Place:Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States

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NameSpringfield
Alt namesAgawomesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001885
Nayassetsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001885
Springfield Citysource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001885
TypeCity
Coordinates42.113°N 72.547°W
Located inHampden, Massachusetts, United States     (1635 - )
Contained Places
Cemetery
Elmwood Cemetery ( - 1774 )
Forestdale Cemetery ( - 1774 )
Hillcrest Park Cemetery
Oak Grove Cemetery ( 1881 - )
Old Burying Ground
Old Meadow Cemetery ( 1711 - 1774 )
Pine Street Cemetery
Springfield Cemetery
Inhabited place
East Longmeadow ( 1720 - 1783 )
Holyoke ( - 1774 )
Longmeadow ( 1644 - 1783 )
West Springfield ( - 1774 )
Neighborhood
Indian Orchard
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2017, the estimated population was 154,758, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States.[1] Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts (the other being Greater Boston), had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.[2]

The first Springfield in the New World, during the American Revolution, George Washington designated it as the site of the Springfield Armory for its central location. The Armory would play a pivotal role in the Civil War with its manufacture of the famed "Springfield rifles"; closing during the Johnson administration, today this national park historic site features the largest collection of historic American firearms in the world. Today the city is the largest in western New England, and the urban, economic, and media capital of Massachusetts' section of the Connecticut River Valley, colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley. Springfield has several nicknames – "The City of Firsts", due to the many innovations developed there, such as the first American dictionary, the first American gas-powered automobile, and the first machining lathe for interchangeable parts; "The City of Homes", due to its Victorian residential architecture; and "Hoop City", as basketball – one of the world's most popular sports – was invented in Springfield in 1891 by James Naismith.

Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, lies south of Springfield, on the western bank of the Connecticut River. The Hartford-Springfield region is known as the Knowledge Corridor because it hosts over 160,000 university students and over 32 universities and liberal arts colleges – the second-highest concentration of higher-learning institutions in the United States. The city of Springfield itself is home to Springfield College, Western New England University, American International College, and Springfield Technical Community College, among other higher educational institutions.

History

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

Springfield was founded in 1636 by English Puritan William Pynchon as "Agawam Plantation" under the administration of the Connecticut Colony. In 1641 it was renamed after Pynchon's hometown of Springfield, Essex, England, following incidents, including trade disputes as well as Captain John Mason's hostilities toward native tribes, that precipitated the settlement joining the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During its early existence, Springfield flourished as both an agricultural settlement and trading post, although its prosperity waned dramatically during (and after) King Philip's War in 1675, when natives laid siege to it and burned it to the ground as part of the ongoing campaign. During that attack, three-quarters of the original settlement was burned to the ground, with many of Springfield's residents survived by taking refuge in John Pynchon's brick house, the "Old Fort", the first such house to be built in the Connecticut River Valley. Out of the siege, Miles Morgan and his sons were lauded as heroes; as one of the few homesteads to survive the attack, alerting troops in Hadley, as well as Toto, often referred to as the "Windsor Indian" who, running 20 miles from Windsor, Connecticut to the settlement, was able to give advance warning of the attack.

The original settlement – today's downtown Springfield – was located atop bluffs at the confluence of four rivers, at the nexus of trade routes to Boston, Albany, New York City, and Montreal, and with some of the northeastern United States' most fertile soil. In 1777, Springfield's location at numerous crossroads led George Washington and Henry Knox to establish the United States' National Armory at Springfield, which produced the first American musket in 1794, and later the famous Springfield rifle. From 1777 until its closing during the Vietnam War, the Springfield Armory attracted skilled laborers to Springfield, making it the United States' longtime center for precision manufacturing. The near-capture of the armory during Shays' Rebellion of 1787 led directly to the formation of the U.S. Constitutional Convention.


During the 19th and 20th centuries, Springfielders produced many innovations, including the first American-English dictionary (1805, Merriam-Webster); the first use of interchangeable parts and the assembly line in manufacturing (1819, Thomas Blanchard); the first American horseless car (1825, Thomas Blanchard); the mass production of vulcanized rubber (1844, Charles Goodyear); the first American gasoline-powered car (1893, Duryea Brothers); the first successful motorcycle company (1901, "Indian"); one of America's first commercial radio stations (1921, WBZ, broadcast from the Hotel Kimball); and most famously, the world's second-most-popular sport, basketball (1891, Dr. James Naismith).[3]

Springfield underwent a protracted decline during the second half of the 20th century, due largely to the decommissioning of the Springfield Armory in 1969; poor city planning decisions, such as the location of the elevated I-91 along the city's Connecticut River front; and overall decline of industry throughout the northeastern United States. During the 1980s and 1990s, Springfield developed a national reputation for crime, political corruption and cronyism. During the early 21st century, Springfield sought to overcome its downgrade in reputation via long-term revitalization projects and undertook several large projects, including a $1 billion intercity rail line (New Haven-Hartford-Springfield intercity rail;) a $1 billion MGM casino; and various other construction and revitalization projects.

Research Tips

Springfield was part of Middlesex County when it was formed in 1641, then in 1662 it became part of the new County of Hampshire. In 1812 when Hampshire County was split Springfield became part a new county of Hampden. One of the effects of this is that all the early probate records for what was Hampshire county ended up in Northampton the new County seat for Hampshire County, including two towns that are now part of Connecticut Suffield & Enfield. All of the early land records for the county ended up in Springfield.

Suffield & Enfield moved to Connecticut in 1749, so if you are looking for early probate records from Springfield, Suffield, Enfield, or Northampton they are in Northampton. If you are looking for early land records from Springfield, Suffield, Enfield, or Northampton they are in Springfield.


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