Suffolk County, Massachusetts

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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 page.  
 
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 page.  
  
[http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/suffprobmain.html '''Suffolk County Probate and Family Court''']<br>PO Box 9667<br>24 New Chardon Street - 3rd Floor<br>Boston MA 02114<br>Phone 617-788-8300<br>  
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[http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/suffprobmain.html '''Suffolk County Probate and Family Court''']<br>PO Box 9667<br>24 New Chardon Street - 3rd Floor<br>Boston MA 02114<br>Phone 617-788-8300<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>'''Original records'''</center>  
 
<center>'''Original records'''</center>  
*First series, 1636-1893:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1636 to and including the year 1893'' (Boston, 1895), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/9517018 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|228269|item|disp=FHL Large Q book 974.46 S2g v. # or film 496888}}.<br>  
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*First series, 1636-1893:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1636 to and including the year 1893'' (Boston, 1895), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/9517018 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|228269|item|disp=FHL Large Q book 974.46 S2g v. # or film 496888}}.<br>  
*Second series, 1894-1909:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1894 to and including the year 1909'' (Boston, 1911-1913), 2v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32536678 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|228282|item|disp=FHL Large Q book 974.46 S2ga v. # or film 1597848 Items 4-5}}.<br>  
+
*Second series, 1894-1909:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1894 to and including the year 1909'' (Boston, 1911-1913), 2v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32536678 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|228282|item|disp=FHL Large Q book 974.46 S2ga v. # or film 1597848 Items 4-5}}.<br>  
*Third series, 1910-1922:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1910 to and including the year 1922'' (Boston, 1927), 2v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/29208950 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|608133|item|disp=FHL film 1492663 Items 1-2}}.<br>  
+
*Third series, 1910-1922:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1910 to and including the year 1922'' (Boston, 1927), 2v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/29208950 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|608133|item|disp=FHL film 1492663 Items 1-2}}.<br>  
*Fourth series, 1923-1935:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1923 to and including the year 1935'' (Boston, 1941), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/34173689 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|712360|item|disp=FHL book 974.46 P22i}}.<br>  
+
*Fourth series, 1923-1935:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1923 to and including the year 1935'' (Boston, 1941), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/34173689 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|712360|item|disp=FHL book 974.46 P22i}}.<br>  
*Fifth series, 1936-1947:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1936 to and including the year 1947'' (Boston, 1951), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/35852399 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|712360|item|disp=FHL book 974.46 P22i}}.<br>  
+
*Fifth series, 1936-1947:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1936 to and including the year 1947'' (Boston, 1951), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/35852399 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|712360|item|disp=FHL book 974.46 P22i}}.<br>  
*Sixth series, 1948-1958:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1948 to and including the year 1958'' (Boston, 1961), 2v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/36367800 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|712360|item|disp=FHL book 974.46 P22i}}.<br>  
+
*Sixth series, 1948-1958:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1948 to and including the year 1958'' (Boston, 1961), 2v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/36367800 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; {{FHL|712360|item|disp=FHL book 974.46 P22i}}.<br>  
*Seventh series, 1959-1968:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1959 to and including the year 1968'' (Boston, 1969), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/35779129 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL, but at [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston).<br>  
+
*Seventh series, 1959-1968:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1959 to and including the year 1968'' (Boston, 1969), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/35779129 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL, but at [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston).<br>  
*Eighth series, 1969-1979:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Suffolk County Probate Court 10 Year Index, 1969-1979'' (Boston, 1995?), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/35852444 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL, but at [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston).<br>  
+
*Eighth series, 1969-1979:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Suffolk County Probate Court 10 Year Index, 1969-1979'' (Boston, 1995?), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/35852444 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL, but at [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston).<br>  
*Nineth series, 1980-1997:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[location to be determined]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Public Index of Matters Concerning Probate, 1980-1987 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk Probate &amp; Family Court'' (Boston, 2000), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/47993990 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL, but at [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston).<br>
+
*Nineth series, 1980-1997:<br>'''Record books''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''File papers''':<br>[Contact Court Archivist]<br>'''Published Index''':<br>''Public Index of Matters Concerning Probate, 1980-1987 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk Probate &amp; Family Court'' (Boston, 2000), 3v.<br>[http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/47993990 WorldCat (Other Libraries)]; Not at FHL, but at [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston).<br>
 
