Franklin County, Massachusetts Genealogy Guide
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Franklin County, Massachusetts (Map It) was created on June 24, 1811 from Hampshire County. The county was named for Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), early American scientist, diplomat, and politician. Learn More About State of Massachusetts History
Franklin County Cities and Towns include Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Millers Falls, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne Falls, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Warwick, Wendell and Whately.
Franklin County, Massachusetts Courthouse Records
Franklin County, MA Courthouse
The Franklin County Courthouse is located in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The county government was abolished on July 1, 1997. 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 Franklin 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.
- Franklin County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1787. Earlier deeds for land now in Franklin County are at Springfield (see Hampden County). Abstracts of these deeds recorded at the Springfield registry from 1663—1786 are at Greenfield. Deeds for 1787-present are in Greenfield; between 1787—1812 they were recorded at the Deerfield registry, which was transferred to Greenfield in 1812. Probates before 1812 for towns now in Franklin County are at Northampton in Hampshire County. 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.
- Franklin County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1812. Probates before 1812 for towns now in Franklin County are at Northampton in Hampshire County. 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.
- Franklin County Clerk of Courts has Court Records from 1812. The County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Franklin 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.
Franklin County, Massachusetts Census Records
- Learn More: State of Massachusetts Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 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
Franklin 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.
Franklin County, Massachusetts Resources
- Ashfield Historical Society
- Bernardston Historical Society, Powers Institute, Church Street, Bernardston, MA 01337; 413-648-9600;
- Buckland Historical Society
- Charlemont Historical Society, Town Hall, second floor, Main Street, Charlemont, MA 01339; 413-339-4947
- Colrain Historical Society
- Conway Historical Society, Main Street, Conway, MA 01341;phone: 413-369-4224
- Erving House Museum, Route 2, Erving, MA 01344; 978-544-6339 or 978-544-3705
- Gill Historical Society, Route 2, Gill, MA 01376; 413-863-2505
- Historical Society of Greenfield, 43 Church St, Greenfield, MA 01301-2954; Phone (413) 774-3663
- Heath Historical Society
- Leverett Historical Society
- Swift River Valley Historical Society
- Northfield Historical Society, 13 Pine Street, PO Box 131, Northfield, MA 01360; 413-498-4338
- Orange Historical Society
- Rowe Historical Society and Kemp-McCarthy Memorial Museum
- Shelburne Historical Society
- Warwick Historical Society
- Whately Historical Society
- Franklin County, Massachusetts Message Boards
- Franklin County, Massachusetts Genealogy Forum
Franklin County, Massachusetts External Links
- Massachusetts Historical Newspapers - Newspapers.com
- Franklin County, Massachusetts Books - Amazon
- Franklin Co., Massachusetts - FindaGrave
- Massachusetts Indexed Historical Records - Familysearch
- Individual Town Histories: Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, GillGreenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, NorthfieldOrange, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, Whately
- Franklin County, Massachusetts Links - Cyndi's List