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Keeping Watch Over Massachusetts Public Records
Create Your Health Pedigree Here!
When you visit your doctor do you have to fill out a lengthy family health history questionnaire? Physicians use these to diagnose and treat us because it helps them assess our risk factors for certain diseases. You can blow your doctor away by completing a family health pedigree and bringing it to your next appointment!
But what if you don't know your family members' exact cause of death or ages at death? Sometimes this information does not get passed down in families because it is too sad, or just too long ago. And frequently you'll hear a cause of death as "old age" or "broken heart." So what can you do if you want more exact details?
If you are lucky enough to live in Massachusetts you can pay a visit to the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics at Columbia Point in Dorchester, right off Route 93. Massachusetts death records up to the present day are open and accessible to the public for a fee, thanks in no small part to the dogged efforts of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council to keep them that way.
Massachusetts passed a law in 1639 requiring the town clerks to keep track of births, deaths, and marriages, and as a result we have the most complete vital records in the nation. MGC works hard to make sure that these records stay open, for so many reasons, health histories being one of them.
Every state now records vital records, but many of them are closed. This closure is harmful because it prevents people from knowing their own health histories. Why not check your own state and see what the regulations are? If you don't like them you can make your voice heard. MGC has lots of experience and we are happy to help you.
In the meantime, click on the chart above, to open a fillable pdf document that you can fill out online, then save to your computer and print out. We hope this helps you and your doctors to keep you healthy.