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Online Records
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Map
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Bristol County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the U.S. highlighting Massachusetts
Location of Massachusetts in the U.S.
Facts
Founded June 2, 1685
County Seat Taunton
Courthouse
Address Bristol County Courthouse
9 Court Street
Taunton, MA 02780-3223
Phone: 508.824.9681
Bristol County Website

Contents

County Courthouse

Clerk of the courts  has court records from 1796 and naturalization records; town clerks  have birth, marrriage and death records, marriage and death records; Probate Court  has divorce records 1921 and probate records[1]

Towns Organized Before 1800:
Attleboro 1694,
Berkley 1735,
Dartmouth 1652,
Dighton 1712,
Easton 1725,
Freetown 1683,
Manfield 1770,
New Bedford 1787,
Norton 1710,
Raynham 1731,
Rehoboth 1645,
Sandwich 1638,
Somerset 1790,
Swansea 1667,
Taunton 1639,
Westport 1787

History

Parent County

  • Created 2 June 1685 from Plymouth Colony lands. [1]
  • Bristol County is one of very few counties that border on another county with same name - Bristol County, Rhode Island.

Boundary Changes

  • In 1746, Bristol, Barrington, and Warren were awarded to Bristol County Rhode Island.  At the same time, part of Attleborough, Massachusetts was annexed to Cumberland, Providence, Rhode Island. And Tiverton and Little Compton were transferred to Newport County, Rhode Island.
  • In 1862, part of Seekonk (now East Providence, Rhode Island) and the entirety of East Pawtucket were transferred to Providence County, Rhode Island. At the same time, land ceded from Rhode Island was added to Fall River and Westport.

Record Loss

Places / Localities

MassachusettsBristol CountyNewport CountyPlympton CountyNorfolk CountyDukes CountyNewport CountyWashington CountyKent CountyProvidence CountyBistol CountyWestportDartmouthNew BedfordFairhavenAcushnetFall RiverFreetownBerkleyTauntonRaynhamEastonMansfieldNortonNorth AttleboroughAttleboroSeekonkRehobothDightonSwanseaSomersetPlainvilleWrenthamFranklinMedwayNorfolkWalpoleSharonFoxboroughStoughtonAvonGosnoldBroctonAbingtonRocklandHanoverNorwellPembrokeHansonWhitmanEast BridgewaterWest BridgewaterBridgewaterHalifaxPlymouthCarverMiddleboroughLakevilleRochesterMarionMattapoisettRhode IslandNarragansettNorth KingstonWarwickCranstonProvidenceNorth ProvidenceLincolnCumberlandCentral FallsPawtucketEast ProvidenceBarringtonWarrenBristolPortsmouthMiddletownNewportJamestownTivertonLittle Compton
Modern towns and cities in Bristol County, Massachusetts.

Cities:  Attleboro | Fall River | New Bedford | Taunton

Towns:  Acushnet | Berkley | Dartmouth | Dighton | Easton | Fairhaven | Freetown | Mansfield | North Attleborough | Norton | Raynham | Rehoboth | Seekonk | Somerset | Swansea | Westport

Ceded or Extinct Towns:  Barrington | Bristol | Little Compton | Pawtucket | Tiverton | Wellington[2]

Neighboring Counties

Norfolk | Plymouth | Rhode Island counties: Bristol | Newport | Providence

Resources

Cemeteries

Individual cemeteries:

Census

For tips on accessing Bristol County, Massachusetts census records online, see: Massachusetts Census.

State Census

1855 Massachusetts State Census—a free searchable index and images to the 1855 Massachusetts State Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search. This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1855, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

1865 Massachusetts State Census—a free searchable index and images to the 1865 Massachusetts State Census can be viewed on the FamilySearch Record Search This index includes every name listed on the census and is linked to an image including information about each person’s residence and age in 1865, birthplace, occupation, other family members, and neighbors.

Church

Directories

Court

Gazetteers

Land

There are three Registry of Deeds in the county, located at

  • Fall River - Fall River District Registry of Deeds
  • New Bedford - Southern District Registry of Deeds
  • Taunton - Northern District Registry of Deeds

Local Histories

History of Rehoboth Massachusetts by George H. Tilton at Google Books

History of Bristol County, Massachusetts by Duane Hamiton Hurd at Internet Archive

Maps

Military

Newspapers

Probate

Taxation

Vital Records

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Handybook for Genealogists : United States of America, 10th ed., (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002), 329. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Michael J. Leclerc, Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, 5th ed. (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012), 224-26. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974 D27g 2012.

 

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