<center>'''Microfilm records''' </center>  
 
<center>'''Microfilm records''' </center>  
 
*Probate records, 1636-1899, with published index (1636-1893, 1894-1909), miscellaneous docket (1636-1923) [''lists estates not appearing in files, etc.''], docket books nos. 1-118206 (1636-1901), record books v. 1-769 (1628-1899), New Series record books v. 1-42 (1636-1766).<br>{{FHL|120561|item|disp=FHL films 581922 (first of 439)}}.<br>[http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/ Massachusetts Archives] and [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston) have these microfilms.<br>  
 
*Probate records, 1636-1899, with published index (1636-1893, 1894-1909), miscellaneous docket (1636-1923) [''lists estates not appearing in files, etc.''], docket books nos. 1-118206 (1636-1901), record books v. 1-769 (1628-1899), New Series record books v. 1-42 (1636-1766).<br>{{FHL|120561|item|disp=FHL films 581922 (first of 439)}}.<br>[http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/ Massachusetts Archives] and [http://www.americanancestors.org/home.html NEHGS] (Boston) have these microfilms.<br>  
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<br> NOTE: This page is being uploaded in sections as it is ready.  
 
<br> NOTE: This page is being uploaded in sections as it is ready.  
  
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== References  ==
 
== References  ==

Revision as of 15:15, 31 July 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Suffolk County

Contents

Brief History

Suffolk County was one of the four original counties when Massachusetts Bay Colony created counties in 1643 and had an undefined western border. It established and claimed as far west as Woodstock, Connecticut. Initially, the county included Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Dedham, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, and Nantasket [now Hull]. In 1671, Mendon was added from Middlesex. For a brief time, the county was part of the Dominion of New England from 1686 to 1689. The county eventually became part of the Royal colony of Massachusetts Bay. All towns to the south were lost to the creation of Norfolk County in 1793, leaving only Boston and Chelsea. Hingham and Hull protested their removal and thus remained in Suffolk County until they were transferred to Plymouth County in 1803. Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822. The city started annexing towns back: Roxbury (1868), Dorchester (1870), Brighton (1874), Charlestown (1874), West Roxbury (1874), and Hyde Park (1912). The county government was abolished in 1999, but its former jurisdiction is used for state offices as a district.

