Thursday, March 21, 2019

Error in Naming the 1912-1942 Marriage Index

Screenshot from Ancestry's "Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942
I am updating my website to reflect changes in record availability and, let me tell you, with Chicago research, knowing what's what is NEVER easy.

Ancestry offers a database titled Cook County, Illinois Marriage Indexes, 1912-1942.

I did a quick study, searching for exact years from 1912-1925, and noted the number of matches below. It's likely this index only covers 1914-1923 in a reliable way.

Some of the outlying entries may be correct. I find Thomas Kelly and Geneveve Carter listed in this index and in FamilySearch's Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920 with the same year (1913) and license number.

But some are due to error. Max Stone and Mabel Freed come up under 1912, but the printed index page that's linked from the index entry says 1917 and it's corroborated by the FamilySearch index. The fiche was scratched, making the date hard to read.

I need to get to a Family History Center so I can do a bit more detective work, and I never say never, but a few words of advice:

1) If you're searching for a record through1920, use the FamilySearch index linked above.

2) If you're going to use this index to search for records outside of the 1914-1923 range, be cautious not to jump to the wrong conclusion if no matching entry can be found.

I'll try to address indexes for 1925 forward in another post.

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