Franklin County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Franklin County'''  
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide|Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Franklin County'''  
  
[[Image:Ma-franklin.png|right|400px|Ma-franklin.png]] [[Image:{{MAFraTowns}}]]
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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the county of Franklin. 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.<br>
  
== [http://lwvma.org/govcounty.shtml County Courthouse] ==
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== Franklin County Massachusetts History ==
  
The legislature approved special charters to allow Franklin and Hampshire counties to become regional councils of government.
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=== Brief History  ===
  
== History  ==
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Franklin County was long settled by the time it was set off as its own county in 1811. Early settlers made their way into the region first along the Connecticut River. It was a crossroads for migrations from eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and the gateway to Vermont and New Hampshire's river valley settlements. The county has always been sparsely settled. Franklin's county government was abolished on 1 July 1997, but its former jurisdiction is used for state offices as a district.<ref>[http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cisctlist/ctlistcounin.htm Abolished County Governments - Secretary of State], Acts of 1996, Ch. 151, Sect. 567.</ref><br>
  
*Named for Benjamin Franklin
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=== Historical Data  ===
  
==== Parent County ====
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The basic data are from the historical county boundary series<ref>[http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/documents/MA_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm#FRANKLIN Massachusetts Atlas of Historical County Boundaries]</ref> with additions from various sources.
  
*Created 24 June 1811 from [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire]] County. <ref name="HBG">[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50140092&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;referer=brief_results ''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.''] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 181. [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].</ref>
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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
 
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==== Boundary Changes  ====
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==== Record Loss  ====
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== Places / Localities  ==
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==== Populated Places  ====
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===== City:  =====
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[[Greenfield, Massachusetts|Greenfield]]
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===== Towns  =====
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{| width="80%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
 
|-
| valign="top" |  
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! width="100" scope="col" | Dates
*[[Ashfield, Massachusetts|Ashfield]]
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! width="500" scope="col" | Events
*[[Bernardston, Massachusetts|Bernardston]]
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|-
*[[Buckland, Massachusetts|Buckland]]  
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| 2 Dec. 1811
*[[Charlemont, Massachusetts|Charlemont]]  
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| Franklin County set off from the northern third of [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire County]]. [Mass. Acts, 1811, Ch. 61, p. 467]
*[[Colrain, Massachusetts|Colrain]]
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|-
*[[Conway, Massachusetts|Conway]]
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| 7 Feb. 1816
*[[Deerfield, Massachusetts|Deerfield]]  
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| Small loss when part of Orange annexed to Athol, Worcester Co. [Mass. Acts, 1816, Ch. 62, p. 71]
*[[Erving, Massachusetts|Erving]]
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|-
*[[Gill, Massachusetts|Gill]]
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| 28 Jan 1822
 
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| Loss when part of New Salem was combined with Pelham, Hampshire Co., to create the new town of Prescott, Hampshire Co. [''now extinct'']. [Mass. Acts, 1822, Ch. 34, Sec. 1, p. 614]
| valign="top" |
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|-
*[[Hawley, Massachusetts|Hawley]]  
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| 21 Feb. 1822
*[[Heath, Massachusetts|Heath]]
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| Gained when part of Rowe was combined with the Gore in Berkshire Co. to create the new town of Monroe in Franklin Co. [Mass. Acts, 1822, Ch. 93, Sec. 1, p. 707]
*[[Leverett, Massachusetts|Leverett]]
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|-
*[[Leyden, Massachusetts|Leyden]]  
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| 5 Feb. 1830<br>16 Mar. 1837
*[[Monroe, Massachusetts|Monroe]]
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| Small loss when part of New Salem annexed to Athol, Worcester Co. [Mass. Acts, 1830, ch. 33, p. 300 and 1837, Ch. 80, Sec. 1, p. 70]
*[[Montague, Massachusetts|Montague]]
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|-
*[[New Salem, Massachusetts|New Salem]]
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| 2 Apr. 1838
*[[Northfield, Massachusetts|Northfield]]
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| Gain when part of the territory known as Zoar in Berkshire Co. was annexed to Charlemont and Rowe [Mass. Acts 1838, Ch. 56, Sec. 1, p. 344 and Ch. 57, Sec. 1, p. 345]
 
