Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was settled in 1642 and later incorporated in 1646. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,201. It is part of the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts-New Hampshire metropolitan statistical area. Part of the town comprises the census-designated place of Andover. It is twinned with its namesake, Andover, Hampshire in England.
In 1642, the Massachusetts General Court set aside a portion of land in what is now Essex County for an inland plantation, including parts of what is now Andover, North Andover and South Lawrence. In order to encourage settlement, early colonists were offered three years’ immunity from taxes, levies, and services (except military service). The first permanent settlement in the Andover area was established in 1642 by John Woodbridge and a group of settlers from Newbury and Ipswich.
Shortly after they arrived, they purchased a piece of land from the local Pennacook tribal chief Cutshamache for “six pounds of currency and a coat” and on the condition that Roger, a local Pennacook man, would be allowed to plant his corn and take alewives from a local water source. Roger’s Brook, a small stream which cuts through the eastern part of town, is named in his honor. In May 1646 the settlement was incorporated as a town and was named Andover. This name was likely chosen in honor of the town of Andover in England, which was near the original home of some of the first residents. The first recorded town meeting was held in 1656 in the home of settler John Osgood in what is now the town of North Andover.