Worcester County, Massachusetts

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Worcester County'''<br><br>{{MADC}}{{Infobox U.S. County
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts Genealogy Guide|Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Worcester County'''<br>  
| county = Worcester County
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| county_map = Ma-worcester.png
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| state = Massachusetts
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| latd =
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| longd =
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| founded year = 1731
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| founded date = April 5
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| seat = Worcester
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| building image =
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| building address = Worcester County Courthouse<br> 2 Main Street; <br>Worcester, MA 01608-1116<br>Phone: 508.770.0825<br>[http://www.courtreference.com/Worcester-County-Massachusetts-Courts.htm '''Worcester County Website'''] }}
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=== [http://lwvma.org/govcounty.shtml County Courthouse]  ===
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This is a historical and genealogical guide to the county of Worcester. 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.  
  
'''''Register of Deeds&nbsp;''''' has land records; '''''Probate Court&nbsp;''''' has probate records from 1731; '''''Town Clerks&nbsp;''''' have birth, marriage and death records.<ref name="HBG">''Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America'', 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 331. {{WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|1049485|item|disp=FHL Book 973 D27e 2002}}.</ref>
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== Worcester County Massachusetts History  ==
  
In 1997, the county governments of Middlesex, Berkshire, Essex, Hampden and Worcester were abolished.&nbsp; Their functions were turned over to state agencies. Sheriffs in these counties still administer jails but their employees are state employees. The legislation to abolish these county governments transferred Registeries of Deeds to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. <br><br>Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk county governments remain substantially unchanged. <br><br>'''Towns Organized Before 1800:'''
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=== Brief History  ===
<div style="float: left; width: 147%">
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{| width="70%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
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| valign="top" |
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*Ashburnham 1765<br>
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*Athol 1762<br>
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*Auburn 1778<br>
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*Barre 1753<br>
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*Berlin 1784<br>
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*Bolton 1738<br>
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*Boylston 1786<br>
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*Brookfield 1673<br>
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*Charlton 1754<br>
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*Douglas 1746<br>
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*Fitchburg, 1764<br>
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*Gardner 1785<br>
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| valign="top" |
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Worcester County was created in the middle of the two largest counties with a third county throwing in another small part. Settlement was mainly an outgrowth of the older settlements to the east and to a lesser degree from the Connecticut River Valley. There was an influx after the Revolutionary War that included migration up from Rhode Island and Connecticut in addition to the east. This is the largest county in area and there have been fifteen attempts to split the county though none were successful. The county seat is Worcester, the second largest city in all of New England. The 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 1997, Ch. 48, Sect. 1.</ref><br>  
*Grafton 1735<br>  
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<center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center>  
*Greenwich 1754<br>  
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<br>  
*Hardwick 1739<br>  
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*Harvard 1732<br>  
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*Hubbardston 1767<br>  
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*Lancaster 1653<br>
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*Leicester 1714<br>
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*Leominister 1740<br>
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*Lunenburg 1728<br>
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*Mendon 1667<br>
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*Milford 1780<br>
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*New Braintree 1751<br>
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| valign="top" |
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=== Historical Data  ===
*Northborough 1766<br>
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*Northbridge 1772<br>
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*Oakham 1762<br>
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*Oxford 1693<br>
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*Paxton 1765<br>
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*Petersham 1754<br>
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*Phillipston 1786<br>
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*Princeton 1759<br>
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*Royalston 1765<br>
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*Rutland 1714<br>
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*Shrewsbury 1720<br>
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*Southborough 1727<br>
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| valign="top" |
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*Spencer 1753<br>
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*Sterling 1781<br>
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*Sutton 1714<br>
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*Templeton 1762<br>
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*Upton 1735<br>
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*Uxbridge 1742<br>
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*Warren 1742<br>
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*Westbourough 1717<br>
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*Westminister 1759<br>
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*Winchendon 1762<br>
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*Worcester 1684
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<div style="float: left; width: 147%"></div>
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|}
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=== History  ===
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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#SUFFOLK Massachusetts Atlas of Historical County Boundaries]</ref> with additions from various sources.
  
