returned in this town is 64. There are 13 that took place, most of them citizens
of this town, while absent on visits with their friends. There are a number of
births returned without a name.
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20 FOURTH REGISTRATION REPORT.
NoBTH Bbooktiklo. — 1813. See Second Animal Report, p. 19.
OxFOBD* — 1843. *• Obtained bj actual visit and inquirr by the clcriL" — 1845.
"The retains, I think, are very nearijr correct. I procured a man to go orer the
town for the births, as part of the School Committee refused to comply with the
statute. The marriages are returned promptly generally ; some few do not have
an the necessary facts set forth in the blanks. The deaths were retained
PHrixipsTO?r. — 1842. Very imperfect — 1843. Obtained by actual visit and
inquiry by the cleik.
RoTALSTuir. — 1844. ** Hereafter I think there will be more attention paid to
the law in regard to registration, as soon as the officers and others on whom it
imposes the duties of making returns to the clerks become acquainted with what
is required of them. The law shall have my aid and attention in carrying oat its
RuTLAin). — 1845. Deaths. " The return embraces every death which has hap-
pened in this town, and is believed to be substantially correct"
Shrewsbury. — 1842. Law greatly neglected. — 1845. " We have a school
committee in each of the 7 school districts, and I regret that I have received re-
turns of births from only 5 of them, which probably embrace about four fifths of
the births. This return is, therefore, incomplete. It appears to me that the pro-
visions of the registry act will never be fully carried into effect, until the law
imposes a penalty for negUd of duty on some others, whose duty is connected with
it, as well as upon the town clerk, and persons who solemnize marriage ; and why
should it not r"
SouTHBOROUGH. — 1843. See Second Annual Report, p. 18.
Sterlinu.— 1842. ""LAmentable neglect"— 184a See Second Annual Re-
port, p. 18. — 1845. "I shall now make a thorough inquiry concerning the births
and deaths the current year myself, being so much dissatisfied with the returns
STURBRinuE. — 1845. Marriages. ''The record is not so full in regard to
some particulars as the statute requires. It may be more so next year."
Sutton. — 1842. *' Returns must be incorrect until there are some means of en-
forcing the law." — 1844. ^ I think this return does not contain all the deaths. I
have taken most of them from the newspapers. There are 18 burial grounds in
the town, and no overseer to either of them."
TEMPLETO.f . — 1842. No returns of births and deaths for several years.
Westborough. — 1843. See Second Annual Report, p. 20.
UpToif. — 1844. '' This blank is filled from memoranda kept by a person for his
curiosity. There has not been a death given to me to record." — 1845. " There
have not been any returns of marriages or births made by the ministers, justices
of the peace, or the school committees. Of course, I could not fill the blanks."
Warren. — 1845. Births. — " It is impossible to get the exact particulars of 3
or 4, as they are off at a distance." — Marriages. " It has been very inconvenient
to obtain the required information respecting marriages, until I received those
blanks from your office. I now fill them out at the time of giving the certificate."
Westminster.— 1845. "For one, and in behalf of others, I would earnestly
request your Honor to recommend to the next General Court, to increase the
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town clerk*i fees, or reduce their duties. You have stated, in your circular, that
* the chief practical inconvenience experienced in the operation of the law is be-
lieved to have been in relation to certain particulars required in the returns of
clergymen and others solemnizing marriages;' then you go on and suggest that
it is in the power of town clerks to obviate this difficulty. How is it to be done ?
By taking the burden from the men that have large pay, and placing it on poor
town clerks that have but small pay ? Now, in all good conscience, is that right ?
I judge from experience, for I have had the satisfaction of serving as town clerk
for over thirty years, and I have had the honor of uniting a number in marriage,
and I say, give me the duty and fees of the clergyman rather than those of a town
WiifCHEn DON. — 1844. ^ The school committee have not made returns of the
number of births."
No Returns, in 1842, from Dudley and Spencer ; in 1843, from Brookfield; in
1844, of births and deaths from Winchendon ; and in 1845, from Douglas ; of births
from fForcesler, of births and marriages from Upton, of births and deaths from
fftsiboroughf and of deaths from Blackstone and Winchendon,
Amherst. — 1843. See Second Annual Report, p. 21.
