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Dukes County, Massachusetts
Genealogy and History

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Website Updates:
July 2017
News-Disaster: 1841 Shipwreck of the Wm. & Joseph from Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard - Lives Lost. Names of Lives Saved Listed, 1847 Fire on Martha's Vineyard
News-Weather: Lightning Strikes Homes in Edgartown
Misc News: Mrs. Mary Hillman Petitions Congress for Pension, Captain Albert Blanchard - Hero of Montery, John Holmes Fiddles, Date that Martha's Vineyard Settled

Death Notice: Miss M. Merry

Past Updates
Dukes County

Dukes county was 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.

From 1853 "Massachusetts Register":
Comprises Marthaâs Vineyard, Chappequiddick, Elizabeth Islands and Nomanâs Land lying south from Barnstable County, containing about 130 square miles. These islands were discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602.
Marthaâs Vineyard was first settled by whites in Edgartown in 1841.
From 1644 to 1664, these islands were under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts; afterwards under the jurisdiction of New York for some twenty years. In 1695 Dukes County was re-incorporated.
The shire town is Edgartown, containing in 1840 a population of 1736, and in 1850, a population of 1990. The two other towns of the County are Chilmark â population in 1840, 702; population in 1850, 747, and Tisbury, population in 1840, 1520; in 1850, 1803.  [source: "The Massachusetts Register For The Year 1853"]

County Seat: Edgartown
 Cities, Towns and Villages
Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head) * Chilmark * Menemsha * Edgartown *
Chappaquiddick Island (the small "island" connected to the main island is part of Edgartown) *
Gosnold * Cuttyhunk (a village of Gosnold) * Oak Bluffs * Tisbury * Vineyard Haven * West Tisbury


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Surrounding Counties
Barnstable County, Mass. - Northeast
Plymouth County, Mass. - North
Bristol County, Mass. - Northwest
Nantucket County, Mass. - East

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