Dukes County, Massachusetts

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
m (a)
(Added first third of content from the Mass Wiki Team)
(39 intermediate revisions by 17 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
{{stub}}''[[United States|United States]] > [[Massachusetts|Massachusetts]] > Dukes County'' [[Image:Ma-dukes.png|thumb|right|400px|showing location of Dukes County]]  
+
''[[United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide|Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Dukes_County,_Massachusetts|Dukes County]]''
  
== [http://www.dukescounty.org/Pages/index County Courthouse]  ==
+
This is a historical and genealogical guide to the county of Dukes. You will find help with town histories, vital records, deeds and land records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries.  
  
The County of Dukes County<br>PO Box 190<br>Edgartown, MA 02539
+
== Dukes County Massachusetts History  ==
  
*The oddity of the name of the county is due to the statute that created this county.
+
=== Brief History  ===
  
== History  ==
+
The region was first recorded in detail by Capt. Gosnold in 1602 who named the string of islands after his daughter Elizabeth, which later became the town of Gosnold. Fishermen were the first to occupy the islands in the early 1600s. Settlements develop in the 1640s. Town records begin in 1671. County government is established in 1683 by [[New York|New York]]. These records are rumored to be in Albany, but as yet have not been identified. Records after 1695 are complete.<br>
  
==== Parent County ====
+
=== Historical Data ===
  
*Created 1 Nov 1683 when it was claimed by Colony of New York, then reclaimed by [[Massachusetts_Bay_Colony|Massachusetts Bay Colony]], re-established 22 June 1695.<ref name="Handybook">''The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America'',10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).</ref>
+
The basic data are from the historical county boundary series<ref>[http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/documents/MA_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm#DUKES Massachusetts Atlas of Historical County Boundaries]</ref> with additions from various sources.
  
==== Boundary Changes  ====
+
{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
 +
|-
 +
! width="100" scope="col" | Dates
 +
! width="500" scope="col" | Events
 +
|-
 +
| in 1674
 +
| The region was included in a grant to the Duke of York.
 +
|-
 +
| 1 Nov. 1683
 +
| Dukes County was established by the Colony of [[New York|New York]] that included the islands of Elizabeth, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. [N.Y. Col. Laws, Ch. 4, Sect. 1, p. 122]
 +
|-
 +
| 7 Oct. 1691
 +
| Dukes became part of the rechartered [[Massachusetts Bay Colony|Massachusetts Bay Colony]] without being established as a county.
 +
|-
 +
| 22 June 1695
 +
| Dukes County re-established as Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands. [Mass. Col. Acts, Vol. 1, Ch. 7 [1695/6], p. 216]
 +
|}
 +
<div style="width: 147%"><center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
 +
=== Towns and Cities  ===
  
*[[Nantucket_County,_Massachusetts|Nantucket]] County set off 22 June 1695 at the same time when old Dukes County was reorganized.<ref name="Handybook">''The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America'',10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).</ref>
+
[[Image:Ma-dukes.png|right|400px|Ma-dukes.png]]The following list of present-day Dukes County towns and cities links them to their individual pages. There you will find a list of other names used for the town or city and of villages and sections of the town or city.<br><br>
 +
<center>[[Aquinnah, Massachusetts|Aquinnah (''formerly Gay Head'', 1870)]] | [[Chilmark, Massachusetts|Chilmark (1714)]]<br>[[Edgartown, Massachusetts|Edgartown (1671)]] | [[Gosnold, Massachusetts|Gosnold (1864)]]<br>[[Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts|Oak Bluffs (1880)]] | [[Tisbury, Massachusetts|Tisbury (1671)]]<br>[[West Tisbury, Massachusetts|West Tisbury (1892)]]</center><br><br><br><br><br><center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
 +
<br>  
  
==== Record Loss ====
+
=== County Histories ===
  
== Places / Localities  ==
+
{{MADukCouMap}}Works written on the county include:<br>
  
