Finding my granduncle’s marriage record to his first wife.
Whether these items were missed by you, the researcher, or came online after your last search, it pays to keep going back.
That’s just what I did for my granduncle, William Lindsay’s marriage record to his first wife Gertrude Mae Watson.
I had located his other 3 marriage records, but not this one. I had a note that the image “was not available” in the dataset I checked back in 2013. I did find the index for it though.
To read about William’s other marriages WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ William “Bill” Lindsay & his many wives–the story of my Granduncle Bill
Here is the marriage index I downloaded in 2013.
You can click on any image to enlarge it
Today, I checked that same dataset on Ancestry.com – Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927, and located the image I'd been wanting to see.
As we all know, it’s always better to see an original image, than just to rely on a transcription/index. Mistakes can and are made and interpretations can vary.
Did I learn anything new from seeing this image? Yes!
Here is what the index didn’t tell me…
- Places of birth for both William & Gertrude – U.S. for both
- Their nationality – Scottish for him and Canadian for her
- Religious denomination – Protestant for him and Methodist for her
- Residence for each – Detroit, Michigan
- Occupation of their fathers – Machinist for William’s and deceased for Gertrude’s. That’s a big clue about her father.
- Names & addresses of witnesses
- That he was a Bachelor and she a Spinster (meaning both were previously unmarried)
- That they were not being married in Windsor for any purpose of evasion or other improper purposes.
- The name of the person solemnizing the marriage – not very readable on this document.
That is a LOT of missing information when compared to the index.
Do those additional items help me to be certain I have the correct couple? Absolutely!
There is a noticeable error on both the index and the actual document. That is the maiden name of William’s mother. It is listed as Fitzgerald and should be Fitzcharles. Did William speak with a Scottish accent, since both his parents were born & raised in Scotland? Was he misunderstood or was he simply misheard?
All together with my research, I can confidently conclude that this is my William’s marriage record.
I’m very glad to have this original document in my database now.
Have you gone back & located items that were not available to you earlier? I’d love to hear about them.
If you are related to or connected to anyone in this blog post, please get in touch. Let’s exchange information.