Massachusetts Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Massachusetts, United States
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Flag of Massachusetts
US Locator Massachusetts.png
Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Deaths and Burials Index
Collection years 1795-1910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City


What is in This Collection?

This collection is an electronic index of deaths and burials for the years 1795-1910 taken from the following sources:

  • Indexed church records
  • Civil registrations
  • The Internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church

Church records and civil registration were official sources and are some of the most reliable sources of family history information.

This index is not complete for any particular place, region or time period. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.

Collection Content

Coverage Table

The Coverage Table shows the places and time periods of the original records in this collection. The table indicates how many records the collection has from each place. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period.

Locality Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910
Barnstable 28,428
Berkshire 86,454
Bristol 204,833
Dukes 6,405
Essex 327,834
Franklin 64,394
Hampden 207,464
Hampshire 80,768
Massachusetts 1,246,783
Middlesex 420,989
Nantucket 7,043
Norfolk 110,550
Plymouth 95,719
Suffolk 529,420
Worcester 273,112
Total 3,690,196

What Can These Records Tell Me?

For details about the contents of these records and help using them see the wiki article Deaths and Burials Vital Record Index Collections (FamilySearch Historical Records).

The records in this collection usually contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials

The records may also include the following information:

  • Marital status
  • Names of parents
  • Name of spouse
  • Race
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Residence

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of death or burial.
  • The residence of your ancestor at the time of the death.

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
  • Remember this is only an index, not the original records.

Finding the Original Source for an Entry in This Collection

Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:

If an FHL film number is given in the entry for your ancestor, search for it in the FamilySearch Catalog.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the death date or age along with the place of death to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the death date or age along with the place of death to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment records or military records.
  • The name of the informant may be a relative. This can be helpful in identifying your ancestor.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • The records are very brief, so it is easy to confuse individuals in the index. In addition, an individual may be listed multiple times with slight spelling variations of their name.
  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • Search the FamilySearch Catalog to see if other records for this place are available.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.