Registry of Deeds History

The position of Register of Deeds is even older than the country itself and before there even was a United States “land ownership documents” were being recorded in Massachusetts. The Registries of Deeds were established in 1640 under the First Modern Recording Act. Until 1715 the Clerks of the County Courts maintained the public records.  At that time a law was enacted calling for the election of Registers of Deeds to represent the people of their district. This was done to ensure that an elected representative of the people would independently maintain land records. Registers of Deeds are elected for a term of six years.

The Southern Berkshire Registry district includes the towns of  Alford |  Egremont |  Great Barrington |  Monterey |  Mount Washington |  New Marlborough |  Sandisfield |  Sheffield and  West Stockbridge

Registries operate independently of one another, but coordinate efforts and share best practices through the Massachusetts Registers Association. The Registry of Deeds Division is a subdivision of the Massachusetts Secretary of State and is a repository for land and real estate related documents including deeds, mortgages, mortgage discharges, mortgage assignments and other related land documents. The documents in this office establish an accurate official record of real property ownership. These records are essential to the individual property owner who wants to establish a “clear title” to his holdings.

Southern Berkshire Registry History

Prior to the incorporation of Berkshire County in 1761, deeds for the Towns in this County were recorded in Springfield. From June 30, 1761 — June 18, 1888, records for all of Berkshire County were recorded in Pittsfield. Each of the three Berkshire Registries, Southern, Middle and Northern, were established on June 18, 1788.

History of the Berkshire Registries
History of the Berkshire Registries second page

Previous Southern Berkshire Registers

Southern Berkshire Registers
Mark Hopkins 1761 — 1777
Moses Hopkins 1777 — 1839
Charles W. Hopkins 1839 — 1841
Samuel Newman 1841 — 1845
Isaac Seeley 1845 — 1883
Jno. C. New 1883 — 1897
Malcolm Douglas 1898 — 1932
Charles G. Kellogg 1933 — 1936
Josephine B. LeBlanc 1936 — 1956
Thomas F. Corbett 1956 — 1959
James J. Comerford 1959 — 1973
A. John Tuller 1973 — 1974
Catherine C. Comerford 1974 — 1989
lrene M. Skorput 1989 — 2007
Wanda M. Beckwith 2007 — 2018
Michelle Laramee-Jenny 2019 —

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Southern Berkshire Registry of Deeds
334 Main St. Suite 2
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Main Number: (413) 528-0146