Featured Record Set for November-A Tale of Two Repositories

21 November 2018

Using the detail from Ancestry.com's marriage index record to locate an online digital copy of the original record at FamilySearch.org.

For November's featured record set, we'll highlight the link between two popular genealogical research websites and show how index record details from one site can sometimes be used to find a digital copy of the original record at another. This article will provide step-by-step examples of this process.

Sound genealogical research demands we get as close to the original record as possible in order to form well-supported conclusions. Within an index record found on most genealogical research sites, there is usually a description of the collection that identifies the repository that holds the original. Often the repository is a library, archive or county court house. But sometimes information is found in this description that suggests a digitized version of the record may be available elsewhere online. For example, though a lot of Ancestry.com's various marriage record sets feature digitized copies of the original, some of their index records contain a clue that can lead a researcher to the corresponding image at FamilySearch.org. In the screenshot below, the detail of interest is the FHL Film Number 1007941, underlined in red.


(Cropped Screenshot: Ancestry.com Index Record with FHL film number highlighted)

 

Though FamilySearch.org is a free site, it requires you register for an account. This is a worthwhile endeavor because there are many hidden gems on this site. In this particular instance, you can copy and paste the FHL film number into FamilySearch.org's Film Number search box (underlined in red).


(Cropped Screenshot: FamilySearch.org Search Page with the Film Number search box highlighted)

 

Now, refine potential results by adding the couple's names, approximate year of marriage and click search.

(Cropped Screenshot: FamilySearch.org Search Results)

 

In this instance, this 1859 marriage record for Asa Williamson and Martha Gilliam is the item of interest. Click on “View the original document” to see a digital version of the original record.

(Cropped Screenshot: Williamson-Gilliam 1859 Marriage Record)

 

Not all of the index record on Ancestry.com will have images available at FamilySearch.org. Some images may only be accessed through a Family History Center or FamilySearch library affiliate. And, of course, there will always be cases where the original can only be obtained by old-fashioned, hand-written requests to the county courthouse where the marriage took place. However, this little known cross referencing strategy could be a time-saving feature for the busy and cash-strapped genealogist.

 

Special thanks to FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com for permission to use screenshots of their websites!

 

 

Featured Record Set for November-A Tale of Two Repositories

21 November 2018

Using the detail from Ancestry.com's marriage index record to locate an online digital copy of the original record at FamilySearch.org.

For November's featured record set, we'll highlight the link between two popular genealogical research websites and show how index record details from one site can sometimes be used to find a digital copy of the original record at another. This article will provide step-by-step examples of this process.

Sound genealogical research demands we get as close to the original record as possible in order to form well-supported conclusions. Within an index record found on most genealogical research sites, there is usually a description of the collection that identifies the repository that holds the original. Often the repository is a library, archive or county court house. But sometimes information is found in this description that suggests a digitized version of the record may be available elsewhere online. For example, though a lot of Ancestry.com's various marriage record sets feature digitized copies of the original, some of their index records contain a clue that can lead a researcher to the corresponding image at FamilySearch.org. In the screenshot below, the detail of interest is the FHL Film Number 1007941, underlined in red.