Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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{{Record Search article
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{{FamilySearch_Collection
|CID=
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|CID=CID2061550
|title=Massachusetts County and Town Records, 1653-1972
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|title=Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records, 1579-2001
|location=United States
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|location=United States}} <br>  
|scheduled=}} <br>
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== Collection Time Period ==
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== Record Description ==
  
The collection covers the years 1653 to 1972.  
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The collection consists of Vital and town records acquired from local town clerk offices. It covers the years 1579 to 2001.  
  
== Record Description ==
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For a list of records by localities, document type and dates currently published in this collection, select the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//familysearch.org/records/collection/2061550/waypoints Browse] link from the collection landing page.
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=== Citation for This Collection  ===
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The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
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{{Collection citation | text= "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records, 1579-2001." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.}}
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<br> [[Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
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== Record Content ==
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The record content varies by record type.
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Birth Records may include the following information:
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*Date of registration
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*Name and gender of child
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*Date and place of birth
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*Parents' names and place of residence
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*Father's occupation
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*Parents' birthplace
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Marriage records may include the following information:
  
=== Record Content  ===
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*Date and place of marriage
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*Names of the bride and groom
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*Ages of the bride and groom
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*Marital status of each
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*Occupation of groom
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*Birthplace(s) of bride and groom
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*Residence at the time of marriage
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*Parents' names and their residence
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*Name, residence and office of officiator
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*Name of informant
  
The record content varies by record type. It may include any of the following pieces of information:  
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Death records may include the following information:  
  
*Name of primary individual
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*Name and gender of deceased
*Event date
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*Marital status of deceased
*Event place
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*Age of deceased in years, months, days
*Residence
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*Cause of death
*Age  
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*Place of internment
*Sex
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*Birthplace of deceased
*Names of parents
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*Parents' names of name of spouse if married
*Biographical information about parents such as date and place of birth
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*Name of informant
*Names of heirs, such as spouse, children, other relatives, or friends
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*Names of the executor, administrator, or guardian
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*Names of witnesses
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*Dates the documents were written and recorded (used to approximate event dates since a will was usually written near the time of death)
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*Description and value of property or land&amp;
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*Occuptaion
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== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
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*The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom
 
*The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom
  
Compare the information in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.  
+
==== Search the Collection  ====
 +
 
 +
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>⇒Select the county<br>⇒Select the town<br>⇒Select the "Record Type, Date and Volume" which takes you to the images<br>
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If the town has an index, start with the index. It generally contains information that will help you find your ancestor more quickly.
 +
 
 +
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.  
 +
 
 +
==== Using the Information  ====
  
 
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. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:  
 
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. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:  
Line 46: Line 79:
 
*Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.  
 
*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.  
 
*Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.  
*Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
+
*Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
*Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.  
+
 
 +
==== Tips to Keep in Mind  ====
 +
 
 +
*Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.  
 
*The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.  
 
*The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.  
*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.  
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*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.  
 
*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.  
 
*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.
+
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.  
 
+
Keep in mind:
+
 
+
 
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.  
 
*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.  
 
*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.
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
  
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:<br>
+
==== Unable to Find Your Ancestor?  ====
  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
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For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].  
 
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]].  
  
== Record History ==
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== &nbsp;Related Websites ==
  
County officials began keeping records from the time the county was formed.  
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*[http://www.archives.com/GA.aspx?_act=ancestorsearch&klp=ga11001&cam=266&KW2=Massachusetts&Location=MA&gclid=CKn9-vL79KoCFSJqgwodNyJG5Q Massachusetts Genealogy Records]
 
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*[http://www.genealogyspot.com/state/ma.htm Massachusetts Genealogy Spot]
=== Why This Record Was Created  ===
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Each type of record within the county was created for a different purpose, but most were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests and the legal interests of their heirs.  
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=== Record Reliability  ===
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Facts current at the time of the event are generally reliable.  
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== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 +
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*[[Massachusetts County Creation Dates and Parent Counties|Massachusetts County Creation Dates and Parent Counties]]
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*[[Massachusetts Counties Map|Massachusetts Counties Map]]
  
 
== Contributions to This Article  ==
 
== Contributions to This Article  ==
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== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
  
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
+
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]]  
+
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
  
==== Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection  ====
+
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
  
*United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
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{{Incomplete Citations}}
*Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.
+
  
== Sources of information for This Collection  ==
+
*United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
  
<!--bibdescbegin-->Massachusetts. County and Town Records, 1653-1972. <!--bibdescend-->
+
*Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.

Revision as of 18:55, 11 April 2013

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of Vital and town records acquired from local town clerk offices. It covers the years 1579 to 2001.

For a list of records by localities, document type and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records, 1579-2001." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.


Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The record content varies by record type.

Birth Records may include the following information:

  • Date of registration
  • Name and gender of child
  • Date and place of birth
  • Parents' names and place of residence
  • Father's occupation
  • Parents' birthplace

Marriage records may include the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Ages of the bride and groom
  • Marital status of each
  • Occupation of groom
  • Birthplace(s) of bride and groom
  • Residence at the time of marriage
  • Parents' names and their residence
  • Name, residence and office of officiator
  • Name of informant

Death records may include the following information:

  • Name and gender of deceased
  • Marital status of deceased
  • Age of deceased in years, months, days
  • Cause of death
  • Place of internment
  • Birthplace of deceased
  • Parents' names of name of spouse if married
  • Name of informant

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The place where the event occurred
  • The approximate date the event occurred
  • The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom

Search the Collection

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the county
⇒Select the town
⇒Select the "Record Type, Date and Volume" which takes you to the images

If the town has an index, start with the index. It generally contains information that will help you find your ancestor more quickly.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

Using the Information

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. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • 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.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • 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.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • 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.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

 Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.