Search for Death Records in Massachusetts

Free Massachusetts Death Records Lookup

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Our comprehensive guide to the death records in the state of Massachusetts will help you in finding death records as well as provide you with relevant information about the deceased and the life they lived.

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Death Records in Massachusetts -
The Ultimate Guide 2024

Massachusetts Death Records

RVRS is responsible for administering and issuing vital records in the state of Massachusetts from 1926 to date. RVRS also provides statistics on deaths and fetal deaths. This data is used by medical researchers as well as state and local health programs to understand the state population, promote state wellness and ensure health equity. The registry is responsible for managing and preserving the statewide Vital Records, seeing to it that the records are publicly available. They also ensure that the statistics are available to researchers, communities and public health system planners. 

Massachusetts Death Records

Massachusetts Death Databases

The state of Massachusetts has been filing death records since the early 1600s with statewide registration beginning in 1841.

Massachusetts Death Databases

Before 1841

For deaths that happened during this era, there are a couple of databases that include digital images and name indexes that you can try. One of them is the Massachusetts Vital Records Project, a free site that provides images and transcriptions of vital records in the state from 1600 to 1850. This collection includes records of more than 150 towns in the state. can be accessed for free at various family history centers, and it provides images and databases of town records including death data. This collection has over 260 town records from 1620 to 1988. 

1841 to 1925

Massachusetts was the first state ever to start vital records statewide registration in 1841. While the city of Boston had started keeping death records before this time, they did not start reporting these vital statistics until 1850. The Massachusetts Archives houses records from 1841 to 1925, with data being transferred to the archives every five years. 

1926 to Present

Death records starting in 1926 to date present are held at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Vital Records & Statistics registry.

Death Certificates in Massachusetts

A death certificate is a permanent public record of the disease or injury responsible for the death (the cause of death) and the explanation of how the cause arose (the manner of death). Death certificates are public record, so any member of the public can obtain a copy at the city or town clerk’s office where the death occurred. Death certificates are created for all cases that our office examines.

In the state of Massachusetts, death records start off as private records then they become publicly available 75 years after the record file date. There are restrictions to obtaining death certificates for individuals who passed on within the last 75 years. Below is a list of people who are eligible to request for a death certificate:

Death Certificates in Massachusetts

How to Find Massachusetts Death Records

Obtaining Massachusetts death records from is the most dependable method of doing so. Following your registration for an account, you will have complete access to the death records for the state of Massachusetts as soon as you log in to the platform. The following are a few simple steps to get you started:

Step 1:  Go to and sign in using your email address and password.

How to Find Death Records Step 1

Step 2: Use the buttons at the very top of the user page to navigate through the options. When you click on the “Search” button, the Massachusetts state death records page is loaded.

How to Find Death Records Step 2

Step 3: Check the box next to “Vital Records,” then click on the “Death” button just below it. Thus, the site eliminates all other records and only displays death records, which you can then download.

How to Find Death Records Step 3

Step 4: Key in as much information about the deceased as you can remember about them.

How to Find Death Records Step 4

Step 5: The state of Massachusetts should be entered in the ‘Location’ box. As soon as you begin typing, you will notice that the website will provide a match for you.

Step 6: You will be presented with a list of records; you will need to scroll through the list until you find the person whose records you are interested in viewing.

Step 7: Click on the name of the deceased to view the death record that is currently available online. In most cases, you will be able to obtain their full name as well as their maiden name if they were previously married. You can also find out about their burial arrangements, such as whether they were cremated or buried, and whether a biographical sketch is available.

Alternative Sources for Massachusetts Death Information

Massachusetts Death Records FAQs

What is an Official Death Certificate?

An official death certificate refers to a death certificate that is issued directly by the Massachusetts state government or any similar organization. This documents contains information such as the individual’s name, physical address, date of birth, and date of death. 

What are death records?

Death records are official files that give any useful information about a deceased individual. If you’re doing genealogical research, these records come in handy as they contain most of the information you’d need to learn more about your ancestry. Most death records are held by the state the deceased lived or died in, but they lack the burial state of the deceased. Both cemeteries and churches hold death records, as with state governments. Information you can obtain from death records includes the full name, date of birth, date of death, and place of death.

Are Massachusetts Death Records Open to the Public?

According to the Massachusetts Revised Statutes, vital records such as birth records, divorce records, marriage records, adoption records, death records, and other life records are available to all eligible parties with a direct relationship to the person named on the record.

What Information Do I Need to Search for Massachusetts Death Records Online?

Requesters who wish to get a hold of a death record must be well acquainted with basic facts associated with it including:


The state of Massachusetts is extremely particular about the accuracy of its tax and voting records, and this is reflected in its state records. As a result, they strive to keep a comprehensive death record up to date. Following the death of a person, tax collectors contact family members or next of kin to collect any unpaid state taxes that may be owed to the state. In the event of a probate proceeding, these death records will be extremely useful because your family members or next of kin will not have any difficulties in obtaining any legal information. With our comprehensive guide to Massachusetts death record searches, you’ll be able to locate any type of record that you might require in a matter of minutes.

Disclaimer: OurPublicRecords mission is to give people easy and affordable access to public record information, but OurPublicRecords does not provide private investigator services or consumer reports, and is not a consumer reporting agency per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You may not use our site or service or the information provided to make decisions about employment, admission, consumer credit, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance.

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