There is no history at this time. If someone will provide me with one, I'll put it in.

If any record of Births, Marriages, and Deaths in Concord was kept previously to the year 1640, such record has not been preserved. It is very probable that the early colonists took no pains to make public registration of such matters.

In September, 1639, the General Court ordered that "records be kept of the days of every marriage, birth, and death of every person within this jurisdiction." No particular officer was charged with this duty in the several towns, but "Mr. Stephen Winthrop was chosen to record things at Boston."

In June, 1642, the General Court ordered that the "Clerks of the Writs" in the several towns should record all births and deaths, and deliver a return of the same yearly to the Recorder of the court belonging to the jurisdiction in which they live. Persons authorized to marry were to return the names of persons married by them, and the date of the marriages, to the Recorder of the court.

In compliance with these requirements of law, two returns of births and deaths, one in 1644 and one in 1645, were made by Simon Willard to the Recorder at Boston. The original volume is now in the office of the City Registrar at Boston, together with a copy made in the year 1856. In 1851 a copy of that portion of the record relating to towns in Middlesex County was made under the direction of the County Commissioners, and now forms a part of the first volume of the Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths in Middlesex County, in the office of the Clerk of the Courts at Cambridge. This copy contains some errors, which are here corrected in foot-notes. These returns have been printed in the N.E. Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. IV, p. 271, and Vol. VIII, p. 347.

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 followed the others. Nicknames would appear alphabeticall 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.