Bedford, Massachusetts

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Bedford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. It is within the Greater Boston area, 15 miles (24 km) north-west of the city of Boston. The population of Bedford was 12,595 at the 2000 census.



The following compilation comes from Ellen Abrams (1999) based on information from Abram English Brown’s History of the Town of Bedford (1891), as well as other sources such as The Bedford Sampler Bicentennial Edition containing Daisy Pickman Oakley’s articles, Bedford Vital Records, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Town Directories, and other publications from the Bedford Historical Society.

The land now within the boundaries of Bedford was first settled by Europeans around 1640. In 1729 it was incorporated from a portion of Concord (about 3/5 of Bedford) and a portion of Billerica (about 2/5 of Bedford.)

In 1630 came the arrival of John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley of the Massachusetts Bay Company. Aboard the Arabella from Yarmouth, England, Winthrop and Dudley sailed, and after a difficult ten week voyage, they landed on the shores of the New World, with Salem and Boston Harbor being the Arabella's earliest destinations. In 1637, the General Court of Massachusetts granted some 2,200 acres (9 km²) of land, including Huckins Farm land to the first resident Governor, John Winthrop and Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley. The following year, the two men agreed to divide the land so that the parcel south of the two large boulders by the Concord River (Brothers Rocks) belonged to Governor Winthrop and north of the Rocks was to belong to Deputy Governor Dudley. Later, Dudley became governor. Dudley’s son Rev. Samuel Dudley[1] and Winthrop’s daughter Mary were married, thus Brothers Rocks were so named because of this marriage of families.

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