==== Parent County  ====
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{| cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
 
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*Created 5 April 1731 from [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire]], [[Middlesex County, Massachusetts|Middlesex]] and [[Suffolk County, Massachusetts|Suffolk]] counties <ref>''Handybook for Genealogists'', 181. </ref>
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==== Boundary Changes  ====
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==== Record Loss  ====
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=== Places / Localities  ===
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{{MAWorcesterCitiesList}}
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'''Towns'''
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{| width="53%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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|-
 
|-
| valign="top" |  
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! width="100" scope="col" | Dates
*[[Ashburnham, Massachusetts|Ashburnham]]
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! width="500" scope="col" | Events
*[[Athol, Massachusetts|Athol]]
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|-
*[[Auburn, Massachusetts|Auburn]]  
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| 10 July 1731
*[[Barre, Massachusetts|Barre]]  
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| Worcester County was created from area along the undefined border between [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire County]] to the west and [[Middlesex County, Massachusetts|Middlesex County]] to the east plus the southwestern corner of [[Suffolk County, Massachusetts|Suffolk County]] that included what is now [[Woodstock, Connecticut|Woodstock, Connecticut]]. [Prov. Laws, 2: 584]
*[[Berlin, Massachusetts|Berlin]]  
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|-
*[[Blackstone, Massachusetts|Blackstone]]  
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| 29 June 1732
*[[Bolton, Massachusetts|Bolton]]  
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| Added land from Groton and Littleton in Middlesex Co. when the town of Harvard was established.
*[[Boylston, Massachusetts|Boylston]]
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|-
*[[Brookfield, Massachusetts|Brookfield]]
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| 14 June 1735
*[[Charlton, Massachusetts|Charlton]]
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| Added land from Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., when western half of town was set off as the new town of Upton, Worcester Co.
*[[Clinton, Massachusetts|Clinton]]
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|-
*[[Douglas, Massachusetts|Douglas]]
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| 16 Jan. 1741/2
*[[Dudley, Massachusetts|Dudley]]
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| Added land from Brimfield and Kingsfield [''now Palmer''], Hampshire Co., with western part of Brookfield to set off the new town of Western [''now Warren''].
*[[East Brookfield, Massachusetts|East Brookfield]]
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|-
 
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| -- May 1749
| valign="top" |  
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| [[Woodstock, Connecticut]] seceded to Connecticut.
*[[Grafton, Massachusetts|Grafton]]  
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|-
*[[Hardwick, Massachusetts|Hardwick]]
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| 12 Apr. 1753<br>9 June 1756
*[[Harvard, Massachusetts|Harvard]]
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| Borders redefined and dispute between Hardwick and Greenwich, Hampshire Co., settled.
*[[Holden, Massachusetts|Holden]]
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|-
*[[Hopedale, Massachusetts|Hopedale]]
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| 5 Jan. 1764
*[[Hubbardston, Massachusetts|Hubbardston]]
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| Small gain to Western [''now Warren''] from Palmer, Hampshire Co.
*[[Lancaster, Massachusetts|Lancaster]]
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|-
*[[Leicester, Massachusetts|Leicester]]
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| 5 Feb. 1765
*[[Lunenburg, Massachusetts|Lunenburg]]
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| Small loss when part of Hardwick annexed to Greenwich, Hampshire Co.
*[[Mendon, Massachusetts|Mendon]]
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|-
*[[Milford, Massachusetts|Milford]]
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| 6 Mar. 1767
*[[Millbury, Massachusetts|Millbury]]
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| Small loss when part of Ashburnham was annexed to northern half of Fitchburg, Middlesex Co., to set off the new town of Ashby, Middlesex Co.
*[[Millville, Massachusetts|Millville]]
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|-
 