==== Populated Places  ====
+
IN PROGRESS
  
'''Towns:'''
+
*[http://history.vineyard.net/dukes/ The Dukes County MAGenWeb Project], an member of [[MAGenWeb|The MAGenWeb Project]], an affiliate of [[USGenWeb|The USGenWeb Project]].
 +
*{{FHL|Massachusetts%2C+Dukes|subject|disp=FamilySearch.org}} Family History Library catalog for Dukes County
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
 +
== Dukes County Massachusetts Genealogy Resources  ==
  
{| width="70%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
+
=== Vital Records  ===
|-
+
| valign="top" |
+
*Aquinnah
+
*Chilmark
+
*Edgartown
+
  
| valign="top" |
+
In Massachusetts, the original vital records (of births, marriages, and deaths) have been created and maintained by the town or city in which the event occurred. In very early colonial times, copies of these records were submitted to the county, but that practice died out long before 1700. There were marriage intentions commonly recorded in the bride's home town and additional recordings maybe found in the groom's home town and their current residence.<br>
*Gosnold
+
*Oak Bluffs
+
  
| valign="top" |
+
Massachusetts was the first state to bring a unified state-level recording of these events (but not marriage intentions) in 1841 (Boston excluded until 1850). The associated records of divorce and adoption are handled by the courts. The state has maintained a state-wide index to divorces since 1952, but adoption records will require more researching to discover.<br>
*Tisbury
+
*West Tisbury
+
  
|}
+
It is easiest to start with the state vital records for events since 1841, though realize the original record is with the town or city. More details can be found on the [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Vital_Records|Massachusetts Genealogy Guide]] page.<br>
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
 +
=== Land Records  ===
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
 +
=== Probate Records  ===
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
 +
=== Other Court Records  ===
  
'''Community:'''  
+
The court system can appear to be complex. The system was reorganized in 1686/1692, 1859, and 1978. Described below are the most commonly used records for history and genealogy, but realize that this list is incomplete. For more detailed information regarding court structure, see [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Court_System|Understanding the Massachusetts Court System]].<br><br>Older records are held by:<br>[http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arccol/colidx.htm#court '''Supreme Judicial Court Archives''']<br>(administration - records stored in several off-site facilities and the Mass. Archives)<br>16th Floor, Highrise Court House<br>3 Pemberton Square<br>Boston MA 02109<br>Phone 617-557-1082<br>Email [mailto:Elizabeth.Bouvier@sjc.state.ma.us Elizabeth.Bouvier@sjc.state.ma.us]
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
 +
==== County Court  ====
  
*Vineyard Haven
+
This court was active from 1636 (called a quarterly court and then the county court when Suffolk was created in 1643) to 1692. The court heard all civil causes up to 10 shillings (raised to 40 shillings in 1647) and all criminal causes not concerning life, limb, or banishment. These were all jury trials. Some records can be found in the [Suffolk_County,_Massachusetts#Suffolk_Files|Suffolk Files].<br>
  
==== Neighboring Counties  ====
+
The records microfilmed:<br>
  
[[Barnstable County, Massachusetts|Barnstable ]]| [[Nantucket County, Massachusetts|Nantucket ]]| [[Suffolk County, New York|Suffolk County]], New York
+
*
  
== Resources  ==
+
At the [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Archives|Massachusetts Archives]]:<br>
  
==== Cemeteries ====
+
*
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
 +
==== Quarterly Court of General Sessions of the Peace ====
  
==== Census ====
+
This court was active from 1692 to 1827. The court heard criminal cases and had authority over county affairs that included levying taxes, reviewing town bylaws, highways, licensed liquor, regulated jails, supervised the administration of the poor laws, and appointed some county officials.<br>
  
==== Church  ====
+
The records microfilmed:<br>
  
==== Court  ====
+
*
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
 +
==== Inferior Court of Common Pleas ====
  
==== Gazetteers  ====
+
This court was active from 1692 to 1859. The court heard all civil cases over 40s unless a case involved freehold or was appealed from a justice of the peace.<br>
  
==== Land  ====
+
The records microfilmed:<br>
  
==== Local Histories ====
+
*
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
 +
==== Superior Court ====
  
