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Norfolk County, Massachusetts
NorfolkCoCourt.JPG
Norfolk County Courthouse in Dedham
Flag of Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Flag
Seal of Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Seal
Motto: Antiquity, Perseverance, History, Industry
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Norfolk County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the U.S. highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Founded 1793
Named for Norfolk
Seat Dedham
Largest city Quincy
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

444 sq mi (1,150 km²)
396 sq mi (1,026 km²)
48 sq mi (124 km²), 11%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

725,981
1,832.8/sq mi (708/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 4th, 7th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.norfolkcounty.org

Norfolk County is located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. At the 2020 census, the population was 725,981.[1] Its county seat is Dedham.[2] It is the fourth most populous county in the United States whose county seat is neither a city nor a borough, and it is the second most populous county that has a county seat at a town. The county was named after the English county of the same name.[3] Two towns, Cohasset and Brookline, are exclaves.

Norfolk County is included in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Norfolk County is the 33rd highest-income county in the United States with a median household income of $81,899. It is the second wealthiest county in Massachusetts, after Middlesex, which is 25th.

History[]

Norfolk County, Massachusetts was created on March 26, 1793, by legislation signed by Governor John Hancock. Most of the towns were originally part of Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The towns of Dorchester and Roxbury were part of Norfolk County when it was created but, as Boston annexed each town, they became part of Suffolk County again. Hingham and Hull were originally part of the Norfolk County legislation but petitioned to remain in Suffolk county and in June 1793 their removal to Norfolk county was repealed. In 1803, they were moved into Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Norfolk County is the birthplace of four Presidents of the United States (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and George H.W. Bush), resulting in the moniker "County of Presidents."[4]

Sheriffs[]

There have been 21 sheriffs of Norfolk County.[5]

Years Sheriff[5]
2021–Present Patrick W. McDermott
2018–2021 Jerome P. McDermott
1999–2018 Michael G. Bellotti
1996–1999 John H. Flood
1975–1996 Clifford H. Marshall
1961–1975 Charles Hedges
1958–1961 Peter M. McCormack
1939–1958 Samuel Wragg
1898–1939 Samuel Capen
1885–1898 Augustus B. Endicott
1878–1885 Rufus Corbin Wood
1857–1878 John W. Thomas
1853–1857 Thomas Adams
1852–1853 John W. Thomas
1848–1852 Thomas Adams
1843–1848 Jerauld N. E. Mann
1834–1843 John Baker, II
1812–1834 Elijah Crane
1811–1812 William Brewer
1810–1811 Elijah Crane
1798–1810 Benjamin Clark Cutler
1794–1798 Atherton Thayer
1793–1794 Ebeneezer Thayer

Treasurers[]

Years Treasurer
2021–Present Michael G. Bellotti
2017–2021 James E. Timilty
2002-2017 Joseph Connolly
1997–2002 Tim Cahill
1907- Henry D. Humphrey
1889-1907 Charles W. Smith
April 1855-1889 Chauncey C. Churchill[6]
1793-1809 Isaac Bullard

Registers of Deeds[]

Years Register
2002–present[7] William P. O'Donnell
2001-2002[7] Paul D. Harold
1970-2001[7] Barry T. Hannon
1947-1970[7] L. Thomas Shine
1917-1947[7] Walter W. Chambers
1916-1917[7] Edward L. Burdakin
1874-1916[8] John H. Burdakin
1861-1874[8] James Foord
1821-1861[8][9] Enos Foord[lower-alpha 1]
1813-1821[8] James Foord[lower-alpha 2]
1793-1813[8] Eliphalet Pond, Jr.

