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Dukes County, Massachusetts
Genealogy, History & Facts

Dukes County, Massachusetts Facts

Dukes County

Dukes County was established twice, the first was by New York on November 1, 1683 until 1691 and the second time by Massachusetts on June 22, 1695 from Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands, which had been part of Dukes County, New York until Massachusetts gained it in 1691. The county was named for  Dukes County, New York, the land at one time was literally the possession of the Duke of York.

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

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

What cities and towns are in Dukes County, MA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head), Chilmark, Edgartown, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, West Tisbury

Dukes County, MA Vital Records

Where can find Dukes County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Dukes 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.

Dukes 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 Dukes 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.

Dukes County, MA Census Records

What Dukes County, MA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Dukes 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.

Dukes Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Dukes Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Dukes 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

Dukes County, MA Courthouse and Government Records

Dukes County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Dukes County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Dukes 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.

Records from 1665 deal with Martha's Vineyard.
  • Dukes County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 81 Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539
    • Phone: 508-627-3751
  • Dukes 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) 627-4025
    • Land Records: 1686
  • Dukes 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) 627-7664
    • Probate Records: 1696 
  • Dukes County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
    • Phone: (508) 627-4668
    • Court Records: 1665 
  • Dukes 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

Dukes County, MA Societies and Family History Resources

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

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

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

Dukes Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Dukes Co. MA Cemeteries & Church Records

Dukes Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Dukes Co. MA General and History Websites

Dukes Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Dukes Co. MA Military Records

Dukes Co. MA Schools & Directories

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