Massachusetts Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Massachusetts, United States|
|Flag of Massachusetts|
|Location of Massachusetts|
|Record Type||Marriage Records|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
The collection consists of a name index and images of Massachusetts statewide marriage registers. It covers the years 1841 to 1915.
The marriage registers are in numbered volumes arranged by year then by individual town. Early marriage records were handwritten; later they were typed on pre-printed forms with multiple entries on each page.
General Information About These Records
Beginning in 1841, in accordance with a new law, municipal clerks sent in the registrations they had collected to the state once a year. As a result, after that date records were available at the town and state levels. Boston did not comply with the law until about 1848. Population coverage is near 100% for later years. Coverage is not as complete for some earlier years.
Marriage records were recorded to document marriages and property ownership.
The marriage date, place, residence of bride and groom and occupation are fairly reliable. Other information such as age or birth place is dependent on the memory and reliability of the informant.
Included In This Collection
The following are included in this collection:
- Massachusetts State Archives. “Marriage Records”. Digital images of originals housed at the Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts
- Massachusetts. Secretary of State.“Marriage register, 1901-1905”. Digital images of originals housed at the Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts
- Massachusetts. Secretary of the Commonwealth. “Marriages, 1841-1895”. Digital images of originals housed at the Massachusetts Division of Vital Statistics, Boston, Massachusetts
- Massachusetts. Various Town Clerks. “Marriage Records”. Digital images of originals housed at the Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
- Date and place of registration
- Date and place of marriage
- Full names of bride and groom
- Ages of the bride and groom
- Residence of each at the time of marriage
- Occupation(s) of the bride and groom
- Place of birth
- Number of marriages (in later records)
- Names of parents
- Name, residence, and official status of person by whom married
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Massachusetts marriages, click here.
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the person at the time of marriage
- The date of the marriage
- The place where the marriage occurred
Search the Index
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
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 marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each spouse to find a couple's birth records and parents' names
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records
- Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
- Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married 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
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Massachusetts.
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 Marriages, 1841-1915." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 28 November 2018. Citing Secretary of the Commonwealth. State Archives, Boston.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
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.