Vital Records (1841-1910) Contents
The Massachusetts Archives holds Massachusetts vital records covering the years 1841-1920. The vital records cover births, marriages, and deaths that occurred in Massachusetts. The Archives not only holds the records, but also indices to these records. The information from the 1841-1910 Birth, Marriage & Death indices has been entered into a searchable database. We welcome you to utilize this database to find the citations for the Birth, Marriages & Death records you are researching.
Each index entry will include the person’s first and last name, the town or city where the event occurred, the year, volume number, and page number. The database is searchable by first and last names, year, and location.
—It is important to note that you need to search alternate spellings of first and last names as the information was frequently recorded as the clerk interpreted the names, or phonetically. For instance, if searching Smith, be sure to also search Smyth.
Please note that you may find records with citations that include either an * or a #. The * indicates that the record was amended at some point and that the citation points to an amended record volume. The Archives holds microfilm of amended records up to 1920, Vol. 69. If you require a copy of an amended record after 1920, please contact the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. The Registry can be contacted at:
150 Mt. Vernon St.
Dorchester, MA 02125
If there is a # next to the citation, it indicates to staff that an additional step may be required when looking up the record in the record books.
You are always welcome to visit the Archives to make photocopies of the records. If you are unable to visit or if you require certified copies, we do welcome letters of request. Please refer to the instructions on our site.
If you require death records prior to 1841, you need to contact the Town or City Clerk in the town where the event occurred. You can also utilize the Vital Records up to 1850 volumes that can be found at your local public library. Vital records from 1921 to the present are held by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, and they can be reached at the address above.
We are aware that there are errors in the database. Prior to making the database available online, much work was done to clean up known errors. Efforts to correct these errors will continue, and we would appreciate your assistance as well. If you encounter errors in this database, please let us know. You should email us at ArchivesCollection@sec.state.ma.us with the name in the index, the citation (year, volume number, and page number), and the change you believe should be made. We will look into that problem and make corrections as necessary.