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Massachusetts Marriages - What else you can try

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Revision as of 21:00, 26 February 2019 by 127.0.0.1 (talk) (Text replacement - "'''Records Published'''<br> Collection coverage tables show the places and time periods of original records published. Check the coverage table for the collections you searched which did not include your ancestor. Gaps in the online collection may require searches in other records or original birth records at an archive." to "'''Records Published by FamilySearch'''<br> Collection coverage tables show the places and time periods of original records published by FamilySearch. For any FamilySearch collections you did not find your ancestor in, check the coverage table for gaps in the online collection. If the time period or location your ancestor lived in is missing from the collection, it may require searches in records found at original r)
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This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find marriage information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the marriage section of the Massachusetts Guided Research page.

Additional online resources

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Additional Databases and Online Resources

- (List of collections)

Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001
Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887
Massachusetts, Delayed and Corrected Vital Records, 1753-1900
Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920
Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915
Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910
Massachusetts Town Records, ca. 1638-1961






Substitute records

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Additional Records with Marriage Information

Substitute records may contain information about more than one event and are used when records for an event are not available. Records that are used to substitute for marriage events may not have been created at the time of the marriage. The accuracy of the record is contingent upon when the information was recorded. Search for information in multiple substitute records to confirm the accuracy of these records.

Use these additional records to locate marriage information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Newspapers Announcements
See Wiki page
Wedding announcements and golden anniversaries often appear in newspapers.
Church Records
See Wiki page
Church marriage records may be available when civil marriage records cannot be found. A church marriage record may provide the bride’s maiden name in addition to the date and place of the marriage. To access church records, first determine the denomination.
Obituaries
Massachusetts Obituary FS Collections
Obituaries may include the name of the surviving spouse. More recent obituaries may also include the date and place of the marriage.
Military Records
Massachusetts Military FS Collections
A widow's pension includes the name of the veteran and additional information to prove their marriage.
Death Records
Massachusetts Death Guided Research
Death records may include the name of the spouse and whether the deceased was married, widowed, or divorced. Click on the link to the left to return to the Death page.
Census Records
U.S. Census FS Collections
After 1850, census records may list the first name of the spouse, however relationships are not included until 1880. Beginning in 1900, additional marriage information is included in the census records.
Bible Records
See Wiki page
Family Bibles may include dates and places of marriage for family members, however the accuracy of this information is contingent upon when the information was recorded.


Marriage in a different place - Gretna Greens





Improve searching

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Tips for finding marriages

Successfully finding marriage records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search given name. Search by given name by leaving out the last name.
  • Search for bride. Search by the bride’s name rather than the groom’s name.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate year of marriage or the county the marriage took place in.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search state. Search using the state name only instead of by county.

Marriage in a different place - Gretna Greens





Why the record may not exist

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Known Record Gaps

  • 1635 Marriage Records were kept but registration was inconsistent in some areas.
  • 1841 Statewide Registration.


Records Published by FamilySearch
Collection coverage tables show the places and time periods of original records published by FamilySearch. For any FamilySearch collections you did not find your ancestor in, check the coverage table for gaps in the online collection. If the time period or location your ancestor lived in is missing from the collection, it may require searches in records found at original repository or finding substitute records for the event.


Records Destroyed
The following counties had record loss. Click on the county for more information.


Marriage in a different place - Gretna Greens









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