History and Antiquities
of Every Town in Massachusetts
by John Warner Barber
Contained here is the edited version of the Hampshire County, Massachusetts section from this publication. This work is organized with a brief introduction to Hampshire County (below) and also individual town profiles.
Many thanks to Ray Brown of Ray’s Place for donating the scans of the original pages — you should check out his website for lots more on New England and New York genealogy.
Hampshire County was incorporated in 1662, and embraced at that time the three counties of the state which are centrally intersected by Connecticut river. Before its division it was the largest county in the state, and Northampton, being in the central part, was a shire town. The county was divided into three by the legislature of 1811 and '12. Franklin County was formed from the northern section, Hampden the southern; Hampshire, the central part, retained the original name. The surface of Hampshire is generally hilly, and in some parts mountainous. The land in the western part of the county gradually rises, and its western border lies on the summits of the Green Mountain range. The Lyme and Mount Tom ranges of mountains begin in this county, and continue to the ocean, on the southern shore of Connecticut. The soil is of very unequal quality, being best in the center, and growing less and less fertile towards the eastern and western extremities. There are, however, fine interval lands on the banks of the Connecticut, being some of the best lands in the state.
The following is a list of the towns, which are 23 in number.
In 1820, the population of this county was 26,447; in 1830, it was 30,210; in 1837, it was 30,413.
These pages are an edited and adapted version of the original
© Laurel O'Donnell, 2006, all rights reserved
and cannot be reproduced in any format without permission
This page was last updated on
28 Apr 2006