I don't know what to index for the canceled marriage license. Do I skip it, the entire marriage license?
Just skip it. If the wedding was cancelled, there is no record to record.
I didn't know because it's from the late 1800's so I thought it's hard to find a women's name from that time period so it would have been nice to have family/researchers find her name. At the same time the wedding didn't happen so this would be confusing to index because they didn't get married. Most likely her name has and will show up at a different place and I'll move on.
Please share the batch # or link. If there are names, I would assume this still needs to be indexed. Then the researcher would see that the event was cancelled. In general project instructions it states that if info is crossed out and you can still read the info, to index it. If the info is crossed out and corrections are made, then index the corrections. This makes me believe that if you have names, and the marriage is canceled you would still need to index the record. Maybe these instructions have nothing to do with this scenario.
edit to add: If there are NO names present, then I agree that this one would need to be skipped.
I am curious to find this out as to what to do in this situation. @Dellory Matthews @Melissa S Himes @John Empoliti I'll tag some people who have helped me with other info.
Unless it tells you in the instructions to skip the record we index it. Even if the marriage did not take place.
The help article Ksalers posted can be found at: https://www.familysearch.org/en/help/helpcenter/article/how-do-i-index-crossed-out-corrected-canceled-or-void-information
Thank you @annewandering
I'll try to follow your sharing instructions. I know it's cancelled because they wrote it on the marriage license. Nothing was crossed out.
"When information was crossed out, corrected, cancelled, or marked void, follow the instructions for “crossed out” that match the situation."
@Julie-Alice Janet Nath Thanks for sharing the batch code. I would definitely index this marriage license even though it's canceled. None of the directions (for this particular project) state what to do if canceled, but general rule is to index all events with names present. This includes crossed out (but readable) info, corrected info, or canceled events. :)
Also, I would use the date March 27,1893 as the marriage date for this event. While this event was canceled, it's a date and is important. The researcher will see that it was canceled, so they will know this marriage never took place.
Thank you for the tag, @Ksalers. You and @annewandering are spot on. Cancelled or voided records do get indexed. They are part of the person's journey whether completed or not.
At last - some indexing practice I completely agree with!
I repeatedly read in genealogy text books (when first setting out in my research) that you should never assume a marriage took place, just because a licence was issued. As this appears to be a project involving Missouri marriage licenses (not records of marriage ceremonies) of course it is correct to index the information shown.
One proviso - as long as it is clear the date indexed relates to the issue of the license, and doesn't imply it relates to the actual ceremony! That would be providing false information, especially when there was no marriage at all.
You will be disappointed, @Paul W. These are marraige records.
There is one field for the dates with a priority list. It is up to the researcher to figure out what the date means. For indexing, we use the priority list which means when there is no date of marriage, we index the license date, the latest bann date, the consent date or the recording date (in that order of priority).
Them's the rules...
I am sorry, @Melissa S Himes, that I somehow misread the project title - convincing myself it contained the word "Licenses"!
However, my remaining concern is that dates that do not refer to the marriage ceremony should be indexed (under project instructions) as if they actually apply to that event (i.e. as a "Marriage" instead of "Marriage Notice"). In the case of this example, it appears the marriage probably did not take place at all (at least not at that time or place), so naturally it would be highly misleading to index it in a way that suggests otherwise.
In cases like these, I wonder if this could also affect an ordinance process, whereby an individual might take these names (with details) to the Temple, unaware of the fact that the couple never actually married?
Obviously, I have to continue in my "quest" to ensure project instructions should never obscure "the facts"! Meanwhile, I must stress this represents no criticism of individual indexers, whatsoever.
@Paul W Good morning! The goal is to have the document found. Using names and dates to get that done. Once the researcher finds the document they can make their own assumptions.
So it is considered okay by FamilySearch to provide totally untrue detail as long as project instructions are adhered to?
You state above:
"Also, I would use the date March 27,1893 as the marriage date for this event. While this event was canceled, it's a date and is important. The researcher will see that it was canceled, so they will know this marriage never took place."
The images for many indexed collections are just not available on the website and are often very difficult to access by other means. Does nobody care that indexing (say) a cancelled marriage as if it actually took place is providing false information? (Or, even if an entry has been crossed through - usually meaning it was recorded in error - that, if legible, it should still be indexed?) Any serious genealogist will be amazed at such suggestions!
These are just not sound practices - genealogically or otherwise - so I believe there is no justification for continuing to index events that either did not take place, or indexing an item as something it was not.
I looked at the marriage records via Wiki Research. It does appear that on many marriage records the index says Marital Status: Unknown. Sometimes they say single. I'm not going to waste time looking at too many of them - but, most of those images are available on FamilySearch and they are licenses and sometimes the marriage is at the bottom. But, I also noticed is most of the time these collections say ( Ancestry ($) ). I've said it before and I'll say it again - a billion dollar business isn't going to give you a free preview. It's like putting the ending of the movie in the trailer. That would not be a sound business practice. The owners of the records decide what we will index. Sometimes marriage records have fields for a license date AND a marriage date and sometimes they don't.
I find it haughty to suggest that "Any serious genealogist will be amazed at such suggestions!". I think they should be pretty darn happy that anything is indexed at all to create searchable text and thank their lucky stars for soundex.
Consider how you would work as a researcher. Say I am looking for a person 120 years ago. I see a hint for someone with that same name but no date, not even a year. I will pass it by, possibly noting it but not checking it, unless I am completely desperate. I am looking for a record from the time period of my ancestor. If I see a marriage date for 1940 I will stop and check that out because it would be a reasonable time for my ancestor to marry. This is why we index voided records. It might not give us the marriage that was eventually performed but it gives us places and possibly other information about our ancestor. Those are important pieces of our families history.
All information can be helpful to a researcher and that is our job. Helping them find records with any information that might help them.
@Melissa S Himes and @annewandering
I must admit you make some very valid points. However, on the basis of the problems current indexing practices and project instructions have created for me, I have to stand by my overall feelings.
Following your earlier advice, I have now placed a post in the "Suggest an Idea" section. I'm sure flaws will be found in my arguments, but they just represent my honest opinions. I do not wish to appear to be dogmatic in my comments, but I just can't agree that recording "wrong" information, just because it might help put people on the "right track" is an acceptable practice.
I was brought up to be very tolerant of the views of others and can honestly understand the points you, and others, are making to me. Even if you can never accept my arguments, I hope you might be able to understand my strong feelings about not misrepresenting "the facts". I honestly don't feel I'm being too pedantic in feeling one should differentiate between two different types of record, for example.
I'm very grateful that we have been able to express our different standpoints in such a "civilised" manner, but promise, in future, to try to avoid making comments on issues on which I do not have specific expertise!
Thanks again for your understanding,