Sunday, July 13, 2008

Massachusetts Vital Records Books on Google Books

While looking for source citations of books with records that I have entered into my family tree databases, I stumbled over a number of Massachusetts Vital Records books for births, marriages and deaths to about 1850 for many towns in Massachusetts.

I have copied many pages out of these books in hard-cover at many repositories, but I had not looked for them in digitized format.

The Massachusetts town books I found digitized on Google Books include:

* Gardner, Worcester County, Massachusetts
* Petersham, Worcester County, Massachusetts
* Princeton, Worcester County, Massachusetts
* Rutland, Worcester County, Massachusetts
* Westminster, Worcester County, Massachusetts

I searched Google Books and found many of the Vital Records to 1850 (the Tan Book series). Many of them are available in Full view, and downloadable as a PDF file, because the copyrights have expired. As a PDF file, each book is searchable using Google search methods.

Bear in mind that not ALL Massachusetts towns had published vital records in the Tan Books, and some that did may still be under copyright. Many New England town records have been published in recent years by NEHGS and other publishers, and some of them might be available on Google Books in Limited Form.

This is a great resource for Massachusetts researchers to have all in one place.

UPDATED 14 July: In Comments to this post, Jennifer noted that she had done the homework necessary for a complete list of the Tan Books available on Google Books - see her Rainy Day Readings blog post at Thanks, Jennifer!


Jennifer said...

Hi Randy,

You're right... there are a plethora of the Tan Books online at Google Books. I would point out my index at RDR, which lists all the full-view MA vital record books I could find:

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