World Archives Project: Massachusetts, Vital Records, 1700-1850

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This collection consists of birth, marriage, and death records from the state of Massachusetts that took place between the years of 1700 and 1850.

Contents

Project Overview

View Keying Standards
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Project Instructions
This collection consists of birth, marriage, and death records from the state of Massachusetts that took place between the years of 1700 and 1850. The records found in this collection are organized in alphabetical order. Each record that has a name AND a date should be keyed. Please do not key records that consist of only a name, or records that consist of only a date. There are a total of 34 fields to be keyed in this collection, with approximately 20-30 fields per Form Type.

What Names Should I Key?
Key every name that has a date that can also be keyed. This includes any birth, baptism, marriage, death, or burial date. The spouse, mother, and father names should also be keyed when they appear.

Project Form Types and Field Helps
Birth
Marriage
Death
Cover page, Section header, etc.
Image with no data

Special Instructions
Please use the list of abbreviations below to assist in keying.
a. - age
abt. - about
b. - born
bp. - baptized
bur. - buried
ch. - child
chn. - children
d. - daughter (may occasionally indicate died or day, as well)
h. - husband
hrs. - hours
inf. - infant
int. - publishment of intention of marriage
m. - married (may occasionally indicate month, as well)
s. - son
w. - wife (may occasionally indicate week, as well)
wid. - widow
widr. - widower
y. - year

Birth

47458 Birth Key 1.JPG

Choose the birth form type for images with "Births" found written in the header.

Birth Keying Instructions

Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The name of the primary person will typically be written in surname, given format and will be found at the beginning of each record.

Surname

Key the surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The name of the primary person will typically be written in surname, given format and will be found at the beginning of each record.

Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III," following the surname of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Gender

Key the sex or gender as an abbreviation from the record. Gender will need to be inferred for an individual based off whether they are a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father of an individual, or by gender specific prefixes. If gender cannot be reasonably inferred, then leave this field blank.

Male - may be indicated by the abbreviations/keywords "s.", "widr.", "h.", "man", or something similar. Female - may be indicated by the abbreviations/keywords "d.", "w.", "wid.", "woman", or something similar.

Birth Place

Key the birth place as seen on the record. The birth place may include any combination of city, county, state, or country names. When present, the birth place may be found following the abbreviation "b.".

Father Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The father may be found following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

Father Surname

Key the surname of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The father may be found following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

NOTE - We do not expect the father surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the father, when present.

Mother Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The mother may be found written after the father's name following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

Mother Surname

Key the surname of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The mother may be found written after the father's name following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

NOTE - We do not expect the mother surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the mother, when present.

Mother Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the mother maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Only prefix values should be keyed into the prefix field.

Spouse Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For marriage records, the spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record. For birth and death records, the spouse name may follow the abbreviations "h." for husband of, "w." for wife of, "wid." for widow of, "widr." for widower of, or something similar.

Spouse Surname

Key the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record.

For marriage records, the spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record. For birth and death records, the spouse name may follow the abbreviations "h." for husband of, "w." for wife of, "wid." for widow of, "widr." for widower of, or something similar.

Spouse Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III", following the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the spouse maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Event Day

Key the day in its numerical form from the event date. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Event Month

Key the month as an abbreviation from the event date using the dictionary provided for assistance. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Event Year

Key the year in its numerical form from the event date. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Baptism Day

Key the day in its numerical form from the baptism date. When present, the baptism date may be found on birth records following the abbreviation "bp.".

Baptism Month

Key the month as an abbreviation from the baptism date using the dictionary provided for assistance. When present, the baptism date may be found on birth records following the abbreviation "bp.".

Baptism Year

Key the year in its numerical form from the baptism date. When present, the baptism date may be found on birth records following the abbreviation "bp.".

Birth Image Samples

Once you open the image you can click on it to enlarge it.

Marriage

47458 Marriage Key1.JPG

Choose the marriage form type for images with "Marriages" found written in the header.

Marriage Keying Instructions

Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The name of the primary person will typically be written in surname, given format and will be found at the beginning of each record.

Surname

Key the surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The name of the primary person will typically be written in surname, given format and will be found at the beginning of each record.

Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III," following the surname of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Birth Place

Key the birth place as seen on the record. The birth place may include any combination of city, county, state, or country names. When present, the birth place may be found following the abbreviation "b.".

Event Age

Key the age at the time the record was recorded. If present, age may be found next to the abbreviation "a." or may be written directly after the name of the primary person.

Valid ages include numeric digits between "0" and "120" or certain acceptable fractions for ages displayed in months only. If an age includes years, months, and/or days key only the years. For example, “10 years, 7 months” would be keyed as “10". If an age includes both a year and a fraction, key only the year. For example, “3 3/12” would be keyed as "3". If an age appears only in months, key age as a fraction. For example, “7 Months” would be keyed as “7/12” and “18 Months” would be keyed as "18/12". If an age is expressed in weeks, days, or hours, “0” (zero) should be keyed as the age. For example, “3 weeks” would be keyed as “0” and “8 weeks” would be keyed as “0”.

Father Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The father may be found following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

Father Surname

Key the surname of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The father may be found following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

NOTE - We do not expect the father surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the father, when present.

Mother Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The mother may be found written after the father's name following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

Mother Surname

Key the surname of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The mother may be found written after the father's name following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

NOTE - We do not expect the mother surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the mother, when present.

Mother Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the mother maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Only prefix values should be keyed into the prefix field.

Spouse Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For marriage records, the spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record. For birth and death records, the spouse name may follow the abbreviations "h." for husband of, "w." for wife of, "wid." for widow of, "widr." for widower of, or something similar.

Spouse Surname

Key the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record.

For marriage records, the spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record. For birth and death records, the spouse name may follow the abbreviations "h." for husband of, "w." for wife of, "wid." for widow of, "widr." for widower of, or something similar.

Spouse Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III", following the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the spouse maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Birth Place

Key the spouse birth place as seen on the record. The spouse birth place may include any combination of city, county, state, or country names. When present, the spouse birth place may be found following the abbreviation "b.".

Spouse Age

Key the age at the time the record was recorded. If present, age may be found next to the abbreviation "a." or may be written directly after the name of the spouse.

Valid ages include numeric digits between "0" and "120" or certain acceptable fractions for ages displayed in months only. If an age includes years, months, and/or days key only the years. For example, “10 years, 7 months” would be keyed as “10". If an age includes both a year and a fraction, key only the year. For example, “3 3/12” would be keyed as "3". If an age appears only in months, key age as a fraction. For example, “7 Months” would be keyed as “7/12” and “18 Months” would be keyed as "18/12". If an age is expressed in weeks, days, or hours, “0” (zero) should be keyed as the age. For example, “3 weeks” would be keyed as “0” and “8 weeks” would be keyed as “0”.

Spouse Father Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the father of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The spouse father name may be found following the abbreviations "d." for daughter of, "ch." for child of, or "s." for son of.

Spouse Father Surname

Key the surname of the father of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The spouse father name may be found following the abbreviations "d." for daughter of, "ch." for child of, or "s." for son of.

NOTE - We do not expect the spouse father surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the spouse father, when present.

Spouse Mother Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the mother of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The spouse mother name may be found written after the spouse father name following the abbreviations "d." for daughter of, "ch." for child of, or "s." for son of.

Spouse Mother Surname

Key the surname of the mother of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The spouse mother name may be found written after the spouse father name following the abbreviations "d." for daughter of,"ch." for child of, or "s." for son of.

NOTE - We do not expect the spouse mother surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the spouse mother, when present.

Spouse Mother Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the spouse mother maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Event Day

Key the day in its numerical form from the event date. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Event Month

Key the month as an abbreviation from the event date using the dictionary provided for assistance. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Event Year

Key the year in its numerical form from the event date. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Marriage Image Samples

Once you open the image you can click on it to enlarge it.

Death

47458 Death Key 1.JPG

Choose the death form type for images with "Deaths" found written in the header.

Death Keying Instructions

Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The name of the primary person will typically be written in surname, given format and will be found at the beginning of each record.

Surname

Key the surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The name of the primary person will typically be written in surname, given format and will be found at the beginning of each record.

Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III," following the surname of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Gender

Key the sex or gender as an abbreviation from the record. Gender will need to be inferred for an individual based off whether they are a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father of an individual, or by gender specific prefixes. If gender cannot be reasonably inferred, then leave this field blank.

Male - may be indicated by the abbreviations/keywords "s.", "widr.", "h.", "man", or something similar. Female - may be indicated by the abbreviations/keywords "d.", "w.", "wid.", "woman", or something similar.

Birth Place

Key the birth place as seen on the record. The birth place may include any combination of city, county, state, or country names. When present, the birth place may be found following the abbreviation "b.".

Event Age

Key the age at the time the record was recorded. If present, age may be found next to the abbreviation "a." or may be written directly after the name of the primary person.

Valid ages include numeric digits between "0" and "120" or certain acceptable fractions for ages displayed in months only. If an age includes years, months, and/or days key only the years. For example, “10 years, 7 months” would be keyed as “10". If an age includes both a year and a fraction, key only the year. For example, “3 3/12” would be keyed as "3". If an age appears only in months, key age as a fraction. For example, “7 Months” would be keyed as “7/12” and “18 Months” would be keyed as "18/12". If an age is expressed in weeks, days, or hours, “0” (zero) should be keyed as the age. For example, “3 weeks” would be keyed as “0” and “8 weeks” would be keyed as “0”.

Father Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The father may be found following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

Father Surname

Key the surname of the father of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The father may be found following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

NOTE - We do not expect the father surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the father, when present.

Mother Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space. The mother may be found written after the father's name following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

Mother Surname

Key the surname of the mother of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The mother may be found written after the father's name following the abbreviations "s." for son, "d." for daughter, "ch." for child, or "inf." for infant.

NOTE - We do not expect the mother surname field to be populated very often. There will typically only be a given name listed for the mother, when present.

Mother Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the mother maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Prefix

Key any titles before the given name, such as "Dr," "Mr," or "Mrs," of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Only prefix values should be keyed into the prefix field.

Spouse Given

Key the first name or initial and any middle names of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. Initials may be separated with periods, if periods are found on the image, but initials should otherwise be separated with a space.

For marriage records, the spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record. For birth and death records, the spouse name may follow the abbreviations "h." for husband of, "w." for wife of, "wid." for widow of, "widr." for widower of, or something similar.

Spouse Surname

Key the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance. The spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record.

For marriage records, the spouse name will typically be in given, surname format and may be found as the second name written within the record. For birth and death records, the spouse name may follow the abbreviations "h." for husband of, "w." for wife of, "wid." for widow of, "widr." for widower of, or something similar.

Spouse Suffix

Key all titles, such as "Jr" or "III", following the surname of the spouse of the primary person as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Spouse Maiden

Occasionally an alternate surname may be recorded for an individual. This name may be denoted by parentheses, quotation marks, or may be preceded by the abbreviation "for." or the words "nee" or "formerly." Key the spouse maiden surname as seen on the record using the dictionary provided for assistance.

Event Day

Key the day in its numerical form from the event date. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Event Month

Key the month as an abbreviation from the event date using the dictionary provided for assistance. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Event Year

Key the year in its numerical form from the event date. The event date will typically be found at the end of each record.

Burial Day

Key the day in its numerical form from the burial date. When present, the burial date may be found on death records following the abbreviation "bur.".

Burial Month

Key the month as an abbreviation from the burial date using the dictionary provided for assistance. When present, the burial date may be found on death records following the abbreviation "bur.".

Burial Year

Key the year in its numerical form from the burial date. When present, the burial date may be found on death records following the abbreviation "bur.".

Death Image Samples

Once you open the image you can click on it to enlarge it.

Cover page, Section header, etc.

47458 Capture 1.JPG

Use the “Cover page, Section header, etc” type for images that don’t contain any data, but might be interesting to look at because they provide some type of context for the image set. For instance, historical notes, affidavits, and so forth.

Image Samples



Image with no data


Use the “Image with no data” type for images that don’t contain any data or any useful context that might be interesting for someone to look at. For instance, an image containing only the blank background or an image with a microfilm target on it.