Norfolk County, Massachusetts Genealogy Guide
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Norfolk County, Massachusetts (Map It) was created on March 26, 1793 from Suffolk County. The county was named for the English county of Norfolk. Old Norfork County was formed on May 10, 1643 and abolished on February 4, 1680, the towns remaining in Norfolk County were re-annexed to Essex County. Exeter, Salisbury, Hampton, Haverhill, Dover, and Portsmouth (formerly Strawberry Banke) were town in this county until it was abolished. All but Salisbury and Haverhill are now in New Hampshire. Records for these towns in this period are located here. Learn More About State of Massachusetts History
Norfolk County is bordered by Middlesex County (north), Suffolk County (northeast), Plymouth County (southeast), Bristol County (south), Providence County, Rhode Island (southwest), Worcester County (west).
Norfolk County Cities and Towns include Avon, Bellingham, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Chestnut Hill, Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, East Walpole, East Weymouth, Foxborough, Franklin, Holbrook, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milton, Needham, Norfolk, North Weymouth, Norwood, Plainville, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, South Weymouth, Stoughton, Walpole, Wellesley, Westwood, Weymouth, Wollaston, Wrentham.
Norfolk County, Massachusetts Courthouse Records
Norfolk County, MA Courthouse
The Norfolk County Courthouse is located in Dedham, Massachusetts. Plymouth County towns of Hingham and Hull were part of Norfolk County from 1793-1803. Exeter, Salisbury, Hampton, Haverhill, Dover, and Portsmouth (formerly Strawbery Banke) were in this county until it was abolished. All but Salisbury and Haverhill are now in New Hampshire. Probate and deed records for these towns in this period are located here. 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 Norfolk 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.
- Norfolk County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1793. 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.
- Norfolk County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1793. Probate Records 1643 - 1714 are at Essex County Probate Court, Salem. 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.
- Norfolk County Clerk of Courts has Court Records from 1793. The County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Norfolk 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.
Norfolk 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
Norfolk 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.
Norfolk County, Massachusetts Resources
- Boston To Providence Genealogical Society
- Braintree Historical Society
- Dedham Historical Society
- Needham Historical Society
- Randolph Historical Society, 360 North Main Street, Randolph, MA 02368
- Wellesly Historical Society
- Norfolk County, Massachusetts Message Boards
- Norfolk County, Massachusetts Genealogy Forum