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Essex History
The events listed below are selected for their usefulness to those doing genealogical research of Essex families. Until the town incorporated in 1819, the governing bodies for Chebacco Parish were the Ipswich selectmen and the Parish Commitee. Essex did not record births, marriages, or deaths before 1844. Those records are found in the various ministerial and church archives of the period. For those reasons, local church history is included with this chronology of town history.

Associated with this chronology is one for ,weather phenomona and epidemics and another for roads and buildings



YEAR
EVENT
1633
Agawam (Ipswich) settled
1634
Church gathered and organized in Ipswich (Rev. Nathaniel Ward, minister)
Parish organization set up to govern Ipswich settlement
William White and Goodman Bradstreet first two settlers granted land in Chebacco
1679
Rev. Jeremiah Shepard called to preach in Chebacco, in private homes
1680
John Wise engaged to preach in Chebacco
One acre of ground granted to Chebacco Parish for a burial place
1682
Chebacco people officially released from membership in the First Church in Ipswich
1683
Organization and gathering of Chebacco Church - officially known as the Second Church in Ipswich
John Wise ordained as the first minister of Chebacco Church
Organization of Chebacco Parish as the governing body for the settlement - officially the Second Parish in Ipswich
First "training day" for citizen soldiers in Chebacco
1700
Chebacco (population about 300) consisted of a church, a school, a military company, five sawmills, one shipyard, three bridges, two causeways. Farming, fishing, and boat building the major occupations.
1712
Burying ground fenced in by a stone wall
1725
Death of Rev. John Wise
Rev. Theophilus Pickering became second minister of Chebacco Church
1746
Dissention in Chebacco Church and Parish, causing a rift among the people; formation of the Separated Church ('Separatist Society") which became officially the Fourth Church in Ipswich
Ebenezer Cleaveland, brother of John Cleaveland, minister in Separated Church first six months
1747
Rev. John Cleaveland ordained as minister of the Separated Church
1749
Death of Rev. Theophilus Pickering
1750
Nehemiah Porter ordained as minister of the original Chebacco Church (January)
1752
"Separatists" gained official release from Chebacco Parish and were granted a separate precinct - officially the Sixth Parish in Ipswich
1766
Nehemiah Porter resigned
Proceedings started for reuniting 2nd and 4th Churches (Chebacco Church and Separated Church)
1768
Informal agreement by both churches to worship together temporarily, one half a year in each meeting house with Rev. John Cleaveland assuming the ministry for both churches (1766-1775)
1770
Chebacco inhabitants voted to abstain from buying tea unless the Revenue Act was repealed.
1774
Official vote by both the Second Church and the Fourth Church favoring uniting as The Second Church in Ipswich
1775
Sixth Parish reunited with the Second Parish; the union named The Second Parish in Ipswich

1775
Revolutionary War (1775 - 1781)
Declaration of Independence
1783
Peace treaty with England - Revolutionary Army disbanded
1787
Population in Chebacco 1,200
1799
Death of Rev. John Cleaveland after 55 years as pastor
Josiah Webster chosen as minister
1806
Light Infantry company formed
1807
Rev. Josiah Webster resigned
1808
A Baptist minister formed "The Christain Society" in southern section of Chebacco
1809
Thomas Holt, minister at Second Church in Ipswich
The Christian Baptist society erected a meeting house on site of present United Methodist Church
1812
War of 1812
1813
Rev. Mr. Holt resigned as minister at Second Church in Ipswich
1814
Robert Crowell, minister at Second Church in Ipswich
1818
Grave robberies at the Burying Ground (8 bodies removed)
1819
Chebacco Parish, separated from the Town of Ipswich by the Massachusetts Legislature; incorporated as the Town of Essex
The Second Church in Ipswich (Chebacco church) renamed The First Congregational Church in Essex.
1827
The Christain Society disbands
1829
The Universalist Society formed in Essex
1834
Support of churches by general (public) taxation abolished by state law
1837
Light Infantry Company and Militia Company disbanded
1844
Massachusetts Legislature passed a law requiring the clerk of each town to register births, marriages, and deaths
1848
Christain Baptist society formed
1852
Spring street Cemetery established
1874
Founding of the First Methodist Episcopal Church
1893
Construction of Essex Town Hall; transfer of all Town offices and all town meetings from the congregational church to the new building
1910
Electricity installed in some buildings in Essex

Source:  www.rootsweb.com
Used by permission of Kurt A. Wilhelm

 
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