Timeline – Registration of Early Births, Marriages & Deaths
1647 Marriages – shall be deemed unlawful / children illegitimate unless first published with townsmen; confirmed before head officer & entered in town clerk’s book
1655/6 Marriages – shall be published at town meetings, or on training days or by writing under the hand of the Magistrate at some noted place in the town
1663 Marriages – notification of to be published for 10 days in some public place or by being recorded several times in a public assembly in the town; certificate to be furnished, carried to Town Clerk and placed on record
1665 Marriages - laws of 1647, etc. respecting to be punctually observed; those so joined not according to law to be punished as for fornication
1698 Births, Marriages & Deaths – to be registered with town clerk within 10 days; Town Clerk to make a record of same & return annual account of to the head of each town Magistrate or Chief Justice of the Peace
1701 Marriages – applications to be made to some person of authority within town of residence; publication in writing to be set in some public place for a period of 14 days; those coming from other governments required to produce certificate; names of those married to be returned to town clerk within 3 months Births & Burials – parents to register all children with town clerk within two months
1733 Marriages - ministers and elders of every denomination authorized to perform keep account & make annual return of to Town Clerk
1764 Marriages – £100 fine unless after lawful publication
1767 Marriages – application to be made in the town or towns of residence to those authorized to perform; Intention to be in writing as established by law in some public place for a period of 15 days & in place of worship several times; certificate to be registered with Town Clerk within 1 months / parents to register with Town Clerk all births & burials of children within two months 1839 Marriages – all persons having authority to perform shall file with the clerk of the city or town where such marriage solemnized a certificate within 60 days
1841 Marriage registrations – duty of magistrate or clergyman
1850 (January Session) Births, Marriages & Deaths – duty of the trustees of school districts to secure returns & transmit to Comm. of Public Schools; returns to be filed with Town Clerks & recorded in books furnished for that purpose
1852 (January Session) Births, Marriages & Deaths – duty of the city & town clerks to secure returns & make record same; certified copies to be forwarded to the Secretary of State annually act to go into effect June 1, 1853
Note: Due to various factors the recording of vital events as mandated by the above acts appear to have been scarcely adhered to and/or enforced until Act of 1852
There are annual accruals to this record series.
Restrictions: No special restrictions unless otherwise specified. Birth and marriage records 100 years or older; death records 50 years or older are considered public records. Statutory authority 23 - 3 - 5.1.
Rights: Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.
Scope and Contents: Annual birth registration ledgers compiled from original municipal returns & transcribed in duplicate as official records; one copy retained locally; second forwarded to the State. Includes date & location of birth, color or race of child, names & nativity of parents, occupation of father & birth order. May also include age of parents & name of informant.