Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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United States > Massachusetts > Essex County > Salem

This article is about a city in Massachusetts. For other localities, see Salem

City Hall

Salem City Hall
93 Washington Street
Salem, MA 01970

Quick History

Salem, Massachusetts Historical Background

Establishment and former town name(s) [1]

1620:  A patent was granted by King James to the Duke of Lenox  and a council of about forty men to rule, govern and plant this area.[2]

1626: Founded at the mouth of Naumkeag (a Wampanoag Indian name).

1629: Roger Conant directed a company of Fisherman to start a beach community on the shores of Salem.  The town was incorporated in 1629.[2]

23 March 1836: Incorporated as a city.

4 April 1836: Act of March 23, 1836, accepted by the town.

Archiac name: Fort Mary, Naumkeag, Nehume, Sholom Naumkeag.

Section/Villages within the City: Atlantic, Baker's Island, Blubber Hollow, Buffum's Corner, Carltonville, Castle Hill, Forest River, Gallows Hill, Juniper Point, Misery Island, Navon, North Salem, Salem Neck, Salem Willows, South Salem, The Point, Turnpike, Winter Island. Old Salem Village where the witch trials began was originally a parish to Salem township.  Salem village is now called Danvers Massachusetts.

  1. Historical data relating to counties, cities, and towns in Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1997), [FHL book 974.4 H2h 1997].
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sidney Perley, History of Salem, Massachusetts 1626-1637 Vol 1 (Salem, Massachusetts: S. Perley, 1924-1928) pp 54-55, 62 & 78

Boundary Changes

4 March 1634: Bounds established between Marble Harbor and Salem.

4 March 1635: Bounds established between Salem and Saugus, and Salem and Marblehead.

20 November 1637: Bounds between Salem and Saugus certified.

13 March 1639: Bounds between Salem and Lynn established.

5 November 1639: Land granted to inhabitants of Salem establish Salem Village. Marginal note reads: "Land granted to Salem Village, now Wenham"

13 May 1640: Grant of land to inhabitants of Salem for a village at "Jeffryes Creeke" and the bounds of the said village referred to certain men to settle.

3 May 1642:

14 May 1645: Part called "Jeffreyes Creek established as Manchester.

2 May 1649:

19 October 1649:

16 October 1666: Certain islands known by name of the "Miserjes & Bakers island", granted to Salem.

29 May 1664:

7 November 1668:

20 June 1728: Part included in new town of Middleton.

11 September 1753: Part annexed to Beverly.

17 March 1840:

30 April 1856:

3 April 1867:

27 March 1882: Part of Peabody annexed.


Geographic location: Google

GNIS ID # 619453

Neighboring Communities

Beverly | Danvers | Lynn | Marblehead | Peabody | Swampscott |


Archives and Libraries

New England Historic Genealogical Society Library

99 Newbury Street

Boston, MA 02116-3007


(See Archives and Libraries under Essex, Massachusetts for hours and library collections)  This library holds the many of the early colonial collections for Salem and Salem Village now Danvers, Massachusetts.


Business and Commerce


Broad Street Cemetery
5 Broad St.

Charter Street Cemetery
51 Charter St.

Friends Cemetery
396 1/2 Essex St.

Greenlawn Cemetery
57 Orne St.

Harmony Grove Cemetery
30 Grove St.

Howard Street Cemetery
29 Howard St.

St. Mary's Cemetery
226 North St.

St. Peter's Cemetery
22-24 St. Peter St.

Church History and Records





Land and Deed Records


Military History and Records

Naturalization and Citizenship


Public Records

Social Life and Customs


Town Records

Vital Records

Family History Centers

Lynnfield Massachusetts
400 E Essex St
Lynnfield, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Phone: 781-334-5586
Call ahead for hours
Closed: The month of August

Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St
Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
Phone: 978-745-1876
Call ahead for hours
Attention: Microfilms from the Church can be ordered at this facility