Massachusetts County History and Listings

Massachusetts County History and Listings

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.

Bristol
9 Court St., Taunton, MA 02780
(508) 823-6588
http://www.countyofbristol.net
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: 1862, Supreme Judicial Court
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1686, Registrar’s Office
Probate: 1687, Probate Court
Court: 1696, Court of Common Pleas
Naturalization: 1805, 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, and divorce records 1639-1887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Towns organized before 1800: Attleboro 1694, Berkley 1735, Dartmouth 1652, Dighton 1712, Easton 1725, Freetown 1683, Mansfield 1775, New Bedford 1787, Norton 1710, Raynham 1731, Rehoboth 1645, Sandwich 1639, Somerset 1790, Swansea 1667, Taunton 1639, Westport 1787.

Dukes
Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 696-3840
http://www.dukescounty.org
Incorporated: June 22, 1695
Parent County: Martha’s Vineyard
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: 1641, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1790, Probate Court
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1911 (for records prior to 1841 contact City/Town Clerks), divorce records 1639-1887, and probate records 1690-1938. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Towns organized before 1800: Chilmark 1694, Edgartown 1671, Tisbury 1671.

Essex
34 Federal St., Salem, MA
(978) 741-5500
http://www.essexma.org
Incorporated: May 10, 1643
Parent County: Original county
Birth Records: start in 1911, 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: 1639, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1638, Probate Court
Court: 1636, Quarterly Court
Naturalization: 1794, Superior Court
Notes: County Court has birth, marriage, and death records 1636-1795. 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. Essex Institute has military records 1755-1761. Towns organized before 1800: Amesbury 1668, Andover 1646, Beverly 1668, Boxford 1694, Danvers 1752, Hamilton 1793, Haverhill 1641, Ipswich 1634, Lynn 1635, Lynnfield 1782, Manchester 1645, Marblehead 1633, Methuen 1725, Middleton 1728, Newbury 1635, Newburyport 1764, Rowley 1639, Salem 1630, Salisbury 1639, Topsfield 1648, Wenham 1643.

Franklin
425 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 774-3167
http://www.frcog.org
Incorporated: June 24, 1811
Parent County: Hampshire
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: 1787, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1810, Probate Court
Court: 1823, Court of Common Pleas
Naturalization: 1811, Superior Court
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1910 (for records prior to 1841 contact City/Town Clerks), and divorce records 1639-1887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Supreme Judicial Court has court records 1816-1823. Towns organized before 1800: Ashfield 1765, Bernardston 1762, Buckland 1779, Charlemont 1765, Colrain 1761, Conway 1767, Deerfield 1677, Gil 1793, Greenfield 1753, Hawley 1792, Heath 1785, Leverett 1774, Leyden 1784, Montague 1754, New Salem 1753, Northfield 1714, Orange 1783, Rowe 1785, Shelburne 1768, Shuetesbury 1761, Sunderland 1714, Warwick 1763, Wendell 1781, Whately 1771, Williamsburg 1771.

Hampden
625 Main St., Hampden, MA 01036
(413) 781-8100
http://www.hampden.org
Incorporated: Feb. 25, 1812
Parent County: Hampshire
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Divorce: 1831, Clerk/Superior Court
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1628, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1812, Probate Court
Court: 1812, Court of Common Pleas
Wills: 1812, Probate Court
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1910 (for records prior to 1841 contact City/Town Clerks), and divorce records 1639-91887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Court of General Sessions of the Peace has court records 1638-1812. Towns organized before 1800: Blandford 1741, Brimfield 1714, Chester 1765, Granville 1754, Holland 1783, Longmeadow 1783, Monson 1760, Montgomery 1780, Palmer 1752, Southwick 1770, Springfield 1641, Wales 1645, West Springfield 1636, Westfield 1669, Wilbraham 1763.

Hampshire
33 King St., Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 586-8500
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mahampsh
Incorporated: May 7, 1662
Parent County: Middlesex
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1758, Court of Sessions, North Hampton
Divorce: 1758, Clerk/Superior Court
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1628, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1660, Probate Court
Court: 1638, Court of General Sessions of the Peace
Naturalization: 1836, Superior Court
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1910 (for records prior to 1841 contact City/Town Clerks), and divorce records 1639-1887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Towns organized before 1800: Amherst 1759, Belchertown 1761, Chesterfield 1762, Cummington 1779, Easthampton 1785, Goshen 1781, Granby 1768, Hadley 1661, Middlefield 1783, Northampton 1656, Pelham 1743, Plainfield 1785, Russell 1792, South Hadley 1753, Southampton 1753, Ware 1761, Westhampton 1778, Worthington 1768.

Middlesex
208 Cambridge St., East Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 536-4533
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mamiddle
Incorporated: May 10, 1643
Parent County: Original county
Divorce records: start in 1851, kept by Supreme Judicial Court
Land: 1649, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1648, Probate Court
Naturalization: 1800, Clerk of Courts
Notes: Clerk of Courts has birth, death records, and wills 1600-1799, and court records 1648-1798. Superior Court has birth, death, and marriage records 1651-1793. City Clerk has proprietors records 1634-1697, 1751-1773, and 1784-1829. Towns organized before 1800: Acton 1735, Ashby 1767, Bedford 1729, Billerica 1655, Boxborough 1783, Burlington 1799, Cambridge 1638, Carlisle 1754, Chelmsford 1655, Concord 1635, Dracut 1702, Dunstable 1673, Everett 1630, Framingham 1700, Groton 1655, Holliston 1724, Hopkinton 1715, Lexington 1713, Lincoln 1754, Littleton 1716, Malden 1649, Marlborough 1660, Medford 1630, Natick 1651, Newton 1688, Pepperell 1753, Reading 1644, Sherborn 1674, Shirley 1786, Stoneham 1725, Stow 1683, Sudbury 1639, Tewksbury 1734, Townsend 1732, Tyngsboro 1789, Waltham 1738, Watertown 1630, Wayland 1780, Westford 1729, Weston 1713, Wilmington 1730, Woburn 1642.

