Do I use the license issued date or the license returned date for the marriage date?
Hi Bonnie. The field helps for the Missouri Marriage Dates have a priority list for which dates to use when the date of marriage is not on the record.
If a marriage date was not indicated, type the date based on the following priority:
So, the License issued date would be indexed. The recording date (returned) would be the last choice.
You have to be careful on these marriage licenses because often they have the marriage date at the bottom. Lots of people are missing those! It will say that a Judge, or a Justice of the Peace, or a member of the clergy "did at _____ in said county, on the (date) unite in marriage the above named persons". Then, of course, you would use that date since it is the marriage date.
The field helps are accessed by clicking on the purple question marks that appear when you click on the field. They give you a lot more instructions!
@BonnieZ could share your batch code so that someone will be able to see what you're working on and provide you with the best answer? You will find the batch code/number at the end of the project name at the top of the page. It is a mix of letters and numbers [xxxx-xxx].
Thank you for indexing these records.
@Melissa S Himes
As is often the case, I would have concerns over the advice contained in project instructions. If this collection is titled "Missouri Marriages", yes, indexing the date of the marriage (if included in the document) would be perfectly in order. However, if it is headed "Missouri Marriage Licenses" I believe project instructions could be totally misleading, as surely the date of the subject matter (the license) should be recorded, rather than an associated event (the marriage ceremony detail).
This not only illustrates the inaccurate details that can be recorded by following project instructions (doesn't anyone ever challenge these?) but the fact that most FamilySearch indexing projects I encounter do not even differentiate between marriages and marriage licenses. My Family Tree marriage entries (for my relatives) are regularly overwritten with incorrect information, because the license has been indexed as a Marriage (vital event) rather than a Marriage License / Notice (custom event).
Believe me, I hate to feel I am turning this into a "Indexers versus Researchers" issue, but it really is sad that the problems caused by certain project instructions are still not being acknowledged - years after being highlighted by researchers who are regularly having their correct data inputs replaced by the wrong dates and places, due to indexing practices / instructions.
Indexers - please follow the project instructions, the field helps, and the examples. We are not researchers. Our task is to make a record of the information that is found on the image so that it is searchable text. The researchers are lucky to be able to find this information and then assess it for what it is. Just to be clear, indexers do not replace researchers data. So you do not need to worry about following the instructions!
While I understand Paul W's constant concerns about our task, it would probably be best to put these ideas and concerns in the Suggest an Idea, where they are asking for ideas to make FamilySearch better.
We do love to research don't we! I especially appreciate the suggestion to post these ideas, Paul, in Ideas. We are always looking for better ways to help the indexers and reviewers!
@Melissa S Himes and @annewandering
I would be delighted to post my comments regarding indexing under the Suggest An Idea category - the problem is, there is no evidence any employee in the Indexing section ever visits that area.
Some years ago, on the getsatisfaction.com forum, a really helpful employee started participating in matters relating to indexing. He responded to queries and promised to try to get issues resolved. Unfortunately, his inputs suddenly ended, and since then there has been not any help or acknowledgment of indexing problems (by an employee) whatsoever. It seems down to ordinary indexers and volunteer moderators like (respectively) yourselves to deal with not just the day-to-day specific issues of other indexers, but the criticisms (made out of complete frustration) of general, long-term problems - made by individuals like myself.
From your own comments, it seems the "system" just does not allow any means of direct contact with project leaders, let alone the section management. To reiterate, I don't think posting to Suggest An Idea will resolve anything - otherwise, FS managers would have taken heed by now or the hundreds of complaints (and very constructive ideas) regarding the revised Search interface. There has been very little movement towards resolving the current problems users are having in making searches. Sadly, FS managers continue to refuse to acknowledge that any problems (apart from known bugs) even exist - whether "Search" or "Indexing" related.
Maybe it is time to "Let it Be" - if nothing has changed after years of complaints, nothing is going to change.
Yes, deep down I know you are right! It's just so exasperating when you believe there are simple solutions to some of the problems that arise during / after the indexing process. For example, I have recently noticed some marriage banns / licence records are now being been indexed as "Marriage Notices", leading to that detail appearing as a "Custom Event", instead of a "Vital", once the records go online and are attached to ones relatives. So why can't that be applied to all such marriage-related events - i.e. why still continue to index some batches as "Marriages", when clearly they do not belong to that category?
I just get so upset that no one seems to care what happens to these records after they are indexed. Many contain inaccurate information - like those that appear to relate to events that took place in the year 86 (AD), because project instructions say "index a 2-digit date if the full date is unclear". This leads to them being very difficult to find in a search (especially where a time range is inputted).
Another thing that others do not seem to appreciate (though I'm sure you do) is that the original images (or documents) are often extremely difficult to come by - so many researchers rely 100% on what is recorded by the indexers. In these cases, they will never know that that dates and places recorded are completely wrong in relation to certain events (particularly marriages). However, I realise that really doesn't seem of importance to some of those who respond here - they have confirmed as much in their comments (along the lines of, "Does it really matter if a date is a year or so 'out' when the event took place centuries ago?").
Unfortunately, I can't say I'll completely give-up on pointing out problems that relate to what I believe to be totally unhelpful project instructions, but I will try - and certainly try not to get so worked up about such issues!
Thank you for your continued advice and polite responses. And thank you for the work you (and other indexers) do, which leads to really useful records ending up on the FamilySearch website, in (I guess) around 99% of cases!