Location: Andover is bounded to the north and northwest by the Merrimack River; across the Merrimack lies Haverhill. It is bounded to the east and northeast by Boxford and Bradford and to the southeast by Salem Village. To the south and southwest lie three towns in Middlesex county: Billerica, Woburn and Reading.
The Shawshin River runs diagonally through the town from southwest to southeast.
On Dec 1639, Rev Nathaniel Ward, an ex minister of Ipswich connected with Gov. Winthrop, secured three years immunity from taxes and non-military services for settlers of Andover. On 13 May 1640, Mr Ward and his associates in Newbury were granted Andover as long as they built before the next court. A year passed and no settlement had taken place. On 6 May 1646 a Massachusetts Indian named Cutshamache confirmed to the General Court that he had sold land at Cochichawicke to Rev. John Woodbridge, later the first minister of Andover, for six pounds and a coat. On 10 May 1643, the General Court divided the Massachusetts Bay Colony into four counties: Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Norfolk. Essex was to contain eight towns: Salem, Linn, Wenham, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Glocester and Cochichawicke. Probably sometime in 1641 or 1642, settlement began in this last town. The settlement was formally incorporated at the town of Andover on 6 May 1646. A list of early settlers includes Mr Simon Bradstreet, John Osgood, Joseph Parker, Richard Barker, John Stevens, Nicholas Holt, Benjamin Woodbridge, John Frye, Edmund Faulkner, Daniel Poor, Nathan Parker, Henry Jacques, John Aslett, Richard Blake, William Ballard, John Lovejoy, Thomas Poor, George Abbott, John Russ, Andrew Allen, Andrew Foster and Thomas Chandler.
Social standing: The most influential citizen by far in town was Mr Simon Bradstreet. Only three of the other original settlers were given the title Mr: John Osgood, John Woodbridge and Edmund Faulkner. All others were called "Goodman".
From: Bailey (1992).
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Bailey, Sarah Loring, Historical sketches of Andover : (comprising the present towns of North Andover and Andover), Massachusetts. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1992. Online: Ancestry.com.
Boltwood, Lucius Manlius, trans., "Deaths in the Town of Andover," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 2, 1847, 377-381.
Boltwood, Lucius Manlius, "Marriages in the Town of Andover, from 1647 to 1700," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 3, 1849, 65 - 68.
Coffin, Joshua, "Early Settlers of Essex and Old Norfolk," New England Historical and Genealogical Register 6, 1852, 205.
Vital records of Andover, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849, Topsfield, MA, Topsfield Historical Society, 1912. Online: Ancestry.com.
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