Massachusetts City and Town
Incorporation and Settlement Dates

The following is a list of cities and towns of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with the dates of when they were settled, when incorporated as a town and, if applicable, when incorporated as a city, as well as the county in which there are located. Cities are listed in capital letters. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was settled in 1620 and incorporated in 1629. The term settled refers to the arrival of the Europeans. Paleo-Indians in Massachusetts date back to 8000 BC. In some instances a town may have been established at an earlier date than its present name would suggest. Example: Wayland was first part of Sudbury (1639) before splitting from and becoming East Sudbury (1780), later to change its name to Wayland (1835). In these cases we recognize the first date of incorporation when the area in question stands alone: 1780. Additionally, four towns drowned in building the Quabbin reservoir during the 1930's. They were Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott.

There are fourteen communities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government, though they wish to be known as “The Town of”. They are: AGAWAM, BARNSTABLE, BRAINTREE, BRIDGEWATER, FRANKLIN, GREENFIELD, METHUEN, PALMER, RANDOLPH, SOUTHBRIDGE, WATERTOWN, WEST SPRINGFIELD, WEYMOUTH and WINTHROP.  There are two communities that have been granted the title of city though they do not have wards or precincts, they are:  AMESBURY and EASTHAMPTON.

* Indicates county seat or shiretown

B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | W | Y

Town/City Name

County

Date Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Abington

Plymouth

1668

1712

Acton

Middlesex

1680

1735

Acushnet

Bristol

1659

1860

Adams

Berkshire

1762

1778

AGAWAM

Hampden

1635

1855

Alford

Berkshire

1740

1773

AMESBURY

Essex

1654

1668

Amherst

Hampshire

1703

1775

Andover

Essex

1642

1646

Aquinnah

Dukes

1669

1870

Arlington

Middlesex

1630

1807

Ashburnham

Worcester

1736

1765

Ashby

Middlesex

1676

1767

Ashfield

Franklin

1743

1765

Ashland

Middlesex

1750

1846

Athol

Worcester

1735

1762

ATTLEBORO

Bristol

1634

1694 / 1914

Auburn

Worcester

1714

1778

Avon

Norfolk

1700

1888

Ayer

Middlesex

1668

1871

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

BARNSTABLE*

Barnstable

1637

1638

Barre

Worcester

1720

1774

Becket

Berkshire

1740

1765

Bedford

Middlesex

1640

1729

Belchertown

Hampshire

1731

1761

Bellingham

Norfolk

1713

1719

Belmont

Middlesex

1636

1859

Berkley

Bristol

1638

1735

Berlin

Worcester

1665

1812

Bernardston

Franklin

1738

1762

BEVERLY

Essex

1626

1668 / 1894

Billerica

Middlesex

1637

1655

Blackstone

Worcester

1662

1845

Blandford

Hampden

1735

1741

Bolton

Worcester

1682

1738

BOSTON*

Suffolk

1625

1630 / 1822

Bourne

Barnstable

1640

1884

Boxborough

Middlesex

1680

1835

Boxford

Essex

1645

1685

Boylston

Worcester

1705

1785

BRAINTREE

Norfolk

1634

1640

Brewster

Barnstable

1656

1803

Bridgewater

Plymouth

1650

1656

Brighton

Suffolk

1630

1806 annexed to Boston 1/5/1874

Brimfield

Hampden

1706

1731

BROCKTON*

Plymouth

1700

1821 / 1881

Brookfield

Worcester

1664

1718

Brookline

Norfolk

1638

1705

Buckland

Franklin

1779

1779

Burlington

Middlesex

1641

1799

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

CAMBRIDGE*

Middlesex

1630

1636 / 1846

Canton

Norfolk

1630

1797

Carlisle

Middlesex

1650

1780

Carver

Plymouth

1660

1790

Charlemont

Franklin

1742

1765

CHARLESTOWN

Suffolk

1630

1630 / 1847 annexed to Boston 1873

Charlton

Worcester

1735

1775

Chatham

Barnstable

1665

1712

Chelmsford

Middlesex

1633

1655

CHELSEA

Suffolk

1624

1739 / 1857

Cheshire

Berkshire

1766

1793

Chester

Hampden

1760

1765

Chesterfield

Hampshire

1760

1762

CHICOPEE

Hampden

1652

1848 / 1890

Chilmark

Dukes

1671

1714

Clarksburg

Berkshire

1764

1798

Clinton

Worcester

1654

1850

Cohasset

Norfolk

1647

1775

Colrain

Franklin

1735

1761

Concord

Middlesex

1635

1635

Conway

Franklin

1762

1775

Cummington

Hampshire

1762

1779

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Dalton

Berkshire

1755

1784

Dana

   

