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Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Genealogy, History & Facts

Barnstable County, Massachusetts Facts

Barnstable County

When was Barnstable County, MA Created?
Barnstable County was founded on June 2, 1685 as one of three original counties created in the Plymouth Colony. The county was named after its county seat of Barnstable, which is named after the English town of Barnstaple.

What is the County Seat of Barnstable County, MA?
The County Seat is located in Barnstable and the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Barnstable County, MA?
Bordering Counties are Plymouth County (west), Bristol County (west), Dukes County (south), Nantucket County (southeast).

What cities and towns are in Barnstable County, MA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Centerville, Chatham, East Falmouth, East Sandwich, Eastham, Falmouth, Forestdale, Harwich, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, North Eastham, North Falmouth, Orleans, Osterville, Provincetown, Sandwich, South Dennis, South Yarmouth, Teaticket, Truro, Wellfleet, West Barnstable, West Dennis, West Yarmouth and Yarmouth.

Barnstable County, MA Vital Records

Where can find Barnstable County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Barnstable County vital records can be found at the 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. Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841. There is a fee for each copy requested. Records for events that occurred from 1841-1910 are available at the State Archives.

Barnstable 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.

You can search online for Barnstable County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Massachusetts Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.

Barnstable County, MA Census Records

What Barnstable County, MA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Barnstable County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Barnstable Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Barnstable Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Barnstable Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890.

Massachusetts state censuses exist for the years 1855 and 1865. There is free down-loadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Massachusetts Census Records Research Guide

Barnstable County, MA Courthouse and Government Records

Barnstable County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Barnstable County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Barnstable County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. For Town Records contact the Town Clerk (Helpful Telephone Listings for your City/Town Hall). See Also Massachusetts Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Barnstable County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 3195 Main Street, Barnstable, MA 02630
  • Barnstable 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.
    • Phone: (508) 375-6725
    • Land Records: 1827
  • Barnstable 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.
    • Phone: (508) 375-6725
    • Probate Records: 1686 
  • Barnstable County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
    • Phone: 508-375-6684
    • Court Records: 1686 
  • Barnstable County Town Clerks have tax lists that may still be available at the town office. Earlier taxes for the towns exist as well.
  • Massachusetts Name Changes, 1780-1892
  • BLM Land Records

Barnstable County, MA Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Barnstable County, MA?
A list of Barnstable County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Massachusetts Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Barnstable County, MA Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Barnstable County, MA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Barnstable 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.

Barnstable Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Barnstable Co. MA Cemeteries & Church Records

Barnstable Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Barnstable Co. MA General and History Websites

Barnstable Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Barnstable Co. MA Military Records

Barnstable Co. MA Schools & Directories

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