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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

The colonial clergy and the colonial churches of New England - Weis, Frederick Lewis 
Call Number: Special Collections BR 520 W4 1936, Stacks BR 520 W4
"A complete list of New England colonial churches and clergymen of all denominations" from 1620-1776. Offers an alphabetical list of the clergy with brief biographical sketches and a list of the churches with the corresponding clergy for each.

Early Connecticut marriages as found on ancient church records prior to 1800 - Bailey, Frederic W. 
Call Number: F 93 B16
The "most complete collection extant of printed Connecticut church marriage records" to 1800. A 7-volume work solely of church records. Each volume contains a surname index. "The first settlers of Connecticut came from Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colonies and located at Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield."

Les mariages de Notre-Dame, Central Falls, R.I. (1873-1979) 
Call Number: F 89 C33 M37 1982

Marriages of Notre-Dame, Springvale, Me., 1887-1981, and of St. Michael, South Berwick, Me., 1886-1982, and of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Berwick, Me., 1927-1982 - Labonte, Youville 
Call Number: F 29 S685 L33 1985

Marriages of St. John, Rumsford, Me., 1866-1939 and of St. Theresa, Mexico, Me., 1927-1939 - Labonte, Youville 
Call Number: F 29 R8 L29 1995

New England marriages prior to 1700 - Torrey, Clarence Almon 
Call Number: F 3 T67 1985
"A principal resource for seventeenth-century New England genealogy" and the first place to search for information "about any married New Englander who lived here prior to 1700." A record of 37,000 "known or presumed marriages that occurred prior to 1700." Covers 99% of all New England marriages. Also includes the New York counties of Nassau, Queens, Suffolk, and Westchester and Long Island and marriages "that occurred prior to a couple's settlement in New England, usually in Holland or England." Lists married "couples for whom no marriage record exists, but whose marriage can be proved or inferred indirectly," through other documents. Entries appear alphabetically by the groom's name. Each includes the names of the bride and groom, their years of birth and death (if known), the marriage date, the place of marriage, the place of principal residence, and "subsequent known places of residence."The printed volume does not list the thousands of references (essentially everything in print through 1960) Torrey examined. The CD-ROM version, which the W.E.B. Du Bois Library does not own, includes the list of sources Torrey consulted.

Second supplement to Torrey's New England marriages prior to 1700 - Sanborn, Melinde Lutz 
Call Number: F 3 T67 1985 Suppl. 2

Supplement to Torrey's New England marriages prior to 1700 - Sanborn, Melinde Lutz 
Call Number: F 3 T67 1985 Suppl.
Summarizes post-1960 data for approximately 700 couples. The information is drawn mainly from periodicals, but includes "some printed source records, unpublished primary data, and the private research of several genealogists." "Contains only references to additional, or supplementary, information, published in the form of corrections, new discoveries, significant new biographical detail or deletions to, Torrey's original work." "Predominantly an index to the major genealogical journals published since 1960."

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

  • Marriage licenses - Connecticut
  • Marriage records - Maine - Troy (Town)