Worcester County, Massachusetts
Genealogy, History & Facts
Worcester County, Massachusetts Facts
When was Worcester County, MA Created?
Worcester County was founded on April 2, 1731 from Hampshire County, Middlesex County and Suffolk County. The county was named for its county seat of Worcester, which is named in honor of the English city of Worcester and the English Civil War Battle of Worcester in 1651, a Parliamentarian victory.
What is the County Seat of Worcester County, MA?
The County Seat is located in Worcester and the county government was abolished on July 1, 1998. Though Worcester County still remains, the county governmenthas been "abolished" , their offices being put under the direction of certain state offices. Example: the Registry of Deeds offices in abolished counties are now under the direction of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office; Sheriffs and jails are under the Secretary of Public Safety.
What counties are adjacent to Worcester County, MA?
Bordering Counties are Cheshire County, New Hampshire (north), Hillsborough County, New Hampshire (north/northeast), Middlesex County (east/northeast), Norfolk County (east/southeast), Providence County, Rhode Island (south/southeast), Windham County, Connecticut (south), Tolland County, Connecticut (south/southwest), Hampden County (west/southwest), Hampshire County (west), Franklin County (west/northwest).
What cities and towns are in Worcester County, MA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, East Douglas, East Templeton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, North Grafton, Northborough, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, South Grafton, South Royalston, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, Westborough, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westminster, Winchendon, and Worcester.
Worcester County, MA Vital Records
Where can find Worcester County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Worcester 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.
Worcester 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 Worcester 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.
- U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
- Social Security Death Index
- USGenweb Archives Massachusetts Marriage Project
- Worcester, Massachusetts Burials, 1727-1859
- Vital records of Brookfield, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Worcester, births, marriages and deaths
- Vital records of Mendon, Massachusetts to the year 1850
- The birth, marriage, and death register, church records and epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts : 1643-1850
- Vital records of Sutton, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, to the year 1850
- Vital records of Sturbridge, Massachusetts to the year 1850
- Vital records of Berlin, Massachusetts to the year 1899
- Vital records of Milford, Massachusetts to the year 1850
- Vital records of Grafton, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Register of births, marriages, and deaths in the town of Milford, Massachusetts
- Vital records of Leominster, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Hardwick, Massachusetts, to the year 1850
- Vital records of Harvard, Massachusetts to the year 1850
- Vital records of Dudley, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Barre, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Holden, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Hubbardston, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Winchendon, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Warren (formerly Western), Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Petersham, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of New Braintree, Massachusetts to the year 1850
- Vital records of Millbury, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Northborough, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1850
- Vital records of West Boylston, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of the Town of Auburn, (formally Ward), Massachusetts to the end of the year 1850
- Vital records of Gardner, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Oakham, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of the town of Boylston, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1850
- Vital records of Phillipston, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849
- Vital records of Dana, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1850
- Epitaphs from the cemetery on Worcester Common
- USGenweb Archives Massachusetts Marriage Project
- Early Vital Records of Massachusetts, From 1600 to 1850
- Massachusetts, State Vital Records, 1841-1920
- Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records, 1579-2001
- Massachusetts Vital Records Index Pre-1850
- Massachusetts Vital Record Transcripts, 1620-1849
- Massachusetts Vital Records, 1620-1915
- Massachusetts Vital Records Index 1841-1895
- Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915
- Massachusetts, Births, 1841-1915
- Boston Births, 1700-1800
- Massachusetts, Town Birth Records, 1620-1850
- Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910
- Massachusetts, Marriages, 1633-1850
- Boston Marriages from 1752 to 1809
- Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1751
- Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. II
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. III
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. I
- Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800, Vol. IV
- Massachusetts Marriages to 1800
- Massachusetts Town Marriage Records
- Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003
- Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003
- Massachusetts, Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910
- Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841-1915
- Massachusetts, Town Death Records, 1620-1850
Worcester County, MA Census Records
What Worcester County, MA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Worcester 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.
Worcester Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Worcester Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Worcester 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
Worcester County, MA Courthouse and Government Records
Worcester County Courthouse
What genealogical records can I find in the Worcester County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Worcester 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.
PLEASE READ FIRST!!! Please call the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics before visiting or requesting information because of sometimes changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are available to interested parties, barring private issues. Many staff will guide individuals in locating the materials, however it's up to the person to carry out the research.
Old Worcester County Courthouse
- Worcester County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 2 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608
- Worcester 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.
- Worcester District; (508) 798-7717; The Worcester District includes the towns of Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northboro, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipstown, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southboro, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, Westboro, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Winchedon and Worcester.
- Northern District, 84 Elm Street, PO Box 983, Fitchburg, MA 01420; (978) 342-2637; The Northern District includes the towns of Ashburnham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Lunenburg and Westminster.
- Land Records: 1731
- Worcester County Clcerk 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) 770-0825
- Probate Records: 1731
- Worcester County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
- Phone: (508) 770-1899
- Court Records: 1731
- Worcester County Town Clerks have tax lists that may still be available at the town office. Earlier taxes for the towns exist as well.
