The Genealogical Information Recorded
in Massachusetts Vital Records
Birth, Marriage and Death
What kind of family information will I find in these records?
"The amount and quality of family genealogical information in a Massachusetts vital record varies not only from the type of record you're looking at, but by the time period in which it was originally recorded."
In general, the older the record, especially older vital record registers from the earlier part of the 20th century - and especially the mid to late 19th century records - though certainly valuable - do not contain as much genealogical information as later records.
Accuracy of the information can also be a factor. Information contained in a death certificate about a persons birth, eighty years before, is sometimes not as accurate as the information contained in that person's marriage record or original birth certificate. The further one "gets away" from the actual event, the more distinct the possibility the genealogical data is not accurate.
The specific information in more contemporary vital records, i.e. post 1925, will usually include most, but, depending on the time span, not all, of the following information: