Suffolk County, Massachusetts Genealogy Guide
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Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Map It) was created on May 10, 1643 as one of four original counties created in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. . The county was named for the English county of Suffolk. Learn More About State of Massachusetts History
Suffolk County Cities and Towns include Allston, Boston, Brighton, Charlestown, Chelsea, Dorchester, East Boston, Grove Hall, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Revere, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston, West Roxbury, Winthrop.
Suffolk County, Massachusetts Courthouse Records
Suffolk County, MA Courthouse
The Suffolk County Courthouse is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The county government was abolished on July 1, 1999. In 1793 all that was Suffolk County except Boston, Chelsea, Hingham, and Hull became Norfolk County. 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 Suffolk 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.
- Suffolk County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1639. 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.
- Suffolk County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1636. 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.
- Suffolk County Clerk of Courts has Court Records from 1671. The County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Suffolk 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.
Suffolk 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
Suffolk 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.
Suffolk County, Massachusetts Resources
- Boston Historical Society
- Brighton-Alston Historical Society
- Chinese Historical Society of New England
- Dorchester Historical Society
- Freedom Trail Foundation
- Jamaica Plain Historical Society
- Roslindale Historical Society
- South End Historical Society
- Stoneham Historical Society
- Suffolk County, Massachusetts Message Boards
- Suffolk County, Massachusetts Genealogy Forum