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| 25 Feb. 1783
| valign="top" |  
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| Small loss when part of Harvard annexed to Boxborough, Middlesex Co.
*[[New Braintree, Massachusetts|New Braintree]]
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|-
*[[North Brookfield, Massachusetts|North Brookfield]]
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| 15 Oct. 1783
*[[Northborough, Massachusetts|Northborough]]
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| Part of Athol and Royalton set off to create the new town of Orange, Hampshire Co.
*[[Northbridge, Massachusetts|Northbridge]]
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|-
*[[Oakham, Massachusetts|Oakham]]
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| 16 Mar. 1784
*[[Oxford, Massachusetts|Oxford]]
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| Small gain when parts of Bolton and Northborough set off to create the new town of Berlin with a small part annexed from Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
*[[Paxton, Massachusetts|Paxton]]
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|-
*[[Petersham, Massachusetts|Petersham]]
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| 7 Mar. 1786
*[[Phillipston, Massachusetts|Phillipston]]
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| Small gain when Southborough annexed part of Framingham, Middlesex Co.
*[[Princeton, Massachusetts|Princeton]]
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|-
*[[Royalston, Massachusetts|Royalston]]
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| 16 Nov. 1792
*[[Rutland, Massachusetts|Rutland]]
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| Large triangular piece of land in Ashburnham annexed to Ashby, Middlesex Co.
*[[Shrewsbury, Massachusetts|Shrewsbury]]
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|-
*[[Southborough, Massachusetts|Southborough]]
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| 15 July 1794
 
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| Small gain when Western [''now Warren''] annexed part of Palmer, Hampshire Co.
| valign="top" |  
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|-
*[[Spencer, Massachusetts|Spencer]]
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| 18 Feb. 1801
*[[Sterling, Massachusetts|Sterling]]
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| Large gain when parts of Hardwick and Petersham set off to create the new town of Dana with a part annexed from Greenwich, Hampshire Co.
*[[Sturbridge, Massachusetts|Sturbridge]]
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|-
*[[Sutton, Massachusetts|Sutton]]
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| 20 June 1807
*[[Templeton, Massachusetts|Templeton]]
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| Small gain when Northborough annexed part of Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
*[[Upton, Massachusetts|Upton]]
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|-
*[[Uxbridge, Massachusetts|Uxbridge]]
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| 8 Mar. 1808
*[[Warren, Massachusetts|Warren]]
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| Small gain when Upton annexed part of Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.
*[[Webster, Massachusetts|Webster]]
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|-
*[[West Boylston, Massachusetts|West Boylston]]
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| 7 Feb. 1816
*[[West Brookfield, Massachusetts|West Brookfield]]
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| Small gain when Athol annexed part of Orange, Hampshire Co.
*[[Westborough, Massachusetts|Westborough]]
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|-
*[[Westminster, Massachusetts|Westminster]]
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| 8 Feb. 1823
*[[Winchendon, Massachusetts|Winchendon]]
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| Small loss when a part of Western [''now Warren''] was annexed to Ware, Hampshire Co.
 
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|-
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| 3 Nov. 1826
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| Irregularities of the county line with Windham Co., Conn., straightened.
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|-
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| 11 Feb. 1829
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| One acre gained when Bolton annexed part of Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 3 Mar. 1829
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| Small loss when a part of Fitchburg was annexed to Ashby, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 5 Feb. 1830
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| Small gain when Athol annexed part of New Salem, Franklin Co.
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|-
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| 7 Feb. 1831
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| Small loss when a part of Western [''now Warren''] was annexed by Palmer, Hampden Co.
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|-
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| 27 Mar. 1835
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| Gained when Milford annexed part of Holliston and Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 16 Mar. 1837
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| Gained when Athol annexed part of New Salem, Franklin Co.
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|-
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| 16 Mar. 1838
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| Redefined border between Bolton and Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 24 Mar. 1843
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| Small loss when a part of Southborough was annexed by Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 3 Mar. 1846<br>25 Apr. 1848
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| Border redefined between Lunenburg and Shirley, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 1 Apr. 1859
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| Small gain when Milford annexed part of Holliston, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 20 Mar. 1868
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| Small loss when part of Bolton was annexed by Hudson, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 7 Mar. 1872
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| Exchanged between Mendon and Bellingham, Norfolk Co.
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|-
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| 16 May 1901<br>1 May 1905
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| Redefined border for Southborough and Berlin with Marlborough and Hudson, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 14 June 1906
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| Small loss when part of Harvard was annexed by Boxborough and Littleton, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 16 May 1907
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| Redefined border for Milford and Upton with Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.
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|-
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| 28 Apr. 1938
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| Large gain when Quabbin Reservoir created and "drowned" four towns. Petersham annexed part of Dana, and Greenwich and Prescott, Hampshire Co., and Hardwick annexed part of Greenwich.
 
