Massachusetts Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Massachusetts, United States
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Flag of Massachusetts
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Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Index
Collection years 1695-1910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City


What is in the Collection?

This index is an electronic index for the years 1695 to 1910. This index is not complete for any particular place, region or time period. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Massachusetts marriages, click here.

Coverage Table

The Coverage Table shows the places and time periods of the original records in this collection. The table indicates how many records the collection has from each place. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period.

Locality Marriages, 1695-1910
Barnstable 27,276
Berkshire 66,052
Bristol 194,474
Dukes 3,171
Essex 304,260
Franklin 38,864
Hampden 203,299
Hampshire 77,372
Massachusetts 878,895
Middlesex 305,930
Nantucket 2,350
Norfolk 92,910
Plymouth 86,043
Suffolk 562,601
Worcester 195,715
Total 3,039,212

For details about the contents of these records and help using them see the wiki article Marriages Vital Record Index Collections (FamilySearch Historical Records).

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records usually contain some or all of the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name and age of groom
  • Groom's race and marital status
  • Birthplace and birthdate of groom
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Name and age of bride
  • Bride's race and marital status
  • Birthplace of and birthdate of bride
  • Names of bride's parents

How Do I Search the Collection?

To use these records it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage
  • The name of the intended spouse
  • Other identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

  • 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

Finding the Original Source for an Entry in This Collection

Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:

If an FHL film number is given in the entry for your ancestor, search for it in the FamilySearch Catalog.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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 listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married 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 marriage records 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 late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names. Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records. Search the indexes and records of nearby counties. Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

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

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation

Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910. Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016.Index based on data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.