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Massachusetts County History and Listings
8/9/2010
Our county-by-county listing of Massachusetts has contact information and dates vital records for historic and modern-day counties.

Barnstable
3195 Main St., Box 427, Barnstable, MA 02630
(508) 362-2511
http://www.barnstablecounty.org
Incorporated: June 2, 1685
Parent County: New Plymouth Colony
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Divorce: 1922, County Probate/Family Courts
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1783, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1674, Register of Probate
Court: 1827, Court of Common Pleas/Superior Court
Naturalization: 1907, Superior Court
Wills: 1637, Register of Probate
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1910 (contact City and Town Clerks for records prior to 1841), divorce records 1639-1887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1872-1922. Towns organized before 1800: Barnstable 1639, Chatham 1712, Dennis 1793, Eastham 1646, Falmouth 1686, Harwich 1694, Mashpee 1763, Orleans 1797, Provincetown 1727, Truro 1709, Wellfleet 1763, Yarmouth 1639. Fire destroyed nearly all early deed books and probate files, but probate books survived. The official deed books only begin in 1827. Many deeds were rerecorded back to 1783, though these are far from complete.

Berkshire
76 East St., Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-7487
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~maberksh
Incorporated: May 28, 1760
Parent County: Hampshire
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Divorce: 1847, Clerk/Superior Court
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1761, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1761, Probate Court
Court: 1760, Court of Common Pleas
Naturalization: 1815, Court of Common Pleas/Superior Court
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1910 (for records prior to 1841 contact City/Town Clerks), divorce records 1639-1887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Court of Common Pleas has Revolutionary War records 1775-1783. Towns organized before 1800: Adams 1778, Alford 1773, Becket 1765, Chasire 1793, Clarksburg 1798, Dalton 1784, Egremont 1775, Great Barrington 1761, Hancock 1776, Lanesborough 1765, Lee 1777, Lenox 1767, Mount Washington 1779, New Ashford 1781, New Marlborough 1759, Otis 1773, Peru 1771, Pittsfield 1761, Richmond 1765, Savoy 1797, Sheffield 1733, Sandisfield 1762, Stockbridge 1739, Tyringham 1762, Washington 1777, West Stockbridge 1774, Williamstown 1765.

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