|}
 
|}
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<div style="width: 147%"><center>[[#top|Top of Page]]</center><br>
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=== Towns and Cities  ===
  
'''Ceded or Extinct Towns:&nbsp;''' [[Dana, Massachusetts|Dana]] | [[Enfield, Massachusetts|Enfield]] | [[Suffield, Massachusetts|Suffield]] | [[Woodstock, Massachusetts|Woodstock]]<ref>Michael J. Leclerc, ''Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research'', 5th ed. (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012), 224-26. {{WorldCat|779626228|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; {{FHL|1967587|item|disp=FHL Book 974 D27g 2012}}.</ref>  
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The following list of present-day Middlesex 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.
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[[Image:Ma-worcester.png|right|400px|Ma-worcester.png]]<center>[[Ashburnham, Massachusetts|Ashburnham (1765)]] | [[Athol, Massachusetts|Athol (1762)]] | [[Auburn, Massachusetts|Auburn (1778)]] | [[Barre, Massachusetts|Barre (1774)]]<br>[[Berlin, Massachusetts|Berlin (1812)]] | [[Blackstone, Massachusetts|Blackstone (1845)]] | [[Bolton, Massachusetts|Bolton (1738)]] | [[Boylston, Massachusetts|Boylston (1785)]]<br>[[Brookfield, Massachusetts|Brookfield (1718)]] | [[Charlton, Massachusetts|Charlton (1775)]] | [[Clinton, Massachusetts|Clinton (1850)]] | [[Douglas, Massachusetts|Douglas (1775)]]<br>[[Dudley, Massachusetts|Dudley (1732)]] | [[East Brookfield, Massachusetts|East Brookfield(1920)]] | [[Fitchburg, Massachusetts|Fitchburg (1764)]] | [[Gardner, Massachusetts|Gardner (1785)]]<br>[[Grafton, Massachusetts|Grafton (1735)]] | [[Hardwick, Massachusetts|Hardwick (1739)]] | [[Harvard, Massachusetts|Harvard (1732)]] | [[Holden, Massachusetts|Holden (1741)]]<br>[[Hopedale, Massachusetts|Hopedale (1886)]] | [[Hubbardston, Massachusetts|Hubbardston (1775)]] | [[Lancaster, Massachusetts|Lancaster (1653)]] | [[Leicester, Massachusetts|Leicester (1714)]]<br>[[Leominster, Massachusetts|Leominster (1740)]] | [[Lunenburg, Massachusetts|Lunenburg (1728)]] | [[Mendon, Massachusetts|Mendon (1667)]] | [[Milford, Massachusetts|Milford (1780)]]<br>[[Millbury, Massachusetts|Millbury (1813)]] | [[Millville, Massachusetts|Millville (1916)]] | [[New Braintree, Massachusetts|New Braintree (1775)]] | [[North Brookfield, Massachusetts|North Brookfield (1812)]]<br>[[Northborough, Massachusetts|Northborough (1775)]] | [[Northbridge, Massachusetts|Northbridge (1775)]] | [[Oakham, Massachusetts|Oakham (1775)]] | [[Oxford, Massachusetts|Oxford (1713)]]<br>[[Paxton, Massachusetts|Paxton (1775)]] | [[Petersham, Massachusetts|Petersham (1754)]] | [[Phillipston, Massachusetts|Phillipston (1786)]] | [[Princeton, Massachusetts|Princeton (1771)]]<br>[[Royalston, Massachusetts|Royalston (1765)]] | [[Rutland, Massachusetts|Rutland (1713)]] | [[Shrewsbury, Massachusetts|Shrewsbury (1727)]] | [[Southborough, Massachusetts|Southborough (1727)]]<br>[[Southbridge, Massachusetts|Southbridge (1816)]] | [[Spencer, Massachusetts|Spencer (1775)]] | [[Sterling, Massachusetts|Sterling (1781)]] | [[Sturbridge, Massachusetts|Sturbridge (1738)]]<br>[[Sutton, Massachusetts|Sutton (1714)]] | [[Templeton, Massachusetts|Templeton (1762)]] | [[Upton, Massachusetts|Upton (1735)]] | [[Uxbridge, Massachusetts|Uxbridge (1727)]]<br>[[Warren, Massachusetts|Warren (1742)]] | [[Webster, Massachusetts|Webster (1832)]] | [[West Boylston, Massachusetts|West Boylston (1808)]] | [[West Brookfield, Massachusetts|West Brookfield (1848)]]<br>[[Westborough, Massachusetts|Westborough (1717)]] | [[Westminster, Massachusetts|Westminster (1770)]] | [[Winchendon, Massachusetts|Winchendon (1764)]] | [[Worcester, Massachusetts|Worcester (1684)]]</center><br>
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'''Ceded to Connecticut:''' [[Woodstock, Connecticut|Woodstock]]<br>  
  
