Massachusetts Free Public Records Directory


Massachusetts Public Record Directory

Although Massachusetts was the 6th state to be admitted to the Union, it is the home of many firsts in United States history. It became the first permanent English settlement in New England when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. A year later, it was the site of the first Thanksgiving. New College, founded in 1636 and later renamed Harvard University, was the first institution of higher education in the Colonies. Universal public education began in Massachusetts. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first of the Revolutionary War. Basketball and volleyball were invented in Massachusetts. The first telephone call and the first transatlantic wireless transmission took place in Massachusetts. It became a leading manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. Among all states, it is still ranked 1st in education, 1st in broadband access, 5th in health care, and 2nd in business environment

Massachusetts is the 44th largest state by area but has the 15th highest population, giving it the 3rd highest population density. It is bounded by New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, New York to the west, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Its capital and largest city, Boston, has a population of 687,000 and is also the largest city in New England. Other major cities include Worcester in the center of the state and Springfield in the southwest. The western portion of the state is mostly rural. The climate is humid continental, with cold winters and warm summers. Average temperatures range from lows around zero to highs in the mid-80s.

As in its New England neighbors, the town is the basic unit of local government in Massachusetts. Most towns are governed by a town meeting in which all residents may participate. Many towns become cities by law when they adopt a mayor-and-council form of government. All territory in Massachusetts is either a town or a city; there is no unincorporated or unorganized territory. Massachusetts has 14 counties, but most county governments have been abolished, so they now exist only as geographic areas. Only five counties in southeastern Massachusetts (Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Norfolk, and Plymouth) still have county governments, and one (Nantucket) is a combined city/town. Dukes and Nantucket are island counties with small populations.

With its 301 towns and 50 cities as repositories of public records, Massachusetts is a relatively complex state when it comes to record searches. To help you find them, visit our directory below of all types, including court records, public record request policies, recorded documents, and deeds.

Ma
Abbreviation MA
Capital Boston
Population 6,859,819 (2017 est.)
Area size 10,575 sq. mi
Demonym Bay State
Primary languages spoken English, Spanish
Governor Charlie Baker
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito
U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey
U.S. House Delegation 9 Democrats
Time Zone Eastern: UTC -5/-4
*The map and data in the table are from Wikipedia.

Browse by Public Record Category

There are two types of public records: 1) personal public records that document major life milestones such as birth certificates, death certificates, divorce records, and marriage records, etc.; and 2) government records that are made public such as property tax records, recorded land records, voter records, crime data, jail inmate records, and court records. The Freedom of Information Act is a national law that releases government agency public records and makes it possible to view most public records. Since there are a multitude of records available, it can be difficult to know how or where to access them.

Public records law in Massachusetts covers every record “made or received” by a government entity, although it has many exceptions. For example, records of the legislative and judicial branches are not available to the public.

When you are ready to start your search, you’ll find our Public Records Directory website easy to use since all of the records can be searched by federal, state, county, city, town or type of record. The links provided will connect you to the best website for the record search, provide details about the record, or provide contact information for those records without search capabilities.

Find Massachusetts Statewide Public Records

Fast access to Massachusetts public record sources at the state level.

Additional Massachusetts public records links can be found on our Massachusetts county and city level pages using the navigation links above.

Other Massachusetts Public Records

In Massachusetts, it is illegal for a shooting range to set up targets that depict human beings. That’s just one example of unique state laws. Public records differ from state to state too, and some are unique to one state, or just a few states. Some types of public records found in Massachusetts are crime data, election history, ocean resource maps, and rejected corporate filings. More examples of public access records available at the state level in Massachusetts may be found below. Many more examples may be found if you search by town, city, or county.

Sources:

Massachusetts - Statewide Public Records Links
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