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Franklin County, Massachusetts
Genealogy, History & Facts

Franklin County, Massachusetts Facts

Franklin County

When was Franklin County, MA Created?
Franklin County was founded on June 24, 1811 from Hampshire County. The county was named for Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), early American scientist, diplomat, and politician.

What is the County Seat of Franklin County, MA?
The County Seat is located in Greenfield and the county government was abolished on July 1, 1997

What counties are adjacent to Franklin County, MA?
Bordering Counties are Windham County, Vermont (north), Cheshire County, New Hampshire (northeast), Worcester County (east), Hampshire County (south), Berkshire County (west).

What cities and towns are in Franklin County, MA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Millers Falls, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne Falls, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Warwick, Wendell and Whately.

Franklin County, MA Vital Records

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

Franklin 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 Franklin 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.

Franklin County, MA Census Records

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

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

Franklin County, MA Courthouse and Government Records

Franklin County Courthouse

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

Franklin County, MA Societies and Family History Resources

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

  • Ashfield Historical Society, 457 Main Street, Ashfield, MA 01330; (413) 628-0001; Ten rooms of Ashfield memorabilia. The main exhibition hall is a re-creation of a general store, circa 1850. Exhibits include more than 23,000 glass plate negatives taken between 1882 and 1907 by the well-known Howes brothers of Ashfield. There are also exhibits of early Ashfield industries, 19th century period rooms, children's room, military display and memorabilia of famous Ashfield residents. A barn houses many relics of early rural life.
  • Bernardston Historical Society, Powers Institute, Church Street, Bernardston, MA 01337; 413-648-9600; The building once housed Powers Institute, which was founded in 1857 and includes memorabilia from the school. The collection also includes farm and household tools, textiles and a Lumen Nelson collection of small animals and birds.
  • Buckland Historical Society, 32 Upper Street, Buckland, MA 01338; 413-625-6619, 413-625-9763; Displays include early kitchen furniture, tools and photographs of local school groups.
  • Charlemont Historical Society, Town Hall, second floor, Main Street, Charlemont, MA 01339; 413-339-4947; Collection includes early household items, schoolbooks, desks, horse treadmill, microfilm of David Malcolm's publications "Hilltown Neighbors, " country store articles, records of the town, its churches and Deerfield Valley Agricultural Society.
  • Colrain Historical Society, Main Street, Colrain, MA 01340; 413-624-3710; Collection illustrates a variety of life-styles from the many villages making up the town of Colrain. Also featured are books and papers on Colrain history.
  • Conway Historical Society, Main Street, Conway, MA 01341;phone: 413-369-4224; Features a notable collection of items from Conway's cutlery and tool factories, woolen mills and shoe factories.
  • Erving House Museum, located in the old fire station, Route 2, Erving, MA 01344; 978-544-6339 or 978-544-3705; The exhibits reflect the development of Erving as a major industrial town, large collection of photographs and scrapbooks in four rooms. There is an 1890-1900 kitchen, living room and parlor that reflects the life-style of the period.
  • Gill Historical Society, located in the former Riverside School, Route 2, Gill, MA 01376; 413-863-2505; Consisting of two rooms, it features many reminders of the town's history, including photographs, ice cutting implements, farm implements, and old newspapers.
  • Historical Society of Greenfield, 43 Church St, Greenfield, MA 01301-2954; Phone (413) 774-3663
  • Heath Historical Society, P.O. Box 698, Heath, MA 01346; 413-337-4980; Located in two buildings in the center of town: the old townhouse and the old schoolhouse. The exhibits represent a broad range of Heath's past.
  • Leverett Historical Society, Moore's Corner Schoolhouse, North Leverett Rd., Leverett, MA 01054; 413-367-2800, 413-548-9082; The first floor features a schoolhouse exhibit. There are also artifacts from the former mills and shops, and scrapbooks and photos from the childhood days of newspaper columnist Ruby Hemenway.
  • Swift River Valley Historical Society, 40 Elm Street, New Salem, MA 01355; 978-544-6882; Photographs and memorabilia offer a look at the history of the four towns that were flooded to create the Quabbin Reservoir, as well as portions of New Salem that were lost. Displays include a fire truck, circa 1920, from the town of Dana and the New Salem guide post from the 1850s. The buildings housing the exhibits are historical structures.
  • Northfield Historical Society, 13 Pine Street, PO Box 131, Northfield, MA 01360; 413-498-4338; Displays three centuries of toys, art, textiles and other items owned by Northfield families.
  • Orange Historical Society, 41 North Main Street, Orange, MA 01364; 978-544-6286; Housed in a Victorian home and is furnished in that period. Included are a special children's room, military room and alumni room. Barn exhibits include a fire pumper, steam automobile (circa 1904) made in Orange by the Grout brothers and other industrial items.
  • Rowe Historical Society and Kemp-McCarthy Memorial Museum , 282 Zoar Road, Rowe, MA 01367; Phone: 413-339-4238; There eight rooms of artifacts and memorabilia of Rowe from over 300 friends of the town. The collection includes Rowe's last horse-drawn hearse.
  • Shelburne Historical Society, P.O. Box 86, 33 Severance Street Shelburne Falls, MA 01370; (413) 625-6150; Collection dates from 1700's to present. There is also a library with a number of New England Genealogical volumes.
  • Warwick Historical Society, 6 Athol Road, Warwick, MA 01378; 978-544-3461, 978-544-3628; Collection includes picture albums, furniture, relics from local industries such as glass and boot factories, a "scythe tree" with a fascinating story, the diary or a Warwick minister from the 1700s and a pump log used in the early 1880s.
  • Whately Historical Society, P.O. Box 7, 218 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA 01093; The exhibits include memorabilia and crockery made by Whately residents in the 1800's.
  • Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
  • State Archives Building, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125

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

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

Franklin Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Franklin Co. MA Cemeteries & Church Records

Franklin Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Franklin Co. MA General and History Websites

Franklin Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Franklin Co. MA Military Records

Franklin Co. MA Schools & Directories

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