Probate Records

The following publications can be found at the Boston Public Library and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) library in Boston.The Massachusetts Archives has a published index for Suffolk County through 1894, for Essex County through 1840 and for Middlesex County through 1871.

To date, indexes have been published and/or abstracted for Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties.

Probate indexes are also available at each specific county courthouse for that particular county. 

There is currently no statewide probate index.

Published Books (By County)

Bristol County

  • Rounds, H. L. Peters, "Abstracts of Bristol Co., MA Probate Records 1687-1745" Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD: 1987 2 Vol.'s

Essex County

  • Essex Institute, "Probate Records of Essex Co., MA - [Abstracted 1635 -1681] Essex Institute, Salem, MA: 1921 3 Vol.'s
  • Sanborn, Melinde Lutz, "Essex Co. MA Probate Index 1638-1840" Self-published, Boston, MA: 1987 2 Vol.'s

Middlesex County

  • Folson, Samuel H. & Rogers, William E. "Index to the Probate Records of the Co. of Middlesex, MA 1648-1871" Cambridge, MA: 1914 (Reprint by  NEHGS)
  • Folson, Samuel H. & Rogers, William E. "Index to the Probate Records of the Co. of Middlesex, MA 1870-1910" Cambridge, MA: 1912 (Reprint by  NEHGS)

Norfolk County

  • Transcript Press, "Probate Index Norfolk Co., MA 1793-1910"
  • Transcript Press, Dedham, MA: 1910 2 Vol.'s

Plymouth County

  • Wood, Ralph, "Plymouth Co. MA Probate Index 1686-1881"
  • Picton Press, Camden, ME: 1988

Suffolk County

  • McGhan, Judith, "Abstracts of the Earliest Wills Upon Record in the County of Suffolk, MA [1639-1670]" Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD: 1984
  • George, Elijah, "Index Probate Records, Suffolk Co., MA 1636-1893" Boston, MA: 1895  3 Vol.'s (Reprint by NEHGS)
  • Dolan, Arthur W., "Index Probate Records, Suffolk Co., MA 1894-1909" Boston, MA: 1911  (Reprint by NEHGS)
  • Sullivan, Arthur W., "Index Probate Records, Suffolk Co., MA 1910-1922" Boston, MA: 1927  2 Vol.'s (Reprint by NEHGS)
  • Sullivan, Arthur W., "Index Probate Records, Suffolk Co., MA 1923-1935, Boston, MA: 1941  3 Vol.'s (Reprint by NEHGS)
  • Sullivan, Arthur W., "Index Probate Records, Suffolk Co., MA 1936-1947" Boston, MA: 1951  3 Vol.'s (Reprint by NEHGS)
  • Musco, Louis F., "Index Probate Records, Suffolk Co., MA 1948-1958", Boston, MA: 1961  2 Vol.'s (Reprint by NEHGS)

Worcester County

  • Harlow, George A., "Index Probate Records, Worcester Co., MA July 12, 1731- July 1, 1881", Boston, MA: 1898  2 Vol.'s 
  • Harlow, George A., "Index Probate Records, Worcester Co., MA July 1, 1881- July 1, 1897", Boston, MA: 1898  
  • Harlow, George A., "Index Probate Records, Worcester Co., MA July 1, 1897- Jan. 1, 1901", Boston, MA: 1901  
  • Harlow, George A., "Index Probate Records, Worcester Co., MA Jan.1, 1901- Jan. 1, 1904", Boston, MA: 1904  
  • Mawbey, John W., "Index Probate Records, Worcester Co., MA July 1, 1897- June 1, 1910" Commonwealth Press, Worcester, MA: 1910
  • Atwood, Harry H., "Index Probate Records, Worcester Co., MA Jan. 1, 1910- Jan. 1, 1920", Commonwealth Press, Worcester, MA: 1920

Online Indexes (Listed By County)

(Please Note: The following online indexes are available from Ancestry.com. You need a paid subscription to access these indexes - or you at least need to be at a library that has paid access.)

Essex County

Sanborn, Melinde Lutz, "Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1638 - 1840. Salem, MA"

Middlesex County

Flint, James, comp., "Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, 1648 -1870. Cambridge, MA"

Flint, James, comp., "Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, 1871 - 1909 (Surnames A - K). Cambridge, MA"

Norfolk County

Flint, James, comp., "Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, 1793 -1900. Probate Index, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, Vol 2, L - Z.