Nantucket
16 Broad St., Nantucket, MA 02554
(508) 228-7250
http://www.nantucket-ma.gov
Incorporated: June 22, 1695
Parent County: Original county
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Divorce: 1922, Probate/Family Court
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1657, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1706, Probate Court
Court: 1721, Court of Common Pleas
Naturalization: 1908, State Archives
Notes: State Archives has birth, marriage, and death records 1841-1910 (for records prior to 1841 contact City/Town Clerks, and divorce records 1639-1887. Clerks of Superior Courts has divorce records 1887-1922. Towns organized before 1800: Nantucket 1687.

Norfolk
649 High St., Dedham, MA 02026
(781) 326-7200
http://www.norfolkcountymagen.info
Incorporated: March 26, 1793
Parent County: Suffolk
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Divorce: 1887, Superior Court
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1793, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1793, Probate Court
Court: 1793, Court of Common Pleas
Naturalization: 1806, Superior Court
Notes: Town Clerk has birth, death, and marriage records 1635-1845. State Archives has birth, death, and marriage records 1841-1910, and divorce records 1639-1887. Towns organized before 1800: Bellingham 1719, Braintree 1640, Brookline 1705, Canton 1797, Cohasset 1770, Dedham 1636, Dover 1784, Franklin 1778, Medfield 1651, Milton 1662, Needham 1711, Quincy 1792, Randolph 1793, Sharon 1765, Walpole 1724, Weymouth 1635, Wrentham 1673.

Plymouth
50 Obery St., Plymouth MA 02360
(508) 830-9200
http://plymouthdeeds.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: 1664, Registrar of Deeds
Notes: Registrar of Deeds has Plymouth Colony birth, death, and marriage records 1636-1686 and 1699-1756. State Archives has birth, death and marriage records 1841-1910. Court of General Sessions has court records 1686-1817. Court of Common Pleas has court records 1702-1859. State Archives has divorce records 1639-1887. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Inferior Court of Common Please and Court of General Sessions of the Peace has marriage records 1692-1746. Fourth District Court, District Court Clerk, Wareham has naturalization records and applications 1885-1906. Superior Court, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston has naturalization declarations and petitions 1907-1945. Superior Court records at Massachusetts State Archives has Plymouth County declarations of intention index 1906-1984. Towns organized before 1800: Abington 1712, Bridgewater 1656, Brockton 1700, Carver 1790, Duxbury 1637, Halifax 1734, Hanover 1727, Hingham 1635, Hull 1644, Kingston 1726, Marshfield 1640, Middleborough 1669, Pembroke 1712, Plymouth 1620, Plympton 1707, Rochester 1686, Scituate 1636, Wareham 1739.

Suffolk
24 New Chardon St., Boston, MA 02114
(617) 788-8575
http://www.suffolkdeeds.com
Incorporated: May 10, 1643
Parent County: Original county
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: 1639, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1636, Probate Court
Naturalization: 1782, Court of Common Pleas
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, marriage records 1841-1910 (for records prior to 1841 contact City and Town Clerks), and divorce records 1639-1887. County Court, Court of Common Pleas, Court of General Sessions of Peace, Superior Court of Judicature, and Supreme Judicial Court have court records spanning 1629-1827. Clerk of Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1922. Towns organized before 1800: Boston 1630, Chelsea 1739, Dorchester 1630, Roxbury 1630.

Worcester
90 Front St., Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 798-7717
http://www.worcesterdeeds.com
Incorporated: April 5, 1731
Parent County: Suffolk, Middlesex
Birth Records: start in 1911, kept by state Registry of Vital Records
Marriage: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Death: 1911, state Registry of Vital Records
Land: 1722, Registrar of Deeds
Probate: 1731, Probate Court
Notes: State Archives has birth, death, marriage records 1841-1910, divorce records 1639-1887, and naturalization records 1885-1949. Superior Court has divorce records 1887-1936. Towns organized before 1800: Ashburnham 1765, Athol 1762, Auburn 1778, Barre 1753, Berlin 1784, Bolton 1738, Boylston 1786, Brookfield 1673, Charlton 1755, Douglas 1746, Fitchburg 1764, Gardner 1785, Grafton 1735, Greenwich 1754, Hardwick 1739, Harvard 1732, Hubbardston 1767, Lancaster 1653, Leicester 1722, Leominister 1740, Lunenburg 1726, Mendon 1667, Milford 1780, New Braintree 1751, Northborough 1766, Northbridge 1772, Oakham 1762, Oxford 1713, Paxton 1765, Petersham 1754, Phillipston 1786, Princeton 1759, Royalston 1763, Rutland 1713, Shrewsbury 1727, Southborough 1727, Spencer 1753, Sterling 1781, Sturbridge 1738, Sutton 1716 Templeton 1762, Upton 1735, Uxbridge 1727 Warren 1741 Westbourough 1717, Westminister 1759, Winchendon 1764 Worcester 1722.


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