Researching Vital Records at the Massachusetts Archives

Vital Records: 1841-1925

The Archives currently hold births, marriages, and deaths for all Massachusetts cities and towns for the years 1841 through 1925.

Digital copies of Massachusetts vital records from 1841 to 1920 are available through the Massachusetts Archives website: Digital Records at the Massachusetts Archives

NOTE: Digital copies of birth, marriage, or death records from 1921 to 1925 are not available at this time. Researchers interested in obtaining copies of vital records from 1921 to 1925 should follow the instructions for ordering Certified Copies outlined below.

Certified copies of births, marriages, and deaths from 1841 to 1925 can be ordered in person or by mail only as prepayment is required.

If you cannot visit the Archives in person, you can send a request through the US mail. You may order a maximum of five certificates at one time. In your request, please provide the full name and date (no greater than a 10-year span) for each birth, marriage, or death. If possible, the town/city, volume and page number, parents’ names, or any additional information you might be able to provide would be extremely helpful.

The cost for certified vital records is $3.00. Researchers can pay by cash or check made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please include individual checks for $3.00US for each certificate requested. If we are unable to locate any of the record(s) you have requested, we will return your payment for those records.

The address for requesting certified vital records is:
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston MA 02125
ATTN: Certified Vitals
Orders take approximately two weeks to process. 

Death registration, Town of Woburn, 1903 Death registration, Town of Woburn, 1903

Death registration, Town of Woburn, 1903

Vital Records: Pre 1841

Statewide collection of Massachusetts vital records began in 1841. For birth, marriage, and death records dating before 1841, researchers must contact the city and town clerks in the municipality where the event occurred.

A list of all the city and town clerks in Massachusetts can be found at: Massachusetts City and Town Directory

Birth registration, Town of Burlington, 1896 Birth registration, Town of Burlington, 1896

Birth registration, Town of Burlington, 1896

Vital Records: 1926-Present

Massachusetts vital records from 1926 to the present are held at the Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Their contact information is:

Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records
150 Mount Vernon St.
Dorchester MA 02125
617-740-2600
www.mass.gov/orgs/registry-of-vital-records-and-statistics

Vital records from 1926 to the present are also available through the various offices of City and Town clerks. A list of all the city and town clerks in Massachusetts can be found at: Massachusetts City and Town Directory