Saturday, May 6, 2017

When the county clerk does you a favor (or not)

When you contact a county clerk and request a copy of a marriage record it is important to tell the clerk that you want a copy of the ORIGINAL record as it is in the marriage book. If not, you might get this:


The clerk thinks she has done you a favor by copying the information out of the marriage book and putting it on this nice certificate.  Here is the copy from Marriage Book D, page 240:

Simmons-Boon marriage 1880

In the original record Isaac’s name is Wm. Isaac Simmons. The clerk totally missed Isaac’s first name. Notice that Mary is listed as Mary Boon (no e) as well as Mary Boone (with an e). Also notice that the minister is listed as D. Boon. This might not seem significant but it actually is. The clerk transcribed their names as Boone without noting the two spellings. Their surname was actually Boon with no e. D. Boon was either Daniel her father or Daniel her brother. Both were preachers as was another brother. The original record also tells me that they applied for their marriage license on 18 November 1880. It that earthshattering news?  No, but I still have a more complete picture knowing when they applied for their marriage license vs. when they actually got married. In this case it isn’t a big deal but what if there was a 2 month difference?  I would try and find out why. The clerk’s name doesn’t appear on the transcribed certificate either.  A. G. Webb could have easily been someone that I know since I am familiar with the entire community. This marriage puts A. G. Webb at a specific place and time and gives me his occupation.

Here are Daniel Boon’s six remaining children out of 15 circa 1925. From left to right: Margaret Elenda (Boon) Hartfield, John Moses Boon, Elisha Boon, Thomas A. Boon, Mary Catherine (Boon) Simmons, Reuben Boon. 

Boon, Daniel 01


  1. Michele,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Genealogy Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I paid $25 for a cut and paste Xerox of the marriage of my parents because "there were other people on the page" that I didn't pay for. And not much after that I found their original marriage certificate in an envelope I didn't even know I had. I'm still annoyed at that Xerox cut and paste.

  3. Michelle,
    This is a very important article! When I first started out, I did not know that what they handed you might not be what you really wanted. When I discovered this, I went through the paperwork that I had a lot closer. An article like this would have saved me a lot of time back then!