Berkshire County, Massachusetts Genealogy
- This article is about a western Massachusetts county. For other uses, see Berkshire.
United States Massachusetts Berkshire County
|Berkshire County, Massachusetts|
Location in the state of Massachusetts
|Founded||1760, May 28|
|Address|| Berkshire County Courthouse|
76 East Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201;
Berkshire County Website
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 Quick Facts
- 3 Places / Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
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.
Towns Organized Before 1800:
Great Barrington 1761,
Mount Washington 1779,
New Ashford 1781,
New Marlborough 1759,
Peru 1771 (originally called Partridgefield),
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.
|Template:Adoption RootsWorks Research|
Places / Localities
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
Villages: East Otis | Lenox Dale
For tips on accessing Berkshire County, Massachusetts Genealogy census records online, see: Massachusetts 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.
Newspaperarchive.com ($) 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.
Societies and Libraries
Family History Centers
- The Berkshire County MAGenWeb Project, an member of The MAGenWeb Project, an affiliate of The USGenWeb Project.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Berkshire County.
- The USGenWeb Archives Project for Berkshire County (backup site)
- FamilySearch.org Family History Library catalog for Berkshire County
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 329. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- 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.