Other[]

In the mid-1800s, Jonathan H. Cobb was the clerk of courts.[6]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 396 square miles (1,030 km2) is land and 48 square miles (120 km2) (11%) is water.[12] It is the third-smallest county in Massachusetts by total area. The county is not completely contiguous; the towns of Brookline and Cohasset are each part of Norfolk County but are separated from the majority of Norfolk County (and each other) by either water or other counties. At the county's formation, Hingham and Hull were to be part of it, but joined Plymouth County instead, leaving Cohasset as the initial exclave of Norfolk County and an enclave of Plymouth County. Brookline became the second exclave of Norfolk County in 1873 when the neighboring town of West Roxbury was annexed by Boston (thus leaving Norfolk County to join Suffolk County) and Brookline refused to be annexed by Boston after the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Adams National Historical Park
  • Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (part)
  • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site

Major Highways[]

  • I-90
  • I-93
  • I-95
  • I-495
  • US 1
  • US 20
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Template:Massachusetts rivers

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 27,216
1810 31,245 14.8%
1820 36,471 16.7%
1830 41,972 15.1%
1840 53,140 26.6%
1850 78,892 48.5%
1860 109,950 39.4%
1870 89,443 −18.7%
1880 96,507 7.9%
1890 118,950 23.3%
1900 151,539 27.4%
1910 187,506 23.7%
1920 219,081 16.8%
1930 299,426 36.7%
1940 325,180 8.6%
1950 392,308 20.6%
1960 510,256 30.1%
1970 605,051 18.6%
1980 606,587 0.3%
1990 616,087 1.6%
2000 650,308 5.6%
2010 670,850 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2020[17]

Norfolk County Administration Offices (including the County Commissioners and the County Treasurer) in Dedham.

2000 census[]

At the 2000 census there were 650,308 people, 248,827 households, and 165,967 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,628 people per square mile (628/km2). There were 255,154 housing units at an average density of 639 per square mile (247/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.02% White or European American, 3.18% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 5.50% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. 1.84%.[18] were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.6% were of Irish, 13.4% Italian, 7.7% English and 5.0% descendants of colonists ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.7% spoke English, 2.3% Chinese in any dialect, 2.0% Spanish, 1.0% Italian and 1.0% French as their first language.

Of the 248,827 households 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 26.80% of households were one person and 10.80% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.14.

The age distribution was 23.40% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 31.60% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 14.40% 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.

The median household income was $63,432 and the median family income was $77,847 (these figures had risen to $77,294 and $95,243 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[19]). Males had a median income of $51,301 versus $37,108 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,484. About 2.90% of families and 4.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.40% of those under age 18 and 5.70% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 670,850 people, 257,914 households, and 168,903 families residing in the county.[20] The population density was 1,693.6 inhabitants per square mile (653.9 /km2). There were 270,359 housing units at an average density of 682.5 per square mile (263.5 /km2).[21] The racial makeup of the county was 82.3% white, 8.6% Asian, 5.7% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.3% of the population.[20] The largest ancestry groups were:[22]

  • 31.8% Irish
  • 15.5% Italian
  • 11.0% English
  • 7.0% German
  • 4.6% French
  • 4.3% Chinese
  • 4.1% Polish
  • 3.2% Russian
  • 3.1% American
  • 2.8% Scottish
  • 2.6% French Canadian
  • 2.4% Scotch-Irish
  • 2.0% West Indian
  • 2.0% Sub-Saharan African
  • 1.9% Portuguese
  • 1.8% Swedish
  • 1.6% Indian
  • 1.4% Arab
  • 1.4% Greek
  • 1.2% Canadian
  • 1.1% Vietnamese
  • 1.1% Lithuanian

Of the 257,914 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.5% were non-families, and 27.6% of households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.15. The median age was 40.7 years.[20]

The median income for a household in the county was $81,027 and the median family income was $101,870. Males had a median income of $68,070 versus $51,870 for females. The per capita income for the county was $42,371. About 4.1% of families and 6.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.[23]

Demographic breakdown by town[]

Income[]

The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective if the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns. Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.[24][25][26]

Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
Dover CDP $91,039 $183,125 $212,125 2,322 725
1 Dover Town $82,800 $184,646 $200,735 5,564 1,765
2 Wellesley Town $65,394 $145,208 $175,156 27,818 8,553
3 Brookline Town $63,964 $97,250 $142,180 58,371 24,891
4 Needham Town $60,972 $121,080 $160,455 28,786 10,350
5 Cohasset Town $59,891 $117,831 $147,222 7,483 2,706
6 Westwood Town $59,422 $120,078 $151,976 14,508 5,172
7 Medfield Town $56,905 $128,446 $139,247 12,004 4,011
Chestnut Hill (02467) ZCTA $55,947 $114,140 $151,375 21,952 6,237
8 Sharon Town $53,687 $121,265 $142,463 17,538 6,268
Medfield CDP $47,660 $107,386 $127,632 6,394 2,357
9 Wrentham Town $47,119 $100,938 $119,188 10,879 3,978
Sharon CDP $46,079 $102,521 $124,405 5,532 2,007
10 Canton Town $45,991 $90,951 $111,770 21,408 8,460
11 Milton Town $44,718 $104,713 $129,234 26,828 8,956
12 Medway Town $44,472 $106,058 $119,864 12,670 4,433
13 Walpole Town $43,983 $90,763 $109,035 23,862 8,626
Norfolk County County $43,685 $83,733 $106,309 666,426 255,944
14 Norfolk Town $42,452 $118,809 $132,250 11,151 3,125
15 Foxborough Town $42,236 $92,370 $108,209 16,734 6,470
Walpole CDP $41,820 $89,327 $99,808 6,119 2,522
16 Dedham Town $41,143 $83,364 $105,586 24,521 9,528
Millis-Clicquot CDP $39,884 $82,798 $103,750 4,370 1,831
17 Millis Town $39,344 $90,360 $99,976 7,852 3,043
18 Franklin City $39,043 $92,066 $109,602 31,317 10,866
19 Braintree City $37,317 $83,710 $97,262 35,409 13,267
20 Plainville Town $36,802 $81,371 $102,780 8,176 3,232
Foxborough CDP $36,239 $61,771 $91,991 5,206 2,388
21 Norwood Town $35,997 $73,838 $95,397 28,483 11,559
22 Weymouth City $35,939 $68,594 $86,972 53,565 22,543
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
Bellingham CDP $33,927 $81,941 $87,606 4,580 1,833
23 Bellingham Town $33,170 $83,534 $93,655 16,165 5,879
24 Quincy City $32,911 $60,947 $77,231 91,484 39,965
25 Stoughton Town $32,363 $68,191 $87,070 26,893 10,455
26 Avon Town $31,304 $72,880 $89,214 4,341 1,609
27 Holbrook Town $29,940 $63,790 $76,568 10,749 4,193
28 Randolph City $29,210 $64,465 $77,661 31,867 12,041
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359

Religion[]

Religious Affiliation in Norfolk County
Year 1980 1990 2000 2010
Religion C* A** C A C A C A
Anabaptist (Mennonite) n/a n/a 1 88 1 45 n/a n/a
Ba'haism 0 n/a 0 n/a 2 180 1 198
Baptist 29 7,063 29 7,936 32 4,992 46 5,558
Brethren 3 95 1 50 0 n/a 0 n/a
Buddhism n/a n/a n/a n/a 4 n/a 7 1,653
Catholicism 64 304,137 63 336,797 63 380,930 52 355,321
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1 432 2 648 5 1,150 4 1,262
Congregationalism/

United Church of Christ

35 16,786 43 19,016 41 22,049 42 12,879
Christian Science n/a n/a 7 350 n/a n/a 5 n/a
Episcopalianism/

Anglicanism

31 17,955 30 12,905 31 12,778 33 11,016
Hinduism n/a n/a n/a n/a 6 n/a 2 37
Independent/

nondenominational

n/a n/a 1 800 n/a n/a 20 2,620
Islam n/a n/a n/a n/a 2 3,782 3 4,616
Jainism n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a 1 n/a
Judaism 20 8,258 41 37,123 41 38,300 20 19,709
Lutheranism 13 4,629 10 2,843 8 2,593 8 2,227
Methodism/Holiness 25 7,937 21 7,114 24 7,097 23 5,667
Messianic Judaism n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 1 n/a
Orthodoxy n/a n/a 3 n/a 7 7,543 9 3,539
Pentecostalism 5 945 5 1,382 12 2,540 17 2,485
Presbyterianism 4 1,380 7 1,424 7 1,558 9 1,196
Seventh-day Adventism/

