GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2009-01 > 1231644429
From: "Sue Richart" <>
Subject: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] NEHGS Mass Vital Records 1841-1910: Figuring outamended records
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 19:27:09 -0800
Here is a process for figuring out if an entry is an amended record or not
using the New England Historic Genealogical Society's Massachusetts Vital
Records 1841-1910 on-line database at www.newenglandancestors.org . This is
more complex than I like, but it is the best I could come up with.
I'm using this entry, Colby* Harold Eugene Springfield 1908 68 96 Birth, as
an example for the explanation.
When you call up the image and nothing appears, look at the volume and page
number designation above the image field to see if it states an entry is an
amended record. As I verify if an entry is amended, I put in the image page
field the statement: "Amended Record-No image available". If that
designation is above the image area, you will know it is an amended entry
for I've already verified it. I've done that with the Colby entry, so you
can see what it looks like.
An entry with an asterisk in the name field is an amended entry 99 percent
of the time. There are double asterisk entries (those are out-of-sequence
entries in the original index where the clerk is indicating there is an
entry elsewhere on that page that is not in alphabetical order), that had a
scanning error on the volume and appears to be an amended record, but
arent'. I have even seen an entry in an original index volume indicating it
is an amended record with the asterisk and proper looking volume number, but
it wasn't, just a typo by the clerk. Fortunately, so far I've found only
one entry like this. To verify if your entry fits the pattern for amended
records, you should do a few things.
First: Leaving name fields blank, call up the town (Springfield), year
(1908), and type (Birth) on the query page. Look to see what page number
range the entries are for that town and year. If the likely amended record
has the same page number as the regular volume number, check the image for
the regular volume number to see if the entry is on that page. If one of the
page numbers is very close, i.e. 435 and there is a 433 or 438 or 453, look
at the image(s) for those pages, as that could have had a scanning error
also. If not likely, go to step two.
Second: Enter in the volume number for the possible amended record (68) and
type (Birth), and do not enter the page number, town, nor name. If you get
entries in the thousands, look for an early year in the 1840s and 1850s, and
redo your query with a year range after the early valid year(s). For
example, you might want the year range to be 1860 to 1899 or 1900 to 1910.
In the specific example given, no year is required, because volume 68 covers
1852 death records and we are looking for a birth record. Look through the
first few returned pages of entries. If you see a pattern where all the
town names start with A and B, L and M, S and W, or A to H and L to W,
chances are good this is a valid amended record volume number. Then adjust
your query to include the town (Springfield). If there are more than one or
two entries, look to see if the page number follows a pattern of higher for
later year entries and lower for earlier year entries. It appears towns
were assigned page numbers per specific volumes and if your entry falls in
the pattern it is an amended record.
Third: If the entry is amended, go back and query for just the surname for
the year and type, to see if there was an entry for a similar name or just
male/female. There are many entries where the original entry is listed in a
viewable volume. In this case, there is a Male Colby with a 1908
Springfield birth volume 575 page 182, but the record is not listed as
corrected. That doesn't mean that isn't the original entry, but there is no
way to tell just looking at it. That original entry may have all the
information you need and may even point to the amended record number. If
nothing matches, you either must request the entry from the Massachusetts
State Archives or the Town Clerk. As the Town Clerk has the original
entries and the Archives has copies, the Town Clerk is the preferred option.
The NEHGS does not have any amended entry images.
To be sure before purchasing a record from either the archives or town
clerk, please email me and I'll check the index image for that entry. About
10 percent of the time there are errors that make figuring this out a bit
challenging, so asking me to check the index is the best way to be sure.
There are some entries I haven't yet found in the index and will let you
know if that is the case. I'm still working on fixing amended entry errors
and it will probably take another two months before I finish. I've gone
through most, but not all marriage and death likely amended records up to
volume 102, but the bulk of amended records are births and I've only done a
|[GENMASSACHUSETTS] NEHGS Mass Vital Records 1841-1910: Figuring outamended records by "Sue Richart" <>|