Massachusetts Springfield Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887 .
Collection Time Period
The records in this collection are for the years 1638 to 1887.
This collection contains birth, marriage, and death records from the Springfield city clerk. The earlier records are handwritten on blank pages. Later records are handwritten on pre-printed pages.
The following important biographical facts may be found in the birth records:
- Child’s name
- Child’s sex
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Parent’s names
- Parent’s residence
- May list the father’s title or occupation
The following important biographical facts may be found in the marriage records:
- Full name of bride and groom
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Age of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Birth place of bride and groom
- Parents of bride and groom
- What number of marriage for bride and groom
The following important biographical facts may be found in the death records:
- Name of deceased
- Death date
- Death place
- Age in days, months, and years
- Birth place
- Name of parents
- Parents birth place
- Burial place
- Burial date
How to Use the Record
Information from these records has been extracted and placed in the Massachusetts Vital Records Index so this index is a good place to begin your search. Name indexes make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom, the infant, or the deceased at the time of the event.
- The approximate date the event occurred.
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record 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.
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.
- Occupations and titles listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records and church records.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- Use a marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- 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.
Keep in mind:
- The information is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the mid 1800s.
- 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:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- 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)
Vital record keeping began with the earliest permanent settlement, in the mid 1600s. All original records are maintained by the town or city. The present vital registration law was enacted in 1841.
Why this Record Was Created
These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests.
These records are generally reliable but can vary depending on the knowledge of the informant.
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Contributions to This Article
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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.
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections is found in the following article: How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): entry for Lucinda Atkins, died 6 November 1865; citing Vital Records, FHL microfilm 185,417; Springfield City Clerk, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Sources of Information for This Collection
“Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org); from the Springfield City Clerk. FHL microfilm, 6 reels, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.
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