Jehovah's Witnesses

1 52 7 2,900 5 367 8 537
Sikhism n/a n/a n/a n/a 2 n/a 1 n/a
Quakerism 1 192 1 190 2 106 2 224
Unitarian-Universalism 18 4,719 17 4,591 17 2,644 17 3,102
Zoroastranianism n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 0 16

*congregations

**adherents

Government[]

The county has offices in Dedham Square. It runs the Norfolk County Correctional Center, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, and the Norfolk County Courthouse.

Current elected officials[]

All eligible voters of Norfolk County vote for three County Commissioners, a District Attorney, a Clerk of Courts, a Register of Deeds, a Sheriff, a County Treasurer, and a Register of Probate.

County Commissioners are elected for a four-year term; two Commissioners are elected to coincide with presidential elections, and one Commissioner is elected during the midterm elections. All three Commissioners must hail from a different municipality. The District Attorney is elected every four years coinciding with the midterm elections. The Clerk of Courts and Register of Deeds are elected every six years coinciding with the elections of Class I US Senators. The County Treasurer and Register of Probate are elected every six years coinciding with the elections of Class II US Senators. The Sheriff is elected every six years coinciding with the elections of Class III US Senators.

Office Current Officeholder Hometown Next Election
County Commissioners Richard R. Staiti (Democratic)[27] Canton 2024
Joseph P. Shea (Democratic)[27] Quincy
Peter H. Collins (Democratic)[28] Milton 2022
District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey (Democratic)[29] Quincy 2022
Clerk of Courts Walter F. Timilty, Jr. (Democratic)[30] Milton 2024
Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell (Democratic)[31] Norwood 2024
Sheriff Patrick W. McDermott (Democratic)[32] Quincy 2022
County Treasurer Michael G. Bellotti (Democratic)[27] Quincy 2026
Register of Probate Colleen M Brierley (Democratic)[27] Norwood 2026

Politics[]

Like the majority of Massachusetts, Norfolk County leans Democratic. The last time it voted for a Republican candidate was in 1984, during Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in which he carried every state except Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 13, 2010[33]
Party Number of voters Percentage
Democratic 159,956 35.28%
Republican 53,556 11.81%
Unenrolled 237,810 52.45%
Minor Parties 2,054 0.45%
Total 453,376 100%
United States presidential election results for Norfolk County, Massachusetts[34]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 125,294 30.73% 273,312 67.03% 9,145 2.24%
2016 119,723 32.56% 221,819 60.33% 26,153 7.11%
2012 148,393 41.62% 202,714 56.86% 5,416 1.52%
2008 136,841 39.67% 200,675 58.18% 7,400 2.15%
2004 127,763 38.58% 199,392 60.21% 3,982 1.20%
2000 107,033 33.75% 188,450 59.41% 21,694 6.84%
1996 92,982 30.95% 180,504 60.07% 26,985 8.98%
1992 103,255 31.84% 150,488 46.41% 70,521 21.75%
1988 150,306 47.71% 160,289 50.88% 4,461 1.42%
1984 160,313 53.56% 138,222 46.18% 784 0.26%
1980 136,184 44.84% 117,274 38.61% 50,271 16.55%
1976 136,628 45.15% 155,342 51.33% 10,646 3.52%
1972 134,459 46.89% 150,732 52.57% 1,558 0.54%
1968 95,858 36.01% 160,513 60.30% 9,835 3.69%
1964 68,612 26.80% 186,488 72.84% 912 0.36%
1960 121,744 47.24% 135,474 52.57% 503 0.20%
1956 152,747 66.41% 76,656 33.33% 593 0.26%
1952 140,409 65.20% 74,321 34.51% 631 0.29%
1948 100,280 56.74% 72,327 40.92% 4,130 2.34%
1944 94,490 57.45% 69,606 42.32% 383 0.23%
1940 97,525 58.74% 67,654 40.75% 838 0.50%
1936 82,545 55.44% 57,770 38.80% 8,575 5.76%
1932 75,232 59.17% 49,121 38.63% 2,793 2.20%
1928 73,530 60.73% 47,057 38.87% 489 0.40%
1924 57,948 71.10% 15,041 18.45% 8,516 10.45%
1920 51,826 74.69% 15,720 22.66% 1,839 2.65%
1916 19,284 58.71% 12,702 38.67% 858 2.61%
1912 9,650 32.79% 9,244 31.41% 10,537 35.80%
1908 18,225 64.87% 7,682 27.34% 2,187 7.78%
1904 16,104 62.15% 8,372 32.31% 1,434 5.53%
1900 15,144 62.33% 7,922 32.60% 1,232 5.07%
1896 16,897 73.47% 4,990 21.70% 1,113 4.84%
1892 11,862 52.11% 10,327 45.37% 575 2.53%
1888 10,770 54.01% 8,720 43.73% 449 2.25%
1884 8,351 47.12% 7,321 41.31% 2,051 11.57%
1880 10,019 59.70% 6,498 38.72% 265 1.58%
1876 8,956 57.18% 6,685 42.68% 22 0.14%