==== Maps  ====
+
The Quarterly Court of General Sessions was merged into the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in 1827, and that court was reorganized in 1859 to created the Superior Court as the new lower (i.e. trial) court. It covers both criminal and civil matters.<br>
  
==== Military ====
+
*
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
 +
==== Supreme Judicial Court ====
  
==== Newspapers  ====
+
The Supreme Judicial Court was established by the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 that combined the former Governor and Council with the Superior Court of Judicature creating the highest state court. This court hears appeals, writ of error, capital offenses, and crimes against the public good. That included divorces until that action was moved to the lower court in 1887.<br>
  
==== Probate ====
+
*
 +
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
 +
==== Naturalization Records ====
  
==== Taxation  ====
+
Naturalization records were created on a variety of governmental levels from the Federal down to the city at the same time. The county records for all levels are outlines below. For more information, see the [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Naturalization_Records|Massachusetts state page]] for more on naturalization.<br>
 
+
<center>'''Federal Naturalization Records for Dukes County'''</center> <center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
==== Vital Records ====
+
=== Maps ===
 
+
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
== Societies and Libraries ==
+
== Dukes County Massachusetts Genealogy Societies  ==
 
+
<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
== Web Sites  ==
+
== Dukes County Massachusetts Genealogy References  ==
 
+
*[http://history.vineyard.net/dukes/ The Dukes County MAGenWeb Project], an member of [[MAGenWeb|The MAGenWeb Project]], an affiliate of [[USGenWeb|The USGenWeb Project]].
+
*The USGenWeb Archives Project for Dukes County  
+
*[http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localitydetails&subject=184077&subject_disp=Massachusetts%2C+Dukes&columns=*,0,0 FamilySearch.org] Family History Library catalog for Dukes County
+
  
== References  ==
+
{{reflist}}  
{{reflist}}
+
<center>'''Adjacent counties:''' '''''Massachusetts:''''' [[Barnstable County, Massachusetts|Barnstable ]] | [[Nantucket County, Massachusetts|Nantucket]] | [[Plymouth County, Massachusetts|Plymouth]]<br>'''''New York:''''' [[Suffolk County, New York|Suffolk County]]
 +
<!--This was designed by Scott Andrew Bartley in conjunction with the Mass. Wiki Team on 5 September 2013-->
 +
</center></div>
 
[[Category:Dukes_County,_Massachusetts]]
 
[[Category:Dukes_County,_Massachusetts]]

Revision as of 17:39, 5 September 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Dukes County

This is a historical and genealogical guide to the county of Dukes. You will find help with town histories, vital records, deeds and land records, city directories, cemetery records and cemeteries, churches, town records, newspapers, maps, and libraries.

Contents

Dukes County Massachusetts History

Brief History

The region was first recorded in detail by Capt. Gosnold in 1602 who named the string of islands after his daughter Elizabeth, which later became the town of Gosnold. Fishermen were the first to occupy the islands in the early 1600s. Settlements develop in the 1640s. Town records begin in 1671. County government is established in 1683 by New York. These records are rumored to be in Albany, but as yet have not been identified. Records after 1695 are complete.

Historical Data

The basic data are from the historical county boundary series[1] with additions from various sources.

Dates Events
in 1674 The region was included in a grant to the Duke of York.
1 Nov. 1683 Dukes County was established by the Colony of New York that included the islands of Elizabeth, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. [N.Y. Col. Laws, Ch. 4, Sect. 1, p. 122]
7 Oct. 1691 Dukes became part of the rechartered Massachusetts Bay Colony without being established as a county.
22 June 1695 Dukes County re-established as Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands. [Mass. Col. Acts, Vol. 1, Ch. 7 [1695/6], p. 216]
Top of Page

Towns and Cities

Ma-dukes.png
The following list of present-day Dukes County towns and cities links them to their individual pages. There you will find a list of other names used for the town or city and of villages and sections of the town or city.

Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head, 1870) | Chilmark (1714)
Edgartown (1671) | Gosnold (1864)
Oak Bluffs (1880) | Tisbury (1671)
West Tisbury (1892)





Top of Page


County Histories

Dukes CountyBristol CountyPlymouth CountyBarnstable CountyFreetownAcushnetDartmouthNew BedfordFairhavenRochesterMattapoisettMarionWarehamBourneSandwichBarnstableMashpeeFalmouthGosnoldAquinnahChilmarkWest TisburyTisburyOak BluffsEdgartownNomans Land (unoccupied island) part of Chilmark
Modern town borders in Dukes County, Massachusetts.

Works written on the county include:

IN PROGRESS

Top of Page

Dukes County Massachusetts Genealogy Resources

Vital Records

In Massachusetts, the original vital records (of births, marriages, and deaths) have been created and maintained by the town or city in which the event occurred. In very early colonial times, copies of these records were submitted to the county, but that practice died out long before 1700. There were marriage intentions commonly recorded in the bride's home town and additional recordings maybe found in the groom's home town and their current residence.

Massachusetts was the first state to bring a unified state-level recording of these events (but not marriage intentions) in 1841 (Boston excluded until 1850). The associated records of divorce and adoption are handled by the courts. The state has maintained a state-wide index to divorces since 1952, but adoption records will require more researching to discover.

It is easiest to start with the state vital records for events since 1841, though realize the original record is with the town or city. More details can be found on the Massachusetts Genealogy Guide page.

Top of Page

Land Records

Top of Page

Probate Records

Top of Page

Other Court Records

The court system can appear to be complex. The system was reorganized in 1686/1692, 1859, and 1978. Described below are the most commonly used records for history and genealogy, but realize that this list is incomplete. For more detailed information regarding court structure, see Understanding the Massachusetts Court System.

Older records are held by:
Supreme Judicial Court Archives
(administration - records stored in several off-site facilities and the Mass. Archives)
16th Floor, Highrise Court House
3 Pemberton Square
Boston MA 02109
Phone 617-557-1082
Email Elizabeth.Bouvier@sjc.state.ma.us

Top of Page | Top of Court

County Court

This court was active from 1636 (called a quarterly court and then the county court when Suffolk was created in 1643) to 1692. The court heard all civil causes up to 10 shillings (raised to 40 shillings in 1647) and all criminal causes not concerning life, limb, or banishment. These were all jury trials. Some records can be found in the [Suffolk_County,_Massachusetts#Suffolk_Files|Suffolk Files].

The records microfilmed:

At the Massachusetts Archives:

Top of Page | Top of Court

Quarterly Court of General Sessions of the Peace

This court was active from 1692 to 1827. The court heard criminal cases and had authority over county affairs that included levying taxes, reviewing town bylaws, highways, licensed liquor, regulated jails, supervised the administration of the poor laws, and appointed some county officials.

The records microfilmed:

Top of Page | Top of Court

Inferior Court of Common Pleas

This court was active from 1692 to 1859. The court heard all civil cases over 40s unless a case involved freehold or was appealed from a justice of the peace.

The records microfilmed:

Top of Page | Top of Court

Superior Court

The Quarterly Court of General Sessions was merged into the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in 1827, and that court was reorganized in 1859 to created the Superior Court as the new lower (i.e. trial) court. It covers both criminal and civil matters.

Top of Page | Top of Court

Supreme Judicial Court

The Supreme Judicial Court was established by the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 that combined the former Governor and Council with the Superior Court of Judicature creating the highest state court. This court hears appeals, writ of error, capital offenses, and crimes against the public good. That included divorces until that action was moved to the lower court in 1887.

Top of Page | Top of Court

Naturalization Records

Naturalization records were created on a variety of governmental levels from the Federal down to the city at the same time. The county records for all levels are outlines below. For more information, see the Massachusetts state page for more on naturalization.

Federal Naturalization Records for Dukes County
Top of Page | Top of Court

Maps

Top of Page

Dukes County Massachusetts Genealogy Societies

Top of Page

Dukes County Massachusetts Genealogy References

Adjacent counties: Massachusetts: Barnstable | Nantucket | Plymouth
New York: Suffolk County