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Edgartown, Massachusetts Vital Records
Births, Deaths, & Marriages 
To the end of 1849

Order item B438
The book is 184 pages, not indexed, names listed alphabetically, soft cover with plastic comb binding. Available for $29.98, plus $3.99, shipping and packing. (Add $1.00 S&H for each additional volume ordered).


This book contains all the records of births, marriages, and deaths kept by town clerks from the first entry to the end of 1850.  In addition, returns made to the County Court, entries from the registers of the various churches, gravestone inscriptions found in various cemeteries, and Bible and family records from a private source are included in this book.


THE town of Edgartown, County of Dukes County, formerly known as Great Harbour, was established July 8, 1671, from common land, and the name was then changed.

February 5, 1830, the bounds between Edgartown and Tisbury were established.

Edgartown was first settled in 1642 and was officially incorporated in 1671.

It is well known as having been one of the primary ports for the whaling industry during the 1800s. Ships from all over the world would dock in its sheltered bay and captains would build grand mansions for their families with ornate top floor rooms called widow's walks, which overlooked the harbor. Wives would watch for months from these tiny rooms, hoping to see the sails of ships that would bring their husbands home from the sea.

As more economical alternatives became available the whaling industry began to decline. By the beginning of the 20th century its influence on the tiny town which had made its fortunes off the great beasts of the sea, was ended.

Edgartown is located at the eastern end of Martha's Vineyard ("down-island", so called because there are few hills present). The town of Edgartown includes the smaller island of Chappaquiddick, connected to the rest of Martha's Vineyard only by a barrier beach which is submerged during storms. Chappaquiddick is separated from the town center by Edgartown Harbor. Auto transportation is provided by the "On Time" Ferry, so named because it runs continuously from Edgartown center to Chappaquiddick.


1. The fact that a birth, marriage, or death is recorded in Edgartown does not prove that it occurred in this town; but when places other than Edgartown and Massachusetts are named in the original records, they are given in the printed copy.

2. In all items from town records the original spelling is followed, and no attempt is made to correct errors appearing in the records.

3. The various spellings of a name should be examined, as items about the same family or individual may be found under different spellings.

4. A baptism is not printed, if it occurs within one year after the recorded date of birth of a child of the same name and parents or if it is clear that the child baptized is identical with the child of the birth record; but variations found in the baptismal record are added to the birth record.

5. The birth of a married woman is recorded under her maiden name, if it is known. But if the maiden name cannot be determined, the entry appears under the husband's name, with a dash enclosed in brackets, i.e., [______], to signify that the maiden name is unknown. If it is not known whether the surname is that of a married or unmarried woman, ? m. is placed in brackets after the Christian name.

6. Marriages and intentions of marriage are printed under the names of both parties. When both the marriage and intention of marriage are recorded, only the marriage record is printed; and where a marriage appears without the intention being recorded, it is designated with an asterisk.

7. Additional information which does not appear in the original text of an item, i.e., any explanation, query, inference, or difference shown in other entries of the record, is bracketed. Parentheses are used to show variations in the spelling of a name in the same entry, to indicate the maiden name of a wife, to enclose an imperfect portion of the original text, and to separate clauses in the original text.

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