Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Norfolk County

Norfolk County was founded on March 26, 1793 from Suffolk County. The county was named for the English county of Norfolk. Old Norfork County was formed on May 10, 1643 and abolished on February 4, 1680, the towns remaining in Norfolk County were re-annexed to Essex County. Exeter, Salisbury, Hampton, Haverhill, Dover, and Portsmouth (formerly Strawberry Banke) were town in this county until it was abolished. All but Salisbury and Haverhill are now in New Hampshire. Records for these towns in this period are located here.

Currently the Norfolk County Seat is situated in Dedham and the county government website is http://www.norfolkcounty.org/

Places adjacent to Norfolk County are Middlesex County (north), Suffolk County (northeast), Plymouth County (southeast), Bristol County (south), Providence County, Rhode Island (southwest), Worcester County (west).

Cities and towns situated in Norfolk County are made up of Avon, Bellingham, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Chestnut Hill, Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, East Walpole, East Weymouth, Foxborough, Franklin, Holbrook, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milton, Needham, Norfolk, North Weymouth, Norwood, Plainville, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, South Weymouth, Stoughton, Walpole, Wellesley, Westwood, Weymouth, Wollaston, Wrentham.

Norfolk 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.

You can search online for Norfolk 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.

Norfolk 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.

Norfolk Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Norfolk Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Norfolk Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms that can help with your research.

Norfolk County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Norfolk County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Norfolk County Courthouse and Government Records


Norfolk County Courthouse

Genealogist often overlook the great importance of Norfolk 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 Norfolk 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.

The following information and facts shows whatever birth, marriage, death, property, probate, and legal records will be in Norfolk County. The dates indicated below could be the first recognized records data for this particular county. Plymouth County towns of Hingham and Hull were part of Norfolk County from 1793-1803. Exeter, Salisbury, Hampton, Haverhill, Dover, and Portsmouth (formerly Strawbery Banke) were in this county until it was abolished. All but Salisbury and Haverhill are now in New Hampshire. Probate and deed records for these towns in this period are located here.

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)
  • Norfolk County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
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  • Norfolk 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.
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  • Norfolk 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.
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  • Norfolk County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
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  • Norfolk 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.

Norfolk County Register of Deeds has Land Records from 1793 and is located at 649 High Street, P.O. Box 69, Dedham, MA 02026-0069; (781) 461-6122 Fax: (781) 326-4742

Norfolk County Clerk of Probate Court has Probate Records from 1793 and is located at 35 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021, (781) 830-1200, Fax (781) 830-4310. Original county established 10 May 1643 - disbanded 4 February 1680. Probate Records 1643 - 1714 are at Essex County Probate Court, Salem.

Norfolk County Clerk of Superior Court has Court Records from 1793 and is located at 650 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026; (781) 326-1600

Norfolk County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Norfolk 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 Norfolk County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Norfolk Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Norfolk Co. MA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Norfolk Co. MA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Norfolk Co. MA Census Records

Norfolk Co. MA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Norfolk Co. MA Church & Bible Records

Norfolk Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Norfolk Co. MA General and History Websites

Norfolk Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Norfolk Co. MA Military Records

Norfolk Co. MA Schools & Directories

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