Worcester County, Massachusetts
Genealogy and Facts

Worcester County

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.

Currently the Worcester County Seat is situated 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.

Places adjacent to Worcester County 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).

Cities and towns situated in Worcester County are made up of 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 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 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.

Worcester 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.

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. One can find free online and printable census forms that can help with your research.

Worcester County Society and Family History Resources

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

Worcester County Courthouse and Government Records


Worcester County Courthouse

Genealogist often overlook the great importance of Worcester County court, probate, and land records as a useful resource of ancestry and genealogy details.


Old Worcester County Courthouse

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 Worcester 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 Worcester County. The dates indicated below could be the first recognized records data for this particular county.

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)
  • 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 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.

Worcester County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant 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. Feel free to present your own preferred Worcester County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Worcester Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Worcester Co. MA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Worcester Co. MA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Worcester Co. MA Census Records

Worcester Co. MA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Worcester Co. MA Church & Bible Records

Worcester Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Worcester Co. MA General and History Websites

Worcester Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Worcester Co. MA Military Records

Worcester Co. MA Schools & Directories

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