==== Neighboring Counties  ====
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'''Extinct Town:''' [[Dana, Massachusetts|Dana (1801-1938)]]<br>
  
[[Franklin County, Massachusetts|Franklin ]]| [[Hampden County, Massachusetts|Hampden ]]| [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire ]]| [[Middlesex County, Massachusetts|Middlesex ]]| [[Norfolk County, Massachusetts|Norfolk ]]| '''Connecticut '''counties: [[Tolland County, Connecticut|Tolland ]]| [[Windham County, Connecticut|Windham ]]| '''New Hampshire''' counties: [[Cheshire County, New Hampshire|Cheshire ]]| [[Hillsborough County, New Hampshire|Hillsborough ]]| [[Providence County, Rhode Island|Providence County]], Rhode Island
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=== County Histories  ===
  
=== Resources  ===
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{{MAWorCoMap}}Works written on the county include:
  
==== Cemeteries  ====
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THIS WORK IN PROGRESS
  
BillionGraves:  
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*[http://worcester.bettysgenealogy.org/ The Worcester County MAGenWeb Project], an member of The MAGenWeb Project, an affiliate of [http://www.usgenweb.org/ The USGenWeb Project]. <br>
 +
*[http://usgwarchives.net/ma/mafiles.htm#Worcester The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County
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*{{FHL|Massachusetts%2C+Worcester|subject|disp=FamilySearch.org}} Family History Library catalog for Worcester County
  
*[http://www.billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=48896 Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster]
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== Worcester County Massachusetts Genealogy Resources  ==
*[http://www.billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=48843 Harvard Center Cemetery, Harvard]
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*[http://www.billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=48989 Mooreland Cemetery, Paxton]
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*[http://www.billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=48900 Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester]
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*[http://billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=48875 Saint Leo Cemetery, Leominster]
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*[http://billiongraves.com/pages/cemetery/cemetery.php?cemetery_id=48859 St. Patricks Cemetery, Whitinsville]
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==== Census ====
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=== Vital Records ===
  
{{Census|Massachusetts}}
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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 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>
  
===== State Census  =====
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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>
  
'''''1855 Massachusetts State Census—'''''A free Internet index and images to the 1855 Massachusetts State Census can be viewed on [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://www.familysearch.org/searchapi/search/collection/1459985 FamilySearch Historical Records]. 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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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>
  
