"The Vital Records of Williamstown, Mass., to the year 1850, published in 1907, contains an unusual number of blanks particularly in the maiden names of wives. This due to the fact that a great many of the Birth entries were made up from grave stone inscriptions, the town records of births and deaths having been burned about 1860. The existing complete records of births, marriages, and deaths in the Town Office begin with 1860, although before 1900 there were many years in which the records were carelessly kept. There are also existent a book of Marriage Intentions, 1766-1795, well preserved, and a compilation of births and deaths by families made in 1831 by the then town clerk, Ridley Bannister. The material in these two sources was included in the published Vital Records. [The author] has for some time been bringing together in a card index all information available on Williamstown families, but realizes that this is incomplete at the present time. However, almost all of the Unidentified which fill pages 97 to 102 of the Vital Records have been identified, and it has been thought this should be published now. Most of these identifications have been made by reference to Probate Records in the Pittsfield Court House, or to death records since 1860 where the maiden name of wife, and sometimesthe names of her parents and birth place were given. Page references are to the Vital Records..." --Page 1.
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