The settlement of New Meadows was incorporated as the Town of Topsfield by authority of the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1650. The church "gathered" on November 4, 1663 with the Rev. Thomas Gilbert. The third Meeting House was built on the Common in 1703 with Rev. Joseph Capen as pastor.
In 1721, Boston had a terrible smallpox epidemic. Citizens fled the city and spread the disease to the other colonies. Inoculation was introduced during this epidemic by Zabdiel Boylston and Cotton Mather.
Hannah Estey Cummings was born on May 18, 1702 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. Her parents were Aaron Estey and Esther Richards.
Their children were born in Topsfield. They included;
Hannah Cummings Rice (1721, married Phineas Rice),
Isaac Cummings (1723/24),
Mary Cummings (1726),
Mehitable Cummings (1730,)
Rebecca Cummings (1735),
Ebenezer Cummings (1738),
Sarah Cummings (1740) and
Noah Cummings (1742).
Hannah died on June 17, 1743 in Stoughton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Her death was recorded in the diary of the Reverend Morse of Canton.
Our sister, Hannah Cummings, wife of Isaac, of Sutton, Mass., died about a month after they moved there of lung fever.
Isaac may have married Susanna Holden born March 13, 1743-44 in Sutton. Their daughter, Susanna, was born April 14, 1746.
Isaac bought lands in Douglas on April 23, 1752. He was the first selectman in Douglas.
In early New England towns policy was set by a board of 3 to 5 selectmen. They oversaw public responsibilities such as the policing, roads, and fences.
Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."