Historical Data

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

Dates Events
10 May 1643 Suffolk County created as one of the four original counties formed out of Massachusetts Bay Colony. [Mass. Rec., 2: 38]
8 July 1663 Lost the section now called the northeast corner of Rhode Island when King Charles II granted that colony a charter that defined its borders. [Bowen's Disputes, 33; Swindler, 8: 368]
-- May 1664 Lost to New Plymouth Colony when provincial line is demarcated to what is now referred to as the "Old County Line." [Bradford, 427n]
27 Feb. 1664/5 Gained from Rhode Island Colony as royal commissioners set that colony's borders as the Blackstone River and the east side of Narragansett Bay. [Arnold, 1: 315]
15 Mar. 1689/90 Gained on county's undefined western border when Massachusetts created the town of Woodstock (now wholly within the state of Connecticut). [Bowen's Disputes, 53-58; Bowen's Woodstock, 1: 31]
7 Oct. 1691 Massachusetts Bay Colony given new provincial charter by King William III and Queen Mary II, but does not affect the borders. [Mass. Col. Acts, 1: ch. 27 (1692-1693), sec. 1, p. 63; Swindler, 5: 80]
18 Mar. 1711/2 The "Old Colony Line" declared the border between Suffolk, Bristol and Plymouth counties with no change in boundaries. [Mass. Col. Acts, 21: ch. 152 (1711), p. 799]
10 July 1731 Part of the western section set off with the western half of Middlesex County to form Worcester County. [Mass. Col. Acts, 2: ch. 8 (1730-1731), sec. 1, p. 584]
17 Feb. 1746/7 Southwestern tip annexed to Providence Plantations by royal settlement in 1746. [Arnold, 2: 157; R.I. Rec., 5: 207-209]
20 Nov. 1770 Small area changed to Plymouth County when Bridgewater gained from Stoughton. [Mass. Col. Acts, 5: ch. 15 (1770-1771), sec. 1, p. 116]
3 Mar. 1792 When Medway and Sherburne redefined their border, that also redefined the line between Suffolk and Middlesex County. [Mass. Acts 1792, ch. 23, sec. 1, p. 155]
20 June 1793 Southwestern three-quarters and town of Cohasset set off as new county of Norfolk. [Mass. Acts 1793, ch. 43, sec. 1, p. 272 and ch. 9, sec. 1, p. 314]
18 June 1803 Towns of Hingham and Hull annexed to Plymouth County. [Mass. Acts 1803, ch. 14, sec. 1, p. 246]
6 Mar. 1804 The northern part of Dorchester, Norfolk County, called "Dorchester Neck" annexed and now called the neighborhood of "South Boston."
22 Feb. 1825 Minute change between Boston and Brookline adjusts border between Suffolk and Norfolk counties. [Mass. Acts 1825, ch. 90, p. 73]
25 Mar. 1834 Boston annexed Thompson Island from Dorchester, Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1834, ch. 102, p. 129]
16 Mar. 1836 Border between Boston and Roxbury, Norfolk County, established. [Mass. Acts 1836, ch. 37, p. 681]
19 Apr. 1837 Water border between Boston and Roxbury, Norfolk County, established. [Mass. Acts 1837, ch. 202, sec. 1, p. 222]
22 Feb. 1841 Chelsea lost northern long but narrow strip of land to Saugus, Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1841, ch. 30, sec. 1, p. 350]
3 May 1850 Water border between Boston and Roxbury, Norfolk County, established. [Mass. Acts 1850, ch. 281, sec. 1, p. 460]
21 May 1855 Boston gained from Dorchester, Norfolk County, a very small piece of land. [Mass. Acts 1855, ch. 468, sec. 1, p. 907]
3 Apr. 1860 Border changed slightly when line changed from the center of the street between Boston and Roxbury to the side of the street. [Mass. 1860, ch. 172, sec. 1, p. 138]
6 Jan. 1868 Border changed when Boston annexed the town of Roxbury from Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1867, ch. 359, sec. 1, p. 754]
3 Jan. 1870 Border changed when Boston annexed the town of Dorchester from Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1869, ch. 349, sec. 1, p. 646]
2 Apr. 1870 Border changed slightly when line changed from the center of the street between Boston and West Roxbury to the side of the street. [Mass. 1870, ch. 146, sec. 1, p. 21, 95]
18 June 1870 Boston gained a small piece of land from Brookline, Norfolk County. [Mass. 1870, ch. 374, sec. 1, p. 290]
12 Apr. 1872 Boston gained Mt. Hope Cemetery from West Roxbury, Norfolk County. [Mass. 1872, ch. 197, sec. 1, p. 143]
5 Jan. 1874 Boston annexed towns of Brighton and Charlestown from Middlesex County.
Boston annexed town of West Roxbury from Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1873, ch. 286, sec. 1, p. 716; ch. 303, sec. 1, p. 747; ch. 314, sec. 1, p. 810]
8 May 1874 Border changed slightly when a small piece of land gained from Brookline, Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1874, ch. 220, sec. 1, p. 143]
29 May 1874 Border changed slightly when line between Boston and Newton, Middlesex County was adjusted. [Mass. Acts 1874, ch. 277, sec. 1, p. 189]
1 July 1875 Border changed slightly when a small piece of land was lost to Newton, Middlesex County. [Mass. Acts 1875, ch. 184, sec. 1, p. 773]
27 May 1890 Border changed slightly when the line between Boston and Brookline, Norfolk County, was adjusted. [Mass. Acts 1890, ch. 339, sec. 1, p. 299]
4 May 1891 Border changed slightly when the line between Boston and Somerville, Middlesex County, was adjusted. [Mass. Acts 1891, ch. 294, sec. 1, p. 856]
13 Apr. 1894 Border changed slightly when the line between Boston and Brookline, Norfolk County, was adjusted. [Mass. Acts 1894, ch. 242, sec. 1, p. 219]
29 Mar. 1898 Border changed slightly when the line between Boston and Cambridge and Newton, Middlesex County, was adjusted along the Charles River. [Mass. Acts 1898, ch. 251, sec. 1, p. 185]
13 May 1898 Border changed slightly when the line between Boston and Newton, Norfolk County, was adjusted. [Mass. Acts 1898, ch. 431, sec. 1, p. 376]
29 Mar. 1910 Border changed slightly when the line between Boston and Cambridge, Middlesex County, was adjusted along the Charles River. [Mass. Acts 1910, ch. 312, sec. 1, p. 239]
1 Jan. 1912 Boston annexed the town of Hyde Park, Norfolk County. [Mass. Acts 1911, ch. 469, sec. 1, p. 450, and ch. 583, sec. 1, p. 600]
Top of Page

