Researching at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics

This morning I went to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics in Dorchester to continue researching the Izbicki family.

The research room has cut back their hours and is now open Mondays and Thursdays 2:00-4:30 PM and Tuesdays and Fridays 9:00AM-Noon. The research room is closed on Wednesdays. The reason given for the reduced number of hours is budgetary. Such a reason is hard to imagine since the research room has always been very busy when I’ve been there and the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics charges each user $9 per hour to use the facility.

I spent three hours in the research room today at a cost of $27 (about the same as a one month World Deluxe subscription to Considering that there are indexes at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics that are available nowhere else, and considering that the Registry allows patrons to view vital records before purchasing a copy, I think the cost is reasonable.

Copies of vital records are $18 in person and $28 by mail, although I’ve never understood why a certified record should cost $10 more if ordered by mail rather than in person. If ordered through the town where the event was recorded, certified copies of vital records generally cost less (for example, records purchased through the Worcester City Clerk’s office cost $12 in person and $14 if purchased through the mail). Unfortunately, the City Clerk’s office does not allow patrons access to the indexes and does not allow patrons to view the documents before purchasing them.

Nonetheless, I was able to complete my search of the vital records indexes that I started at the New England Historic Genealogical Society yesterday. The NEHGS indexes are incomplete, and so I searched for the surname Izbicki in:

Birth Indexes 1951-Present;
Marriage Indexes 1956-Present;
Death Indexes 1981-Present.

In these indexes I found 15 relevant birth records, 11 relevant marriage records, and 8 relevant death records. There may be more relevant records than this, but I would have to go back and view the other records before I could tell for sure. Given that in three hours I was only allowed to view 17 records, I would need at least another two days at the Registry before I could view all the other possibly relevant records. I could, of course, order the records blindly at $28 each, but I think I have better uses for my money.

After the research room closed at noon, I headed to New Britain, Connecticut for the 2009 Conference of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast. More on that tomorrow.

Copyright © 2009 by Stephen J. Danko

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