Worcester County

Flint, James, comp., "Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, 1731 - 1881 (Surnames A - Z). Worcester, MA"

Statewide Index

Massachusetts State Government:, "List of Persons Whose Names Have Been Changed in Massachusetts, 1780 - 1892. Boston, MA"

Probate Courts

Barnstable

Established 2 June 1685 from Plymouth County

Probate & Family Court
3195 Main Street
PO Box 346
Barnstable, MA 02630

Probate/Estates: (508) 375-6725
Domestic Relations (Divorce): (508) 375-6722 

Hours: M-F  8:30AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns In Court's Jurisdiction: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet

Berkshire  

Established 21 April 1761 from Hampshire County

Probate and Family Court
44 Bank Row
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Probate/Estates: (413) 442-6941
Domestic Relations (Divorce): (413) 442-6941  

Hours: M-F  8:30AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns In Court's Jurisdiction: Adams, Alford, Becket, Berkshire, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Gt. Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mt. Washington, New Ashford, N. Marlborough, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Southfield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, W. Stockbridge, Williamstown, Windsor

Bristol
 
Established 2 June 1685 from Plymouth County

Probate & Family Court
40 Broad Street
Suite 240
Taunton, MA 02780

Main Telephone (508) 977-4970

Hours: M -F  8AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Acushnet, Attleboro, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Easton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Mansfield, New Bedford, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Westport

Dukes 

Established 1 November 1683 by New York and 22 June 1695 by Massachusetts

Probate & Family Court
81 Main Street
PO Box 237
Edgartown, MA 02539

Main Telephone: (508) 627-4703

Hours: M -F 8:30AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns In Court's Jurisdiction: Aquinnah, Edgartown, Chilmark, Gosnold, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, West Tisbury

Essex
 
Established 10 May 1643

County Probate Court
36 Federal Street
Salem, MA 01970

Probate/Estates: (978) 744-1020 [Press 2]
Domestic Relations (Divorce): (978) 744-1020 [Press 4]

Hours: M -F 8AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction:Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Peabody, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham, West Newbury

Franklin

Established 24 June 1811 from Hampshire County

Franklin County Courthouse
425 Main Street
P.O. Box 590
Greenfield, MA 01302

Main Telephone: (413) 774-7011  

Hours: M -F 8AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, Whately

Hampden
 
Established 25 February 1812 from Hampshire County

Hall of Justice
Probate & Family Court
50 State Street
Springfield, MA 01102-0559

Probate/Estates: (413) 748-7745
Domestic Relations (Divorce): (413) 748-7740 

Hours: M -F 8AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Agawam, Blandford, Brimfield, Chester, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Granville, Hampden, Holland, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Montgomery, Palmer, Russell, Southwick, Springfield, Tolland, Wales, West Springfield and Wilbraham

Hampshire
  
Established 1 May 1662 from Middlesex County

Probate & Family Court
33 King Street, Suite 3
Northampton, MA 01060

Main Telephone: (413) 586-8500

Hours: M -F 8:30AM - 3:00PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Amherst, Belchertown, Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Goshen, Granby, Hadley, Hatfield, Huntington, Middlefield, Northampton, Pelham, Plainfield, South Hadley, Southampton, Ware, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Worthington 

Middlesex
 
Established 10 May 1643

Middlesex Probate Court
208 Cambridge Street
PO Box 410480
East Cambridge, MA 02141-0006

Probate/Estates: (617) 768-5858
Domestic Relations (Divorce): (617) 768-5850

Hours: M -F 8AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Acton, Arlington, Ashby, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Pepperell, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stoneham, Stow, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Westford, Weston, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn

Nantucket 

Established 22 June 1695 from Dukes County

Town and County Building
16 Broad Street
PO Box 1116
Nantucket, MA 02554

Main Telephone: (508) 228-2669

Hours: M -F 8:15AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Norfolk

Original county established 10 May 1643 - disbanded 4 February 1680. Probate Records 1643 - 1714 are at Essex County Probate Court, Salem. Current county established 26 March 1793 from Suffolk County.

Norfolk Probate Court
35 Shawmut Road
Canton, MA 02021

Main Telephone: (781) 830-1200

Hours: M -F 8:30AM - 3PM Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Avon, Bellingham, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Franklin, Holbrook, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milton, Needham, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, Wellesley, Westwood, Weymouth, Wrentham

Plymouth
 
Established 2 June 1685 from Plymouth Colony.

Plymouth Probate Court
52 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360

Domestic Relations (Divorce): (508) 747-6204 [Press 2]
Probate/Estates: (508) 747-6204 [Press 3]

Hours: M -F 8:30AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Abington, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Whitman

Suffolk 

Established 10 May 1643

Probate & Family Court
24 New Chardon Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02114

Probate/Estates: (617) 788-8300
Domestic Relations (Divorce): (617) 788-8300

Hours: M -F 8:00AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Boston, Brighton, Charlestown, Chelsea, Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Revere, Roslindale, South Boston, Winthrop  

Worcester 

Established 2 April 1731 from Middlesex, Suffolk and Hampshire counties.

Worcester County Courthouse
225 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Main Telephone: (508) 831-2200

Hours: M -F 8AM - 3PM  Get Driving Directions 

Towns/Cities In Court's Jurisdiction: Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, Westminster, Winchendon, Worcester