Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Dorchester was settled by all 140 passengers from the ship Mary and John in May and incorporated on 1 June 1630. The town became a part of Suffolk County when that county was created by the Massachusetts Bay Colony on 10 May 1643. The settlement was granted several large tracts of land that would later be set off from Dorchester and become the towns of Milton on 7 May 1662 and Stoughton on 22 December 1726, but the concentration of the population was always near the shore. Dorchester was originally one of the largest towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and included Dorchester Heights, (now South Boston), Hyde Park, Milton, Wrentham, Stoughton, Dedham, Sharon, Foxborough, and Canton. The town remained a rural farming community until, as it became more intertwined with Boston, it was annexed in pieces until it was all one with that city. The first to go was Dorchester Heights on 6 March 1804, and then renamed South Boston. The bulk of Dorchester was annexed to Boston on January 4, 1870, and the remaining parts that became Hyde Park were annexed in 1912.