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|-
| valign="top" |  
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| 2 Feb. 1849
*[[Orange, Massachusetts|Orange]]  
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| Border between Whately and Williamsburg, Hampshire Co., clarified - no change. [Mass. Acts, 1849, Ch. 3, p. 198]
*[[Rowe, Massachusetts|Rowe]]
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|-
*[[Shelburne, Massachusetts|Shelburne]]
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| 27 Apr. 1911
*[[Shutesbury, Massachusetts|Shutesbury]]  
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| Border between New Salem and Prescott, Worcester Co. [''now extinct''], redefined - no change. [Mass. Acts, 1911, Ch. 340, Sec. 1, p. 310]
*[[Sunderland, Massachusetts|Sunderland]]
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|-
*[[Warwick, Massachusetts|Warwick]]
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| 28 Apr. 1938
*[[Wendell, Massachusetts|Wendell]]  
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| Large gain when Quabbin Reservoir created and "drowned" four towns. New Salem annexed parts of Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott, all in Hampshire Co. [Mass. Acts, 1827, Ch. 321, Sec. 1, p. 384; 1938, ch. 240, Sec. 1, p. 188]
*[[Whately, Massachusetts|Whately]]
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|}
 
|}
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<div style="width: 147%"><center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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=== Towns and Cities  ===
  
==== Neighboring Counties ====
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[[Image:Ma-franklin.png|right|400px|Ma-franklin.png]]The following list of present-day Franklin 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>
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<center>[[Ashfield, Massachusetts|Ashfield (1765)]] | [[Bernardston, Massachusetts|Bernardston (1762)]] | [[Buckland, Massachusetts|Buckland (1779)]]<br>[[Charlemont, Massachusetts|Charlemont (1765)]] | [[Colrain, Massachusetts|Colrain (1761)]] | [[Conway, Massachusetts|Conway (1775)]]<br>[[Deerfield, Massachusetts|Deerfield (1677)]] | [[Erving, Massachusetts|Erving (1838)]] | [[Gill, Massachusetts|Gill (1793)]]<br>[[Greenfield, Massachusetts|Greenfield (1775)]] | [[Hawley, Massachusetts|Hawley (1792)]] | [[Heath, Massachusetts|Heath (1785)]]<br>[[Leverett, Massachusetts|Leverett (1774)]] | [[Leyden, Massachusetts|Leyden (1809)]] | [[Monroe, Massachusetts|Monroe (1822)]]<br>[[Montague, Massachusetts|Montague (1775)]] | [[New Salem, Massachusetts|New Salem (1775)]] | [[Northfield, Massachusetts|Northfield (1723)]]<br>[[Orange, Massachusetts|Orange (1810)]] | [[Rowe, Massachusetts|Rowe (1785)]] | [[Shelburne, Massachusetts|Shelburne (1775)]]<br>[[Shutesbury, Massachusetts|Shutesbury (1761)]] | [[Sunderland, Massachusetts|Sunderland (1714)]] | [[Warwick, Massachusetts|Warwick (1763)]]<br>[[Wendell, Massachusetts|Wendell (1781)]] | [[Whately, Massachusetts|Whately (1771)]]</center><br> <center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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=== County Histories ===
  
[[Berkshire County, Massachusetts|Berkshire]] | [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire]] | [[Worcester County, Massachusetts|Worcester]] | [[Windham County, Vermont|Windham]] County, Vermont | [[Cheshire County, New Hampshire|Cheshire]] County, New Hampshire
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{{MAFraTowns}}Works written on the county include:<br>
  
