US, Massachusetts—State Vital Records, 1841–1920 [Part B]


Project Instructions



Read the Instructions

  • Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
  • Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to the instructions.
  • Click here for a summary of project updates.

Sample Images

Number of Records per Image

  • The data entry area is set at one record per image. If the image contains more than one record, you will need to add records in the data-entry area to match the number of records on the image. To add records:
    1. In the menu bar, click Tools.
    2. Click Records per Image.
    3. Click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image.
    4. Click OK.
  • If the image has fewer than one record, you will need to mark the unused records blank in the data-entry area. To mark a record blank, select any field in the record, and press Ctrl+Shift+B, or: 
    1. In the menu bar, click Edit.
    2. Click Mark Field or Record.
    3. Click Mark Record Blank.

How to Index Places

  • If a place-name was misspelled, spell it correctly.
  • If a place-name was abbreviated and you can determine what the abbreviation stands for, type the complete name instead of the abbreviation.
  • Use the lookup lists for assistance by pressing Ctrl+F. If you are not sure what the locality should be, type the name of the place as it was written on the record.

How to Index Ages

  • Index only full years. If fractions of years were recorded, round down to the nearest full year. If less than one year was recorded, index the age as 0 (zero).

Highlights and Using the Ruler

  • Because of the many forms in this project, highlights are not available. You may use the ruler instead to follow a record across an image.
  • If you choose to use the ruler, please be aware that the ruler is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To see the ruler:
    1. In the menu bar, click View.
    2. Select Show Ruler.

Handwriting Help

  • Many of these records are handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher handwriting.
  • To access this resource, click on the Handwriting Help icon (an inkwell with an orange feather quill).

Additional Information