'''''1865 Massachusetts State Census'''''—A free Internet index and images to the 1865 Massachusetts State Census can be viewed on [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://www.familysearch.org/searchapi/search/collection/1410399 FamilySearch Historical Records.] 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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=== Land Records  ===
 
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==== Church  ====
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==== Court  ====
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==== Gazetteers  ====
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=== Genealogy  ===
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Moorhouse, B-Ann.&nbsp; A Moorhouse Family of Dublin, Carlow and Kildare.&nbsp; Pictures and Genealogy of Moorhouse family in Ireland, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, with small amount in Worcester Mass. and New York, covering years 1672-1945.&nbsp; Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol.IX, no.1, 1977, Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i v9.
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==== Land ====
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==== Local Histories  ====
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==== Maps  ====
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==== Military  ====
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*''Names and ranks of men in the military service, 1781-1840'', (microfilm of original records in Grafton, Massachusetts, Salt Lake City, Utah&nbsp;: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971), {{FHL|275438|item|disp=FHL film  855361 Item 4}}.
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==== Newspapers  ====
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*[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=3091 {{nowrap|Boston newspapers}}], [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/BrowseLocations.aspx?cntry=7&st=50&ci=9894 {{nowrap|Fitchburg newspapers}}] (1868-1977), and [http://www.newspaperarchive.com/BrowseLocations.aspx?cntry=7&st=50&ci=16919 {{nowrap|The Lowell Sun}}] (1878-1977) that covered local news on Worcester County residents as well as residents from surrounding counties.<br>
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==== Probate  ====
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==== Taxation  ====
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==== Vital Records  ====
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=== Societies and Libraries  ===
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==== Family History Centers  ====
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*[[Introduction to LDS Family History Centers]]
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*[[Worcester Massachusetts Family History Center]]
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=== Web Sites  ===
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*[http://worcester.bettysgenealogy.org/ The Worcester County MAGenWeb Project], an member of [[MAGenWeb|The MAGenWeb Project]], an affiliate of [[USGenWeb|The USGenWeb Project]].
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*[http://usgwarchives.net/ma/mafiles.htm#Worcester The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County
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*[http://usgwarchives.net/ma/mafiles.htm#Worcester The USGenWeb Archives Project] for Worcester County (backup site)
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*{{FHL|Massachusetts%2C+Worcester|subject|disp=FamilySearch.org}} Family History Library catalog for Worcester County
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=== References  ===
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== Worcester County Massachusetts Genealogy References  ==
  
<references />{{Massachusetts|Massachusetts}}  
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{{reflist}}  
{{Massachusetts-stub}}</div>  
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<center>'''Adjacent counties:''' '''''Massachusetts:''''' [[Franklin County, Massachusetts|Franklin]] | [[Hampden County, Massachusetts|Hampden]] | [[Hampshire County, Massachusetts|Hampshire]] | [[Middlesex County, Massachusetts|Middlesex]] | [[Norfolk County, Massachusetts|Norfolk]]<br>'''''Connecticut:''''' [[Tolland County, Connecticut|Tolland]] | [[Windham County, Connecticut|Windham]]<br>'''''New Hampshire:''''' [[Cheshire County, New Hampshire|Cheshire]] | [[Hillsborough County, New Hampshire|Hillsborough]]<br>'''''Rhode Island:''''' [[Providence County, Rhode Island|Providence County]]</center><br> <!--This was designed by Scott Andrew Bartley in conjunction with the Mass. Wiki Team on 29 August 2013--> </div>  
 
[[Category:Worcester_County,_Massachusetts]]
 
[[Category:Worcester_County,_Massachusetts]]

Revision as of 21:17, 29 August 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Worcester County

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

Worcester County Massachusetts History

Brief History

Worcester County was created in the middle of the two largest counties with a third county throwing in another small part. Settlement was mainly an outgrowth of the older settlements to the east and to a lesser degree from the Connecticut River Valley. There was an influx after the Revolutionary War that included migration up from Rhode Island and Connecticut in addition to the east. This is the largest county in area and there have been fifteen attempts to split the county though none were successful. The county seat is Worcester, the second largest city in all of New England. The county government was abolished on 1 July 1997, but its former jurisdiction is used for state offices as a district.[1]