== Resources  ==
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*''Biographical Review: this volume contains biographical sketches of the leading citizens of Franklin County, Massachusetts'' (Boston, 1895), 668 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32217775 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|601399|item|disp=FHL book 974.422 D3b and film 1320725 Item 1}}.<br>Digital version at [http://archive.org/details/cu31924028817793 Internet Archive].<br>
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*Theophilus Packard, ''A History of the Churches and Ministers, and of Franklin Association, in Franklin County, Mass., and an appendix respecting the County ''(Boston, 1854), vii, 456 pp.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/423580776 WorldCat (Other Libraries)] and [[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/53833227 Index]; {{FHL|570502|item|disp=FHL fiche 6206740}}.<br>Digital versions at [http://archive.org/details/historyofchurc00pack Internet Archive] and [http://books.google.com/books?id=v8UdyMySRJwC Google Books].<br>
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*Francis Nims Thompson, "The Probate Court and its Judges" in ''History and Proceedings of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association'', 7 [1921-1929]: 631-653.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/7806394 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|172029|item|disp=FHL has to v. 6 only}}.<br>Digital version at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=23227 Ancestry] ($).<br>
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*[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mafrankl/ The Franklin County MA GenWeb Project], an member of [[MAGenWeb|The MAGenWeb Project]], an affiliate of [[USGenWeb|The USGenWeb Project]].<br>
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*[http://usgwarchives.net/ma/mafiles.htm#Franklin The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Franklin County.<br>
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*{{FHL|Massachusetts%2C+Franklin|subject|disp=FamilySearch.org}} Family History Library catalog for Franklin County.<br>
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*[http://www.massachusetts-genealogy.com/Franklin-County-Genealogy.cfm Massachusetts Genealogy] Franklin County Genealogy.<br>
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*[http://www.kindredtrails.com/MA_Franklin.html Kindred Trails] Franklin County Massachusetts Genealogy.<br>
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*[http://www.cyndislist.com/us/ma/counties/franklin/ Cyndi's List] for Franklin County.<br>
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*[http://home.att.net/~Local_History/MA-Franklin-Co.htm Local History and Genealogy Index] Franklin County, Massachusetts.<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>
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== Franklin County Massachusetts Genealogy Resources  ==
  
==== Cemeteries ====
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=== Vital Records ===
  
[[LDS Cemetery Records|LDS Cemetery Records]]
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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 this county was established. 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>
  
*US Vol. 24
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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>
**page 87 - Atwood Family cemetery
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==== Census ====
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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>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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=== Land Records ===
  
{{Census|Massachusetts}}
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Land transfers, commonly called deeds, are recorded on the county level in Massachusetts. Not all deeds were recorded as is common practice today. The earliest transactions were charters or grants from the English Crown. Once local government was established, the colony would grant land to settlers directly or to towns to dole out. Some towns first start out as proprietorship and records were recorded there. Once towns were established, deeds were recorded on the county level.<br>
  
===== State Census  =====
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[http://www.sec.state.ma.us/rod/rodfranklin/franklinidx.htm '''Franklin District Registry of Deeds''']<br>30 Olive Street - Suite 2<br>Greenfield MA 01301<br>Phone 413-772-0239<br>
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<center>'''Original records'''</center><br>
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Records are available at the Registry. Their records [http://www.masslandrecords.com/Franklin/ '''ONLINE'''] are:<br>
  
'''''1855 Massachusetts State Census—'''''A free searchable index and images to the 1855 Massachusetts State Census can be viewed on the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://www.familysearch.org/searchapi/search/collection/1459985 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.  
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*Recorded Land [i.e. deeds], 1951-present.<br>Note: Index back to 1951, but records online back only to 1958. Record images back to 1787 can be found under "Search Criteria" by selecting "Unindexed Property Search," but you need to know the volume and page. Records before 1812 are copies from the Hampshire County records.<br>
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*Recorded Plans, 1800-present.<br>
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*Registered Land [i.e. land court], 1900-present.<br>
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*Registered Land Plans, 1899-present.<br>
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<center>'''Original records on microfilm'''</center><br>
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*Hampshire County Land records abstracted, v. 1-4 plus index, 1663-1786, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/470028 FHL films 1769542-1769543].<br>Note: These are the Indian deeds that for the area that became Franklin County.<br>
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*Deeds, v. 1-485, 1787-1902, index, 1787-1889, 1890-1899, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/212632 FHL film 893536 (1st of 217)] and [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1051141~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society] (to v. 431).<br>Note: v. 223 (1859) missing.<br>
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<center>'''Original records online'''</center><br>
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*Deeds, v. 1-485, 1787-1902, index, 1787-1889, 1890-1899, at [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A%2F%2Ffamilysearch.org%2Frecords%2Fwaypoint%2FM9QJ-FNH%3An1234659479%3Fcc%3D2106411 FamilySearch.org], browsable but not indexed.<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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=== Probate Records  ===
  
