February 18, 1801, town formed from parts of Greenwich, Hardwick and Petersham.

February 12, 1803, bounds between Dana and Petersham established.

June 19, 1811, bounds between Dana and Greenwich established.

February 4, 1842, parts of Hardwick and Petersham annexed.

April 10, 1882, bounds between Dana and Petersham established.

May 4, 1911, bounds between Dana and Greenwich established.

Population by Census:

1810 625   1850 842   1890 700
1820 664   1860 876   1900 790
1830 623   1870 758   1910 736
1840 691   1880 736   1920 599

When places other than Dana or Massachusetts are named in the original records they are given in the printed text.

In all items from the records the original spelling of the name is given, and any additions made to the spelling of the records are enclosed in brackets.

The various spellings of a name should be examined, as items about the same family or individual may be found under different spellings.

The birth of a married woman is recorded under her maiden name, when it is known. If the maiden name is unknown the entry appears under the husband's name.

The town has no record of births and deaths prior to 1843. Dates of births and deaths previous to that time are taken from the gravestones in the town and are the actual dates as given on the stones. It is not to be inferred that the persons whose births are thus given were all born in this town, as in a great many cases they were not. In taking records from gravestones it is often the case that the family name of a woman as given on the stone is not that under which she was born, therefore many births may appear under a married name instead of the original, which is not shown on the stone. In some cases names are evidently those of wives, though not so specified.

Marriages and intentions are printed under the names of both parties. When both the marriage and intention are recorded, only the marriage record is printed, and the date of the intention is not given, except when needed to make more clear the date of the marriage. When the marriage appears without the intention recorded it is designated with an asterisk.

Additional information which does not appear in the original town record, i.e., any difference shown in other records of the same person, is enclosed in parentheses, with the source of the information indicated.

A general guide to how to use these pages.

If you are new to this site, or haven't used the site a lot, please be sure to read the rest of this page. Even if you have used this site a lot, a refresher may be helpful due to the changes that have been introduced.

You can research the records alphabetically or chronologically within surname. Images of the pages from which the transcriptions were done, and the title pages, are available for most towns. A list of abbreviations used is available.

Alphabetic - This is the most common way that the published vital records were presented. All of the same given names were arranged chronologically with names that had middle initials or middle names following the others. Nicknames would appear alphabetically according to the spelling, i.e. Nabby, the nickname for Abigail, would be with the names beginning with the letter "N."

In this version, the names are sorted based on the most common spelling. Abbie, Abby, Abigail, Knabby, Nabby, etc., will all appear together and will be chronological. Middle initials and middle names have no influence on the order.

Note: There are going to be errors in the indexing of the names. A woman named Abiel may have been recorded as Abby. The indexing will have her with the Abigails. Please notify me with the Contact page about errors and they will be fixed within a couple days.

Chronologic - The chronologic sort will be most helpful with surnames having lots of entries, especially births. Records that had a missing date, or part, have had the missing portions replaced with zeros and will appear ahead of the others.

Page images - The icon at the left of each record is a link to the image of the page from which the transcription was done. The transcriptions are a tool. The image is the source. It is your responsibility to copy the image for your documentation. Also, the title page should be copied. There is a link to the title page in the navigation bar on transcription pages and image display pages.

Abbreviations - Each town had its own abbreviations used in the published records. Most of these are the same. The abbreviations for the headstones (GR), private records (PR), churches (CR), etc. are all different. There is a link to a list of all abbreviations used for the town in the navigation bar of the transcription pages.

Errors - There are two types of errors.

  • Errors in the published records - It is known that errors are in the published records. Not many, to be sure, but they are there. Where I have found them, or have been informed and provided sufficient documentation, the records have been annotated. This appears in [red at the end of the line.]
  • Transcription errors - Even with the best of proofing, errors occur. If you find one, use the Contact link at the top of the page and tell me about the error. I need to have the town name, type of record, page number, what the error is and what it should be. It facilitates matters if you copy and paste the record in error into the e-mail.

Miscellaneous - As the opportunity has provided, I have tried to research names that had only initials or an initial and a surname to find the full names. Where I've been successful I've added the name in red, i.e. J.R. appears as J[ohn] R. or J[ohn] R[ussel].

The alphabetic and chronologic sort orders and many planned improvements require that towns be transcribed. If you can spare two, or more, hours per week to help with the transcribing, write me.

With the exception of the few people helping with transcribing and indexing, I am the only person working on this project. I do all of the technical work. I correct errors. I put transcriptions into final format. I design the pages. This takes a tremendous amount of time and money. If you find this site useful, please donate what you think it is worth to you by going to the donations page.