Another week, another couple of modules! I am still learning great information from the course US: Vital Records, Understanding and Using The Records and I think you will find the information interesting too. Modules 3 and 4 covered death and marriage, which I hope you remember from my introduction post was what I was most interested in reading more about.
I thought it was wonderful that the instructor took the time to explain the differences in civil and church records for marriages. Many people are confused by this topic and because of their confusion don’t always look in the correct places for the documents they need. So we are all on the same page, civil records are the certificate, license, or register of return that is kept at the clerk’s office usually in the county seat. Church records would be the register of marriages that the clergy keep as a record of what occurred in the church and when. The records kept at the clerk’s office is what you should think of as the vital record.
In addition to the explanation of what the differences in record types are we were also given search strategies on how to locate those records. The course author gave us tips on extracting and pulling information from common sources (like the U.S. Census) and not so common sources (newspaper articles).
Bible records were also discussed since they can be used as clues for locating birth, marriage, and death records. I am still waiting to find a family bible, but for those of you who have family bible records you are really lucky. It might not be 100% correct information but it will give you clues on where to look next if you are stuck.
Finally, these two modules ended with a listing of wonderful resources on where to find more information online and in repositories. These sections tend to be my favorite parts, I always learn about a new website or book. One new to me website was The Vital Tree. It looks like a wonderful resource and one I am still learning to use. At the writing of this post they were in the middle of changing website addresses, so keep an eye on them.
Onward to the next modules where we will learn about birth records and alternative records for research. Should be fun!
See you online!