Finding records from earlier times can sometimes be difficult. I recently came across the Massachusetts Vital Records Project and was pleased to find that it offers records from 1600 to 1850. It is an ongoing project, but has a lot to offer for those looking for free genealogy resources.
The project can be searched by town or by surname. If you click on the town tab, you are taken to a page broken down by county. A colored star to the side of the town name will let you know what to expect from each town. Green stars indicate the record has been transcribed and images are available online. Red stars are for those without images. A yellow star lets you know that the image is available on request. Towns with a blue star are in progress; images are available, but no transcription has been done yet. A black star notes that the town is with the parent town.
Births, deaths and marriages are available. Don't expect to find a great deal of information. Older records tend to have less details than newer ones. Birth records generally have no more information than the child's name, sex, parent's names and date of birth. Some entries don't even offer that much. Deaths may or may not have the cause of death. However, a few have added details such as military service.