Berkshire County, Massachusetts Genealogy

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This article is about a western Massachusetts county. For other uses, see Berkshire.

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.png Berkshire County

Berkshire County, Massachusetts
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Berkshire County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Founded 1760, May 28
County Seat Pittsfield
Address Berkshire County Courthouse
76 East Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201;
Phone. 413.448.8424
Berkshire County Website

County Courthouse

Court clerk  has divorce records 1761-1922 and court records from 1761; probate judge  has divorce records from 1922 and probate records from 1761; register of deeds  has land records.[1]

Towns Organized Before 1800:
Adams 1778,
Alford 1773,
Becket 1765,
Cheshire 1793,
Clarksburg 1798,
Dalton 1784,
Egremont 1760,
Great Barrington 1761,
Hancock 1776,
Lanesborough 1765,
Lee 1777,
Lenox 1767,
Mount Washington 1779,
New Ashford 1781,
New Marlborough 1759,
Otis 1773,
Peru 1771 (originally called Partridgefield),
Pittsfield 1761,
Richmond 1765,
Savoy 1797,
Sheffield 1733,
Standisfield 1762,
Stockbridge 1739,
Tyringham 1762, Washington 1777, West Stockbridge 1774, Williamstown 1765

  • In 1997, the county governments of Essex, Berkshire, Hampden, Middlesex and Worcester were abolished. Pittsfield acts as a county seat for the area.
  • 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.
  • Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk county governments remain substantially unchanged.

Quick Facts

Template:Adoption RootsWorks Research
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Berkshire County, Massachusetts

Parent County

28 May 1760: Created  from Hampshire County. [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

Places / Localities

MassachusettsConnecticutVermontNew YorkLitchfield CountyHartford CountyBennington CountyWindham CountyColumbia CountyRensselaer CountyHampden CountyHampshire CountyFranklin CountyBerkshire CountyGranbyHartlandColebrookNorfolkNorth CanaanSalisburyNorth EastAncramCopakeHillsdaleAusterlitzCanaanChathamNew LebanonStephentownNassauSand LakePoestenkillBrunswickPittstownGraftonPetersburghBerlinPownalStamfordReadsboroWhitinghamMonroeRoweCharlemontHawleyAshfieldPlainfieldCummingtonChesterfieldWorthingtonMiddlefieldChesterHuntingtonMontgomeryRussellGranvilleBlandfordTollandSandisfieldOtisBecketWashingtonPeruWindsorSavoyFloridaHinsdaleNew MarlboroughMontereyTyringhamLeeLenoxSheffieldMount WashingtonEgremontGreat BarringtonAlfordStockbridgeWest StockbridgeRichmondHancockPittsfieldDaltonLanesboroughCheshireNew AshfordAdamsNorth AdamsClarksburgWilliamstown
Modern towns and cities in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Cities: North Adams | Pittsfield

Towns: Adams | Alford | Becket | Cheshire | Clarksburg | Dalton | Egremont | Florida | Great Barrington | Hancock | Hinsdale | Lanesborough | Lee | Lenox | Monterey | Mount Washington | New Ashford | New Marlborough |Otis | Peru | Richmond | Sandisfield | Savoy | Sheffield | Stockbridge | Tyringham | Washington | West Stockbridge | Williamstown | Windsor

Ceded Districts: Bethlehem District | Boston Corner District | Southfield District[2]

Villages: East Otis | Lenox Dale

Communities: Housatonic

Neighboring Counties

Franklin | Hampden | Hampshire
Connecticut County: Litchfield
New York Counties: Columbia | Dutchess | Rensselaer
Vermont County: Bennington




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

State Census

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

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





Berkshire County has three districts (Northern, Middle, Southern) with separate land records. The town of Dalton apparently also kept separate records. Records from all three of these districts are in the same bin on FamilySearch but the name of the image deck does not include the name of the district. You will have to use a little trial and error to find the right set of images.

The separate grantee and grantor indexes for 1761-1830 (labeled as volume 1) are for the Middle District. The large number of image decks labeled 1761-1985 are for the Northern District.

In some cases an image deck labeled Volume X may contain the Volume Xs from several districts. So, for example, the image deck labeled Volumes 29-30, 1790-1792 appears to contain these volumes for both the southern and middle districts - four volumes in all.

Local Histories



Newspapers ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Pittsfield, MA newspapers (1858-1977) and North Adams, MA newspapers (1895-1977) covering local news that included Hampden County residents.



Vital Records

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites


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