Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Massachusetts|
|Location of Massachusetts|
|Record Type||Vital and Town|
|Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The collection consists of vital and town records acquired from local town clerk offices for the years 1626 to 2001. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable. Additional images and indexed records will be published as they become available.
The counties included in this collection are as follows:
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, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001.|
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 the collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the individual or individuals
- The approximate date the event occurred
- The place where the event occurred
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 County
- Select Town
- Select Record Type, Date and Volume to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001. 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?[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]
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- 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 partner 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
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records
- The name of the undertaker, mortuary, or cemetery 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 who may have been born, married, or died 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
- The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as more recent records.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames
- Check for an index. There are often indexes created by local genealogical and historical societies
- 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]
- Massachusetts State Vital Records, 1841-1920
- Massachusetts, Births, 1636-1924
- Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915
- Massachusetts Town Births Index, ca. 1630-1905
- Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910, 1921-1924
- Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915
- Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, 1921-1924
- Massachusetts Town Deaths Index, ca. 1640-1961
- Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003
- Massachusetts Town Records, ca. 1638-1961
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.