Casefile Clues

22 November 2012

Baptist Priests? I Don't Think So

I know it is an index entry. But really, couldn't they have used "officiant" or something a little more accurate and all-encompassing when transcribing entries from the Indiana county marriages to create the "Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959," at FamilySearch?

This is the database entry for my ancestors, William Newman and Rebecca Tinsley, who were married in Rush County, Indiana.

The database term that was used to describe the person was "priest." It seems to this researcher that there are other, more generic terms that could have been used. There are many denominations that do not use the term priest to refer to their "leaders."

The Newmans were Baptists--Regular Baptists at that. The license refers to Jones as a minister.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the indexes on FamilySearch and the access they give us to indexes. I just wish that this description was a little more accurate--particularly because I know there are people who will not look at the original and will conclude that the Newmans were married by a priest, which they were not. And it's just one step from there to conclude that they were members of an entirely different denomination.

The record does not refer to Jones as a priest. The index should not either.

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