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Choice of the Massachusetts Vital Records to the year 1850 ending date.

(Boston, Massachusetts, Vital Records) Permanent link
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: Why was the year 1850 chosen as the cut-off date for the vital records series of Massachusetts?


Answer: My understanding for the choice of the year 1850 was due to the start year of statewide vital records. The Massachusetts Secretary of State required Massachusetts cities and towns to make a return of their births, marriages, and deaths in 1841.  The adjustment to 1850 allows for the fact some towns were not diligent to return all births and marriages.  The least amounts of returns arriving from a community was the city of Boston.  The return for births for Boston did not get adequate until the early 1850’s.

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