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Historical Data

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

Dates Events
10 July 1731 Worcester County was created from area along the undefined border between Hampshire County to the west and Middlesex County to the east plus the southwestern corner of Suffolk County that included what is now Woodstock, Connecticut. [Prov. Laws, 2: 584]
29 June 1732 Added land from Groton and Littleton in Middlesex Co. when the town of Harvard was established.
14 June 1735 Added land from Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., when western half of town was set off as the new town of Upton, Worcester Co.
16 Jan. 1741/2 Added land from Brimfield and Kingsfield [now Palmer], Hampshire Co., with western part of Brookfield to set off the new town of Western [now Warren].
-- May 1749 Woodstock, Connecticut seceded to Connecticut.
12 Apr. 1753
9 June 1756
Borders redefined and dispute between Hardwick and Greenwich, Hampshire Co., settled.
5 Jan. 1764 Small gain to Western [now Warren] from Palmer, Hampshire Co.
5 Feb. 1765 Small loss when part of Hardwick annexed to Greenwich, Hampshire Co.
6 Mar. 1767 Small loss when part of Ashburnham was annexed to northern half of Fitchburg, Middlesex Co., to set off the new town of Ashby, Middlesex Co.
25 Feb. 1783 Small loss when part of Harvard annexed to Boxborough, Middlesex Co.
15 Oct. 1783 Part of Athol and Royalton set off to create the new town of Orange, Hampshire Co.
16 Mar. 1784 Small gain when parts of Bolton and Northborough set off to create the new town of Berlin with a small part annexed from Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
7 Mar. 1786 Small gain when Southborough annexed part of Framingham, Middlesex Co.
16 Nov. 1792 Large triangular piece of land in Ashburnham annexed to Ashby, Middlesex Co.
15 July 1794 Small gain when Western [now Warren] annexed part of Palmer, Hampshire Co.
18 Feb. 1801 Large gain when parts of Hardwick and Petersham set off to create the new town of Dana with a part annexed from Greenwich, Hampshire Co.
20 June 1807 Small gain when Northborough annexed part of Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
8 Mar. 1808 Small gain when Upton annexed part of Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.
7 Feb. 1816 Small gain when Athol annexed part of Orange, Hampshire Co.
8 Feb. 1823 Small loss when a part of Western [now Warren] was annexed to Ware, Hampshire Co.
3 Nov. 1826 Irregularities of the county line with Windham Co., Conn., straightened.
11 Feb. 1829 One acre gained when Bolton annexed part of Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
3 Mar. 1829 Small loss when a part of Fitchburg was annexed to Ashby, Middlesex Co.
5 Feb. 1830 Small gain when Athol annexed part of New Salem, Franklin Co.
7 Feb. 1831 Small loss when a part of Western [now Warren] was annexed by Palmer, Hampden Co.
27 Mar. 1835 Gained when Milford annexed part of Holliston and Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.
16 Mar. 1837 Gained when Athol annexed part of New Salem, Franklin Co.
16 Mar. 1838 Redefined border between Bolton and Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
24 Mar. 1843 Small loss when a part of Southborough was annexed by Marlborough, Middlesex Co.
3 Mar. 1846
25 Apr. 1848
Border redefined between Lunenburg and Shirley, Middlesex Co.
1 Apr. 1859 Small gain when Milford annexed part of Holliston, Middlesex Co.
20 Mar. 1868 Small loss when part of Bolton was annexed by Hudson, Middlesex Co.
7 Mar. 1872 Exchanged between Mendon and Bellingham, Norfolk Co.
16 May 1901
1 May 1905
Redefined border for Southborough and Berlin with Marlborough and Hudson, Middlesex Co.
14 June 1906 Small loss when part of Harvard was annexed by Boxborough and Littleton, Middlesex Co.
16 May 1907 Redefined border for Milford and Upton with Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.
28 Apr. 1938 Large gain when Quabbin Reservoir created and "drowned" four towns. Petersham annexed part of Dana, and Greenwich and Prescott, Hampshire Co., and Hardwick annexed part of Greenwich.
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Towns and Cities

The following list of present-day Middlesex 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.