BcLCHERTOwN. — 1842. " No record hitherto kept ; have made a beginning."
— 1845. ** The school committee refused to make the returns according to law ;
and I regret that I am unable to make them complete and full."
CuMMiNGTON. — 1842. " Very imperfect ; great neglect" — 1845. " The return
is probably nearer complete than last year, although it may be deficient in some
particulars. I have endeavored to have the returns made to me comply, as nearly
as possible, with the law, but in many respects they fall short, and much of the
information in regard to deaths and births I have collected myself."
Easthampton. — 1843. " No record has ever been kept" See Second An-
nual Report, p. 22. — 1845. " There have been but three marriages in this town
this year. I have returned two ; the other one has not been returned to me. It
is made the duty of the sexton to return the deaths to the clerk. We have no
such officer in this town, but my returns are probably as correct as if we had."
Enfield. — 1844. " The returns of births very imperfect."
GosBEN. — 1845. " I send a very imperfect return of marriages. I have thus
far depended upon those who solemnize marriages to furnish the necessary infor-
mation, which they have neglected, and my returns will be unsatisfactory to you ;
but I think, by making the necessary inquiries at the time of publishing, I shall
hereafler be able to send you a more perfect return."
Granbt.— 1842. See First Annual Report, p. 7.— 1845. Births, "The record
of the marriages I have no doubt is correct ; and so also, I believe, is the record
of the deaihsj with perhaps the exception of the disease, or cause of death, in
some cases, for on that subject I have had to depend usually on common report
Physicians are not bound to make report, neither are sextons ; but we have no
sexton in Granby. There may also be some inaccuracies as to ages in some
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22 FOURTH REGISTRATION REPORT.
cases, for where the person was bom elsewhere, there is, of course, no record to
report As to the births^ I am very confident I have not got them alL Our
school committee declined having any thing to do with the business, thinking,
perhaps, that it was not one of their appropriate duties. I have had some two or
three births reported to me by the parents, and some two or three more in my
immediate neighborhood I have obtained by neighborhood inquiries ; but for the
rest, I have obtained them from the physicians by special inquiries made of them,
and they may be correct, or they may not be correct, for they reported in part
£rom their memory, and in part from their books. The law on this subject, as it
now stands, is not what it ought to be ; it will not accomplish the object, for full
and accurate returns, under its provisions, will never be obtained. The old law,
making it penal on parents, housekeepers, &.c. who shall not enter for record, at
the town clerk's office, the births and deaths in their families as they shall occur,
has become obsolete, if it ever was enforced ; it is now a mere dead letter. But
I believe that, were that law re-enacted, with a condition that all who complied
with its provisions within a given length of time, say thirty or sixty days, or even
before the expiration of the year, should receive a compensation for so doing, not
less than that now proffered to school committees, while those who neglected it
should suffer the penalty for their neglect, and making it penal on town clerks
who should not prosecute for and collect the penalties, it would be useful.
But the law should be printed and distributed, and posted up in every place of
public resort in the Commonwealth, so that every person might see it and have
a knowledge of its provisions. Such a law, I think, would prove efficient, and
accomplish its object The general practice under the old law, so far as I know,
or can learn, was for families to have each a family record on the books of the
town where they lived, where were recorded all the births and deaths of that
family as they occurred. For this service, the town clerk received from the town
a compensation of eight cents for each record so made, and here ended all his
duties on that subject But under the present law, many new duties are required
of him ; many additional facts, never before matters of record, are by him to be
looked up and ascertained, and, when ascertained, entries are to be made of them.
And the records must now all be made and kept in quite a different form from
what they formerly were ; and still the old-fashioned family records will probably
have to be kept up, as a matter of special convenience, as weU to towns as to
families. And, lastly, under the present law, attested copies of the whole record
of births, marriages and deaths in the town, for the year, are by the town clerk
annually to be made out and transmitted to the office of the Secretary of the
Commonwealth, under a penalty of ten dollars. Under the old law, a fair com-
pensation, and nothing more, was made to town clerks for their services ; but
under the present law, while their services are more than tripled, no addition
whatever is made to their compensation ; and even more, a penalty of ten dollars
is inflicted if they neglect or decline doing this additional work for nothing.
