Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Massachusetts, 
United States
Massachusetts flag.png
Flag of Massachusetts
US Locator Massachusetts.png
Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1841-1915
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Secretary of the Commonwealth. State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

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.

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.

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

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

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

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at Massachusetts Marriages Digital Folder Number List.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

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?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • If available, check the image for additional information
  • Analyze the entry to see if it provides additional clues to find other records of the person or their family

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Try searching by surname only
  • The person may be recorded with an abbreviated or variant form of their name
  • Remember that spelling was generally not standardized until the early part of the 20th century
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Massachusetts.

Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

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:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.