Obtaining death certificates is a process that can be initiated at the State Registry of Vital Statistics in Boston or at any local town or city clerk's office throughout the Commonwealth.
The Registry maintains an extensive record dating back to 1931, which encompasses the entire state. However, if you seek documentation from an earlier period, the Massachusetts State Archives, located in Columbia Point, Boston, will be your resource.
Moreover, every municipality in Massachusetts maintains its own ledger of deaths that occurred within its borders or among its residents. This is a critical resource for obtaining specific information about individuals who may have lived in or passed away in a particular town or city.
It's pretty simple.
A state-certified death certificate serves as legal proof of a person's passing. There are many reasons why you may need a certified copy of a Massachusetts death certificate, such as:
You can obtain a state-certified copy of a Massachusetts death certificate here or at the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
Either one is identical as they originate from the same source.
If you only need a copy for your records, say for general information, but still want a certified copy, a city or town death certificate should fill the need.
You can obtain a city or town-certified death certificate by contacting the town or city clerk's office in Massachusetts in the town or city where the decedent died or officially resided.
Some larger cities, such as Worcester and Boston, have online death order forms on their websites, but many smaller towns, such as Granby, still only accept mail-in or walk-in applications.
The biggest plus of city/town certificates - they are generally less expensive than state-certified copies. The biggest minus - except post-2015 death certificates - is that they do not contain all of the same information as on state-certified records. They can take longer to obtain, are less official than state copies (printed on lightweight paper with no watermarks), and do not always include the exact causes of death.
Most importantly, some state agencies, such as the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security, refuse to accept them. This non-acceptance is especially true if you live in California, Colorado, or outside the country.
If you want the information for a family history project, we also offer transcribed death records for genealogical purposes.
We do not certify our transcriptions and you should not use them for official purposes. However, our team will email you the transcriptions in PDF format within 10-14 business days of your order placement.
Rest assured, we understand the importance of accuracy and timeliness regarding transcription services. That's why we deliver your transcriptions promptly and to the best of our abilities. While these transcriptions may not be certified, our team of experienced professionals strives to ensure their reliability and accuracy.
So, if you need transcription services, don't hesitate to choose us. We guarantee quality and efficient service that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.
For your clarity, here is an example of a Massachusetts transcribed death record.
Transcriptions are recorded directly from the state death certificates at the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics in Boston by the staff at Massachusetts Document Retrieval. All genealogical-related information is painstakingly recorded, checked, and rechecked for spelling and accuracy.
Order a transcribed death record today for your Massachusetts family history project!
"Massachusetts has no such thing as a restricted or impounded death record. Therefore, all death records, including the specific cause(s) of death and place of cremation or burial, are public records and open to inspection to anyone."
Source: Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Boston, Massachusetts
Yes, they are public records. Massachusetts State Law: "Chapter 46: Return and registry of births, marriages, and deaths" state death records are public records.
"Death certificates are public record, so any member of the public can obtain a copy at the city or town clerk's office where the death occurred."
Source: Official Website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts
"All Massachusetts death records are available for review, inspection, transcribing, or purchasing certified copies."