Barnstable County, Massachusetts Genealogy Guide

Barnstable County, Massachusetts (Map It) was created on June 2, 1685 as one of three original counties created in the Plymouth Colony. The county was named after its county seat of Barnstable, which is named after the English town of Barnstaple. Learn More About State of Massachusetts History

Barnstable County is bordered by Plymouth County (west), Bristol County (west), Dukes County (south), Nantucket County (southeast).

Barnstable County Cities and Towns include Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Centerville, Chatham, East Falmouth, East Sandwich, Eastham, Falmouth, Forestdale, Harwich, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, North Eastham, North Falmouth, Orleans, Osterville, Provincetown, Sandwich, South Dennis, South Yarmouth, Teaticket, Truro, Wellfleet, West Barnstable, West Dennis, West Yarmouth and Yarmouth.

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Courthouse Records

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Courthouse
Barnstable County, MA Courthouse

The Barnstable County Courthouse is located in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Fire destroyed nearly all the early deed books and probate files, but probate books survived. Although the official deed books only begin in 1827, many deeds were pre-recorded back to about 1783, though these are far from complete. Learn More About State of Massachusetts Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.

Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes.  The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH.  The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues.  Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research. For Town Records contact the City/Town Hall Clerk.

The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Barnstable county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.

  • Barnstable County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1827. The County Register of Deeds is the place where all transactions of a Real Property nature are recorded so that the public is made aware of their existence. Deeds, mortgages, tax liens, water liens, declaration of homestead and many other kinds of documents regarding the title and ownership of real estate are noted permanently in official records.
  • Barnstable County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1686. The County Clerk of Probate Court has many responsibilities which include the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
  • Barnstable County Clerk of Courts has Court Records from 1686. The County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
  • Barnstable County Town Clerks has copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce and death records). Clerks respond to inquiries regarding vital records, since most have indexes available. They also have tax lists that may still be available at the town office. Earlier taxes for the towns exist as well.

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Census Records

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Vital Records

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Resources

Barnstable County, Massachusetts External Links

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