Dukes-County-index

Dukes County


Massachusetts Trails to the past is requesting donations of any genealogy material that you may have such as old obituaries, death information or marriages, news clippings, births, and wills.  If you have any of this information, and would like to donate it please email it to Marie Miller ,  State Administrator for Massachusetts.  Please include the source of your information, if at all possible.


Its county seat is Edgartown. The county consists of theisland of Martha's Vineyard, and the Elizabeth Islands (including Cuttyhunk).

The original inhabitants of the islands were Wampanoag, who had several villages. Political jurisdiction over the lands were granted by English monarch in overlapping claims to two different British nobles, from which Massachusetts Bay Company settler Thomas Mayhew purchased them in 1641. Mayhew established a colony in his new domain, carefully purchasing land ownership rights from the native inhabitants, and maintaining native governments to continue unimpeded. In 1665, Mayhew's lands were included in a grant to the Duke of York. In 1671, a settlement was arranged, allowing Mayhew to continue to rule while placing his territory under the jurisdiction of the Province of New York.

Dukes county was thus established as Dukes County, New York, on November 1, 1683, and included all of Mayhew's lands - Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Elizabeth Islands. The county was transferred to Massachusetts on October 7, 1691, and at the same time Nantucket Island was split into the separate Nantucket County, Massachusetts . The 1695 incorporation statute created a county "by the name of Dukes County," as opposed to the standard form "the county of Dukes " which is the reason for the redundancy in the formal name, "County of Dukes County".

Cities and Towns

Aquinnah

Chilmark

Edgartown

Gosnold

Oak Bluffs

Tisbury

West Tisbury

 

Adjacent Counties

Barnstable County, Massachusetts (Northeast)

Plymouth County, Massachusetts (North)

Bristol County, Massachusetts (Northwest)

Nantucket County, Massachusetts (East)


 

The information on Trails to the Past copyright (s) 2011-Present Date may be used in personal family history research, with source citation. The pages in entirety may not be duplicated for publication in any fashion without the permission of the owner. Commercial use of any material on this site is not permitted.  Please respect the wishes of those who have contributed their time and efforts to make this free site possible.~Thank you!