HERE IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT AND READ DOCUMENTS AND NOT JUST DEPEND ON THE INDEXED TRANSCRIPTION
I knew that Isaac F. Gillen 1823-1907 had married Amy “Emma” Kimball 1830-1886 on 28 Mar 1852 in Lawrence Co., Ohio. Here they are in my Legacy program.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
Emma died in 1886. I had information from the 1900 census that he had remarried to a lady named Martha E. born about 1867 in Ohio. I had no further information about Martha.
My next step was to look on the Family Search site for a marriage record for Isaac & Martha.
Here is what I found in the index:
Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997
Name: Isaac F. Gillen
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 20 Sep 1889
Event Place: Lawrence, Ohio, United States
Birth Year (Estimated): 1868
Spouse's Name: Martha E. Snyder
Spouse's Age: 19
Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated): 1870
Reference ID: Vol. 15, p 216, no 2
GS Film Number: 317721
Digital Folder Number: 004016335
Image Number: 00152
NOTE that Isaac’s age is listed as 21.
Isaac was born in 1823 and this marriage took place in 1889. That would make my Isaac about 66 years old when this marriage took place, NOT 21. Martha would have been about 22 years old at the time of the marriage, if she was born about 1867. Her age isn’t that far off, but Isaac’s is another story.
Fortunately, there was an image of the marriage record for me to look at. Here is the image.
OK, the names are there – Isaac F. Gillen and Martha E. Snyder. The date of marriage was 20 Sep 1889 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.
But those ages listed after their names. What’s up with that?
Here is that portion of the document highlighted. Read those words in the red boxes carefully.
“Isaac F. Gillen, who being first duly sworn, saith that he is MORE THAN 21 YEARS OF AGE, that he has no wife living, that he is not nearer of kin to Martha E. Snyder than second Cousins, that she is MORE THAN 18 YEARS OF AGE, that she has no husband living……………”There you have it. The indexer has listed their ages as 21 and 19. Not sure where the 19 came from, since the document has an 18 on it. Maybe misread?
Isaac was certainly MORE THAN 21 years of age in 1889, wasn’t he?
It’s just invaluable for us, as researchers, to view the actual documents and not depend on transcriptions, indexes etc. How many times I’ve received a “typed” copy of a record, only to later look at the original and find several errors. I try to always ask for a photo copy of any original record I send for.
Having access to these original documents online is invaluable to us. But, if we don’t have access online, then we must not just take the indexes and transcriptions as the final word.
Have you run across similar issues when you’ve viewed the original record vs what was indexed? I’d love to hear about it.
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
VITAL RECORDS–HOW TO REQUEST THEM AND KEEP TRACK OF THOSE REQUESTS
EASY DOCUMENT EDITING TIPS
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