'''''1865 Massachusetts State Census'''''—A free searchable index and images to the 1865 Massachusetts State Census can be viewed on the [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://www.familysearch.org/searchapi/search/collection/1410399 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.  
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Probate and Family Court is organized on a county level in Massachusetts since the creation of the counties. The main records genealogists seek are testate (wills), intestate (administrations), guardianships, and divorces (since 1922), though there are many more that are valuable to any researcher, too. See a further discussion of the topic in general on the [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#court11|Massachusetts Genealogy Guide]].<br>
  
==== Church  ====
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[http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/frankprobmain.html '''Franklin Probate and Family Court''']<br>PO Box 590<br>425 Main Street<br>Greenfield MA 01302<br>Phone 413-774-7011<br>
  
==== Court  ====
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The original records are either at the courthouse or at the [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Archives|Judicial Archives]] in Boston. Their located has not been researched.<br>
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<center>'''Online Probate Index'''</center><br>
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*The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants has online the [http://www.massmayflower.org/research/guides/ma/county/franklin/guides-ma-franklin-pr-index-homepage.htm Franklin Co., Mass., Probate Guide and Index, 1812 to 1925]. From this page, select where in the alphabet you want to start. That brings you to a page for that section with a link to the page of the index by the first name on that page.<br>
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<center>'''Original records on microfilm'''</center><br>
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*Franklin County Probate files, #1-18089, 1812-1915, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/491074 FHL film 1787376 (1st of 394)].<br>
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*Franklin County Probate: records, v. 1-49 (1812-1866), v. 1-71 (1828-1894) [no description for second series]; dockets, #1-18800 (1812-1921); index, 1812-1925, 1926-1965, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/275375 FHL film 854379 (1st of 45)], [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1072234~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society], and [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Archives|Massachusetts Archives]] (to v. 49).<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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=== Other Court Records ===
  
==== Gazetteers ====
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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]<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center><br>
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==== Quarterly Court of General Sessions of the Peace ====
  
==== Land  ====
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This court was active from 1812 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>
  
==== Local Histories ====
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There are no records microfilmed. The original records are either in the county courthouse or at the [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Archives|Judicial Archives]]. Their location has not been researched.<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
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==== Inferior Court of Common Pleas ====
  
==== Maps  ====
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This court was active from 1812 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>
  
*[http://www.old-maps.com/ma/ma-fk-1858.htm 1858 map of Franklin County]
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*Court of Common Pleas, dockets, 1823-1865, records, 1812-1858, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/225569 FHL film 854382 (1st of 220)].<br>
*[http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~26366~1100040:Franklin-County---H-F--Walling-&-O-?qvq=q:franklin+county+massachusetts;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=0&trs=7 1871 map of Franklin County]  
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*Court of Common Pleas, records, v. 16-17, 1844-1847, at [http://library.nehgs.org/record=b1090535~S0 New England Historic Genealogical Society].<br>
*[http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~26513~1100446:Massachusetts--Greenfield-sheet--Pr?qvq=q:franklin+county+massachusetts;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=2&trs=7 1890 map of Greenfield area]  
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
*[http://www.livgenmi.com/1895/MA/County/franklin.htm 1895 map of Franklin County]
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==== Superior Court  ====
  
==== Military  ====
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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>
  
==== Newspapers ====
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*Superior Court, records, 1859-1867, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/304440 FHL films 901086-901087].<br>
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*Superior Court, divorce record books, 1888-1933, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/973594 FHL films 2196180-2196181] and [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Archives|Massachusetts Archives]].<br>
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*Superior Court, divorce docket, 1888-1923, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/470052 FHL film 1769526].<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
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==== Supreme Judicial Court ====
  
[http://www.newspaperarchive.com/ Newspaperarchive.com] ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/BrowseLocations.aspx?cntry=7&st=50&ci=20562 North Adams, MA newspapers] (1895-1977), [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/BrowseLocations.aspx?cntry=7&st=50&ci=23022 Pittsfield, MA newspapers] (1858-1977), and [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/BrowseLocations.aspx?cntry=7&st=50&ci=9894 Fitchburg. MA newspapers] (1868-1977) covering local news that included Franklin County residents.<br>  
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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  ====
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*Supreme Judicial Court: Index, 1816-1888; Docket books, 1816-1888; Record books, 1816-1889 (inc. divorce) at [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide#Archives|Massachusetts Archives]] and [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/303729 FHL film 901088 (1st of 6)] (records to 1871 only).<br>
  
