Berkshire County, Massachusetts Genealogy Guide
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Berkshire County is bordered by Bennington County, Vermont (north), Franklin County (northeast), Hampshire County (east), Hampden County (southeast), Litchfield County, Connecticut (south), Columbia County, New York (west), Rensselaer County, New York (northwest).
Berkshire County Cities and Towns include Adams, Alford, Becket, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Cummington, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Housatonic, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown and Windsor.
Berkshire County, Massachusetts Courthouse Records
Berkshire County, MA Courthouse
The Berkshire County Courthouse is located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The county government was abolished on July 1, 2000. 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 Berkshire 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.
- Berkshire County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1761. 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.
- Northern District includes the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesboro, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy, Williamstown and Windsor.
- Middle District includes the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Lee, Lenox, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Stockbridge, Tyringham and Washington.
- Southern District includes the towns of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, Sheffield and West Stockbridge.
- Berkshire County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1761. 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.
- Berkshire County Clerk of Courts has Court Records from 1761. The County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Berkshire 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.
Berkshire County, Massachusetts Census Records
- Learn More: State of Massachusetts Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- State Population Schedules: 1855, 1865
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Berkshire County, Massachusetts Vital Records
- Learn More: State of Massachusetts Vital Records
- Birth, Marriage and Death Records: from late 1916 to present
- Divorce Records: Indexes from 1952 to present
- Locations: Massachusetts Office of Vital Statistics, Massachusetts State Archives (1841-1910)
- Vital Records Online: USAVital, VitalChek or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate Death Certificate Applications.
Berkshire County, Massachusetts Resources
- Berkshire County Historical Society
- Berkshire County, Massachusetts Message Boards
- Berkshire County, Massachusetts Genealogy Forum