The short-lived Cape Ann settlement in 1623 was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Company. In 1628 the company started a second and successful settlement at Salem. The Winthrop Fleet arrived in 1630, with numerous others to follow.
The Puritan founders of the colony had little toleration for differing religious views. Quakers were openly persecuted, Roger Williams' views led to him fleeing the colony to avoid imprisonment, several others faced similar circumstances. Rhode Island would be founded by those opposing the strict policies of the Puritan government.
Salem , Gloucester , Boston , Cambridge , Waterton , Dorcester , Lynn , Saugus , and Charlestown [1628 - 1st capital] were among early towns. Several are now part of Boston.
In 1691, King William III negotiated a charter chiefly with Increase Mather to incorporate Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth into a single colony. 1692 saw the Salem Witch trials wreak havoc on Salem Village [now Danvers]. Massachusetts included what is now the state of Maine.
The colony would be at the forefront of the push for Independence from Great Britain during the 1760s and early 1770s.
Ancestral families: Almost to numerous to mention! Howland [Quakers], Mahurin, Joyce, Low, Lockwood [Winthrop fleet], Jennison, Twiss, Singletary, Maverick, Nurse, Towne and many, many more. Edmund Lockwood arrived with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. Rebecca Towne Nurse was accused of witchcraft and hanged at Salem in 1692.