Index as Finding Aid – Error Report
As is often said in this community, an index is not meant to be a transcription but an aid to finding the record. I agree. We should look at the whole record to ensure the record belongs to the person we are researching.
Recently, I’ve been working with Roman Catholic baptisms and marriages around Buffalo, Erie, New York, in the mid-1850s. Some are indexed; more are not. Most are viewable at Affiliate Libraries, some only at FSCs, and a few can be viewed from home. I’ll never understand that process; I just deal with it.
But this record set had me wondering Why? These are indexed marriages from St Joseph’s, DGS 7585933. You will notice there are no surnames listed for brides or grooms.
Surely when this project was indexed, the indexers keyed what they saw. They didn’t just index the given names. I believe the index has been corrupted, losing the surnames sometime between when the records were indexed and now. Collection: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1680847 Specific example showing one of the couples I am researching: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F64P-FLQ
The page is a bit dark, but here’s the record that I retrieved at my AL yesterday, showing the marriage of Simon Haniphin and Maria Sullivan:
As an aside, in the church record book, there is a handwritten index. It only has surnames, no given names, and no dates.
Yes, I found the record I was looking for, but the index didn’t help. I didn’t use the index to find the record. I only saw the index after I found the record. I'm researching the Haniphin surname.