1800-1938 extinct-Quabbin Reservoir

Danvers

Essex

1636

1775

Dartmouth

Bristol

1650

1664

Dedham*

Norfolk

1635

1636

Deerfield

Franklin

1673

1677

Dennis

Barnstable

1639

1793

Dighton

Bristol

1678

1712

Douglas

Worcester

1721

1775

Dorchester

Suffolk

1630

1630 annexed to Boston 1/3/ 1870

Dover

Norfolk

1635

1836

Dracut

Middlesex

1664

1701

Dudley

Worcester

1714

1732

Dunstable

Middlesex

1656

1673

Duxbury

Plymouth

1624

1637

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

East Bridgewater

Plymouth

1649

1823

East Brookfield

Worcester

1664

1920

East Longmeadow

Hampden

1740

1894

Eastham

Barnstable

1644

1646

EASTHAMPTON

Hampshire

1664

1809

Easton

Bristol

1694

1725

Edgartown*

Dukes

1642

1671

Egremont

Berkshire

1730

1775

Enfield

   

1815-1938 extinct-Quabbin Reservoir

Erving

Franklin

1801

1838

Essex

Essex

1634

1819

EVERETT

Middlesex

1630

1870 / 1892

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Fairhaven

Bristol

1670

1812

FALL RIVER*

Bristol

1656

1803 / 1854

Falmouth

Barnstable

1660

1686

FITCHBURG*

Worcester

1730

1764 / 1872

Florida

Berkshire

1783

1805

Foxborough

Norfolk

1704

1778

Framingham

Middlesex

1650

1700

FRANKLIN

Norfolk

1660

1778

Freetown

Bristol

1675

1683

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

GARDNER

Worcester

1764

1785 / 1922

Georgetown

Essex

1639

1838

Gill

Franklin

1776

1793

GLOUCESTER

Essex

1623

1642 / 1873

Goshen

Hampshire

1761

1781

Gosnold

Dukes

1641

1864

Grafton

Worcester

1718

1735

Granby

Hampshire

1727

1768

Granville

Hampden

1736

1775

Great Barrington

Berkshire

1726

1761

GREENFIELD*

Franklin

1686

1775

Greenwich

   

1754-1938 extinct-Quabbin Reservoir

Groton

Middlesex

1655

1655

Groveland

Essex

1639

1850

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Hadley

Hampshire

1659

1661

Halifax

Plymouth

1670

1734

Hamilton

Essex

1638

1793

Hampden

Hampden

1741

1878

Hancock

Berkshire

1767

1776

Hanover

Plymouth

1649

1727

Hanson

Plymouth

1632

1820

Hardwick

Worcester

1737

1739

Harvard

Worcester

1704

1732

Harwich

Barnstable

1670

1694

Hatfield

Hampshire

1661

1670

HAVERHILL

Essex

1640

1641 / 1869

Hawley

Franklin

1760

1792

Heath

Franklin

1765

1785

Hingham

Plymouth

1633

1635

Hinsdale

Berkshire

1763

1804

Holbrook

Norfolk

1710

1872

Holden

Worcester

1723

1741

Holland

Hampden

1725

1835

Holliston

Middlesex

1659

1724

HOLYOKE

Hampden

1745

1850 / 1873

Hopedale

Worcester

1660

1886

Hopkinton

Middlesex

1715

1715

Hubbardston

Worcester

1734

1775

Hudson

Middlesex

1699

1866

Hull

Plymouth

1624

1644

Huntington

Hampshire

1769

1775

Hyde Park

Suffolk

1630

1868 annexed to Boston 1/1/ 1912

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Ipswich

Essex

1633

1634

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Kingston

Plymouth

1620

1726

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Lakeville

Plymouth

1717

1853

Lancaster

Worcester

1643

1653

Lanesborough

Berkshire

1753

1765

LAWRENCE*

Essex

1655

1847 / 1853

Lee

Berkshire

1760

1777

Leicester

Worcester

1713

1714

Lenox

Berkshire

1750

1775

LEOMINSTER

Worcester

1653

1740 / 1915

Leverett

Franklin

1713

1774

Lexington

Middlesex

1640

1713

Leydon

Franklin

1738

1809

Lincoln

Middlesex

1650

1754

Littleton

Middlesex

1686

1715

Longmeadow

Hampden

1644

1783

LOWELL*

Middlesex

1653

1826 / 1836

Ludlow

Hampden

1751

1775

Lunenburg

Worcester

1721

1728

LYNN

Essex

1629

1629 / 1850

Lynnfield

Essex

1638

1814

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

MALDEN

Middlesex

1640

1649 / 1881

Manchester-by-the-Sea

Essex

1629

1645

Mansfield

Bristol

1659

1775

Marblehead

Essex

1629

1649

Marion

Plymouth

1679

1852

MARLBOROUGH

Middlesex

1657

1660 / 1890

Marshfield

Plymouth

1632

1640

Mashpee

Barnstable

1660

1870

Mattapoisett

Plymouth

1750

1857

Maynard

Middlesex

1638

1871

Medfield

Norfolk

1649

1651

MEDFORD

Middlesex

1630

1630 / 1892

Medway

Norfolk

1657

1713

MELROSE

Middlesex

1629

1850 / 1899

Mendon

Worcester

1660

1667

Merrimac

Essex

1638

1876

METHUEN

Essex

1642

1725

Middleborough

Plymouth

1660

1669

Middlefield

Hampshire

1780

1783

Middleton

Essex

1659

1728

Milford

Worcester

1662

1780

Millbury

Worcester

1716

1813

Millis

Norfolk

1657

1885

Millville

Worcester

1662

1916

Milton

Norfolk

1636

1662

Monroe

Franklin

1800

1822

Monson

Hampden

1715

1775

Montague

Franklin

1715

1775

Monterey

Berkshire

1739

1847

Montgomery

Hampden

1767

1780

Mount Washington

Berkshire

1692

1779

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Nahant

Essex

1630

1853

Nantucket*

Nantucket

1641

1671

Natick

Middlesex

1718

1781

Needham

Norfolk

1680

1711

New Ashford

Berkshire

1762

1835

NEW BEDFORD*

Bristol

1640

1787 / 1847

New Braintree

Worcester

1709

1775

New Marlborough

Berkshire

1738

1775

New Salem

Franklin

1737

1775

Newbury

Essex

1635

1635

NEWBURYPORT*

Essex

1635

1764 / 1851

NEWTON

Middlesex

1639

1688 / 1873

Norfolk

Norfolk

1795

1870

NORTH ADAMS

Berkshire

1737

1878 / 1895

North Andover

Essex

1644

1855

North Attleborough

Bristol

1669

1887

North Brookfield

Worcester

1664

1812

North Reading

Middlesex

1651

1853

NORTHAMPTON*

Hampshire

1654

1656 / 1883

Northborough

Worcester

1672

1775

Northbridge

Worcester

1704

1775

Northfield

Franklin

1673

1723

Norton

Bristol

1669

1711

Norwell

Plymouth

1634

1849

Norwood

Norfolk

1678

1872

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Oak Bluffs

Dukes

1642

1880

Oakham

Worcester

1749

1775

Orange

Franklin

1746

1810

Orleans

Barnstable

1693

1797

Otis

Berkshire

1735

1773

Oxford

Worcester

1687

1713

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

PALMER

Hampden

1727

1775

Paxton

Worcester

1749

1775

PEABODY

Essex

1626

1868 / 1916

Pelham

Hampshire

1738

1743

Pembroke

Plymouth

1650

1712

Pepperell

Middlesex

1720

1775

Peru

Berkshire

1767

1771

Petersham

Worcester

1733

1754

Phillipston

Worcester

1751

1786

PITTSFIELD*

Berkshire

1752

1761 / 1891

Plainfield

Hampshire

1770

1807

Plainville

Norfolk

1661

1905

Plymouth*

Plymouth

1620

1620

Plympton

Plymouth

1662

1707

Prescott

   

