Massachusetts Counties
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Massachusetts Counties

Massachusetts consists of the fourteen counties. Massachusetts has abolished seven of its fourteen county governments, leaving five Counties with county-level local government (Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Norfolk, Plymouth) and two, Nantucket County and Suffolk County, with combined county/city government. The oldest counties still in Massachusetts are Essex County, Middlesex County, and Suffolk County, created in 1643 with the original Norfolk County which was absorbed by New Hampshire and bears no relation to the modern Norfolk County.

Bristol County, Massachusetts

Bristol County Education, Geography, and HistoryBristol County - FallRiver, Massachusetts Courthouse

Bristol County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Bristol County was created by the Plymouth Colony on June 2, 1685, and named after its "shire town" (county seat), Bristol. The Plymouth Colony merged into the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 548,285. The county seat is Taunton. Some governmental functions are performed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, others by the county, and others by local towns and cities. See Administrative divisions of Massachusetts. The property deed records are kept in Taunton, Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.

Bristol County is included in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area. The county is adjacent to the state of Rhode Island.

Etymology - Origin of Bristol County Name

For its original county seat of Bristol, Massachusetts, which is named for the English port city of Bristol - when the city of Bristol joined Rhode Island, the name of the county was kept


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Bristol County History

Bristol County was formed on 2 June 1685 when Old Plymouth Colony was divided into three counties, Plymouth, Bristol and Barnstable. Barnstable and Plymouth counties were named after their county seats. Bristol County, MA county seat is Taunton. Native Americans played a very important role before and during the "settlement" of the area.

Bristol County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, adjacent to the state of Rhode Island. The land that is now Bristol County was part of the Plymouth Colony, which pre-dates the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Part of the county's land has been transferred to Rhode Island over time

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 691 square miles (1,790 km2), of which, 556 square miles (1,440 km2) of it is land and 135 square miles (350 km2) of it (19.56%) is water. The highest point in Bristol County is Sunrise Hill (Watery Hill) at 390 feet above sea level located in World War I Memorial Park in North Attleborough.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Norfolk County
  • Northeast: Plymouth County
  • Southeast: Buzzards Bay
  • Southwest: Newport County, R.I.; Bristol County, R.I.
  • West: Providence County, R.I.


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