Welcome to the Berkshire County, MA
GenWeb Project

About Berkshire County

Berkshire County was formed in 1761 out of Hampshire County.

The county seat is Pittsfield.

Berkshire County is in the western part of the Massachusetts, about 125 miles north of New York City and the same west of Boston.


Berkshire County is bounded by the following counties:

Berkshire County, Massachusetts History

Pre-European Settlement

Berkshire County was the winter home of the Mahican (Also known as Mohican) Indians. After selling off much of their lands in the Hudson Valley to the Dutch in New York, Berkshire County (specifically Stockbridge) became their permenent residence.

The New York Years

Earliest known european settlement of Berkshire County was in 1692 by Dutch settlers from New York in the area of Mount Washington. They were employed as farmers, traders and miners of iron ore for the forge at Ancram (now Copake), NY. A patent for the area was granted by New York in 1705 and was, at that time, known as the Westenhoeck Patent.

In 1722, Joseph Parsons and 176 other Hampshire County residents were given permission by Boston to settle in the region in spite of the claims of ownership by New York. These actions set off a long. spordic war between New York and Massachusetts known as the border war or the first anti-rent war.

Lookup Volunteers

The Lookup Volunteers have been placed on a seperate page, in expectation of a flood of requests :.) If you have any books or CDs on this county and will volunteer to do lookups, please email me at bathrick@berkshire.net .

Please follow these guidelines when requesting a look-up.

  1. Put name of county and LOOKUP in caps in subject of message. This will ensure that your request is not accidently overlooked or deleted.
  2. Put name of book or CD you are requesting the lookup from in the first line of the message. Many of these wonderful volunteers have more than one book or CD and need to know what you are looking for in order to try to help you.
  3. Limit your request to 1 or 2 specific names. Asking for ALL the marriages on a surname of Brown or Jones or Smith will probably be ignored or request denied.
  4. Don't forget to thank your volunteer for their time and trouble.


A query page is available for the Berkshire County GenWeb project. Queries should be sent to bathrick@berkshire.net with "Berkshire County Query" in the subject line. Your query may also be entered using the Massachusetts Queries page of the USGenWeb project.

Other Sites Relating to Berkshire County

  • The Berkshire Web
  • A Berkshire County Gravestone Carver
  • Historical Societies of Berkshire County

  • Other Sites Relating to Massachusetts

  • A 3-D map of Eastern New York and Western New England

  • MAGenWeb

  • MAGenWeb Master County Index Page Find out all about the MAGenWeb project and visit the other counties here.
  • US GenWeb Index Page
  • Gene Stark's Index of Names for all Gen Web Sites (Includes all Adair County lines.)
  • John Rigdon's Index
  • Rules and Regulations Read the projects rules and regulations, and download sample pages and gif files.

  • Thanks are due to BerkshireNet for storing this site.
    Page Design by Michael D. Bathrick