1821-1938 extinct-Quabbin Reservoir

Princeton

Worcester

1743

1771

Provincetown

Barnstable

1700

1727

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

QUINCY

Norfolk

1625

1792 / 1888

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

RANDOLPH

Norfolk

1710

1793

Raynham

Bristol

1652

1731

Reading

Middlesex

1639

1644

Rehoboth

Bristol

1636

1645

REVERE

Suffolk

1630

1846 / 1914

Richmond

Berkshire

1760

1765

Rochester

Plymouth

1638

1686

Rockland

Plymouth

1673

1874

Rockport

Essex

1623

1840

Rowe

Franklin

1762

1785

Rowley

Essex

1638

1639

Roxbury

Suffolk

1630

1630 / 1846 annexed to Boston 1868

Royalston

Worcester

1762

1765

Russell

Hampden

1782

1792

Rutland

Worcester

1686

1713

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

SALEM*

Essex

1626

1626 / 1836

Salisbury

Essex

1638

1639

Sandisfield

Berkshire

1750

1762

Sandwich

Barnstable

1630

1639

Saugus

Essex

1630

1815

Savoy

Berkshire

1777

1797

Scituate

Plymouth

1630

1636

Seekonk

Bristol

1636

1812

Sharon

Norfolk

1650

1775

Sheffield

Berkshire

1726

1733

Shelburne

Franklin

1756

1775

Sherborn

Middlesex

1652

1674

Shirley

Middlesex

1720

1775

Shrewsbury

Worcester

1722

1727

Shutesbury

Franklin

1735

1761

Somerset

Bristol

1677

1790

SOMERVILLE

Middlesex

1630

1842 / 1872

South Hadley

Hampshire

1659

1775

Southampton

Hampshire

1732

1775

Southborough

Worcester

1660

1727

SOUTHBRIDGE

Worcester

1730

1816

Southwick

Hampden

1770

1775

Spencer

Worcester

1721

1775

SPRINGFIELD*

Hampden

1636

1636 / 1852

Sterling

Worcester

1720

1781

Stockbridge

Berkshire

1734

1739

Stoneham

Middlesex

1645

1725

Stoughton

Norfolk

1713

1726

Stow

Middlesex

1681

1683

Sturbridge

Worcester

1729

1738

Sudbury

Middlesex

1638

1639

Sunderland

Franklin

1713

1714

Sutton

Worcester

1704

1714

Swampscott

Essex

1629

1852

Swansea

Bristol

1667

1667

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

TAUNTON*

Bristol

1638

1639 / 1864

Templeton

Worcester

1751

1762

Tewksbury

Middlesex

1637

1734

Tisbury

Dukes

1660

1671

Tolland

Hampden

1750

1810

Topsfield

Essex

1635

1650

Townsend

Middlesex

1676

1732

Truro

Barnstable

1700

1709

Tyngsborough

Middlesex

1661

1809

Tyringham

Berkshire

1735

1762

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Upton

Worcester

1728

1735

Uxbridge

Worcester

1662

1727

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Wakefield

Middlesex

1639

1812

Wales

Hampden

1726

1775

Walpole

Norfolk

1659

1724

WALTHAM

Middlesex

1634

1738 / 1884

Ware

Hampshire

1717

1775

Wareham

Plymouth

1678

1739

Warren

Worcester

1664

1742

Warwick

Franklin

1739

1763

Washington

Berkshire

1760

1777

WATERTOWN

Middlesex

1630

1630

Wayland

Middlesex

1638

1780

Webster

Worcester

1713

1832

Wellesley

Norfolk

1660

1881

Wellfleet

Barnstable

1724

1775

Wendell

Franklin

1754

1781

Wenham

Essex

1635

1643

West Boylston

Worcester

1642

1808

West Bridgewater

Plymouth

1651

1822

West Brookfield

Worcester

1664

1848

West Newbury

Essex

1635

1819

West Roxbury

Suffolk

1630

1851 annexed to Boston 1/5/ 1874

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Hampden

1660

1774

West Stockbridge

Berkshire

1766

1775

West Tisbury

Dukes

1669

1892

Westborough

Worcester

1675

1717

WESTFIELD

Hampden

1660

1669 / 1920

Westford

Middlesex

1635

1729

Westhampton

Hampshire

1762

1778

Westminster

Worcester

1737

1770

Weston

Middlesex

1642

1713

Westport

Bristol

1670

1787

Westwood

Norfolk

1640

1897

WEYMOUTH

Norfolk

1630

1635

Whately

Franklin

1672

1771

Whitman

Plymouth

1670

1875

Wilbraham

Hampden

1730

1763

Williamsburg

Hampshire

1735

1775

Williamstown

Berkshire

1749

1765

Wilmington

Middlesex

1639

1730

Winchendon

Worcester

1753

1764

Winchester

Middlesex

1640

1850

Windsor

Berkshire

1767

1771

WINTHROP

Suffolk

1635

1852

WOBURN

Middlesex

1640

1642 / 1889

WORCESTER*

Worcester

1673

1684 / 1848

Worthington

Hampshire

1764

1768

Wrentham

Norfolk

1669

1673

Town/City Name

County

Settled

Incorporated as a Town/City

Yarmouth

Barnstable

1639

1639

This information comes from the:

2010 Census Report

Community Profiles, Department of Housing and Community Development

Historic Atlas of Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts Press 1991

Historical Data Relating to Counties, Cities and Towns in Massachusetts 1997. Prepared by William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth and published by The New England Historic Genealogical Society.