Authors note: Andover’s early records were bad because Andover’s settlers didn’t bother to keep records and because Indians burned many of the records that did exist. It is true that eminences such as Simon Bradstreet, Rev. Woodbridge and the rest on the list of Andover’s first official settlers were the first Europeans officially here. These first official settlers were required by law to live within a half mile of the minister; however, the chances of less politically connected, yet more adventuresome settlers being within the confines of what is now the Andovers seems quite likely to me. We should never assume that those who listed themselves as first settlers were the first Europeans in Andover.
Bill Dalton writes a weekly column for the Andover Townsman. His email address is BillDalton@AndoverTownie.com.