Barnstable County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 215,888. Its county seat is Barnstable. The county consists of Cape Cod and associated islands (some adjacent islands are in Dukes County and Nantucket County).
Barnstable County comprises the Barnstable Town, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
Barnstable County was formed as part of the Plymouth Colony on 2 June 1685, including the towns of Falmouth, Sandwich and others lying to the east and north on Cape Cod. Plymouth Colony was merged into the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691.
Barnstable County is often called Cape Cod and both refer to the same region. This is area where the Mayflower first landed at what is now called Provincetown. The area was a frequent stop for early fishermen before the arrival of the Pilgrims, and settlements started here not long after the founding of Plymouth Colony. The earliest records will be found in the Colony's records and those of the individual towns. Plymouth Colony did not establish a county system until 1685. This county became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691. Since settlers generally used the water for transportation, it is not uncommon to find Cape Codders on the coast of Maine, New Jersey, Barbados, and places in between. There was a fire in 1827 that destroyed almost all the deeds to that point. Fortunately, the probate records survive.
Cities and Towns
Cities are in capital letters. * indicates County Seat.
BARNSTABLE* | Bourne | Brewster | Chatham | Dennis | Eastham | Falmouth | Harwich | Mashpee | Orleans | Provincetown | Sandwich | Truro | Wellfleet | Yarmouth