Berkshire County, Massachusetts Facts
Berkshire County was founded on April 21, 1761 from Hampshire County. The county was named for the English county of Berkshire.
Currently the Berkshire County Seat is situated in Pittsfield and the county government was abolished on July 1, 2000
Places adjacent to Berkshire County are 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).
Cities and towns situated in Berkshire County are made up of 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 does have Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal government Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. Berkshire Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Berkshire Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Berkshire Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms that can help with your research.
Berkshire County Society and Family History Resources
A list of Berkshire County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
Berkshire County Courthouse and Government Records
Genealogist often overlook the great importance of Berkshire County court, probate, and land records as a useful resource of ancestry and genealogy details. Hidden away in Massachusetts courthouses and archives just about everywhere are the aspirations and frustrations of many Massachusetts inhabitants. The odds are great that your chosen ancestors have left a detailed document of at least quite a few facets of their lives in the Berkshire County court records. Even if your ancestors is not referred to in a Court case, take into account all of the other methods which often can have lead to her or him appearing in court records.
Remember to get in touch with the clerk's dept to verify hours, mailing address, fees and other facts prior to visiting or asking for information because of many times changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are readily available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A lot of staff will aid persons in finding the resources, however it is up to the individual to perform the basic research. For Town Records contact the Town Clerk (Helpful Telephone Listings for your City/Town Hall
The following information and facts shows whatever birth, marriage, death, property, probate, and legal records will be in Berkshire County. The dates indicated below could be the first recognized records data for this particular county.
- Berkshire 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, 65 Park Street, Adams, MA 01220; (413) 743-0035; The Northern District includes the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesboro, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy, Williamstown and Windsor.
- Middle District, 44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201; (413) 443-7438; The Middle District includes the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Lee, Lenox, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Stockbridge, Tyringham and Washington.
- Southern District, 334 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230; (413) 528-0146; The Southern District includes the towns of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, Sheffield and West Stockbridge.
- Land Records: 1761
- Berkshire 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.
- Address: 44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201
- Phone: (413) 442-6941
- Probate Records: 1761
- Berkshire County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Address: 76 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
- Phone: (413) 499-7487
- Court Records: 1761
- 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.
- Massachusetts Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Massachusetts for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events. Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841.
Berkshire County Links
The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Berkshire County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some call for a cost. This is just a collection which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to present your own preferred Berkshire County genealogy or family history associated sites.
Berkshire Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Berkshire Co. MA Birth, Marriage & Death Records
- See Also Statewide Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death Certificates in Massachusetts
- Order Hard Copies of Vital Records (archives.com)
- Vital Records 1841 - 1910 (sec.state.ma.us)
- Vital records of Williamstown, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Otis, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Windsor, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Lee, Massachusetts, 1777-1801 : from the records of the town Congregational Church (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Richmond, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Peru, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Tyringham, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Hinsdale, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Becket, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Great Barrington, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Dalton, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of Washington, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Vital records of New Ashford, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Massachusetts Vital Records Index Pre-1850 (fold3.com)
- Massachusetts Vital Record Transcripts, 1620-1849 (fold3.com)
- Massachusetts Vital Records Index 1841-1895 (fold3.com)
- Massachusetts, Town Birth Records, 1620-1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Massachusetts Town Marriage Records (search.ancestry.com)
- Massachusetts, Town Death Records, 1620-1850 (search.ancestry.com)
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
Berkshire Co. MA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Berkshire Co. MA Census Records
- See Also Statewide Census Links for Massachusetts
- Hancock, Massachusetts Census, 1790-1920 (search.ancestry.com)
- Williamstown, Massachusetts Census, 1900 (search.ancestry.com)
- Cheshire, Massachusetts Census, 1900-20 (search.ancestry.com)
- Peru, Massachusetts, Census Records, 1790-1920 (search.ancestry.com)
- Lanesboro, Massachusetts Census, 1790-1920 (search.ancestry.com)
- Williamstown, Massachusetts Census, 1910-20 (search.ancestry.com)
- Berkshire County, MA Census Records (census-online.com)
- Berkshire County, MA Census QuickFacts (quickfacts.census.gov)
Berkshire Co. MA Cemeteries & Graveyards
Berkshire Co. MA Church & Bible Records
Berkshire Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Berkshire Co. MA General and History Websites
Berkshire Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Berkshire Co. MA Military Records
- Massachusetts Military Records (fold3.com) will provide access to military records, stories, photos, and personal documents of the Massachusetts women and men which served. Perfect for Berkshire County genealogists, researchers, historians and much more.
Berkshire Co. MA Schools & Directories
- Massachusetts City Directories (search.ancestry.com) This database is a collection of city directories for various years and cities in Massachusetts. Generally a city directory will contain an alphabetical list of its citizens, listing the names of the heads of households, their addresses, and occupational information.
- Pittsfield, Massachusetts Directories, 1889-93 (search.ancestry.com)
- Adams and North Adams, Massachusetts Directories, 1887, 1889-90, 1890-93 (search.ancestry.com)
- North Adams, Massachusetts Directories, 1887, 1890-93 (search.ancestry.com)
- Lee, Massachusetts Directory 1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Great Barrington, Massachusetts Directory, 1894 (search.ancestry.com)