==== Taxation ====
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==== Justice of the Peace ====
  
==== Vital Records  ====
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*Records of Philip Phillips, J.P. of Ashfield, 1790-1792, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/310261 FHL film 902898 Item 5].<br>
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*Record of Henry Bassett, J.P. of Ashfield, 1816-1838, at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/310576 FHL film 902898 Item 6].<br>
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center>
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==== Naturalization Records  ====
  
== Societies and Libraries  ==
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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>
 
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<center>'''Federal Naturalization Records for Franklin County'''</center><br>
==== Family History Centers<br>  ====
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No federal records as yet digitized at NARA.<br>
 
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<center>'''Franklin County Naturalization Records'''</center><br>
*[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers]]
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{| width="100%" border="1" class="wikitable"
 
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|-
== Web Sites ==
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! width="125" scope="col" | Record
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! width="100" scope="col" | Dates
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! width="125" scope="col" | Location
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! width="175" scope="col" | Index
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! width="350" scope="col" | Microfilm/Online
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|-
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| Superior Court
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| 1812-1976
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| [[#Archives|Judicial Archives]]  
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| Index at courthouse
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| Records, 1907-1945, at [[#Archives|Mass. Arch. RR]]<br>Petitions, 1907-1945, [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/968402 FHL film 2195582 (1st of 11)]<br>Declarations, 1906-1945, [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/973565 FHL films 2195580-2195581]<br>Index, 1811-1991, [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/470061 FHL film 1769521-1769526, 1769527]
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|-
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| Greenfield<br>District Court
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| n/a
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| District courthouse
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| Indexed
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| Records, 1891-1906, and Index, 1891-1906, [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/491191 FHL films 1765478-1765479]
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|-
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| Orange<br>District Court
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| n/a
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| District courthouse
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| n/a
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| Final declarations, 1899-1906, [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/473918 FHL film 1769564]
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|}
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]] | [[#Other_Court_Records|Top of Court]]</center><br>
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=== Maps ===
  
*[http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mafrankl/ The Franklin County MA GenWeb Project], an member of [[MAGenWeb|The MAGenWeb Project]], an affiliate of [[USGenWeb|The USGenWeb Project]].  
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There are so many published maps of interest to genealogists and historians that this list will not be recreated here. The focus is with resources you can access online and in the Family History Library.<br>
*[http://usgwarchives.net/ma/mafiles.htm#Franklin The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Franklin County
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*[http://usgwarchives.org/ma/mafiles.htm#Franklin The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Franklin County (backup site)
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*{{FHL|Massachusetts%2C+Franklin|subject|disp=FamilySearch.org}} Family History Library catalog for Franklin County
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*[http://www.massachusetts-genealogy.com/Franklin-County-Genealogy.cfm Massachusetts Genealogy] Franklin County Genealogy
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*[http://www.kindredtrails.com/MA_Franklin.html Kindred Trails] Franklin County Massachusetts Genealogy
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*[http://www.cyndislist.com/ma-local.htm#F Cyndi's List] Franklin County
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*[http://home.att.net/~Local_History/MA-Franklin-Co.htm Local History and Genealogy Index] Franklin County, Massachusetts
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== References ==
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*Henry Francis Walling, ''Map of Franklin County, Massachusetts'' (1858) at the [http://maps.bpl.org/id/10419 Norman B. Leventhal Map Center], Boston Public Library.<br>
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*[http://www.livgenmi.com/1895/MA/County/franklin.htm 1895 map of Franklin County].<br>
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== Franklin County Massachusetts Libraries and Genealogy Societies ==
  
