Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy Guide
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Plymouth 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 for its seat of Plymouth, which is named for the English port city of Plymouth. Plymouth Colony divided into three counties in 1685. The entire colony joined with Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691 to form the commonwealth. Learn More About State of Massachusetts History
Plymouth County Cities and Towns include Abington, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Whitman.
Plymouth County, Massachusetts Courthouse Records
Plymouth County, MA Courthouse
Old Plymouth County Courthouse
The Plymouth County Courthouse is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts & Brockton, Massachusetts. All earlier records that apply to Plymouth Colony are at the county commissioner's office above, bound in a separate series. The present probate and registry of deeds office is at the same address. Court records (1686—1859) are at the Pilgrim Society, Court Street, Plymouth, MA 02360. 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 Plymouth 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.
- Plymouth County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1620. 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.
- Plymouth County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1633. 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.
- Plymouth County Clerk of Courts has Court Records from 1630. The County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Plymouth 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.
Plymouth 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
Plymouth 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 or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate Death Certificate Applications.
Plymouth County, Massachusetts Resources
- Brockton Historical Society
- Duxbury Rural & Historical Society
- Hingham Historical Society
- Mattapoisett Historical Society
- Rockland Historical Society
- Scituate Historical Society
- Plymouth County, Massachusetts Message Boards
- Plymouth County, Massachusetts Genealogy Forum