Towns and Cities

Ma-suffolk.png
The following list of present-day Suffolk 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. A master list of these names will be included in the Massachusetts state page.
Boston (1630) - Chelsea (1739) - Revere (1846) - Winthrop (1852)
Boston needed to grow its tax base, so over the years, various towns were annexed to Boston. These towns had a vibrant history and their own set of records before they became part of Boston and thus Suffolk County. These towns are:
Roxbury (1630-1868)
Dorchester (1630-1870)
Brighton (1807-1874)
Charlestown (1630-1874)
West Roxbury (1851-1874)
Hyde Park (1868-1912)
Top of Page

County Histories

[[Image:
MassachusettsSuffolk CountyNorfolk CountyPlymouth CountyMiddlesex CountyEssex CountyNorfolk CountyBostonChelseaRevereWinthropNeedhamBrooklineDedhamWestwoodNorwoodCantonRandolphBraintreeWeymouthHinghamHullQuincyMiltonNewtonWatertownWalthamLexingtonWoburnWinchesterArlingtonBelmontCambridgeSomervilleMedfordStonehamMelroseMaldenEverettSaugusLynnNanhant
Modern city and town borders in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

]] Works written on the county include:

Top of Page

Land Records and Atlases

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. For Suffolk County, they start in 1639.

Suffolk Registry of Deeds
24 New Chardon Street
Boston MA 02114
Phone 617-788-6250
Email Suffolk.Deeds@sec.state.ma.us

Original records

The records since 1976 can be viewed from their Search Page. Note the search criteria and search option menus in the upper left corner. This is a relatively new site (2012) and less transparent than before.

  • Land Record books.
    Note: Records from 1893 (v. 2171) are online as "unindexed property." From the search page above, go to the Search Criteria menu and click on "Unindexed Property Search" and enter the volume and page you want and click search. A dialogue box appears below. Click on any link and another dialogue box appears to the right. Click on the tab "View Images" and a pop-up window will display the page (if it does not, you need to allow this site or disable your pop-up blocker).
    Record location:
    Deeds, v. 7871 (1964) to present are in the main section of the Registry.
    Deeds, v. 4553-7870 (1924-1964) are in the "Old" Bookroom at the back of the Registry building.
    Deeds, v. 2171-4552 (1893-1924) are not currently physically accessible (but are online as mentioned above).
    Deeds, v. 101-2170 (1800-1893) are at:
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston MA 02125
Phone 617-727-2816 (ask for Archives Reference Desk).
Deeds, v. 1-100 (1639-1799) are at the Archives above, but restricted. These deeds can be seen on microfilm and have been transcribed verbatim to 1688 (see published records below).
  • Land Court records.
  • Grantor/Grantee index, 1961-1978 (online).
  • Old Recorded Land Plan books, v. 1-5, 7 (from 1800s).
  • Recorded Land Plan Index, 1935-1999 (online).
  • Suffolk County Atlases (online):
    Boston, 1874, 1890 (w/Roxbury), 1899, 1910, 1917, 1938 (all w/S. Boston).
    Brighton, 1897, 1917, 1925.
    Charlestown, 1875, 1901, 1912 (w/E. Boston).
    Chelsea, 1874, 1914, 1981.
    Dorchester, 1904, 1910, 1933.
    East Boston, 1892, 1901, 1912 (see Charlestown).
    Hyde Park, 1912.
    Roxbury, 1890 (see Boston), 1895, 1899, 1906, 1931.
    West Roxbury, 1874, 1896, 1905, 1914.
Original records on microfilm
Published records
Suffolk Deeds Online
  • Volume - Years covered - Links
  1. - 1629-1653 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  2. - 1653-1656 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  3. - 1656-1661 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  4. - 1661-1665 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  5. - 1665-1668 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  6. - 1668-1672 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  7. - 1670-1672 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  8. - 1672-1674 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  9. - 1674-1676 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  10. - 1676-1678 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  11. - 1678-1680 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  12. - 1680-1683 - Internet Archive and Google books.
  13. - 1683-1686 - [No Internet Archive version found] and Google books.
  14. - 1686-1688, 1697 - Internet Archive andGoogle books.