Communities[]

Cities[]

Towns[]

Note: West Roxbury (annexed to Boston 1874), Roxbury (annexed to Boston 1868), Dorchester (founded 1630, annexed to Boston 1870), Hyde Park (incorporated 1868 from Dorchester, Milton, and Dedham, annexed to Boston 1912), and Hingham and Hull were originally part of Norfolk County when the county was incorporated in 1793. As of August 2012, Hingham's Precinct 2 will be part of the Fourth Norfolk District.[36]

Census-designated places[]

  • Bellingham
  • Dover
  • Foxborough
  • Medfield
  • Millis-Clicquot
  • Sharon
  • Walpole

See also[]

  • Norfolk County Registry of Deeds
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Notes[]

  1. ^ Foord lived on School Street near the Centre School and Franklin Square in Dedham. He was the father of James. His wife "was an active, sprightly woman, who was interested in every good social enterprise."[10]
  2. ^ Foord was the son of Enos. He moved to California following his father's death with his mother.[11]

References[]

  1. ^ "2020 Census Demographic Data Map Viewer". United States Census Bureau. https://mtgis-portal.geo.census.gov/arcgis/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=2566121a73de463995ed2b2fd7ff6eb7. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  3. ^ Thomas Cox, Anthony Hall, Robert Morden, Magna Britannia Antiqua & Nova: Or, A New, Exact, and Comprehensive Survey of the Ancient and Present State of Great Britain, Volume 5, (Caesar Ward and Richard Chandler: London, 1738), pg. 171 (accessed on Google Book Search, June 22, 2008)
  4. ^ The County of Norfolk, Massachusetts. Last accessed December 21, 2006.
  5. ^ a b "History". Norfolk County Sheriff's Office. http://www.norfolksheriff.com/history.html. 
  6. ^ a b Clarke 1903, p. 14.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Registers of Deeds The Modern Years, Norfolk County Registry of Deeds: Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 225th Anniversary Notable Land Records Project 
  8. ^ a b c d e Registers of Deeds The Early Years, Norfolk County Registry of Deeds: Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 225th Anniversary Notable Land Records Project 
  9. ^ Clarke 1903, p. 8-9, 14.
  10. ^ Clarke 1903, p. 8-9.
  11. ^ Clarke 1903, p. 8.
  12. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_25.txt. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/ma190090.txt. 
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  17. ^ "2020 Census Demographic Data Map Viewer". United States Census Bureau. https://mtgis-portal.geo.census.gov/arcgis/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=2566121a73de463995ed2b2fd7ff6eb7. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
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Works cited[]

  • Clarke, Wm. Horatio (1903). Mid-Century Memories of Dedham. Dedham Historical Society. 

Bibliography[]

External links[]

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