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Ask a Genealogist: Question about restricted vital records.

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How do I obtain access to a 1937 restricted marriage record? This would be my uncle's record and all parties are deceased.


Within Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 46, access to birth AND marriage records of a child born out-of-wedlock is restricted to that person. Staff at the Registry of Vital Statistics and Records confirm that access restrictions are in force regardless of the death(s) of the groom and bride in the marriage. However, it should be noted that Section 2A of this chapter also states that marriage information under this restriction may be released with an appropriate judicial order from a Massachusetts court, or at the request of that person's "attorney, parent, guardian, or conservator, or a person whose official duties, in the opinion of the town clerk or the commissioner of public health, as the case may be, entitle him to the information contained therein." The Registry can be contacted for additional information at:

Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics

150 Mount Vernon St., 1 st Fl.

Dorchester, MA 02125-3105

Main Telephone: (617) 740-2600

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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