- Inventory of city and town archives of Massachusetts, no. 14, Worcester County.
- Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, Vol. 1 & 2 A - Z, July 1731-1881
- The old records of the town of Fitchburgh, Massachusetts
- The Proprietors' records of the town of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, including Fitchburg and a portion of Ashby, 1729-1833
- Argument for the division of Worcester County before legislative committee
- Decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Name Changes, 1780-1892
- BLM Land Records
Worcester County, MA Societies and Family History Resources
What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Worcester County, MA?
A list of Worcester County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Massachusetts Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.
- Guide to the manuscript collections in the Worcester Historical Society (search.ancestry.com)
- Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 811, Westminster, Massachusetts 01473-0811
- American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634; Phone: (508) 755-5221
- Boylston Historical Society, 7 Central Street, PO Box 459, Boylston, MA 01505; Phone: (508) 869-2720
- Fitchburg Historical Society, 50 Grove Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420; Phone: (978) 345-1157
- Grafton Historical Society, One Grafton Common, Grafton, MA 01519; Phone: (508) 839-0000
- Leicester Historical Society, 1136 Main St, Leicester, MA 01524; 508-892-9900
- Leominster Historical Society, 17 School Street, Leominster, MA 01453; Phone: (978) 537-5424
- Northborough Historical Society, 50 Main Street , PO BOX 661, Northborough, MA 01532; Phone: (508) 393-6298
- Paxton Historical Commission, 17 West Street, Paxton, MA 01612; (508) 798-5092
- Southborough Historical Society, 25 Common Street, PO Box 364, Southborough, MA 01772; Phone: (508) 229-8055
- Sutton Historical Society, General Rufus Putnam Hall, 4 Uxbridge Road , Sutton, MA 01590
- Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square, Worcester, MA 01603; (508) 799-1655
- Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
- State Archives Building, 220 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125
Where can I connect with other Worcester County, MA Researchers through message boards and forums?
What other genealogical resources are available in Worcester County, MA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Worcester 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.
Worcester Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications
Worcester Co. MA Cemeteries & Church Records
Worcester Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Worcester Co. MA General and History Websites
- See Also State History for Massachusetts
- Worcester County, Massachusetts Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- History of Worcester County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men. (1889) (archive.org)
- History of the town of Milford, Worcester County, Massachusetts : from its first settlement to 1881 (search.ancestry.com)
- Biographical review. : containing life sketches of leading citizens of Worcester County, Massachusetts. (search.ancestry.com)
- Ashburnham, Massachusetts History (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Ashburnham, Massachusetts : from the grant of Dorchester Canada to the present time, 1734-1886 : with a genealogical (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Westminster, Massachusetts : (first named Narragansett no. 2) from the date of the original grant of the township to (search.ancestry.com)
- Village, Section or Neighborhood Names of Massachusetts Communities (sec.state.ma.us)
- Dictionary of Worcester (Massachusetts) and its vicinity (search.ancestry.com)
- Fifty glimpses of Worcester and Lake Quinsigamond (search.ancestry.com)
- Favorite drives around Gardner (search.ancestry.com)
- Worcester County, Massachusetts Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Worcester Co. MA Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Worcester County, Massachusetts (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - Massachusetts - Counties - Worcester (cyndislist.com)
- Worcester County Massachusetts (genealogytrails.com)
- Worcester Co. MAGenweb (bettysgenealogy.org)
- Worcester County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Worcester Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Worcester Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Worcester Co. MA Military Records
- Massachusetts Military Records Research Guide (raogk.org)
- Lancastriana. : a supplement to the Early records and Military annals of Lancaster, Massachusetts (search.ancestry.com)
- Soldiers of Oakham, Massachusetts in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War (search.ancestry.com)
- A Historical record of the soldiers and sailors of North Brookfield (search.ancestry.com)
- History of the Worcester Guards and the Worcester City Guards : from 1840 to 1896 (search.ancestry.com)
- Proceedings at the dedication of a monument to Sergeant Abraham Staples of Mendon, Massachusetts, October 31, 1877 (search.ancestry.com)
- Company proceedings of the Worcester Continentals (search.ancestry.com)
- 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 Worcester County genealogists, researchers, historians and much more.
Worcester 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.
- Worcester, Massachusetts Directories, 1888-90 (search.ancestry.com)
- Fitchburg, Massachusetts Directories, 1887-90 (search.ancestry.com)
- Leominster, Massachusetts Directories, 1883-95 (search.ancestry.com)
- Athol, Massachusetts Directories, 1885, 1897 (search.ancestry.com)
- Millbury, Massachusetts Directory 1890 (search.ancestry.com)
- Royalston, Massachusetts Directory, 1885 (search.ancestry.com)
- Petersham, Massachusetts Directory 1885 (search.ancestry.com)
- Baldwinville, Massachusetts Directory, 1885 (search.ancestry.com)
- Templeton, Massachusetts Directory, 1885 (search.ancestry.com)
- Otter River, Massachusetts Directory 1885 (search.ancestry.com)
- Phillipston, Massachusetts Directory 1885 (search.ancestry.com)