We Are Not the Only New Bedford in the U.S.A.
I recently conducted a search to learn if New Bedford, Massachusetts, was the only New Bedford in the United States of America.
It is not. There are other New Bedfords out there.
At first, I was surprised by my findings, but after some consideration, I realized it should not be a surprise.
Bedford is a city in England – the Mother Land. When the settlers came to America, they sought to name new territories after their beloved hometowns. American versions of old English cities exist all over the New World, especially in the Northeast.
There was already a Bedford in Massachusetts, and because of that, when this chunk of space broke away from Dartmouth, we had to settle for New Bedford. The same had to be true elsewhere.
So if there is more than one New Bedford, how many more are there, and where are they?
There are five New Bedfords: Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois, and right here in Massachusetts.
New Bedford, Massachusetts is the largest and best-known of the five, with about 101,000 people. Incorporated on February 23, 1778, the city is some 24.1 square miles.
New Bedford, Pennsylvania is an unincorporated community in Lawrence County. The population as of 2010 was 925 people.
New Bedford, Illinois is a village in Bureau County, part of the Ottawa Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population as of 2020 was 76 people.
New Bedford, New Jersey is an unincorporated community within Wall Township in Monmouth County. Population numbers are unavailable.
New Bedford, Ohio is an unincorporated community in Coshocton County. The community derives its name from Bedford County, Pennsylvania. There are no population numbers available.
It might make for a fun journey to visit all five New Bedfords and pose with the "welcome to" sign in each.