Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family History Month - MARRIAGE

~ Today's prompt is brought to you by the letter M ~

How many marriages do you have in your family tree?  How do you keep track of these marriages?  Is your marriage information standardized? Do you have marriage certificates, newspaper notices and photos either scanned into your computer or in paper based files?  Besides putting the marriage information into your genealogy database do you make any other use of it?

(photo by digital artist Salvatore Vuono and made available by ~ thanks)

There are many reasons why I use a software program (my choice ~ Legacy Family Tree) ~ to put my data in a standardized format, to be able to manipulate the data for research purposes, to help make my data easy to use and publish to others. 

I use the RIN (record indentification number) and MRIN (marriage record indentification number) in Legacy and I file both on my computer and my paper based system with the individual's name and their RIN and (where appropriate) MRIN.  On a regular basis I go through a "potential problems" and a "missing information" search to make sure that I have included a complete date, location, officiating priest/minister, source(s), and witnesses.  I make sure to look for church marriage registers and county or town marriage registers.  Finally, I take a look at newspaper indexes (either at the local library or on-line) and see if there are articles or notices of my marriages. If there are articles about my marriage couple, I make the trip to the local library or genealogical society or request a copy from the distance genealogical society or library.

So many times, the newspaper article in a local paper helps you learn about the marriage couple, their faith, their education and occupation, their parents, extended family members and friends (usually there is some mention of those in attendance), and their social status.  The "mother lode" so to speak is when photos accompany the article.  These photos really give you a picture of the times due to the style of the wedding dress or groom's attire. 

Today, take a look at you master marriage list and see where you have missing information or potential problems.  Then make a search list and see if you can find the information you need either through your local library or genealogical society look-up (for local or distance locations).  Cheers!

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