<references />{{Massachusetts|Massachusetts}} {{Massachusetts-stub}}
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[http://www.historic-deerfield.org/discover-deerfield/memorial-libraries/ '''Memorial Libraries''']<br>PO Box 53<br>6 Memorial Street<br>Deerfield MA 01342<br>Phone 413-775-7125<br>Email [mailto:library@historic-deerfield.org library@historic-deerfield.org]<br>This library is located at [http://www.historic-deerfield.org Historic Deerfield] in association with the [http://deerfield-ma.org/about/memorial-hall-museum-and-library/library/ Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Library].<br>  
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== Franklin County Massachusetts Genealogy References  ==
  
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{{reflist}} <!--This was designed by Scott Andrew Bartley in conjunction with the Mass. Wiki Team on 5 September 2013-->
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[[Category:Franklin_County,_Massachusetts]]
 
[[Category:Franklin_County,_Massachusetts]]

Revision as of 19:18, 31 March 2014

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Franklin County

This is a historical and genealogical guide to the county of Franklin. 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

Franklin County Massachusetts History

Brief History

Franklin County was long settled by the time it was set off as its own county in 1811. Early settlers made their way into the region first along the Connecticut River. It was a crossroads for migrations from eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and the gateway to Vermont and New Hampshire's river valley settlements. The county has always been sparsely settled. Franklin's county government was abolished on 1 July 1997, but its former jurisdiction is used for state offices as a district.[1]

Historical Data

The basic data are from the historical county boundary series[2] with additions from various sources.

Dates Events
2 Dec. 1811 Franklin County set off from the northern third of Hampshire County. [Mass. Acts, 1811, Ch. 61, p. 467]
7 Feb. 1816 Small loss when part of Orange annexed to Athol, Worcester Co. [Mass. Acts, 1816, Ch. 62, p. 71]
28 Jan 1822 Loss when part of New Salem was combined with Pelham, Hampshire Co., to create the new town of Prescott, Hampshire Co. [now extinct]. [Mass. Acts, 1822, Ch. 34, Sec. 1, p. 614]
21 Feb. 1822 Gained when part of Rowe was combined with the Gore in Berkshire Co. to create the new town of Monroe in Franklin Co. [Mass. Acts, 1822, Ch. 93, Sec. 1, p. 707]
5 Feb. 1830
16 Mar. 1837
Small loss when part of New Salem annexed to Athol, Worcester Co. [Mass. Acts, 1830, ch. 33, p. 300 and 1837, Ch. 80, Sec. 1, p. 70]
2 Apr. 1838 Gain when part of the territory known as Zoar in Berkshire Co. was annexed to Charlemont and Rowe [Mass. Acts 1838, Ch. 56, Sec. 1, p. 344 and Ch. 57, Sec. 1, p. 345]
2 Feb. 1849 Border between Whately and Williamsburg, Hampshire Co., clarified - no change. [Mass. Acts, 1849, Ch. 3, p. 198]
27 Apr. 1911 Border between New Salem and Prescott, Worcester Co. [now extinct], redefined - no change. [Mass. Acts, 1911, Ch. 340, Sec. 1, p. 310]
28 Apr. 1938 Large gain when Quabbin Reservoir created and "drowned" four towns. New Salem annexed parts of Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott, all in Hampshire Co. [Mass. Acts, 1827, Ch. 321, Sec. 1, p. 384; 1938, ch. 240, Sec. 1, p. 188]
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Towns and Cities

Ma-franklin.png
The following list of present-day Franklin 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.

Ashfield (1765) | Bernardston (1762) | Buckland (1779)
Charlemont (1765) | Colrain (1761) | Conway (1775)
Deerfield (1677) | Erving (1838) | Gill (1793)
Greenfield (1775) | Hawley (1792) | Heath (1785)
Leverett (1774) | Leyden (1809) | Monroe (1822)
Montague (1775) | New Salem (1775) | Northfield (1723)
Orange (1810) | Rowe (1785) | Shelburne (1775)
Shutesbury (1761) | Sunderland (1714) | Warwick (1763)
Wendell (1781) | Whately (1771)

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County Histories

MassachusettsNew HampshireVermontFranklin CountyHampshire CountyWorcester CountyBerkshire CountyBennington CountyWindham CountyCheshire CountyMonroeRoweHeathColrainLeydenBernardstonNorthfieldWarwickOrangeNew SalemShutesburyLeverettSunderlandWhatelyConwayAshfieldHawleyCharlemontBucklandShelburneGreenfieldGillErvingWendellMontagueDeerfieldStamfordReadsboroWhitinghamHalifaxGuilfordVernonHinsdaleWinchesterRichmondTroyFitzwilliamRoyalstonAtholPetershamHardwickWareBelchertownPelhamAmherstGranbySouth HadleyHadleyHatfieldWilliamsburgGoshenChesterfieldWorthingtonMiddlefieldPeruCummingtonPlainfieldWindsorSavoyFloridaChesterHuntingtonWesthamptonNorthampton
Modern town and city borders in Franklin County, Massachusetts.

