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UMass Amherst Libraries


A guide to selected genealogical resources at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.


In New England town clerks registered marriages. Churches kept some of the earliest and most complete records and newspapers printed engagement and marriage announcements. Marriage information also appears in census schedules, pension applications, vital records, and city directories; and on tombstones. The Systematic Series of vital records to 1850 for 206 Massachusetts communities includes lists of births, marriages, and deaths. The following selections illustrate the variety of marriage records available in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Selective List of Materials in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library

Early files of courts [microform]/Suffolk County.
Call Number: Microfilm A 1192 5 reels
Reel 3 Index to births, marriages, deaths, 1637-1774
An alphabetical surname list which gives the individual's first name and whether the record is for a birth (b), marriage (m), or death (d). The number on the right indicates the document's location on Reels 4 and 5. References to towns, such as "Scituate marriages" and "Rehoboth (Town of)" also appear.
Reels 4 and 5 Births, marriages, deaths, 1634-August, 1774
Most items are numbered sequentially. Documents may have been filmed several times for clarity.

Early Massachusetts marriages prior to 1800 - Bailey, Frederic W. 
Call Number: F 63 B16
"The most complete collection of early Massachusetts marriages ever published." Divided into three parts - the official records of Worcester County; Plymouth County; and Middlesex, Hampshire, Berkshire, and Bristol counties. Each section contains a surname index.

Medway, Massachusetts births, marriages, and deaths, 1850-1900 - Donovan, Francis D. 
Call Number: F 74 M55 D65 1995

Records of the Church of Christ at Cambridge in New England, 1632-1830, comprising the ministerial records of baptisms, marriages, deaths, admission to covenant and communion, dismissals and church proceedings - First Church (Cambridge, Mass.) 
Call Number: F 74 C1 C466

The records of Trinity Church, Boston, 1728-1830 - Trinity Church (Boston, Mass.) 
Call Number: F 61 C71
Volume 56 List and index of marriages, 1737-1829

Report of the record commissioners of the City of Boston - Boston (Mass.). Registry Dept. 
Call Number: F 73.1 B74
Provides the names of the bride and groom, the marriage date, and often the name of the person who performed the marriage.
Volume 9 Boston births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, 1630-1699
"Believed to contain every entry of birth, death, and marriage recorded as happening in the town of Boston in the first seventy years of its existence."
Volume 28 Boston marriages, 1700-1751
Also includes "intentions filed, marriages not recorded in Boston," "marriages from court records, 1716-1731," "out-of-town marriages from court records," "marriages not recorded in town records" (listed by church), and a name index.

Social register, Boston 
Call Number: F 73.22 S65 1898, 1906, 1939-1940
Records "the full names and addresses of members of prominent families grouped together, the clubs to which they belong, and the marriage and death of each person as it may occur." A list of marriages for that particular year and an alphabetical list of the maiden names of married women ("Married Maidens") appears at the end of each volume.

St. Jean-Baptiste, Lowell, MA, 1869-1910 - Labonte, Youville 
Call Number: F 74 L9 L33 1995

A volume of records relating to the early history of Boston: containing miscellaneous papers - Boston (Mass.). Registry Dept. 
Call Number: F 73.1 B74
Volume 30 Boston marriages from 1752 to 1809
Provides the names of the bride and groom, the marriage date, and, frequently, the name of the person who performed the marriage. Also includes some "marriages out of town prior to 1800," "marriage intentions," and a name index.

Find More

Search the Five College Catalog by Subject. Examples of subject searches:

  • Marriage licenses - Massachusetts - Kingston
  • Marriage records - Massachusetts - Boston
  • Marriage records - Massachusetts - Lowell
  • Registers of births, etc. - Massachusetts - Plymouth
  • Wilbraham (Mass.: Town) - Genealogy