Massachusetts Vital Records.
Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates.

  • Certified or transcribed records of most Massachusetts birth, marriage and or death certificates from 1926 and up to the present, can be ordered directly from this web site.

  • Discover the type of detail contained in each Massachusetts birth, marriage, and or death record before you request a search.

  • You can also find out how to obtain a state certified birth, marriage or death record in person or through the mail.

"Most vital records in the state, including birth, marriage, divorce and death records, are considered Massachusetts public records and can be viewed and or purchased by anyone. Records not accessible to the public include sealed, impounded or restricted records. These can include adoptions, a birth out of wedlock or a marriage under legal age."

This policy of "open access" is highly unusual for most states do not allow access for a specified period of time. The neighboring state of Rhode Island for example, does not allow access to death records until 50 years after the event and 100 years for births and marriages.

Massachusetts by far has one of the most complete and preserved collection of vital records of any state in the country. In fact as early as 1841, it was the first state in the country to attempt a statewide centralization of vital records.

Because of that centralization, researchers looking for Massachusetts public recods have the good fortune, if they choose, of searching literally two sets of records. Every vital event - birth, marriage or death - must be recorded by the town or city clerk where the event occurred. A copy of this record is then sent to the state recording office. Hence, the two sets of records.

For researchers, this is truly a bonanza for if the town, city or even the county is not known, the statewide indexes can be consulted.

If the town or city is known, researchers can access records directly from the local town or city clerk's office. This is especially helpful when dealing with a common surname such as Smith, Jones or Brown.

Be aware however, that occasionally not all vital records were forwarded to the state. This was rare, but it did happen. Also, not all information recorded on the vital record was reported to the state. This too is a rare find. To be sure, one should always consult the detail at both locations if there is ever a doubt or question. It's also true that not every vital event was recorded. That's especially true of pre 20th century records.

Though some minor gaps in record locations do exist, the current statewide repository of vital records within the state can be succinctly divided into two main collections, or locations.

  • Statewide Location Of Vital Records

  • Each of these collections, or locations, are described in more detail by following the appropriate link. Both locations are based on the date on which the vital record event took place:

  • 1926 and Up Through the Present (State Registry of Vital Records and Statistics)**

    **With the new electronic records system, most birth and death records are usually recorded within a few days of the event. Marriage records however can take 9 months or more to be indexed at the Department of Health.

  • 1841 - 1925 (Massachusetts State Archives)

  • Before 1841 (Town and or City Halls)

    For original records before 1841, your best bet is to contact the city or town in which the event occurred. In addition, each town or city clerk always has and still does, record every vital record in that town - right up to the present.

  • Massachusetts Vital Record Links

  • General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 46: Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths.

  • General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 210: Adoption of Children and Change of Name.

  • Vital record information for all other states.




 Vital Records

Birth Certificate 

Marriage Certificate

Divorce Decree

Death Certificate 

Probate Records

You can easily order a 
probate file
, such as a will, a name change, a guardianship file or an administration file.


United States
Naturalization Records

Researched as an overall family history project. We do not provide individual lookups.

Census Records

Researched as part of an overall family history ptoject. We do not provide individual lookups.

 City Directories

Researched as part of an overall family history project. We do not provide individual lookups.

Massachusetts Cemetery Research

Researched as part of an overall family history project. We do not provide individual lookups.



Custom Research Projects
 Are Available !

Send us an email to request a specific research project.

 We'll respond ASAP with a price quote and estimation of time to complete your request.

Research Guides


Probate Courts

Registry of Deeds

Daily Newspapers

Research Links

Contents of Massachusetts Vital Records ] Massachusetts Vital Records From 1635 - 1841 ] Massachusetts Vital Records From 1841 - 1925 ] Massachusetts Vital Records From 1926 - to the Present ] Massachusetts Divorce Record Files - Order Online! ]

Massachusetts Document Retrieval ] Massachusetts Census Records ] [ Massachusetts Newspapers ] Massachusetts Land & Deed Records - Research Value ] [ Naturalization Records in New England] Massachusetts City Directories ] Massachusetts Probate Records - Wills - Order Online! ] Massachusetts Guide to Genealogical Research - Tools and Finding Aids ] Massachusetts Cemetery Research Services ] [ Massachusetts Vital Records - Order Online! ]

About Us | Privacy Statement | Contact Information


 Massachusetts Document Retrieval BBB Business Review

Massachusetts Document Retrieval
North Easton, MA 02356

VOICE TEL: 1.617.765.4810    Orders by Phone are NOT accepted


1997 - 2022 Copyright. All rights reserved. Massachusetts Document Retrieval.


PRRN logo.member.old.web.jpg