Works written on the county include:

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Franklin 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 this county was established. 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.

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Land Records

Land transfers, commonly called deeds, are recorded on the county level in Massachusetts. Not all deeds were recorded as is common practice today. The earliest transactions were charters or grants from the English Crown. Once local government was established, the colony would grant land to settlers directly or to towns to dole out. Some towns first start out as proprietorship and records were recorded there. Once towns were established, deeds were recorded on the county level.

Franklin District Registry of Deeds
30 Olive Street - Suite 2
Greenfield MA 01301
Phone 413-772-0239

Original records

Records are available at the Registry. Their records ONLINE are:

  • Recorded Land [i.e. deeds], 1951-present.
    Note: Index back to 1951, but records online back only to 1958. Record images back to 1787 can be found under "Search Criteria" by selecting "Unindexed Property Search," but you need to know the volume and page. Records before 1812 are copies from the Hampshire County records.
  • Recorded Plans, 1800-present.
  • Registered Land [i.e. land court], 1900-present.
  • Registered Land Plans, 1899-present.
Original records on microfilm

Original records online

  • Deeds, v. 1-485, 1787-1902, index, 1787-1889, 1890-1899, at FamilySearch.org, browsable but not indexed.
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Probate Records

Probate and Family Court is organized on a county level in Massachusetts since the creation of the counties. The main records genealogists seek are testate (wills), intestate (administrations), guardianships, and divorces (since 1922), though there are many more that are valuable to any researcher, too. See a further discussion of the topic in general on the Massachusetts Genealogy Guide.

Franklin Probate and Family Court
PO Box 590
425 Main Street
Greenfield MA 01302
Phone 413-774-7011

The original records are either at the courthouse or at the Judicial Archives in Boston. Their located has not been researched.

Online Probate Index

  • The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants has online the Franklin Co., Mass., Probate Guide and Index, 1812 to 1925. From this page, select where in the alphabet you want to start. That brings you to a page for that section with a link to the page of the index by the first name on that page.
Original records on microfilm

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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

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Quarterly Court of General Sessions of the Peace

This court was active from 1812 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.

There are no records microfilmed. The original records are either in the county courthouse or at the Judicial Archives. Their location has not been researched.

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Inferior Court of Common Pleas

This court was active from 1812 to 1859. The court heard all civil cases over 40s unless a case involved freehold or was appealed from a justice of the peace.

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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.

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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.

Justice of the Peace

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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 Franklin County

No federal records as yet digitized at NARA.

Franklin County Naturalization Records

Record Dates Location Index Microfilm/Online
Superior Court 1812-1976 Judicial Archives Index at courthouse Records, 1907-1945, at Mass. Arch. RR
Petitions, 1907-1945, FHL film 2195582 (1st of 11)
Declarations, 1906-1945, FHL films 2195580-2195581
Index, 1811-1991, FHL film 1769521-1769526, 1769527
Greenfield
District Court
n/a District courthouse Indexed Records, 1891-1906, and Index, 1891-1906, FHL films 1765478-1765479
Orange
District Court
n/a District courthouse n/a Final declarations, 1899-1906, FHL film 1769564
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Maps

There are so many published maps of interest to genealogists and historians that this list will not be recreated here. The focus is with resources you can access online and in the Family History Library.

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Franklin County Massachusetts Libraries and Genealogy Societies

Memorial Libraries
PO Box 53
6 Memorial Street
Deerfield MA 01342
Phone 413-775-7125
Email library@historic-deerfield.org
This library is located at Historic Deerfield in association with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Library.

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Franklin County Massachusetts Genealogy References