Massachusetts Vital Records

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Fl.
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Main Telephone:  (617) 740-2600

The cited fee is for mail requests; other requests may be less expensive. Check or money order should be made payable to Registry of Vital Records. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is  (617) 753-8600 . This will be a recorded message.

Mail order Form
(Requires Acrobat Reader)

Birth Cost: $18.00

State office has records beginning 1901. For earlier records, write to The Massachusetts Archives.

Death Cost: $18.00

State office has records beginning 1901. For earlier records, write to The Massachusetts Archives.

Ancestry Message Board
Browse the new Ancestry/RootsWeb message boards.  For Wills, Click on the Wills link.

The Plymouth Colony Archive Project at the University of Virginia

Divorce  Cost: Varies

Index only beginning 1952. Certified copies are not available from State office, which will direct inquirer where to send request. Records may be requested directly from the Registrar of Probate Court where divorce was granted.

Marriage  Cost: $18.00

State office has records beginning 1901.

Attleboro, Massachusetts – The Sun Chronicle

Online Vital Records

Free Massachusetts Town Vital Records
This is a collection of 191 free town vital records books, otherwise known as “Tan Books” for Massachusetts towns. Generally these records go up to 1849/1850 at which, the genealogist can use the census records to assist in identifying the family connections further. Included with this article is an account of why and how these manuscripts were published.

Vital & Church Records (paid database, free search)
This collection contains records from the following towns: Abington, Acton, Arlington, Ashburnham, Ashfield, Bellingham, Boston, Bradford, Brimfield, Brockton, Carver, Chester, Dartmouth, Dover, Dracut, Ebridge, Essex, Framingham, Gill, Granville, Groton, Holden, Holliston, Hopkinten, Hummards, Lawrence, Lexington, Lincoln, Lynn, Medford, Medway, Middlefield, Montgomery, New Ashford, New Bedford, New Braintree, Pembroke, Rehobeth, Richmond, Shelburne, Shrewsbury, Shirley, Sturbridge, Taunton, Templeton, Tewksbury, Tisbury, Tyringham, Wayland, Washington, Watertown, Westminster, Westport, West Springfield, Winchendon, Windsor, and Worthingham.

Barnstable County

Berkshire County

Bristol County

Dukes County

  • Edgartown
    Index to Death and Marriage Notices in the Vineyard Gazette 1884 – 1939

Essex County







Suffolk (many of these towns later appeared in other counties)

Worcester County Boston Vital Records, 1630-99
Believed to contain all the birth, marriage, and death records of the first seventy years of Boston, this work was intended to be comprehensive. As a result this database contains over thirty thousand vital records as reported to the Records Commission between 1630 and 1699. In addition to these vital records, baptisms in the Boston First Church for the same time period are included. The database is organized by year and category (i.e. birth, marriage, and death, respectively) and nearly every entry includes parents (in births) and spouses (in marriage and deaths) along with the date of the event.  (Requires Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!! Massachusetts State Database
A large collection of databases of births, deaths, marriages, census, obituaries, directories, estate records, and service records.  Get 14 Days Free Access!!!

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