A Source Lesson Learned

Brown County, Ohio Marriage Records, vol 1, 1857-1860
Brown County, Ohio Marriage Records, vol 1, 1857-1860

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during my cleanup is to always track down what the original source was. For me, I like to know what website I got each record from, but that’s not the most important part of the citation. When you’re citing your sources, it’s most important that if something crazy happens, you could actually track down that original source again if the need arose.

For example, say one day (a horrible day) FamilySearch lost all their servers and records. (I did say a horrible day.) In light of this unfortunate (and completely fictional) incident, I decide I’m going to Brown County, Ohio to research the Carter family because that’s where I am in my cleanup. Well, I knew I last left off with Daniel Moyer and his wife Hannah Carter. However, I want to look at their marriage record for more clues, or even the same time period of marriages to track down their siblings. Well, you can’t always do that from what you get from the FamilySearch indexes. They don’t always leave reference numbers.

This is where my lesson comes in. I’ve started going to the very first images in a group of images and the picture above is what I find. This gives me the exact direct source information for the marriage record of Daniel and Hannah. With this information, I would know exactly where I’m going at the Brown County Courthouse in order to find this record in it’s original form.

Probate Court, Brown County, Ohio, "Marriage Records, 1818-1939", 1857-1860, vol. 1, p. 147, no. 7723, for Daniel Moyer-Hannah Carter;
Probate Court, Brown County, Ohio, "Marriage Records, 1818-1939", 1857-1860, vol. 1, p. 147, no. 7723, for Daniel Moyer-Hannah Carter;

Not that there was much information on the original record, but you never know!

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