^' It has occurred to me since I began writing this note, that very few members
of the legislature who enacted this law, (a peculiar feature of which is the impo-
sition of a fine for the non-performance of certain extra duties, for which, if per-
formed, no compensation whatever is to be made,) were ever totm derka^ or ever
intended to be."
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NoKwicH. — 1845. ^ The number of births is. nearly correct, but the return is
not as full as I trust it will hereafter be. The number of marriages and deaths
I think are correct"
Pelham — 1845. " There has been one other marriage in this town, as I am in-
formed, but the minister, who lives in Amherst, has not made his return to me.
The certificate of publishment was given before the last suggestion of yours for
the clerk to make the entries of ages, &c. In this return, the place of marriage
is required, but as the register has not that on record, I have not been able to in-
form yon of all. In regard to Deaths, we have no sexton in this town, and there
has been no return to me nor to my predecessor, as appears from the register."
PuLiiiFiELD. — 1845. Births, "Only two births have been reported to the
town clerk, since the 1st of March, 1844, and neither of these by the school
committee, or by their direction, although 20 or 25 have taken place since any
report has been made to the town clerk."
South Hadlet. - 1845. Births. " The return made by the school committee,
and believed to be full and correct, with the exception of one bom in a family
that has left town, which will make the whole number 45." — Marriages. " In
addition to the above, I believe there was one marriage solemnized by a methodist
clergyman, which has not been returned." — Deaths, " No deaths have been re-
turned to the clerk, but such were recorded as accidentally came to his |cnowledge.
But one death from the third parish, with about one third of the population, is here
Southampton. — 1843. See Second Annual Report, p. 22.
Wark.~1843. ''No record of births and deaths is kept"— 1845. Deaths,
** I cannot fiU this blank, if I attempted it, as returns have not been made to me. I
think the number will not vary 3 from 35."
Westhamftoit. — 1845. **Not a single instance of a birth or death has been
returned to me during the year. The facts have been ascertained wholly by my own
WoRTHiifOTo.f . — 1842 and 1843. " No record is kept of births or deaths."
No Returns, in 1842, from J^ortmch and Ware; in 1843, from Hadky; in 1844,
from PUdnJield and PrescoU, and of births from Belcheriovm ; and in 1845 from
PrescoU, and births from ChesUr/Uld,
Blandford. — 1845. " It is out of my power to ascertain and make correct re-
turns, of either births, marriages, or deaths, but you have them according to the
best information I can get"
Granville. — 1845. "I have tried to get a correct record of deaths, but can
persuade no one to make returns. There is no sexton in town, and no particular
one to take charge of burials. There are 7 or 8 burying-yards. The people live
scattered, and I do not hear of half .the deaths that take place."
Ludlow. — 1845. " The date of the registry is all the eame. There has been
a culpable negligence, on the part of those whose duty it is by law to make the
returns. There have been but two returns of marriages made according to law,
and those by Charles Alden, Esq. ; the rest of the returns I have been obliged to get
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24 FOURTH REGISTRATION REPORT.
as I could, which has compelled me to delay sending the returns to this late hour.
It has been the same with the other returns of births and deaths. Shall the law
be strictly enforced, and by wh<»n ? "
MoNsoN. — 1645. ** The above return is not complete. Many of the sextons
are not willing to keep a record and make the return as required. It seems, from
the law, that there is no penalty if they do not discharge their duty in this respecti
and they so understand it."
Pauceb. — 1842. ** No record of deaths by clerk or physician.''
South WICK. — 1843. '* No record is kept of births or deaths." — 1845. Marriagts,
''The age and name of the parents were not returned, but I have ascertained, as
far as possible, and put them down."
SpBiiropiELD. — 1843. See Second Annual Report, pp. 8 and 23. — 1845.
'< The return of births and deaths, I believe to be nearly correct ; and that of
marriages far from it I return all to you, just as they were returned to me.
Some of our clergy, and justices of the peace, do not make any return of those
they marry, therefore I cannot make, as I wish, a full and correct return to you."
