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Norfolk (old) County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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Old Norfolk County was included in the original grant given by the Plymouth Colony to Capt. John Mason and Sir Ferninando Gorges.

The county was formed in 1643, and was one of the four original counties created in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It contained the towns of Salisbury, Hampton, Haverhill, Exeter, Dover and Portsmouth. In 1680 when the Province of New Hampshire was formed, the towns in the county were divided between Essex County, Massachusetts (which received Salisbury and Haverhill), and New Hampshire which received the remaining settlements (Hampton, Exeter, Dover and Portsmouth). Old Norfolk County at that time ceased to exist, and has no relationship to the Norfolk County that was created in 1793 in Massachusetts.

There are four volumes of records of the Old Norfolk County housed at the Essex County Registry of Deeds in Salem, Massachusetts. They have been digitized but are not currently online. They were abstracted by Sidney Perley in The Essex Antiquarian [published from 1897 to 1911]. Some volumes can be found at There are  deed abstracts from 1639 - 1678 which can be found at the FHL Collections Book 974.45 R28).

 The Essex Antiquarian, Vol I No. 2, Salem, MA 1897. Sidney Perley Editor.