Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Question about my marriage citations

I got an email about the two marriage citations I posted yesterday.  Here they are:

Hancock County, Mississippi, Marriage Book D: 168, Jenkins-Grantham, 1882; Circuit Court, Bay St. Louis.

St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, Marriage Records, 1811-1967, Marriage Book 2: 200, Jenkins-Grantham, 1887; FHL microfilm 1,463,133.

Rich wanted to know why I cited them differently if they are both marriage records that were created in a county courthouse. 

The Hancock County one I actually got straight from the courthouse.  I found the marriage in an index so I wrote to the county clerk and asked for copy which she sent me.  The citation shows that I got it from the Circuit Court in Bay St. Louis.

The St. Tammany Parish one is a copy taken from microfilm.  Even though this is the same record I would have received had I wrote to the clerk in Covington I still need to say where I actually got it.  There are reasons for this.  Let’s say my copy wasn’t all the good.  The person coming behind me could then make the decision to request a copy from the parish clerk knowing that they might get a better copy.  This works in reverse.  If I received a copy from the courthouse that was in bad shape the person behind me might try getting it off of microfilm in the hopes that the microfilm was made before the damage was done.  Also, many times when marriage records are microfilmed the loose papers stuck inside the book are not.  If this was an underage marriage I might want to contact the courthouse to see if there are any loose papers such as a permission note from the parents.

Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

1 comment:

  1. Michele, this is a great post!

    The critical aspect is that you cited EXACTLY where you got the information that you referenced. This allows the reader to determine the quality of each source, as well as having the opportunity to seek out the source to do their own research. If you view a document online, your citation should reference the website URL and date accessed; if you look at the same exact document in its original form in a Courthouse or Archives, that's the location to reference.

    Your citations, to me, were very clear. Thanks again for testing our citation knowledge and understanding.