Massachusetts State Vital Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Massachusetts|
|Location of Massachusetts|
|Record Type||Vital Records|
|Secretary of the Commonwealth. State Archives, Boston, Massachusetts|
- 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 Known Issues
- 7 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection includes births, marriages, and deaths from 1916 to 1920 as well as state amendments to vital records from 1841 to 1920. The records were obtained from the state archives in Boston.
Early Massachusetts vital records were recorded by town clerks. Records of births, marriages, and deaths to 1850 for about 215 towns have been published. Most of these are on microfilm and microfiche at the Family History Library. These often include information from town, church, cemetery, county, and other records. Although records of about 100 towns have not been published in book form, many of these records have been published in periodicals such as the Mayflower Descendant, with concentration on Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable Counties. For more information on Massachusetts vital records, see the Massachusetts Genealogy Guide.
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.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Massachusetts, State Vital Records, 1841-1920.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the individual
- The type of event (birth, marriage, or death)
- The name at the time of the event
- Other identifying information such as the approximate date and place of the event
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
- Select Record
- Select Record Type, Date Range, Volume, Town Range 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
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]
- Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920
- Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915
- Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915
- Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
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.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.