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Massachusetts Research Tips and Strategies

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Massachusetts Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
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The FamilySearch moderator for Massachusetts is Lee Drew.

Massachusetts Research Strategies[edit | edit source]

Below are links to different research strategy pages to help you locate your ancestors in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Research Tips[edit | edit source]

These tips will help you as you research your ancestors in Massachusetts.

  • Birth information: Towns have been recording births in Massachusetts since the 1600s. Statewide registration began in 1841.A helpful substitute record to find birth information is a death record. However, date and place of birth on a death record is considered secondary information, as it was not recorded at the time of the birth event. The birth information should be corroborated with other substitute records to improve accuracy.
  • Finding Parents: Massachusetts towns have been recording deaths since the 1600s. Statewide registration began in 1841. They often will list the parents of the deceased and their birth information. Search Massachusetts death records
  • Look in all censuses: Always look for your ancestor in every possible census. There are clues regarding immigration, naturalization, and occupation that can lead to other records. Sometimes parents can be found living with their children later in life. Search U.S. Censuses.

Massachusetts Record Finder[edit | edit source]

This Record Finder is designed to help you determine the best record to search for the type of information you are looking for. It is most helpful for post-1850 research.

1. What you are looking for: 2. Try these records first: 3. Other useful records
Birth information Birth records, Death records, Obituaries, Church records Cemeteries, Naturalization and Citizenship, Bible records, Military records (pension)
Marriage information Marriage records, Obituaries, Bible records Church records, Probate records, Military records
Death information Death Records, Cemeteries, Obituaries Probate Records, Church Records, Bible Records
Parents Birth recordsDeath records, Obituaries, Census, Church records Biography, Genealogy
Maiden name Marriage Records, Obituaries, Probate records Church Records, Military Records (pension)
Immigration date Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization and Citizenship, Census Obituaries, Biography, History
Naturalization Naturalization and Citizenship, Census, Court Records Voting Registers, Biography, Periodicals
Physical description Military Records, Naturalization and Citizenship (after 1906) Biography, History

Further Massachusetts Research[edit | edit source]

For more research on Massachusetts, including research at the county level, visit the Massachusetts page on the Research Wiki.

Search all of the Massachusetts record collections at FamilySearch.

Ralph J. Crandell. ed. Genealogical Research in New England. Baltimore, Maryland:Genealogical Publishing Co., 1984. FHL 974 D27gr

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