ToLLANn. — 1845. Marriages. '^ One of our justices of the peace has solem-
nized one marriage ; and I have frequently requested him to make returns to me,
but he has neglected to do it The law is not properly understood in regard to
returns, and I have been to a good deal of trouble to make them understood as
they are, but they are not as they ought to be." — Deaths, '* We have no sexton in
town, and it devolves on the clerk to ascertain for himself. My predecessor did
not keep a record of deaths, and threw it on me. I have had but a short time to
ascertain all the particulars required by law, but will endeavor to be more correct
for the future."
Westpieli). — 1842. " No record of births or deaths for several years."
West SpRiNGriELu. — 1845. "The Reverend Gentlemen do not make their
returns as they should do."
No RETURNS, in 1842, from Granville^ Souihwick and Tolland; in 1843, from
Palmer; in 1844, from Souihwick, and of births from Brimfidd; and in 1845, from
Russdlf of births from Holland, of deaths from Palmer, and of marriages from
AsHPiEU). — 1843. *^ No attention is paid to making returns of births or deaths,
to the town clerk."
Bernardston. — 1843. "No attention is given to making returns. Town
clerks should be paid for making returns." — 1845. Births, **The return was
prepared by Dr. E. W. Carpenter of this town, and is, I believe, very accurate. He
took great pains to make it so, and exhibited a very praise-worthy desire to aid me
in making my return ftdl and eomplde. If every town would be as thorough, we
should, in a few years, have a very valuable body of statistical information."
— Marriages, '* The return I believe to be perfectly accurate. Our clergymen
have exhibited a laudable desire to comply with the law in every particular."
—Deaths, " The return I believe to be perfectly accurate except in one case, where
the months and days of a person's age could not be obtained."
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BucKLAND. — 1843. *' No record has been kept" — 1845. ^ The above are all the
returns made, which are probably not one-half the deaths, that have occurred
during the year. They are imperfect, and not made according to law, although
often spoken to on the subject I do not offer this as a return, but to show how
near our sextons approach the requirements of the law."
Charlemozvt. — 1843. Marriages. " Many marriages are solemnized in Ver-
mont" — 1845. *< Some of our inhabitants have been married out of town during
the year, so that no certificates were returned to me. In those cases, T have made
no record or return. The returns are sjb complete and perfect as I could make
CoLERAiiTE. — 1843. '* No record of births and deaths, has been kept" — 1845.
" In consequence of the returns being made at so late a date, I am unable to
make the remarks I intended. I believe they are made correctly, as far as
respects the number of births, deaths, and marriages, from the 20th of Aug. 1844.
I find no record made by my predecessor in office, of any marriage from the 1st of
May, to the 28th of August, 1844; hence it is impossible for me to make a return
of the marriages in that time. So far as it has come to my knowledge, those who
solemnize marriage, have been very punctual in making returns. I think there
will hereafter be no difficulty in making proper and correct returns."
CowwAT. — 1843. One clergyman only has made a return of marriages. But
little attention has been given to the subject by parents.
Deerfield. — 1842. Nothing on town record. — 1843. " No return of deaths
to the town clerk."
Erving. — 1843. " Great neglect through the town. No return of marriages
or deaths, and only one birth." — 1844. " The attention of the minister has been
twice called to the subject by the town clerk, but he still neglects to make any
return of marriages." — 1845. Births, " The return was made by School Com-
mittee." — Marriagts, " The return embraces all the marriages in the town the
past year, I have given them as they were returned to me." — Deaths. " The re-
turn was made by the sexton, and I think includes all the deaths. I will send
for some blanks, and endeavor to have the returns more perfect hereafter."
