Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States|
|Flag of Massachusetts|
|Location of Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts|
|Location of Massachusetts|
|Record Type||Vital Records|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Coverage Map
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- 6 I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- 7 General Information About These Records
- 8 Known Issues with This Collection
- 9 Citing this Collection
- 10 How You Can Contribute
What is in the Collection?
This collection contains birth, marriage, and death records from the Springfield city clerk for the years 1638 to 1887. The earlier records are handwritten on blank pages. Later records are handwritten on pre-printed pages.
Be aware that information from these records has been extracted and placed in the Massachusetts Vital Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records) 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.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887.|
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Massachusetts marriages click here.
The following important biographical facts may be found in the birth records:
- Child’s full name
- Child’s gender
- Birth date and place
- Parents' names
- Birthplace of parents
- Father's occupation
The following important biographical facts may be found in the marriage records:
- Full name(s) of bride and groom
- Marriage date and place
- Current residences of each
- Ages of bride and groom
- Birth place of each
- Groom's occupation
- Parents names of bride and groom
- Number of marriages for each
The following important biographical facts may be found in the death records:
- Name of deceased
- Death date and place
- Gender and race of deceased
- Age in years, months, days
- Marital status
- Cause of death
- Residence and occupation
- Name and birth place of father
- Name and birth place of mother
- Burial place
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search 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
- Other identifying information such as the approximate date the event occurred
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own 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.
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Film" category which takes you to the images.
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors. With either search 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
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 and titles listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment, military, or church records.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- 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 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.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
- 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.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Massachusetts, Hampden items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Massachusetts Archives and Libraries.|
General Information About These 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.
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.
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
| 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 article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.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.
- "Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Springfield City Hall.
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, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887.|
|The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Massachusetts, Springfield Vital Records, 1638-1887.|
How You Can Contribute
| 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.