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 page.

Suffolk County Probate and Family Court
PO Box 9667
24 New Chardon Street - 3rd Floor
Boston MA 02114
Phone 617-788-8300

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

Original records
  • First series, 1636-1893:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1636 to and including the year 1893 (Boston, 1895), 3v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL Large Q book 974.46 S2g v. # or film 496888.
  • Second series, 1894-1909:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1894 to and including the year 1909 (Boston, 1911-1913), 2v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL Large Q book 974.46 S2ga v. # or film 1597848 Items 4-5.
  • Third series, 1910-1922:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1910 to and including the year 1922 (Boston, 1927), 2v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL film 1492663 Items 1-2.
  • Fourth series, 1923-1935:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1923 to and including the year 1935 (Boston, 1941), 3v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46 P22i.
  • Fifth series, 1936-1947:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1936 to and including the year 1947 (Boston, 1951), 3v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46 P22i.
  • Sixth series, 1948-1958:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1948 to and including the year 1958 (Boston, 1961), 2v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46 P22i.
  • Seventh series, 1959-1968:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Index to the Probate Records of the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts from the year 1959 to and including the year 1968 (Boston, 1969), 3v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL, but at NEHGS (Boston).
  • Eighth series, 1969-1979:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Suffolk County Probate Court 10 Year Index, 1969-1979 (Boston, 1995?), 3v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL, but at NEHGS (Boston).
  • Nineth series, 1980-1997:
    Record books:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    File papers:
    [Contact Court Archivist]
    Published Index:
    Public Index of Matters Concerning Probate, 1980-1987 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk Probate & Family Court (Boston, 2000), 3v.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); Not at FHL, but at NEHGS (Boston).
Microfilm records
  • Probate records, 1636-1899, with published index (1636-1893, 1894-1909), miscellaneous docket (1636-1923) [lists estates not appearing in files, etc.], docket books nos. 1-118206 (1636-1901), record books v. 1-769 (1628-1899), New Series record books v. 1-42 (1636-1766).
    FHL films 581922 (first of 439).
    Massachusetts Archives and NEHGS (Boston) have these microfilms.
  • Probate records, 1901-1916, docket books v.95-144, no. 118207-172206 (1901-1916) and record books v. 770-1102 (1900-1916).
    FHL films 1492663 (first of 39).
    Massachusetts Archives and NEHGS (Boston) have these microfilms.
Published records
  • Winifred Lovering Holman and Mary Lovering Holman, "Suffolk County Probate (1686-1692)" in The American Genealogist, 12 [1935-36]: 175-184, 222-234; 13 [1936-37]: 98-106; 14 [1937-38]: 34-45.
    This was the probate records during the unpopular Andros Administration that combined several colonies into one seated at Boston. This article starts with a Miscellaneous Index of estates that do not appear in the probate file papers. The bulk is the regular docket entries.
    Digital version at American Ancestors ($) linked to the pages above.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 973 D25aga v. #.
  • Suffolk County Wills: Abstracts of the earliest wills upon record in the County of Suffolk, Massachusetts: from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Baltimore, 1984), 432 pp.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46 P2s or film 1320548 Item 1.
  • Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Miscellaneous Docket Index, Suffolk County, Mass. Probate Records, 1639-1866 (Derry, N.H., 1997 or Rockport, Me., 1997), 31 pp.
    This booklet indexes several hundred early Suffolk County probate records where the original file papers were lost prior to the Civil War and only the entries in the copybook remain today. The booklet includes the individual's name, date of the earliest entry, type of entry, and volume and page reference in the copybook series.
    WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 974.46 P2sm.



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