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Ashburnham (1765) | Athol (1762) | Auburn (1778) | Barre (1774)
Berlin (1812) | Blackstone (1845) | Bolton (1738) | Boylston (1785)
Brookfield (1718) | Charlton (1775) | Clinton (1850) | Douglas (1775)
Dudley (1732) | East Brookfield(1920) | Fitchburg (1764) | Gardner (1785)
Grafton (1735) | Hardwick (1739) | Harvard (1732) | Holden (1741)
Hopedale (1886) | Hubbardston (1775) | Lancaster (1653) | Leicester (1714)
Leominster (1740) | Lunenburg (1728) | Mendon (1667) | Milford (1780)
Millbury (1813) | Millville (1916) | New Braintree (1775) | North Brookfield (1812)
Northborough (1775) | Northbridge (1775) | Oakham (1775) | Oxford (1713)
Paxton (1775) | Petersham (1754) | Phillipston (1786) | Princeton (1771)
Royalston (1765) | Rutland (1713) | Shrewsbury (1727) | Southborough (1727)
Southbridge (1816) | Spencer (1775) | Sterling (1781) | Sturbridge (1738)
Sutton (1714) | Templeton (1762) | Upton (1735) | Uxbridge (1727)
Warren (1742) | Webster (1832) | West Boylston (1808) | West Brookfield (1848)
Westborough (1717) | Westminster (1770) | Winchendon (1764) | Worcester (1684)

Ceded to Connecticut: Woodstock

Extinct Town: Dana (1801-1938)

County Histories

MassachusettsNew HampshireConnecticutRhode IslandWorcester CountyFranklin CountyHampshire CountyHampden CountyMiddlesex CountyNorfolk CountyTolland CountyWindham CountyProvidence CountyCheshire CountyHillsborough CountyWorcesterWarrenWest BrookfieldNorth BrookfieldEast BrookfieldBrookfieldSturbridgeSouthbridgeDudleyWebsterDouglasUxbridgeMillvilleBlackstoneMendonNorthbridgeSuttonOxfordCharltonSpencerLeicesterAuburnMillburyGraftonUptonMilfordHopedaleWestboroughSouthboroughNorthboroughBerlinBoltonHarvardLancasterClintonBoylstonShrewsburyWest BoylstonSterlingLeominsterLunenburgFitchburgWestminsterPrincetonHoldenPaxtonRutlandHubbardstonGardnerAshburnhamWinchendonRoyalstonAtholPetershamHardwickNew BraintreeOakhamBarrePhillipstonTempletonWarwickOrangeWendellNew SalemPelhamBelchertownWarePalmerMonsonWalesHollandBrimfieldMedwayBellinghamFranklinAshbyTownsendPepperellDunstableTyngsboroughWestfordGrotonShirleyAyerLittletonBoxboroughActonMaynardStowHudsonMarlboroughSudburyFraminghamAshlandHopkintonHollistonStaffordEllingtonTollandWillingtonUnionAshfordEastfordWoodstockThompsonBurrillvilleGlocesterSmithfieldNorth SmithfieldWoonsocketCumberlandLincolnWinchesterRichmondFitzwilliamRindgeNew IpswichGreenvilleMasonBrooklineHollisNashuaHudson
Modern city and town borders in Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Works written on the county include:

THIS WORK IN PROGRESS

Worcester 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.

Land Records

Worcester County Massachusetts Genealogy References

Adjacent counties: Massachusetts: Franklin | Hampden | Hampshire | Middlesex | Norfolk
Connecticut: Tolland | Windham
New Hampshire: Cheshire | Hillsborough
Rhode Island: Providence County