Massachusetts Town Marriages Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
This collection includes records from 1638 to 1961. It is an index to various town and vital marriages from these counties: Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. A few church records are included.
The birth records usually contain:
- Name of child
- Parent's name
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Parent's residence
- Father's occupation
- Birthplace of parents
- Name of informant
The marriage records usually contain:
- Page or certificate number
- Marriage date
- Names of bride and groom
- Residence of bride and groom
- Age of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Birthplaces of bride and groom
- Names of parents of bride and groom
- Name and information about the officiator
How to Use the Record
To search the collection
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "_____" category which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
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. *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.
- 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 a different index. There are often indexes created by local genealogical and historical societies.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Related Wiki Articles
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Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical CollectionsCitations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the “Show Citation” box:
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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 Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
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.
- “Collection Title.” Index or Index and Images or Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing [Author]. [Archive name, Archive location.]