Massachusetts Marriage Records
Marriage Records in Massachusetts
Marriage records contain basic information about the couple that was married. This information includes the names of the two individuals, the date of the marriage, and the place of marriage. Some marriage records will also include the names of the mothers and fathers of the couple. Additionally, some records contain the names of the witnesses to the marriage. Some governmental marriage records contain the maiden names of the mothers as well as the place of residence of the married couple.
A marriage record should not be confused with a marriage license, a marriage announcement, or a marriage index. The marriage license is the legal document that was issued to the couple that was married. The marriage announcement is the public listing of the wedding, in most cases, in a published newspaper.
A marriage index is simply a list of the marriages within a specific location. Typically, such an index includes the names of the bride and groom, the date of the marriage, the name of the county in which the marriage occurred, and either the file number of the license or the volume and page name for a register listing.
In Massachusetts, marriage records after 1906 must be obtained from the state office. Send a written request to the state office for vital records listed below. Marriage records prior to 1906 must be obtained from the state archives office at the address listed below. Send a written request to the state office for vital records listed below. Contact 617-740-2600 for information on record lookup fees, as well as the cost of certified copies of marriage records.
For a successful search for the marriage records that you are trying to locate, follow these steps:
- Print or type each name and address clearly to avoid confusion. This includes the full name of both the husband and the wife. The maiden name should be included for the wife. Include nicknames and alternate spellings that may have been used, but list them as such.
- Keep your request brief and to the point.
- Limit your request to one marriage record.
- Include the full address of the individuals at the time of the marriage, including street, city or town, and state. If you know the county in which the marriage took place, include that as well.
- Include the date that the marriage occurred. If you do not know the date, include a time frame for the search. Generally, it is best to specify a short span of years for an unknown year search. You can always expand the number of years that you search, and a shorter span will lead to a shorter search. You can expect to pay an additional fee for searches such as this that require more effort.
- Include contact information where you can be reached in the event that more information is required. Include a telephone number, fax number, or an e-mail address.
- Include your relationship to the individuals listed in your search request.
- Include the reason for your request.
- Print your name clearly and sign your request. Some states may also require additional identifying information on you as well. Therefore, you may want to include your driverís license number.
- Include a SASE, or self addressed stamped envelope with your request for a speedier delivery.
- Include the date that you mail your request with your correspondence.
To obtain a copy of a marriage record, contact the specific state office as indicated above. Remember to provide as much accurate information as you have available on the subject of the search, sufficient contact information for yourself, and the required fee. Providing the necessary information will speed the process up considerably.
The necessary state offices for Massachusetts are provided here.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
The Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point
150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Telephone: (617) 740-2600
Fax: (617) 825-7755
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
Telephone: (617) 727-2816
FAX: (617) 288-8429
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