Gii.1*. — 1845. " Wishing that the Registry Laws might be carried into practical
operation, and become as perfect as may be, I would most respectfully suggest
that some alteration is expedient If I understand the law, the sextons are
directed to make the return of deaths to the Town Clerks, and that where no
sextons exist, there is no remedy. In the town of Gill, and in many other towns,
there are no sextons, and consequently if the Clerks did not, at their own volun-
tary expense, procure all the information requisite for carrying the law into effect,
i t would not be done. I have employed the School Committee at my own expense,
this and last year, to procure correct returns of deaths, when they returned the
births. I do hope, that our Legislature will either empower School Committees
to take and make returns of deaths, at the same time they make returns of births,
or that the Assessors may be empowered to make the return of births and deaths,
which T think, the best method yet suggested. In case these propositions should
be rejected, I would suggest that Town Clerks be empowered to get the neces-
sary information at the expense of the town."
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26 FOURTH REGISTRATION REPORT.
Grecnfield. — 1845. Births. " No return made by School Committee. The
above are the only returns received by me, and these were received from Dr. E.
W. Carpenter, a physician living in the adjoining town of Bemardston.''
—MarriageM, " The number of marriages has been about 12; the majority go out
of the State to be married."— ZJccrf^. " No return has been made of deaths ; the
number is supposed to be about 21."
Heath.— 1843. See Second Annual Report, p. 23.— 1845. " There has been
no return of marriages during the past year."
Montague.— 1843. " The law is disregarded."— 1845. " There appears to
be a great indifference about collecting and returning the information on the
subjects required. I hope that another year will afford an understanding, that
will induce more attention, and that the fruits may be better."
NoRTHFiELD. — 1843. " Great remissness in making returns." — 1845. " There
has been no returns of births or deaths, the past year."
Orange. — 1845. ''The deaths were not returned until 1 had made out my
return. The return is not what it ought to be, but I think the sextons will under-
stand their duty and comply in future."
RowE. — 1845. Marriages. " To account for the small number of marriages, I
can only refer you to the Registry Law of 1844, and to the map of the Common-
Shelburne.— 1842. Time for returns should be altered. — 1843. "Until the
law is altered, and then enforced by adequate penalties, the returns cannot be
Sunderland. — 1845. Deaths. " The above are all that have been returned to
me, but more deaths have occurred in town."
Warwick. — 1845. Deaths. "The months and days are not generally re-
Wendell. — 1843. The clerk complains of great neglect of the law, and says
that the remedy is for the Legislature " to cause the fines to be collected."
No Returns, in 1842, from Coleraine, Heaih and M>r(hfUld ; in 1843, from
Greenfidd; in 1844, from Deerfidd; and in 1845, from Cfrnvoay^ of births from
Montague^ of marriages from Heath and Monroe, of births and deaths from ^orlh-
Jidd, and of deaths from Greenfidd.
Adams. — 1845. Births. ** I believe our return of births is quite full." — Mar-
riages. " You will perceive that the return of marriages is very few, compared
with the births and deaths. The reason for this is, that we are situated almost on
the borders of the States of New York and Vermont, and the largest proportion
go out of the State, as is very much the custom. We cannot, therefore, get more
than one fourth part of the marriages of the inhabitants of the town of Adams."
— Deaths. " I believe the return of deaths is very nearly correct, as far as could
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Bbcket.— 1845. Deaths, " The return compriflee all the deaths that have
occurred. It is not as full as I could wish, owing to the neglect of the sextons,
whose duty it is to furnish the necessary information. I have, however, added all
the statistics I was able to obtain from other sources."
Ci.ARK8BUReH.^1842. "No birth, death, or marriage on record."— 1845-
" No deaths returned to my office. No marriages in our town ; they all go to
Dalton.— 1842. " No return of births or deaths."
EoREMONT.— 1842. "No returns; shall comply hereafter."— 1845. Mar-
riages. " The above are all the marriages I consider returnable according to the
requisition of the law, although others have occurred among our citizens."
Florida. — 1845. " The School Committee have made no return. I have re-
corded when the parents have made application. It is believed the whole number
is nearly correct^ ^Marriages. "Certificates of the above were returned, simply
stating that they had joined such persons in marriage, at such a time. I have
filled the blank as far as I could, from a personal knowledge of the parties."
Great Barrington. — 1845. Marriages. " Probably more, but I can get no
returns as yet"
Lee. — 1845. Marriages. "I find, from the record of publishments, that there
were 14 during the year, a part of whom went to the state of New York to be
married, and a part to other towns in this state, where one of the parties reside."