"Are the "statistics" that are sometimes included on a marriage license a valid source of information? I recently obtained a copy of my Great Grandparents marriage license. On the back, there is a statistical section that was returned to the county after the marriage took place. I've attached a copy to this email so that you have an idea of what information I am questioning. I have most of the information on both the Groom and the Bride. However, there are two pieces of information I've seen never seen documented before. First, where she was born. Second, and more important, the name of her father. I know that both of these are starting points for further research. Since the information is contained on an official document, and that document is signed by the Bride, can I consider the marriage license a valid source and list these two items as facts?"
Jackpot! Marriage records can look totally different depending on the state and the county where the marriage took place. I have never seen this information on the back of a license like this before but I have certainly seen this information given in other ways. In several of the Mississippi counties I work with, all of this information is right on the front of the marriage license (around 1900 and later, early records don’t have this). Here in Columbia County, Georgia where I live they have the regular marriage books (licenses and certificates) and then they have marriage application books. In the marriage application books you will find exactly what you have on the back of your license. This is definitely a valid source of information. The information was given to the clerk by the bride and groom themselves so it is assumed to be correct.
Here is the document that Ron sent me:
Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis