A personal request - see Request

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries several towns and agencies compiled the vital records of over 200 Massachusetts towns and cities. Using the town records, church records, private records, gravestone inscriptions and newspaper articles, one of the finest collections of published vital records was produced. These came to be known collectively as the "Tan Book" series. These records generally comprise all of the known records from the earliest times to about 1850.

The Massachusetts Vital Records Project, in an ongoing effort, presents here the transcriptions of over 2,000,000 records from over 200 of those towns. Indexed by town and by surname, the transcriptions provide genealogists with an easy to use interface to search for their roots in Massachusetts. For proper documentation the project also provides the images of the books from which the transcriptions are done. With other towns that are not yet transcribed, there are over 3,000,000 researchable records.

There are two ways to search the vital records transcription. Start by selecting from one of these two links or the links in the Navigation Bar at the top of the page.

  1. By Towns, or
  2. by Surnames. Note: When a 404 error is encountered, either note the town and use the Towns index, or insert a lower case "a," with no space, in front of the record type, Births, Marriages or Deaths.

Some modifications of the files is in progress. These modifications are necessary to get ready to convert to the new format and also to get ready for new indexing.

There are several printing companies specializing in genealogical/historical books that do reprints of the books now in the public domain. You can acquire your own reprint copies of the books in hardcover or softcover. See list of books for a complete list and prices from Higginson Books. This is not to be considered an endorsement. Higginson is simply the only printer that would provide me with a list of their available books.

The Genealogical Gleaner's Award page provides links to other sites with vital records. Jane Devlin and Ray Brown also have excellent sites for genealogists.

MA VRs Project
Copyright 2005-'15
The Massachusetts Vital Records Project

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