William Lloyd Garrison - and several others provided stops on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, was a longtime resident. Her home, known as Stowe House, is now owned by Phillips Academy. Her body is buried in Phillips Academy's cemetery. When the Confederate Army shelled Fort Sumter in 1861, a company of 79 volunteers formed. By the time the war ended in 1865, six hundred Andover men had served in the Union Army.

Shawsheen Village

In 1919, the American Woolen Company announced plans to build a million dollar mill in the already-existing mill community of Frye Village and rename the region "Shawsheen." The village was completely rebuilt as a "model industrial community" and became the site of the company's headquarters. The mill began operating in 1922 and within two years the village contained more than 200 houses, several community buildings, a few tennis courts, a swimming area, a bowling green, an athletic field and a golf course. The employees rented their homes from the company; the brick structures were reserved for upper management and the wooden buildings for those of lesser position. This industrial utopia, however, was short-lived - by the early 1940s almost all of the houses and administration buildings were in private hands. The mills became a victim of changing technology as synthetic fibers became more popular than wool. The American Woolen Company closed its mills in 1953, and the buildings today house a variety of businesses, homes, and apartments. The village left its mark nationally, however, when its soccer team, the Shawsheen Indians, won the national soccer championship in 1925.

Research Tips

The Evolution of the Town of Andover

The territory within the limits of the town of Andover was originally called Cochicawick. Andover was incorporated as a town May 6, 1646, and was named for the town in Hants County, England, which had been the home of many of its settlers.

A committee was appointed by the General Court on June 1, 1652, to lay out the bounds between Andover and Cambridge, and the same day the Court granted that the five or six hundred acres laid out by Rowley, without their line near Andover town, should belong to Andover.

The bounds between Andover and Billerica were established May 26, 1658.

The bounds between Andover and Wills Hill [now part of Middleton] were established May 9, 1678.

June 20, 1728, a part of Andover was included in the new town of Middleton.

April 17, 1847, a part of Andover was included in the new town of Lawrence.

April 7, 1855, a part of Andover was established as North Andover.

Feb. 7, 1879, a part of Andover was annexed to Lawrence.

The bounds between Andover and Tewksbury were established May 21, 1903.

The bounds between Andover and North Reading were established Apr. 22, 1904.

The population of Andover at different periods was as follows:

1765, 2,442; 1776, 2,953; 1790, 2,863; 1800, 2,941; 1810, 3,164; 1820, 3,889; 1830, 4,530; 1840, 5,207; 1850, 6,945; 1905, 6,632.

Source Vital Records of Andover, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849, 1:4

See Also