Looking at the Original Pays Off

Have you ever made tons of progress in the indexed database from Ancestry.com or FamilySearch? I have! It always makes me feel so accomplished.

One of the things you have to remember about these indexes is this. It’s not the original. I’m no expert but I have learned this. Nothing is like seeing the original document. The best of circumstances would be in person but because of logistics, this is not always possible.

With the advances in technology, we’re definitely making progress though! I decided to go ahead and purchase some credits from Scotlands People the other day. I bought enough to really have some fun. I ended up getting the images for almost all of the children of Andrew Love and Agnes Hamilton, some of the Menzies family. I even ordered a copy of John Menzies and Jane Ferris‘ marriage record before I realized I could just use a credit and print out the record. Oh well!

In the index on FamilySearch, I would have been lucky to have had the parents names indexed. Then I would have been even luckier if both the birth and baptismal dates were recorded. If only one was recorded I would have been left wondering which date it was, baptismal or birth.

Love > Martha, Eldest Daughter and Third Child of Andrew Love, Hoodsyard and of Agnes Hamilton, his spouse. Born 29 July. Baptized 28th August.1

I learned a lot just from that simple little blurb written in an old parish book. First of all… I thought Martha was Andrew and Agnes‘ second child. Oops. Luckily, I fixed that lickity split while I was already on Scotlands People. Second, there was another Love birth recorded a few records up the page. However, it wasn’t Andrew and Agnes‘ child. So now I can try and see if that was a family connection to Andrew.

There’s only one problem after all this wonderful progress. I used all my viewing credits in one day. Oops! That’s alright, that gives me time to analyze what I’ve recently learned!

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  1. Beith Parish (Ayrshire, Scotland). Old Parish Registers, OPR 581/3, Martha Love birth (1831); New Register House, Edinburgh. []

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