The state secretary (since 1961 through a unit currently called the Commissions Section) attests to all commissions of office signed by the governor, administering the oath of office to and/or recording the name of these and other public appointees. Certificates are the secretary's copies of sworn oaths of office. Early records contain primarily form and sample certificates, arranged chronologically. From 1850 actual commission certificates, signed by the governor, are included for such appointments as pilot and commissioner of Indians. Also included are letters of appointment and resignation. Holdings also include certificates for Massachusetts commissioners in other states, 1844-1926 (as well as some from other states in Massachusetts), commissioners in other countries, 1857-1948, and supervisor of elections, 1901-1905. From 1935, certificates are primarily for justices of the peace and notaries public. From 1968 other offices are included, such as commissioners to qualify civil officers, state police, special state police, deputy sheriff, assistant (and special assistant) attorney general, district attorney, assistant (and special assistant) district attorney, and weigher and measurer of motor vehicles and trailers.
For a listing of related series see: Massachusetts. Office of the Secretary of State. Records of commissions, proclamations, pardons, and other official documents, 1713-1945 (bulk 1747-1936) ((M-Ar)161X)